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Having been born in a completely different environment compared to where I am now, I have become accustomed to learning about new cultures, getting to know new traditions, and being open to new experiences. I was born in Manila, the Philippines. Manila is where I was raised, where I went to school, and made friends. But there were many places I wanted to explore; there were also many subjects I wanted to delve into and learn that eventually brought me to the United States to study.

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I went on to continue my education at Knox School in New York, where I have been studying for the past four years. One great lesson I learned at Knox School that was not taught to me in class is that I can do a lot more than I dare to believe, and that if there is a goal I want to achieve, then I should at least give it my best try. This dream is to become an architect.

Though I do not have professional training in architecture, I entered many competitions in order to test my skill. In 2008, I was a finalist in the Cincinnati Youth Architecture Challenge. Being a finalist in a statewide competition gave me encouragement. The following year, I won the Cincinnati Public School Annual Architecture Show, where I designed a new governmental building for downtown Cincinnati.

I have dreamed of becoming an architect since I was a child but, unlike most of the childhood dreams we have, this one did not go away as I grew older. I still cannot imagine myself being content in any other profession. To me, being an architect is not just about designing new buildings to fill up space. It is about designing a better, more comfortable, beautiful, and delightful life for people who will live, work, or just pass by to witness its artistic construction. To make my biggest dream happen, I can find no better place than Cornell University to acquire this profession.

Cornell University has what a premier university should have. It has its special history; it has an outstanding campus and inspiring program opportunities; it has incredible staff; it has core values that I admire and share; and of course, it is a unique melting pot of cultures, traditions, and ethnicities of which I eagerly anticipate becoming a part of. Cornell University for me is no less than a dream school to acquire the skills and knowledge I need, and to master my dream profession of becoming an architect.

Besides being a perfect place to study and learn, I see Cornell University as a sanctuary to spend my leisure time away from classes. Being the open-minded, sociable, and versatile person that I am, with a lot of diverse hobbies I still want to learn to do competently, I believe Cornell University is the best place to explore myself, improve my skills, gain new ones, and enjoy the experience of American student life to the fullest.

The minute I stepped onto the grounds of Cornell University campus, it felt like home—a feeling that I do not get all the time while I am away from my homeland. I feel comfortable walking through the halls of the campus buildings. I feel this is where I belong and where I want to spend the next four years of my life.

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