Why Tufts? An Example of a College Essay

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As a nation, we believe in our own excellence, and celebrate it. However, we lack the appreciation of the other countries that shape and form the world. So when presented with the question, “Why Tufts,” one must only look at what sets it apart from the other schools in the country, it’s diversity. Not only defining the student body, but the classes, ranging from Intro to Yiddish Culture, to Middle East cities in Literature and Cinema, Tufts allows students a glimpse into a world of a plethora of cultures and people.

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Black Activism: Can it go too far?

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Dr. Ben Carson was recently put in center stage of the political world when he recently said, “Of course black lives matter. But what I feel instead of people pointing fingers at each other and just creating strife, what we need to be talking about is how do we solve problems in the black community. Of murder, essentially.” The reaction from many people is one of both agreement and disagreement as people fundamentally disagree on the issue of how we should approach the black communities larger problems.

Everyone agrees that there is a problem, some want to ignore it and move on. Others, are marching and protesting for change in policies, and in the fundamental way blacks are treated.

I have absolutely no problem with what Ben Carson has to say here. He may very well be right. It is only natural, that when a finger is pointed at someone who believes that they have done nothing wrong, they will react aggressively back to defend themselves. The accusations cause mistrust, and a general disdain for that accuser. That is exactly what is happening when the debate about race is brought up.

Black Lives

Many African-Americans likes to point out that a lot of their problems have stemmed from the Caucasian race. They accuse them of their “white privilege” that gives them the edge in the system. The people who for their whole lives have never been racist, just simply lived are being accused of being a problem for minorities. The white population has a right to refute this. Even a man such as Bernie Sanders, a man who fought for civil rights his entire life, had his campaign rally interrupted by protesters for the popular motto “Blacks Lives Matter.” The man who has done nothing but support the minorities, was ostracized by them.

Now of course there is nothing wrong with protesting as it is a right of the people. However, in this situation I think the wise move would be to take a step back and reassess how things will move towards a brighter future. Unfortunately, the movement has very little ideas for this. It is an idea right now, not policy. That is the important thing to take away from Carson. We need a better way to approach the situation. One where we don’t point fingers at cops or politicians or a whole race of people. If there is going to be change, there needs to be a coalition of people that agree something needs to change,and will be damn sure that they do.

Political Correctness

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Does Donald Trump have a point? That is my one question for everyone here. Not for his building a wall to prevent illegal immigration, nor his plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “terrific” as he stated in the first Republican Primary Debate last Thursday. No, it’s really about Trumps view on political correctness. What does he say about it? Well, I’d say it amounts to screw political correctness, I’m going to say what I want to say and people should not be offended or hurt by it. That’s just his style, his sort of appeal that has boosted him to a front-runner in the Republican primary. A man who is willing to stop with all the bullshit wording that is dodgy and only polite is a nice breath of fresh air. It’s not about the ideas he has to help move the nation forward (he doesn’t have many), or about his suave hair. He says what he thinks, and honestly does not care if you don’t like it. Despite some of his short-comings isn’t it nice to see? Someone willing to fight for what they believe in. This nation has certainly had a problem with it lately.

People are too easily offended. It’s a problem that comedians have to deal with everyday. The high-school kids who make harmless jokes are called bigots and racists for it. The biggest problem here? Colleges. The #1 destination for the politically correct. This is where people are constantly offended. They CANNOT take a joke. Of course this is not every college attendee, however, there has been a growing trend that screams and ridicules at anyone who is not politically correct. Bill Maher, a comedian famous for criticizing Islam, was disinvited to a commencement speech at Berkley because the Muslim students did not feel that it was fair to them for a man openly against the Islamic religion to speak. Eventually he was allowed to speak, however, a few students continued to protest the speech. Many college kids these days do not want to hear the other side. The people that fundamentally disagree with them. This causes plenty of problems, one being that this causes political polarization between people who are becoming more and more closed to any new ideas.

One of the most important things in life is listening to people who have different views from you. Being open to criticism is something that is needed in society to grow. We cannot worry about being politically correct when criticizing something for a fault. Tiptoeing around the problem is what will grow the problem. One of the most important parts of free-speech is the right to be an asshole. People need to be able to take a joke. There’s a problem here and many realize it’s happening. That’s why Trump leads. For now. People are realizing the need to be correct in America, and people are sick of it. Can you really blame them?

The College Process

If I had one word to describe the college process it would be the following: random. It’s almost impossible to get into the minds of college admissions. Why wouldn’t they take the kid with the 4.0 who participated in varsity sports all 4 years, but they’ll take the goofball who was in ping-pong club with a 3.5. Sure, there are plenty of intangibles that go along with the process. A life defining moment? Particular success in a field? Hardships that made you grow into the person that you are. But even with these things it’s almost impossible to predict how the admissions process will go. Of course, at some of the less selective schools such as Arizona the likelihood of someone with a 4.0 getting in is incredibly high, the same cannot be said for that student when applying to a school such as Harvard or even public schools such as Michigan. Even with an ACT as good as a 33, are you a shoo in for a school like Michigan? Even if the average ACT is only a 30? The answer is no. Nothing is certain in college admissions that is for sure.

This module usually holds true, the more selective it is, the more random it gets. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t heighten your chances. I believe that there are 3 main contributors to the college process that everyone should know about as soon as they are freshman in high-school, and especially as incoming seniors beginning their college search.

1. Your grades

This one is self-explanatory. You need the grades to get into your schools of choice. That is the truth. However, your grades alone to NOT dictate your acceptance or not. Maybe you have below average grades. Was there a legitimate reason for this. Such as death of family members? Depression? These are legitimate reasons that colleges will 100% take into consideration. Laziness? You need to make that up in the other 2 contributors. The #1 thing here though is to not give up just because your grades are low. You may surprise yourself and the college may see something you cannot see yourself. Let me reiterate though, the best grades does not always equal the best schools. There are thousands of people with 4.0s. What sets you apart from the rest is what matters.

2. Your test scores

Although plenty of people hate the test scores, they are here to stay and needed if you want to get into many selective colleges. In this aspect the best thing you can do is study hard for them. Become a person who can take tests efficiently. Hire a tutor. Take a class. Do anything to raise that ACT up that 1 or 2 points. It’ll be very important to your future, regardless of how unfair it might be. My #1 thing here though is do not worry if your test score is lower than what it needs to be or what your average might reflect. Your average will show that although you might not be the test taker you put in a ton of effort and colleges take that highly into consideration.

3. Extra-curricular activities

This one gets very underrated at times. This’ll show how you manage your time, and how balanced of a person you are. It does not have to be sports either. It could be debate, student council, service, and anything that shows you are more than just a student. When you are able to get good grades while juggling many other commitments it shows how versatile you are. These activities can also lead into helping kids into school for sports teams and theater. Doing more than just school can make it an easier college process for everyone.

While there are more than just these three contributors such essays and where you go to school, these are the three you focus on intently. You cannot always control what school you go to, so you must make the best with what you have. You always have a chance to get into your schools, never give up on them. Just know that if you are denied, it’s not personal, just random.

The Problem with Cecil the Lion Controversy

Today marks national lion day and that can only drudge up one thought for most of us. Cecil the Lion. The story that swept across the world was one that filled people with rage. Cecil was a 13-year-old male lion who was a major attraction at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. In July of 2015, Cecil was hunted down by an American dentist, Walter Palmer, who lured it out of the park and injured it with an arrow. 40 hours later he finally tracked down Cecil where he proceeded to shoot and kill the lion. Palmer then continued on to decapitate and skin Cecil and leave his headless skeleton where he killed the lion. The case immediately garnered national attention as millions of people expressed the anger toward the seemingly needless killing of such a majestic creature. Comments ranged from calling for Palmers death to saying Palmer did nothing wrong. The general consensus of many though was for a harsh punishment.

The questions I have for all the people who call for his death or torture. Is this man any less than a man who murders another man? A child? Is a lion’s life really worth as much as a humans?

Not even for the most grotesque of murders I have never seen such a public outrage as I’ve seen for the killing of a lion. What Palmer did was wrong. Period. However, why must the man be crucified as much as a man who would kidnap and murder children. I am in no way saying that Palmer is better man, but why is the horrible deaths that we humans experience swept under the rug. Where is the outrage? Not just for a single murder but the murder that is committed all around the world. People need to take an honest look at themselves and ask the question. Is the killing of Cecil worse than the murder that occurs everyday all throughout the world? Have we as a species become so apathetic towards ourselves that we get more upset about an animal dying rather than humans?

Another factor that is largely ignored in this situation is the hypocrisy of the people condemning Palmer. Many of the people who call for his death and harsh punishment, most likely eat meat. They eat chicken, steak, lamb, anything they can. People who eat meat have been murdering animals for many years. There is also not a necessary reason to eat meat besides are own enjoyment. However, the animals that we eat are thrust into a much harder life and death than Cecil. They are caged, abused, and killed once they are needed. They are fed like bottom-feeders and given numerous drugs to increase their growth. They are tortured their entire life for one reason: human enjoyment. Meat is not needed in our diet. Actually, we could grow more food than if we did not feel the need for us to consume meat. Growing just crops would increase the production exponentially. So what is the problem with Palmer getting enjoyment out of hunting exotic animals such as a lion? Can we really pick and choose which animals we prefer not be mutilated. Is it all wrong? Or only some of it wrong?

We must decide for ourselves if we truly believe that killing a lion is worse is worse than killing a human. For me, I believe a human life is more valuable than anything. I believe we must have the same outrage for humans, as we do for Cecil. We have demonstrated in this event that we as a species can work together to be pissed at something and want to change it. So why not translate the over into other things. All I ask is that you reflect on these questions and think of what we must truly be worried about in our short lives.

Welcome! 

Hello all,
Welcome to my blog! As of now I am the only writer here, but I hope to change that sometime in the future. I am a incoming college freshman.

This blog will be used to showcase my rants and insights into the whole world around us. I will look into important things that plague my mind and all my readers as well! Some things to know about me is that I’m an avid reader, proud political junkie, and (of course) a frequent writer. With my political fueled mind I like focus on that subject in particular and how it applies to all facets of life. One of the most intriguing things I find is that no matter how much you try to avoid it, you just can’t. A lot of what I believe is my own opinion, however, one of my favorite things is dialogue. Monologues seem to be the name of the game in the world. Opening up a dialogue is one of the most important things we can do as people and I hope to foster a community of this on my blog. I hope you all enjoy my rambles!
Asher Fletcher