Hi! So I was recently offered the opportunity to travel to Italy, Sicily, and France next summer to study abroad, and I was super excited until I found out it costs about $7,000 to go. But there is a scholarship offered that is good for $7,000. (See where I'm going with this?)

To have a chance at the scholarship, You have to submit a 300 to 500 word essay that starts with the words 'I am'. In this essay you have to describe what makes you unique and why you want to study abroad. This is my go at it. Please tell me what you think :)

I am…

Two extremely simple, yet incredibly complex words that, quite frankly, make me a little bit nervous.

What am I?

I am an individual. I cry when I'm sad and I smile when I'm happy. I laugh when something funny is said and sometimes I spout profanities when I get angry. I make mistakes, but I have the courtesy to learn from every one of them. I am not perfect in any sense of the word, but all of my imperfections are exclusively mine. I am not my imperfections… my imperfections are me.

Every moment I've lived in this life has become a puzzle piece of the greater picture that is me. Every triumph, every loss, every tear I've shed, and every joy I've celebrated have all made me a little bit stronger. They all combine together to make me who I am. As someone once said, "You were given this life because you have the strength to live it."

I am fascinated. By life, by knowledge, by everything. Knowledge is forever growing and forever changing… no one will ever know everything. But is it wrong to want to know as much as possible? If it is, add it to my list of flaws. I am fascinated by the opportunity to study abroad, even if it's only for a few weeks, because it is an opportunity to know something outside of what I've known my entire life. Some people say ignorance is bliss… I disagree. I ask questions about everything. My science teachers would call it scientific thinking, my parents would call it annoying skepticism, but I call it curiosity.

I am adventurous. I love trying new things, whether it's different cuisine, or different sports or activities. I always have to be a little bit disbelieving of people who refuse to try something before making judgments. If you don't have the courage to try something new, you don't have the right to judge. My philosophy is you're only given one life… you have to take chances sometimes.

But most importantly, I'm passionate. I want to help people, and I want to succeed. But I can't do either with the limited knowledge I have now. I've spent my entire life in a rural town that has less than 4,000 people. I've never seen different cultures; I've seen miles and miles of corn.

So what does that make me?

I'm a perfectly imperfect girl who has an overwhelming desire to encounter and experience and learn about the 7 billion other people that are living and breathing in the world around me. I want to learn about the different cultures in the 195 other countries outside the U.S. I want to see how other people live their lives.

Every step I take towards those goals helps me become a better me. I live and grow with every breath and every leap towards something outside of what I am, and who I am, and what I know now.