Kristen P

available to review essays

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University of Michigan
International Studies 2022 — Present .edu verified

Hi! I'm Kristen Pikaart. I am currently a second year undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Within the academic sphere, I am committed to cultural exchange and learning, and love hearing people's stories. In my free time, you can find me either in the gym practicing my Taekwondo or in the kitchen trying out new recipes!

Want me to read your essay? I can conduct a comprehensive review of your draft and suggest in-line edits, add comments in the margin, and provide overall feedback at the end.

My standard turnaround time is 5 days.

Short Essay Review
Up to 350 words

Examples of a short essay include the UC PIQs as well as school-specific supplementals.

Long Essay Review
Up to 650 words

Examples of a long essay include the Common App personal statement as well as longer school-specific supplementals.

Essay that got me into

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

People may look at me when I bring two backpacks to school every day and think I am one of those try-hard students. They must think I have so many belongings that they cannot possibly fit into one regular school bag. Probably all of those AP classes and extracurricular activities taking up space, right? In truth, in the back seat of my car I carry the weight of not just my academics, but my home life as well. One bag for school, and one bag for my mom's house...or was it for my dad's house? What day is it again?

Throughout my life, I repeatedly hear about "the rule of three." The rule of three is the idea that we as humans look for patterns, and that the number three best satisfies this need. When I looked for this pattern in my own life, I found the number two surrounding me instead. I have two sisters who try to support me despite them not understanding me and my thought processes. I have two divorced, now single, parents who have greatly influenced my life both positively and negatively by resolving external conflicts but creating new internal ones. I am even reminded of the two lives that I could have lived: one as an Asian American, and one that is concealed in the mystery of a closed international adoption. And again, I feel the presence of the two backpacks literally weighing down my shoulders.

These observations compelled me to think deeply not just about my life, but about myself as a person. Who am I? Can I be defined by my life experiences? Or maybe my achievements define me? How about the characteristics of my personality - do they play a role in who I am? Once I think that I figured it out and I think I know the final answer, I find myself revisiting the same "Who am I?" question. I still don't know who I am, and it is an ongoing battle. Day after day, the battle wages on, but the small victories are what push me to strive forward. I find these in the quality time I spend with my family and closest friends, in the warming glow and refreshing coolness of the seasonal changes, and even in the stillness of the rain that encases me while I sit alone in my room listening to lo-fi music.

I know a day will come where I will be required to answer the grand question of "Who am I," but now is not the right time. It will not happen all at once like a wildfire, but more like a slow-burning candle. I have accepted and embraced this fact. I now know that the answer is constantly taking a new shape and evolving into what it is meant to be, and at the moment I am content with this. One day I will finally have the answer that I have been searching for, and when the time comes where I will be able to confidently answer "Who am I," I will be able to carry both backpacks with ease.

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it

I belong to the community of Japanese cartoons. The type of show that was once looked down on by some in Western society for being "weird" because it was foreign. Nowadays, it has exploded in popularity in pop culture and it has helped people of all kinds, including myself, learn about new cultures and ideas.

Through the epic storytelling of these animated shows, I learned so much from these "cartoons" growing up. Anime and its fictional characters have helped me recognize and name feelings that I didn't know existed, escape from the harsh realities of day-to-day life, and acknowledge flaws in society and myself. From engaging with animated shorts on my social media to listening to anime soundtracks, it is now an integral part of my daily life. In so many ways this genre of Japanese animation has given me experiences unlike none other. Nothing compares to the feeling of discovering something new and wanting to dissect and uncover every aspect of it. For me, anime was my first passion.

That driving passion inspired me to learn more about not just Japanese culture, but other cultures and different types of people as well. It helped me gain a greater understanding of the world. As a result of this, I can now share this information with those who are a part of my life and expand more people's ideas of the world by promoting cultural understanding. I hope that one person at a time, I can help people recognize and appreciate different people's cultures and ways of life.

Anime may just be a cartoon with a cute, childish aesthetic to some people, but to me and many more, it created a community that has given endless experiences and possibilities to connect with others.

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?

Yoko Meshi is a Japanese phrase with a meaning that does not quite translate into an English equivalent. This phrase refers to the unique feeling of stress or discomfort associated with trying to speak another language. I relate to this feeling of discomfort, but this does not stop me from loving language. After taking a multitude of both Chinese and Spanish classes, this phrase hits right to the heart. I know all too well the struggle of persevering through displeasures and hardships to be able to communicate. I hope to progress my communication skills with the University of Michigan guiding me along the way with opportunities to connect with others and their cultures and languages.

I hope to be a part of the Department of Linguistics in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. In the beginning, I did not fully comprehend how multidimensional linguistics is, but after reading more in-depth on the department website, I learned about areas of specialization like acquisition, bilingualism, and even fields I had never heard about like psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics. By being a part of this program, I hope to build a solid knowledge of all parts of language. The information learned would aid in understanding not just spoken and written language, but help me acquire many valuable skills like gaining a deeper perspective of the world, understanding how language is used in a practical sense, and developing critical analysis skills.

While pursuing a linguistics degree, I hope to be a part of one of the over 140 study abroad programs within the Center for Global and Intercultural Study. CGIS would allow me to enhance my base knowledge of other cultures. From a young age, I have always loved foreign cultures and languages. I grew up in a household constantly having influences from other countries via foreign exchange students. I was intrigued by their native languages and entranced by their ways of life. I am confident that the study abroad programs offered by this university can continue to provide me with greater possibilities to expand my cultural knowledge. Although I am not set on a specific program, I do not doubt that I would easily find one that suits my interests and allows me to apply my knowledge of linguistics and foreign languages in real-world situations.

Although the academic side of school can be enriching, I believe the extracurricular side of schooling can be an equally rewarding space where communities can flourish. Through extracurriculars, students of diverse majors and academic interests can come together and relate over similar hobbies. One club that I wish to join at Michigan is the Gourmet Club. This club could enhance my cultural knowledge through experience of food/cuisine from all over the world. I would be able to make Michigan, a large university, small in the way of an intimate community brought together by food.

After a diligent search of the programs and extracurriculars that UM offers, I have concluded that this university would not only help me fall deeper in love with language but also help me discover new passions that were previously unavailable to me. Michigan is a top choice for me because of its unique opportunities to grow academically and personally within its diverse community.