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My Princeton Supplement

September 4, 2018

 

 

Hey loves!

 

I promised you guys that I would share more about my university applications and I therefore decided to read my Princeton supplement for you all. If you would like to have the written version of it, here you go:

 

Short Takes

Your favorite book and its author: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky

Your favorite movie: "Watchers of the Sky"

Your favorite website: Nytimes.com

Two adjectives your friends would use to describe you: Honest. Loyal.

Your favorite recording: "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten

Your favorite keepsake or memento: The black bracelet my mother gave me before she went to a mental hospital

Your favorite source of inspiration: My mother

Your favorite word: Vorfreude

Your favorite line from a movie book and its title:"History is the study of choices, not of immutable fate." from "The Wars for Asia 1911- 1949" by S. C. M. Paine

 

Extracurricular Activities and Work Experiences

Since I moved to Hong Kong in 2016, I volunteered at the NGO Crossroads for seven hours a week. Crossroads provides educational programs for asylum seekers and material resources for people who cannot meet their needs. As a volunteer coordinator, I organise which departments volunteers are sent to and am in touch with potential volunteers.

 

This gave me an insight into the different areas that Crossroads is covering such as delivering clothing, toys, and furniture and the different factors that have to be considered when deciding where to send which goods. I also got in touch with many asylum seekers and they educated me about the difficulties they are facing in Hong Kong. My work showed me the importance of carefully selecting how to help in order to be helpful and that you can have an impact on other people's lives by giving a few hours of your time.

 

Last Two Summers

In 2016, I travelled within Europe with family members and friends to spend time with them before I would leave for Hong Kong. I also volunteered at a summer child care where I took care of a group of younger children. The group included refugee children which made it important to exclude any activities that include fighting to ensure that the children are not reminded of any traumatic experiences. I also had to pay attention to the language barrier that some of the refugee children faced. I responded to it by including creative activities that did not require much talking.

 

In 2017, I attended Stanford University's High School Summer College where I completed a Human Rights Intensive Studies Certificate. To complete the certificate, I attended two courses. My introductory course to international relations widened my understanding of global politics and the role of different actors in the international system. My course on genocide and humanitarian intervention gave me an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of international human rights law and how it has evolved throughout history.

 

Tell us about a Person who has Influenced You in a Significant Way

My fifth grade mathematics teacher was a man who did not give up easily. I met him on my first day of middle school. He was excited to meet his new class and wanted all of us to feel welcomed in the new school. It took me about ten minutes to determine that I did not like him. His enthusiasm for numbers and headache-causing calculations disgusted me. But his commitment to our learning was even worse. Because I was most definitely not interested in that.

 

The only reason I went to middle school was that I had to go. My mother, who was still dealing with the effects of her psychosomatic breakdown and the long fight about money that came with the divorce of my parents, was not paying much attention to my drop in grades. I was not interested in any of my subjects and preferred reading books under the table over listening to my teachers. My maths teacher became concerned that I might not pass the year. He tried talking to me - but that was as effective as talking to a wall. So he tried talking to my mother. Although she was more willing to help him, her own struggles kept her from doing so. So he decided to take manners in his own hands.

 

He forced me to join his maths club. The first semester that I spent in that club, I just stared at him and tried to convey my hate for him through the looks I gave him. But he was unimpressed by that and continued to make me go to the weekly meetings. After having wasted my time by staring at him for months, I decided to make use of my time and started to study during the club’s meetings. The maths club provided a space where I could work on my mathematics homework or study for coming tests and ask my teacher for help if I needed it.

 

When I started using the time for my maths work, I quickly realised that I should have payed some attention in my teacher's classes. Instead of simply watching my hopeless efforts to catch up a whole semester of maths classes, my teacher sat down with me during the club’s meetings and went over the topics we had already covered. And in return, I started to listen to him in class. I did not turn into a top math student overnight, but my grades stopped making my teacher worry about whether I would pass his class. My improvement in mathematics motivated me to work harder in my other subjects as well.

 

My maths teacher was the person that motivated me to try. When I received an award for very good achievements in seventh grade, my fifth grade maths teacher was the person who I thanked. Because without him, I probably would not have started trying a little harder. Without him, I would not have received any of the awards for very good achievements which I received from seventh to tenth grade. And I would probably not have had the grades to even think about applying to a boarding school in Hong Kong. His efforts to make me try changed the opportunities I had in life and the amount of respect I have for the education that is given to me. Looking back, I am grateful for every math club meeting that I got to attend.

 

I hope that this helps some of you guys when writing your university applications! You can find the main essay I submitted to Princeton here. If you guys have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a message

 

Lots of Love,

 

Elena

 

 

 

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