Best essays for college application
Sinfin, zanahoria, katukutu, and churanto soon took their rightful places alongside my English favorites. And yet, during this time of vocabulary enrichment, I never thought that Honors English and Biology had much in common. Imagine my surprise one night as a freshman as I was nonchalantly flipping through a science textbook. I came upon fascinating new terms: For all my interest in STEM classes, I never fully embraced the beauty of technical language, that words have the power to simultaneously communicate infinite ideas and sensations AND intricate relationships and complex processes.
The sound was loud and discordant, like a hurricane, high notes and low notes mixing together in an audible mess. It was as if a thousand booming foghorns were in a shouting match with sirens. Unlike me, this was a little abrasive and loud. I liked it. It was completely unexpected and extremely fun to play.
Some instruments are built to make multiple notes, like a piano. However, I discovered that you can play multiple notes simultaneously on the saxophone. While practicing a concert D-flat scale, I messed up a fingering for a low B-flat, and my instrument produced a strange noise with two notes. I like this polyphonic sound because it reminds me of myself: You assume one thing and get another. At school, I am a course scholar in English, but I am also able to amuse others when I come up with wince evoking puns. Discussing current events with my friends is fun, but I also like to share with them my secrets to cooking a good scotch egg.
I feel comfortable being unique or thinking differently. As a Student Ambassador this enables me to help freshman and others who are new to our school feel welcome and accepted. There is added value in mixing things together. Using stop motion animation we explored the plausibility and science behind lifting a house with helium balloons.
I like offering a new view and expanding the way people see things. In many of my videos I combine art with education.
I want to continue making films that not only entertain, but also make you think. A lot of people have a single passion that defines them or have a natural talent for something specific. Like my saxophone I am an instrument, but I can play many notes at once. Quiet but talkative. An athlete and a filmmaker. Careful but spontaneous. Hard working but playful.
A martial artist and a baker. One of a kind but an identical twin. Will polyphonic notes resonate in college? For instance, balancing a creative narrative with scientific facts will make a more believable story. I want to bring together different kinds of students such as music, film, and English majors to create more meaningful art.
But what I play, no matter how discordant, can be beautiful. The first board game I ever played was Disney Princess Monopoly against my mother. It was a shocking experience. My otherwise loving and compassionate mother played to win.
Though she patiently explained her strategies throughout the game, she refused to show me any mercy, accumulating one monopoly after another, building house after house, hotel after hotel, and collecting all my money until I was bankrupt, despite my pleas and tears that I was her daughter and only five years old. I remember clearly the pain I felt from losing, but I remained eager to play and determined to one day beat her. Eventually, we left the princesses behind and graduated to the regular, then the deluxe, editions of Monopoly, and expanded to Rummikub.
Over the years, she continued to beat me in both games, but the contests became more competitive and my losses more narrow. Finally, at twelve, I won for the first time, at Rummikub no less, a game at which she claimed to be undefeated! I learned so much from these games beyond the obvious.
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I learned how to lose, and win, graciously. I learned to enjoy the process, regardless of the outcome. I learned how to take cues from other people but think on my own, both creatively and strategically. I learned how to cope with failure and turn it into a lesson. I learned that true victory stems from hard work and persistence. And I learned that the strongest and most meaningful relationships are not based on indulgence but on honesty and respect. I was devastated when my hockey team lost the championship game by only one goal when I was the last one to control the puck.
More importantly, the camaraderie and support of my teammates is ongoing and something I will always cherish more than a win. Instead, I focused on what I was going to take with me into the next season. This past summer, I had my first substantive work experience interning at the Michael J. Working there was certainly not a game, but my strategy was the same: At first, I found it intimidating, but I quickly found my footing.
I worked hard, knowing that what I took away from the experience would be measured by what I put into it. I studied my co-workers: I carefully reviewed redlines on my writing assignments, tried not to get discouraged, and responded to the comments to present the material more effectively. Through them, I discovered what it really means to fight to win. I have also come to understand that sometimes a game never ends but transforms, causing goals to shift that may require an adjustment in strategy.
My mother and I still regularly play games, and we play to win. Over lunch one day, we discovered we shared a common passion—an insistence on equality in all forms, feminism in particular. We discussed the difficulty of combating social issues, but agreed that spreading awareness was one effective method. This casual exchange evolved into a project involving weeks of collaboration.
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We realized that together we could make a far greater impact than we ever could have individually, so we composed a ten-minute poem aimed at inspiring people to consider important issues. The performance was both memorable and successful, but more importantly, this collaboration motivated us to move forward to establish the Equality Club at our school. Sophomore year, our club volunteered with organizations promoting gender equality, the highlight of the year helping at a marathon for recovering abuse victims.
Junior year, we met with our head of school to convey our goals, outline plans and gain support for the coming year, in which we held fundraisers for refugees while educating students. This year we are collaborating with the Judicial Committee to reduce the escalating use of racial slurs at school stemming from a lack of awareness within the student body.
From this experience, I learned that it is possible to reach so many more people when working together rather than apart. It also taught me that the most crucial aspect of collaborating is believing in the same cause; the details will come as long as there is a shared passion. Legends, lore, and comic books all feature mystical, beautiful beings and superheroes—outspoken powerful Greek goddesses, outspoken Chinese maidens, and outspoken blade-wielding women. As a child, I soared the skies with my angel wings, battled demons with katanas, and helped stop everyday crime and of course had a hot boyfriend.
In short, I wanted to save the world. But growing up, my definition of superhero shifted. My peers praised people who loudly fought inequality, who rallied and shouted against hatred. As a journalist on a social-justice themed magazine, I spent more time at protests, interviewing and understanding but not quite feeling inspired by their work.
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The first was from a peace march—my classmates, rainbows painted on their cheeks and bodies wrapped in American flags. One raised a bullhorn to her mouth, her lips forming a loud O. Months later, I could still hear her voice. The second was different. The cloudy morning following election night seemed to shroud the school in gloom. In the mist, however—a golden face, with dark hair and two moon-shaped eyes, faces the camera.
Her freckles, sprinkled like distant stars across the expanse of her round cheeks, only accentuated her childlike features and added to the soft feel of the photo.
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Her eyes bore into something beyond the lens, beyond the photographer, beyond the viewer—everything is rigid, from the jut of her jaw, to her stitched brows, her upright spine and arms locked across her chest, to her shut mouth. During my career as a photojournalist, I lived for the action shots: To me, the most energetic photos always told the biggest and best stories. They made me feel important for being there, for capturing the superheroes in the moment to share with everyone else. The softer moments paled in comparison, and I thought of them as irrelevant.
Telling Your Story to Colleges
There are just so many ways to do it. Be honest and genuine, and your unique qualities will shine through. Admissions officers have to read an unbelievable number of college essays, most of which are forgettable. Many students try to sound smart rather than sounding like themselves. Others write about a subject that they don't care about, but that they think will impress admissions officers. You don't need to have started your own business or have spent the summer hiking the Appalachian Trail. Colleges are simply looking for thoughtful, motivated students who will add something to the first-year class.
It could be an experience, a person, a book—anything that has had an impact on your life. Anyone can write about how they won the big game or the summer they spent in Rome. When recalling these events, you need to give more than the play-by-play or itinerary. Describe what you learned from the experience and how it changed you.
A student who can make an admissions officer laugh never gets lost in the shuffle. But beware. What you think is funny and what an adult working in a college thinks is funny are probably different. We caution against one-liners, limericks and anything off—color. Set it aside for a few days and read it again. Put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer: Is the essay interesting? Do the ideas flow logically? Does it reveal something about the applicant? What you write in your application essay or personal statement should not contradict any other part of your application—nor should it repeat it.
This isn't the place to list your awards or discuss your grades or test scores. A teacher or college counselor is your best resource. And before you send it off, check, check again, and then triple check to make sure your essay is free of spelling or grammar errors. Read More: Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you. We know that great scores take work.
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