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Student story: Admissions essay about a meaningful poem

Video transcript

- One of UVA's application supplements is kind of, name a piece of literature or artwork, or music that has challenged you, inspired you. So I wrote about a poem or a play called A Raisin in the Sun and it's based on Langston Hughes' poem about a raisin in the sun. And it's about this African American family growing up in Chicago in about the 1950s. And all they ever want is a house. They kind of live in cramped, like government apartments. And the whole story the mother is talking about wanting a house and being able to have a little patch for her garden and just a place that they could call their own. And I talked about that in the context of my family because we lived in like a very shoddy apartment. My dad actually still lives there, so six of us to this apartment. And it was you know very cramped and lots of bugs and mice, and things that you shouldn't be living with. And so I kind of grew up always fantasizing about living in a house and just the thought of being able to go to college and being able to not live in a shoddy apartment was a huge kind of incentive for me. But I talked about as I got older, how my kind of views shifted and instead of kind of just having a house for me. I just wanted a house for my parents and so I talked about you know if I can go to college, if I can go to your school I would love to graduate with a job and just be able to one day maybe kind of long lines down the road but be able to purchase a house for my parents just like that family in A Raisin in the Sun and how that's all they wanted. And I also related the book to my family because the parents, the father especially worked all day and he was never really seen. And so nobody really knew who he was, and that was a huge kind of stressor on the family. And so I talked about how when you do have financial burdens it's hard to do things like have traditions and go on vacations. And when you are kind of so focused on money, it's hard to kind of find that loving balance withing a family because there are just so many outside factors that are influencing it.