Growing up in a third world country; Tanzania, I had standards to meet. Study really hard. Memorize, memorize, and then memorize some more. Pass my finals. Get into medical school —a seemingly sole desire among Tanzanians. Become a successful doctor. Make the society and everyone happy.
Raised on such ‘ground rules’ for as long as I can remember, I could not possibly imagine straying from my predetermined path. After all, I had no plans set for myself apart from the fantasies of being an FBI/CIA agent upon watching Sherlock Holmes television series. Moreover, the education I received had a headline saying, "there are things that you just can't do." Whenever I asked why? Because it is impossible, they would say. Why is it impossible? Because there is a limit to everything, they would add. Thus I was forced to explore only what was expected of me.
Then I joined Marian Boys' High School in Bagamoyo for my A-levels. Exposed to so many things that I'd otherwise overlooked, I realized that the standards of the Tanzanian system had only shaped me to become disciplined and self-motivated in my studies. I learned how to read a book, recite it, and write it just the way I read it since whatever was written in the book was the truth —forgetting that I’d have to actually think for myself. I learned how important it was to get up at 3 a.m to locate a bucket of water so I could shower to start my morning prep —meanwhile, I was never allowed to question why we had to study at 3 a.m or else I would be labeled as a mutineer. However, it didn't take me long to recognize that there was more to being a student than academic success. Matter of fact, my little 'classroom - dining - dorm' triangular routine began to irritate me. I tried to fit the mold, but I could not resist the calling for a well-rounded education. I began to discover new passions as much as my studies. Thus, I began to question the viability of my ‘limits.’ With time, my interests started to grow, and my bubble formed lines of weakness. I was no longer scared of a heart I could not silence. A heart filled with as many fears as ambitions that longed to be set free.
When the college applications season kicked in, I dared to consider majoring in mathematics —a pull too strong to ignore. Whenever I scrolled through academic majors and concentrations in Norwich’s website, I was filled with awe. Even within the fields of study, Norwich was individualized. Honestly, as I looked at Norwich, I saw a place where I was free to discover who I am and to learn what I want to. Norwich did not require me to be who I am not. Immediately, a strange sense of tranquility and belongingness overcame me. To top it all off, a distinctive curriculum to satisfy my curiosity in various courses is what I define a fantastic university experience. I have always had a passion for Math, admired the Neuroscience significance, but also wish to broaden my leadership skills. All these elements directly point me to Norwich. Hence I believe Norwich is the perfect spot where I can devour different subjects and quench my knowledge thirst.
I do not just want to have an international education; I aspire to be in the Norwich community. I love everything about it —from its arguably best school motto to its unique camaraderie! I wish to provide enormously as equivalent to what I will undoubtedly receive. I understand financial incapability is a hindrance, but I hope it will not be the reason preceding my failure in achieving my dreams. I pray that, in the fall, I will personally wake up in Northfield, VT, and rush towards Mack Hall soon after I grab my breakfast from Wise Campus Center.