Where do I belong? | Chapman University Undergraduate Application Essay

At age 13, I had it all planned out. Having taken my passport from my mother’s desk, I prepared to purchase my ticket to freedom from the place I’d been held hostage all those years: Florence, Italy. My mother discovered the theft quickly, however, and my plan was foiled. This wasn’t the first time I’d plotted an escape. While Florence is many people’s ideal vacation city, it was far from the ideal home for me. Neither was Bonn, Germany four years prior. With each change of country, my longing for my old home, America, only intensified.

While parting with my friends, my home, and American culture was difficult, the loss of these previously unappreciated aspects of my life paled in comparison to the challenges I faced in Germany. My father was often away on business trips, and I found that whenever he was gone, I was pushed to mature faster than I would have liked to. I can still vividly recall one occasion when I was seven and he was traveling. My mother, bedridden with the flu, asked me to read my three siblings a bedtime story and tuck them into bed. I was proud that I could help but I felt like it wouldn’t have happened if we were still in America.

While I missed my father a lot when he was away, I missed America even more….

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