COLLEGE: University of Pennsylvania
I was a baby on a mission. Though confined to a high chair, I knew that little stood between a bowl of Cheerios and me. My first attempt was a disaster; the “pincer grasp” I had been practicing was no match for my 6-month-old coordination and chubby fingers. Why not wet my fingers, I wondered? I put my hand in my mouth and dipped my dripping fist in the bowl. The cereal was mine.
Even before I started school, I constantly searched for new topics to explore. For a period of time, I was captivated by Pokémon and thus proceeded to memorize the height and weight of every Pokémon in existence; I subsequently asked my dad to quiz me to see if I could correctly recall the figures of every Pokémon. My curiosity eventually introduced me, among myriad other subjects, to geography, meteorology, entomology and geology. Occasionally, my curiosity, coupled with my fascination with dismantling objects, yielded undesired consequences. To my parents, my favorite question — “What’s this?” — quickly became synonymous with “It’s broken.”
Once school began, my teachers quickly noticed my curiosity. They explored numerous ways to satisfy my insatiable thirst for knowledge. My kindergarten teacher placed me in an accelerated reading program aimed at third-graders; my second-grade teacher attempted to teach me German. Eventually, the district gifted coordinator suggested to my parents that I skip a grade.
My curiosity has evolved with my academic interests. My early proclivity for numbers, as demonstrated by my enthrallment with Pokémon statistics, has metamorphosed into an in-depth study of calculus. An Italian cartoon I used to watch every Saturday morning has inspired me to become a polyglot. Even as I head off to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, my curiosity will continue to influence me; there, I will take advantage of the multitude of opportunities and explore all of my academic and extracurricular interests. Most significantly, my curiosity has taught me that an answer is not an end but a beginning. It leads to new questions like why and how and sometimes, “What’s this?”