My family owned and operated a jewelry business for 8 years, since I was 10 years old. I grew up with this store, among the earrings and ornaments, always surrounded by things made from a unique substance called gold. Gold is a well-known element, atomic number 79; of course, everyone knows of its international monetary value. However, gold also has a deeply personal resonance; and upon closer examination, this material provides an emblematic picture of my past, my future, and what I offer Yale University.

Gold is a soft, yellow metal. It is extremely ductile, the most malleable metal there is. I exhibit similar qualities, as I also adapt to the demands of my environment. I am Persian, though I was born in Lebanon and later came to the United States; upon arrival here, I had to face the challenge of learning the English language. I had to take a new shape in order to excel in unfamiliar surroundings. In addition, I again transformed by beginning to learn my native Farsi language in order to further mold my cultural identity.

Yet gold is not always a shifting, malleable metal; it is hardened by alloying with other metals, increasing its strength. I hope to go through a corresponding process at Yale. I want to become a more solid citizen through exposure to other viewpoints and cultures, and by offering my own. I will mix with new perspectives; I will alloy with my fellow students, with my professors, and with the learning that both groups impart in order to become stronger academically, socially, and culturally.

Moreover, gold is a corrosion-resistant metal. I feel my past exhibits the characteristics of this material in that I avoided corrosion of my mind and body through active academic and athletic participation. In high school, I was president of the student body and head of the study group division. I became an Eagle Scout and was a member of the school’s flag hoisting brigade. I also played tennis competitively, swam, and played racquetball. Through these experiences, I have gained the necessary leadership skills and exhibited unflagging responsibility to ensure a corrosion-free body and spirit.

Finally, gold parallels my goals for the future. It is one of the most conductive metals, extremely well suited for carrying an electric current. I, too, aim to conduct another kind of electricity–political organization, by pursuing a degree in Political Science at Yale. I have a distinct ambition to learn about this subject, especially in regard to Constitutional Law and parliamentary processes.

For me, gold’s value rests in its qualities and intricacies, in the way its characteristics echo my past accomplishments and represent my ambitions and goals. Adaptability, a willingness to gain new perspectives and knowledge, a corrosion-resisting makeup, and a readiness to excel are all revealed in me though a close look at this seemingly simple element. I hope to bring this gold to Yale University.