BU College Essays
I wrote and submitted these essays, but ended up withdrawing my application because I got accepted Early Decision to Tufts.
What about being a student at Boston University most excites you?
In elementary school, I sold word searches to my parents’ friends for ten cents a piece. Although it didn’t end up being the wild financial success I had hoped for, since then I’ve always come up with business ideas. This attracted me to programming in high school – it allows me to make things others will actually use. BU’s dual degree program enables me to pursue both sides, computer science and business, learning to make things and get them into people’s hands.
Growing up speaking English, Cantonese, and German natively, with three different cultures at home, has made me interested in how people outside the U.S. live and work. So many differences are apparent when we go to Germany to see where my dad grew up, or Hong Kong to stay with my grandparents. BU emphasizes a global perspective more than most colleges. Faculty and students come back to BU from opportunities around the world, sharing their perspective and experiences. I want to be part of a community that tries to learn about the world at large, not just through observation, but through living.
Although I’ve been able to visit many countries, I’ve never lived outside the United States. I want to experience life outside the U.S., outside my bubble. BU highlights opportunities for abroad internships. I’ve found over the past two summers that internships teach me not only technical skills, but communication and self-management. Having a college internship abroad would be a dream come true.
Howard Thurman, who was the dean of BU’s Marsh Chapel from 1953-1965, once wrote: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Can you describe a particular experience you have had or an activity that you participate in that makes you come alive? How would you try to integrate that experience or activity into your time at BU?
“did you call??” The text sounded incredulous. Yeah, I did call. No, it wasn’t an accident.
It was May, two months since I had last seen my friends in person. It was around then that I had realized how easy it was to fall out of touch with people.
So I decided to gather all the gall within me and to start calling people out of the blue.
The first time I called someone, I’d usually get a reaction like that incredulous one. I had quite literally never called these people before. I had realized that with some people we were friends, but I’d never had a real conversation with them one-on-one. I couldn’t tell you what they wanted to do for college (the most basic of relatives-at-Thanksgiving questions), or what they liked to do outside of school.
Each time, we would talk for hours. We would talk right up until we decided getting some sleep would be a good idea. People were vulnerable, interested, open, and funny.
That’s what really solidified what makes me come alive – other people.
Being able to talk with other people, for them to trust you enough to be open and vulnerable, is an amazing feeling. Just having the nerve to call someone, after convincing myself that I wasn’t being annoying by continuing to call them at random times, always brightened my day completely.
When I think of myself in college at BU, I want to continue to build my confidence to form these sorts of connections with other people.
There’s a certain amount of confidence that you need to build up to do it – everybody wants to be called, but doesn’t want to do the calling. Reaching out puts you in the vulnerable, less sure-footed position. But someone has to do it, and I’m always glad afterwards that I did.
At BU, I want to take the time and intentionality to truly get to know the people I’m surrounded by, especially outside of academics. To grab lunch with someone and get to know them, talk with someone about an idea, or sign up for a club together.
Being able to connect with other people also motivates me to continue studying computer science in college. The process of coming up with an idea and building it is exciting to me because I get to show it to other people at the end.
There’s no better feeling to me than seeing that other people find what I’ve made useful. It could be a friend from school, or someone on the other side of the country who emails out of the blue. It’s those connections with other people that make things fulfilling and humbling. Connections through conversation, or connections through something I’ve made.
Connecting with other people is what makes me truly come alive. There’s no better feeling, and I never want to let that go.