Himalayan | University of California – Berkeley Undergraduate Application Essay

In the summer going into junior year, I signed up for a Rustic Pathways photography trip to the Himalayas. Going into the program, I was ecstatic that my parents had allowed me to do this and I couldn’t wait to take my first solo trip out of the country and to practice the thing I loved most in such a beautiful setting.

On about day three I began to feel very disillusioned. The itinerary, my group, and the beauty of the mountains was everything that I hoped – there was just one problem. My main trip leader, a man whom I did not particularly admire, exemplified both the photographer and the person I didn’t want to be. He was arrogant, pushy, and dismissive, and he would sacrifice everything and anything for the shot. His ignorance regarding the local cultures in India was appalling, and his complete assurance in everything he ever did put him on a pedestal above us. He barely knew our names.

When I find something unjust, I will always voice my concerns. My mom calls this my best and worst quality. In this specific circumstance, I tentatively confronted our trip leader and tried to explain why I thought his actions were wrong and why he should be setting a better example for a group of impressionable teenagers. While my comments…

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