Essays That Matter: Samantha Ferello
College of Liberal Arts
Supplemental Essay #3:
Have you ever had the insatiable urge to challenge something? I sometimes crave tacos at midnight or time-travel to the Victorian Era, but these wishes do not affect me quite as much as the need to question. It is one of the few characteristics that I don't believe I will outgrow. There is so much in life that we simply accept. Current social patterns, philosophies, and political methods are passively allowed when there is so much to be changed and improved. The most grating phrase I have heard is the evasive reply that "it's just the way things are". It's when such attitudes arise that the debater inside me awakes and hungers for debate.
My friends have noticed it and understandably avoid me when the moment arrives. Last year, when the topic of having a debate on the institution of slavery was brought up in class, I immediately volunteered my friend and I to take on the role of Jefferson Davis. Not because I wished to defend slavery, but because human freedom is something we often take for granted. Instead if discussing why something is right or wrong we accept and move on without thought. I (and my loyal, though exasperated, friend) wanted to challenge the accepted views of slavery to more clearly understand for myself and for others why it is that we have formed certain accepted opinions. It is the process of questioning that truly teaches us, and it is this process that motivates me.