Essay for Princeton: My Mentor and What I Would Do with a Free Year
1. Tell us about a person who has affected your life in a significant way.
Paul Lunsford, a youth minister who leads a youth bible study every Monday night, has inspired me to become a better person from the moment I met him. Paul’s insights are timely, incisive, and brilliant, and his humility, compassion, and respect for other people and religions are inspirational. The summer before I began high school, Paul encouraged me to take a more active approach to my faith and my life by spending more time in personal prayer, attending church retreats, and taking my faith into the world. The Holy Spirit did the rest. I have stuck with my faith through all the peaks and valleys life has offered, and I will do so for the rest of my life.
Through his actions, Paul has inspired me to balance my life. Though he is a very successful businessman, his work is not the most important part of his life. First and foremost, he is dedicated to his relationship with God; after that, his love is his family. I am friends with his three sons and have observed him to be a strong and loving father and a devoted husband. When I have a family of my own, I hope to emulate my father and Paul. For now, my goal is to keep God the center of my life while remaining a true friend and a dependable student. Paul is a role model for me.
2. If you were given a year to spend in any way you wish, what would you do?
This is a surprisingly appropriate question, since I love to ask people what they would do if they had a million dollars. Their answers – travel, pay for school, donate to charities, and so on – provide me an interesting view into their goals and their souls. I was always inclined to spend my life exactly the way I did when I was one million dollars poorer. Nevertheless, the freedom of a year without any obligations would provide opportunities I simply could not pass up.
First of all, I would give two months to God by doing humanitarian work in the Dominican Republic, the birthplace of my grandmother. I spent a week in Tijuana, Mexico last summer on a Youthworks Mission Trip. I enjoyed helping others, but the residents of Tijuana changed my life much more than I changed theirs. I have considered giving a year to the Peace Corps after college graduation, and my experiences in Tijuana reinforced this desire. I would also become fluent in the Spanish language, a very important part of my heritage.
After recovering from my trip, I would spend the next few months pursuing self-improvement. I would learn how to play the guitar and learn how to speak Japanese. I would read some books and give a serious effort to writing. I would pray and run every day and spend some time really exploring my hometown and the people who live in it. Perhaps I would take a few classes! Education and improvement are very important to me.
After that, I would conclude the year with more travel. If they had the time, I would visit the Pope and some great business and political leaders and find out what makes them tick. I would see some of the great cities and the small cities of the world. I would learn about humanity and myself. I would spend the last week of my year sleeping, and then I would re-enter the world a year older and wiser. It would be a good year, indeed.Explore posts in the same categories: Education, La Vida, Schoolwork