PROMPT #1: What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you? (250 word limit)
My least favorite word is they. Growing up in a small private school, I heard the word they associated with all who lay beyond my fenced-in, sheltered walls. “They transferred here from there, which explains their actions.” “They are different from us, and we like how we are better.” Even if the distaste for they wasn’t verbally communicated, it was shown through body language, such as avoiding they altogether. For ten years, I felt this grouping skew my sense of society as my school became a world of its own. However, I was never fully convinced that they, those on the outside, were really that bad. As they became such an intangible force not to be reckoned with, my understanding of they became cloudy, but my thirst for knowledge made me crave to know who they really were. So, I decided to quit my life of assumption and dive into the world of they: public high school. The day that I stepped onto my first yellow school bus and was dropped off at my (much larger) home for the next four years was the day I discovered that they did not exist. Instead of they, I found a plethora of unique, diverse backgrounds. I found people not avoiding differences, but embracing them. Most importantly, I found that I thrive best where there is no one category in which to belong. As the word they no longer reigns over my vocabulary, a new word has come to take its throne: we.
PROMPT #3: Explain your educational and career interests and why Annenberg is the best match for you. (250 word limit)
Since my debut book The Little Lost Barbies I composed at age three, the world has been my storytelling playground. After selling exactly one copy of my life’s work (to my parents who “bought” it with love), I have been on a mission never to stop telling stories. From writing articles, producing three yearbooks, creating online videos, to learning the basics of media production in multimedia classes, the art of communication has become a part of my everyday language, and the fluency in this language ultimately attracts me to USC Annenberg. Located in one of the media capitals of the world, Annenberg offers an enriching communications education coupled with an international pool of stories to engage with and report on. Further, I would be able to take part in the Annenberg Communications Association, allowing me to contribute to the university’s communication’s department while connecting with like-minded peers. Regarding hands-on media skills, I would be able to utilize the Annenberg Digital Lounge, enabling me to enhance my Adobe CS6 skills beyond the certifications I possess. Lastly, Annenberg offers the unique opportunity to give back and empower underprivileged communities to take part in the communications revolution, which combines my love for community service and my desire to spread the passion of storytelling to today’s youth. At USC Annenberg, I know marrying my variety of interests in media, obtaining a hands-on educational experience, and obtaining skills for graduate school and the field of media is not just a dream but a tangible reality.
PROMPT #2: Academic Interest (250 word limit)
I have only one regret in life: staying in the kids’ zone on our cruise ship while my family ventured out to explore Alaska — no amount of “the ice caps are melting” would get me off the boat. This fateful decision has caused me to reflect as I’ve grown a little older and wiser, establishing two of my life goals: to see the ice caps and to get off the boat more. Though it may be a little difficult to see the ice caps from USC, wanting to get off the boat is no longer a challenge. Whether I’m a communications or journalism major, my goal remains the same: to experience USC’s world-class, diverse education in order to become a well-rounded communicator. Namely, I would execute this ambition by becoming a writer for the Daily Trojan to involve myself with the student body and gain hands-on journalism experience. Further, I would work towards becoming a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honors society, in order to network and serve the community with others in my field. Additionally, I would take advantage of the study abroad opportunities in Sydney, Australia, to challenge and enhance my communications skills within a different culture. Lastly, I would pursue a dual minor in cinematic arts and international relations, thanks to USC’s flexibility with minors, expanding upon my love of film, foreign affairs, and ultimately achieving the engaging, expansive education I seek. At USC, I would never dream of staying on the boat.
Describe yourself in three words.
- First Word: creative
- Second Word: open-minded
- Third Word: leader
What is your favorite snack? organic cinnamon apple chips — I will choose these over regular apples any day
Favorite app/website: Twitter
Best movie of all time: Back to the Future — Michael J. Fox is pretty great, and the story itself is quite enthralling
Hashtag to describe yourself: #JustKeepRowing (my name is Rowan, after all)
Dream job: Time traveler and film critic so I can go back to the 80s and critique all of my favorite 80s movies.
What is your theme song? “Magic” by B.o.B. — any time I’m feeling down, this song reminds me that “I got the magic in me”
Dream trip: a roadtrip along the Pacific Coast Highway in a rented RV with my best friend.
What TV show will you binge watch next? a roadtrip along the Pacific Coast Highway in a rented RV with my best friend Family Ties (yes, for Michael J. Fox, but also for its timelessness)
Place you are most content? I am most content when I’m at my local park, sitting in my ENO, and reading Harry Potter.