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How the Past Affected my Future: College Admission Essay Sample

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I have read that our brains can store about one million gigabytes worth of memories. Those memories shape who we are and how we perceive things. What do my memories consist of? I have memories of Mexico: bringing my Polly Pocket suitcase to my grandmother’s home in Rosarito, playing Nintendo 64 in a cardboard house, and celebrating Fourth of July with firecrackers in Ensenada. I also have memories of kindergarten: learning what pineapple meant in Spanish, and being confused with my grandfather when he called me “mi hija”; knowing the literal translation was my daughter. So many of those gigabytes of memories involve my Mexican upbringing.

Although our family is very Americanized, we do have some Mexican tradition: family gatherings to make tamales on Christmas, preparing my great grandmother’s famous “sopita” when I am sick, and large celebrations with mariachi bands and the traditional Mexican food. Exposure to the treasures of the Latin culture has influenced me tremendously. Each time I visit Mexico, I am enamored with the natives and how they interact. Every family I have encountered seems genuinely happy, despite their economic status, and they appear to be so grateful surrounded by the ones they love most. I admire these characteristics of their culture, and believe that is why I aspire to learn more about it.

When I took my first Spanish elective in sixth grade, I knew I loved the language as much as the culture. By eighth grade, my knowledge of the language grew, and so did my curiosity to learn more about other Latin cultures. This desire prompted me to investigate more about Spain. My time finally came in 2014, where I was able to study abroad in Seville, Spain. The country was more than I had expected. Life was so vivacious with the traditional flamenco dances, never-ending tapas, and harmonious music. Studying abroad and sharing meals with my host mother reinforced the importance of family in the Latin culture I love. My learning experience while away was invaluable as I witnessed the unity of people and grew in my own independence.

As soon as I returned from my time abroad, I was conflicted. Each day I missed the experiences from halfway across the world, but I was glad to be home with my own family. I was so grateful for their support to embark on this journey. They raised me to love the Hispanic culture, and their influence helped create my fascination towards Spanish and what encompasses the language. My surrounding world has shaped me so much that I aspire to pursue a career involving the language, and I am eager to make more gigabytes of memories pursuing what I am passionate about. (450)

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