Two Languages, One World | University of Rochester Undergraduate Application Essay

I come from a culture where everything, from the language to the way one dances, is rhythmical. Everything flows freely in the mind, everything makes sense, and nothing is inhibited. I feel this sense of absolute free flow when I push the sole of my foot into the soft creamy-white carpet and turn on the music, to feel the lyrical sensation and soft rhythmical beat of Vallenato take over my body. I feel it especially when I open a book of Spanish literature, from the poems of Pablo Neruda to the magical reality of Gabriel Garcìa Màrquez.

When I entered the realm of English at age six, I felt the language as too rough, too stringent, filled with too many rules, with a comma here and a comma there. I thought that the literary, grammatical and syntactical rules of English inhibited the free flow of the mind. For me, English was like New York, with a perfect ninety degree angle between each street and avenue–too structural, while Spanish was like the streets of my native town of Medellin, Colombia, with a bunch of curves here and there, a kind of innate simplicity. Yet as the years progressed, I came to fully realize the importance of mixing these two languages and valuing diversity.

I remember my mom sitting on the living room…

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