It's quite possible that you've gotten thousands of admissions essays floating across your desk today, and it's my job as the prospective student to sell you on why I think I'd be an asset to the M.I.T family. My mom taught me to always be honest, so I'll start off by saying that you're not the only school I'm applying to. Not only that, but you'd be lucky to have me. By now, you've probably looked over my file, and can see that I've got near perfect grades, and a whole host of extra-curriculars (and if nothing else, President of Robotics club and Science Fair winner three years in a row should be enough) that show you I am dedicated, but also well-rounded. But that's just what I'm like on paper. That's only a small part of who I am, and in order to show you the larger part, I'll need to go back to the beginning:
I've always wanted to tell people that I was born in a raging storm, and it was touch and go, and 14 hours of hard labor before I came kicking and screaming into this world. First, that'd be a lie. Second, my mother would probably kill me for putting out into the universe that she'd be in labor for that long. My birth was uneventful, it was quick (or so I'm told), and I couldn't be bothered to cry until the doctors pricked my heel for blood, and then I apparently made a sound of displeasure and that was all. Both parents named me. Zuri, is Swahili for "Beautiful", and Melia is Greek for "Ash tree", but also has a root from the Greek word for "honey". A fact that I found particularly interesting, since in Norse Mythology, the "Mead of Inspiration" came from the fermentation of the "honey" or sap from the Ash tree. Again, you've seen my file, four years of Latin and two years of Ancient Greek meant that I was bound to develop more than a passing interest in etymology and mythology.
Life in my household was interesting, to say the least. I was raised by my mom and dad, but my paternal grandparents were also key figures in my development. While my mom and my grandmother were teaching me how to talk, my grandfather was encouraging me to explore (much to my parent's relative annoyance). I'm sure there were more times than can be counted when someone would go looking for a remote control, or some other electronic device and I'd figured out some way of taking it apart, but hadn't yet reached the level of knowing how to put it back together again. Not to worry, that came later. Didn't quite help the remotes, though, and I had an electronics graveyard under my bed for a solid year before my mom found out and forced me to get rid of it all. I've always had an interesting relationship with learning, and what my file won't tell you, is that I was sort of a troublemaker during my first few years in school. Personally, I hated school, but it wasn't until I got to the third grade and had a teacher that cared enough to figure out why, that my family and I realized that I was just bored. I wasn't being challenged enough by the curriculum, and in my need for something to do, I was (unfortunately), making it difficult for other students to learn.
At this point, you're probably wondering why my family didn't just make arrangements for me to go to a better school. Well, it's not like the Boston Public School system is that bad. I'm sure it's great. It just wasn't working out for me, and that's the unfortunate reality when you have a group of people (teachers) that are overworked, underpaid, and severely underappreciated. I lucked out with Ms. Bishop, because she saw the 'why' behind my outbursts, and did something to help me. My fourth grade teacher couldn't be as accommodating, and public school is very much on the free side of tuition, so until mom, dad, and my grandparents scraped it together, I was stuck. But scrape, they did. I realize it now, but when I was in the middle of it, I didn't understand why I wasn't able to get all the new things like my friends at school could. They were saving to get me a better education, and I was being a petulant 9 year old because I wanted an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas (because I wanted to take it apart), and I got something else instead. The day I walked into my new school, though...it was that moment when you get glasses, and you realize that all this time, everything had been blurry, and now you could see.
I won't bore you with too many of the details, and I'll skip through most of the next few years of my life, but I ended up going to a Montessori school. In short, it was fun. School was fun for the first time, and I was learning so much more than I'd been given the opportunity to learn before. Suddenly, it was acceptable for me to work ahead, for me to want to explore different methods of arriving at the same conclusion. I was allowed to learn the way I wanted to, and not in some cookie-cutter fashion that required I stay with the rest of the class, and in the box public school tried to put me in.
From Kingsley, I navigated my way into the halls of Boston University Academy...and the rest, as they say, is history.
You want to offer a spot in your University to someone that will do the work, but also make you look good, and I like to think I can do both. I have a passion for learning that has manifested itself all throughout my life, and I know that it was because of the support my family gave me during all the times they had to get up to change the channel on the television because I had broken the remote while trying to figure it out. Granting me entrance to M.I.T. would be a good investment on your part, and if I have not said so before, I would be honored to accept.
• believes in the mystical powers of a good red lipstick and winged eye, but will still spend the majority of her time in sweatpants and sneakers.
• lived in the dorms at m.i.t for the first year, but moved back home because she missed her mom too much.
• named her dog ares, as a nod to her love of greek mythology. he was a belated high school graduation present from her mom (she got him junior year of college), and the name is ironic because he's scared of nearly everything.
• has an decent relationship with both parents, but is closest with her mother (they're basically lorelai and rory). she spent the majority of her childhood being raised with greek traditions (from her mother's side), but still unapologetically celebrates her blackness.
• well-meaning, and loyal to a fault, but sometimes comes across as a cocky know-it-all. probably isn't helped by the fact that sarcasm is her first language.