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The Requirements: 1 essay of 250-500 words
Supplemental Essay Type(s): Community
Discrimination can take many forms and be based on a number of things — race, socioeconomic background, disability, gender (to name a few) — and we have all witnessed it in some way, whether we were the targets or not. When approaching this essay, remember that admissions is looking for awareness, not perfection. Admissions doesn’t expect you to have solved a worldwide problem, but they do want to know that your eyes are open to who is being left out or treated unfairly, and whether or not you have taken it upon yourself to do something about it. Have you worked toward inclusivity in a club or organization? Do you support girls who break into male-dominated sports? How? The second way to answer this is to recount a time when you were on the wrong side of discrimination. Be vulnerable here, but be sure to analyze why you acted, be it youthful ignorance, implicit bias, or wrong-headed cultural “norms” — this will show admissions that you are self-aware and reflective. It’s important to show that you have learned from your mistakes and are evolving. Lastly, how will you bring those lessons to U-O? Will your actions speak louder than words? Do you want to volunteer in local Special Olympics events? Will you get involved in an LGBTQ rights group? Let admissions know that you care and are working for a more inclusive future in your way, however that may be.
Diversity applies to many facets of who we are, including but not limited to: cultural heritage, ethnic background, gender, socioeconomic upbringing, or an intersectional combination of all of the above. No matter who you are, you bring something to the table. How will your differences help to enrich your future community at U-O? Maybe reflect on how you influence those around you now, and then mentally place yourself on campus as a college student doing the same. Maybe you’ll share your love of Korean BBQ or your knowledge of Flamenco dancing. Maybe you’ll get on stage with the college improv team and make your peers laugh with your satirical social commentary. No matter what you have to offer, admissions wants to know how you’ll share it and how you’ll contribute positively to U-O’s diverse community.