2018 Best College Essays

Essay 07.02.2020

Books of College Essays If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions colleges.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles. Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay. Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what essays a successful college essay work.

Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them. We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at conclusion to analysis essay Habitat for Humanity work site.

The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were best did we realize we were locked out of the van. Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back. More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door.

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I actually succeeded in springing it. The other was the essay that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation. My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

My Dad, a retired Navy college, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of college, I best how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should best get torpedoed. Clear a hole! While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal custom essay writing reviews the essays and colleges.

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The place I am leaving or the place I am going? Arrival or departure? Unsettled, I turn to my ever-present book for comfort. They say the best books tell you what you already know, resonating with your own thoughts and emotions. As I read, it is as if the tempest of my thoughts is spelled out on paper. His words somehow become my words, his memories become my memories. Despite the high speed of the bullet train, my mind is perfectly still — trapped between the narrative of the book and the narrative of my own life. I read the last page and close the book, staring out the window at the shining fish ponds and peaceful rice paddies. I feel like a speck of dust outside the train, floating, content and happy to be between destinations. I am at home between worlds. I speak both English and Chinese: Chinese is for math, science, and process, but I prefer English for art, emotion, and description. America owns my childhood, filled with pine trees, blockbuster movies, and Lake Tahoe snow; China holds my adolescence, accompanied by industrial smog, expeditious mobility, and fast-paced social scenes. We are drawing into Shanghai Hong Qiao station. Home is neither arrival nor departure, neither America nor China. Home is the in-between, the cusp of transition — that is where I feel most content. What works? This essay is an example of how to tell the story of moving to America in a unique way. This student focused on a single question — where is home? Through this skillfully crafted essay, we learn that the student has led a very international life, the student has a way with words, the student loves literature, the student is bilingual, and the student is excited by change. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. What does that even mean? In my hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, where normality was…well, the norm, I tried to be a typical student — absolutely, perfectly normal. But most importantly, I wanted my students to enjoy public speaking, to love giving speeches as much as I did. They loved their subject and passed that love on to their students. Every day for two weeks, I searched for creative ways to inspire and teach my students. I helped London speak on her love for art; I had Arnav debate about cell phone policies in schools. And by the end of the camp, I realized that my sixteen students all saw me not as a high school student, but as a teacher. I was on the other side of the teacher's desk, but I hadn't stopped learning. Each day, I was learning how to communicate more effectively, how to deal with new challenges and circumstances, and how to be a better teacher. I once thought that being an adult meant knowing all the answers. But in reality, adults, even teachers, constantly have more to learn. I made the transition away from being a child during those weeks, but I did not and would not transition away from being a learner. But I do. My dad taught me. After forgoing university so his sister could attend, my dad worked on a commune as a farmer. So while I grew up immersed in airy Beethoven melodies each morning, my dad grew up amid the earthy aromas of hay and livestock. Embracing these differences, my dad has introduced me to diverse experiences, from molding statues out of toilet paper plaster to building greenhouses from the ground up. So you might be wondering: What does he do for a traditional 9-to-5 job? The answer? My family is a matriarchy in a patriarchal community. In a society that places economic value at the forefront of worth, these assumptions might apply to other individuals, but not to my dad. When I look at the media, whether it be the front cover of a newspaper or a featured story in a website article, I often see highlights of parents who work incredible hours and odd jobs to ensure their children receive a good upbringing. While those stories are certainly worthy of praise, they often overshadow the less visible, equally important actions of people like my dad. I realize now that my dad has sacrificed his promising career and financial pride to ensure that his son would get all of the proper attention, care and moral upbringing he needed. Through his quiet, selfless actions, my dad has given me more than can be bought from a paycheck and redefined my understanding of how we, as people, can choose to live our lives. I'm proud to say that my dad is the richest man I know — rich not in capital, but in character. Infused with the ingenuity to tear down complex physics and calculus problems, electrified with the vigor of a young entrepreneur despite beginning his fledgling windmill start-up at the age of 50 and imbued with the kindness to shuttle his son to practices and rehearsals. My dad lives life off the beaten path. I, too, hope to bring that unorthodox attitude to other people and communities. Bronxville, N. For me, however, preparing taxes has been a telescopic lens with which to observe the disparate economic realities present in our society. In looking through this lens, I have seen firsthand how low wages and, at times, regressive public policy can adversely impact the financially fragile, and how I can make a difference. In the basement of the Morningside Heights Library in Manhattan, we help the elderly and low-income individuals file their taxes. During my first season, I handled organizational tasks and assisted intake counselors with the initial interview process. When I told the AARP manager that I wanted to return the following season and do actual tax preparation, she was skeptical, especially since the next youngest tax preparer at my location was That, however, did not deter me: Though I would be just 16 before the start of the season, I diligently studied the material and passed the advanced I. As a volunteer, my goal is to help my clients obtain every credit they are entitled to and place vitally needed money in their pockets. To do this, I need much more than just technical knowledge. It is also essential to connect on a human level. I make it a point to put each person at ease by actively listening to his or her story. For example, the young woman, who is a recently minted United States citizen and barely speaks English, mentions that her disabled grandmother lives with her. I am saddened at times by the palpable stress of those living on the edge of economic subsistence. Basic necessities such as sneakers and dental care, which I had never thought twice about, are out of reach for many. By not having to pay for tax preparation this year and the credits she can claim, she confided she will be able to buy her son, who is my age, new shoes for track and hopefully see a dentist for a tooth that has been throbbing for months. As a volunteer, I have learned the importance of empathizing, listening and communicating complex and technical matters simply. Making my clients feel at ease allows them to understand my explanation of how their money is being taxed. I have also gained insight into how tax policy affects the financial and physical health of the working poor and elderly. While I have not changed the tax system though someday I plan to , I have changed how my clients interact with it. I remember an octogenarian man with a cane who waited two hours in line on a bone-chillingly rainy Saturday in February.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. Science 5 paragraph essay lesson bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a entrance essay for college deal, and give the best a college. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness.

So what if our dining essay table only has six chairs for seven essay Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night. But more than punctuality and a college affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power.

Growing up, I best best my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder.

College Admissions Writing the college application essay is a daunting task. One great way to get started is to college essays of successful essays. Reading sample college essays gives you best ideas and helps to illustrate what is expected from a good college essay. Check out these college essay examples for inspiration! What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? With essays to spare, I catch a glimpse of the boarding best for my train.

Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt. Back then, these essays college merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival.

While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns. Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night. But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt. Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose? Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me. Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence. What Makes This Essay Tick? It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why! In just eight words, we get: scene-setting he is standing next to a car about to break in , the idea of crossing a boundary he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time , and a cliffhanger we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight? It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ. Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking. Coat hangers: not just for crows' nests anymore! Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family. Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant. There's been an oil spill! The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control. This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life. Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example breaking into the van in Laredo is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. After a long day in first grade, I used to fall asleep to the engine purring in my mother's Honda Odyssey, even though it was only a 5-minute drive home. As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to look out the window. Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it. In elementary school, I already knew my career path: I was going to be Emperor of the World. I walked into class the first morning, enthusiastically looking forward to the opportunity to share my knowledge, experiences, and stories. I was hoping for motivated kids, eager to learn, attentive to my every word. Instead, I got Spencer, who thought class was a good time to train his basketball skills by tossing crumpled speeches into the trash can from afar. When I was younger, I thought that a good teacher was one that gave high-fives after class. Later, of course, I knew it was far more complicated than that. I thought about teachers I admired and their memorable qualities. They were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and inspiring. Their classes were always fun, and they always taught me something. There was plenty I wanted to teach, from metaphors to logical fallacies. But most importantly, I wanted my students to enjoy public speaking, to love giving speeches as much as I did. The murmurs and giggles trickle toward me. After the click of the camera, they go on their way. Maybe then I could take a friend to a movie and just blend into the crowd. Attention from strangers is nothing new to me. Questions about my height dominate almost every public interaction. My friends say my height is just a physical quality and not a personality trait. However, when I reflect on my life, I realize that my height has shaped my character in many ways and has helped to define the person I am. I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin. Even as a young child, parents at the sidelines of my baseball games, as well as the umpire, would, in front of all my teammates, demand by birth certificate to prove my age. I grew acquainted early on with the fact that I am abnormally tall and stick out about the crowd. Being self-conscious about it would be paralyzing. I learned how to be kind. When I was younger, some parents in my neighborhood deemed me a bully because I was so much larger than children my age. I had to be extra welcoming and gentle simply to play with other children. I learned humility. At 7 feet tall, everyone expects me to be an amazing basketball player. They come expecting to see Dirk Nowitzki, and instead they might see a performance more like Will Ferrell in Semi-Pro. I have learned to be humble and to work even harder than my peers to meet their and my expectations. I developed a sense of lightheartedness. When people playfully make fun of my height, I laugh at myself too. On my first day of high school, a girl dropped her books in a busy hallway. I crouched down to her level and gathered some of her notebooks. As we both stood up, her eyes widened as I kept rising over her. Dumbfounded, she dropped her books again. Embarrassed, we both laughed and picked up the books a second time. All of these lessons have defined me. People unfamiliar to me have always wanted to engage me in lengthy conversations, so I have had to become comfortable interacting with all kinds of people. Looking back, I realize that through years of such encounters, I have become a confident, articulate person. Being a 7-footer is both a blessing and a curse, but in the end, accepting who you are is the first step to happiness. Tara Cicic Brooklyn, N. I am here because my great-grandfather tied his shoelace. His fellow soldiers surged across the field, but he paused for the briefest of moments because his laces had come undone. Those ahead of him were blown to bits. Years later, as Montenegro was facing a civil war, the communists came to his home. His village was small, and he knew the men who knocked on his door. But this familiarity meant nothing, for when they saw him they thought of the word America, stamped across a land where the poor were stripped of their rights and where the fierce and volatile Balkan temper would not do. As his neighbors ransacked his home, his wife had thrust his good pair of shoes at him. I also cannot run, but I wear my new shoes with great ease and comfort. I wear the secret guilt, the belief in equality, the obsession with culture, and the worship of rational thinking and education that becomes the certain kind of American that I am. None of these things are costumes. They may be a part, but I can say with certainty that they are not all. We visit every two or three years or so. Everybody is there, my entire collection of cousins and aunts and grandparents neatly totted up in a scattering of villages and cities, arms open with the promise of a few sneaky sips of rakia and bites of kajmak. I love them, I truly do. But they are not me, those things. They are something else. Somebody is always falling ill, or drinking too much, or making trouble for themselves. We speak of them sometimes, or pity them, but we do not go to their weddings or funerals. And yet I feel worried, not for them, but for myself. The Serbs and Montenegrins are people of complicated histories, and as I watch the documentaries my father made during the civil war there, I am gripped with fear and fascination. Those strange people can be so hateful. They cry and beat their hearts at the thought of Serbian loss in the Battle of Kosovo in This kind of nationalism makes me cringe. I do not want to be that way. But is there not something beautiful in that kind of passion and emotion? What does it say of me that I sometimes cannot help but romanticize something I know to be destructive and oppressive? This is why I worry. They are not me, I tell myself, and I am right. But can they not be just a part? Can they not be a tiny sliver, or maybe even a sizeable chunk, comparable even to the American in me? Must I relegate them to nothing at all? For if those shoes, the ones my grandfather bent to tie in the middle of that blazing battlefield in France, are not mine, then why do I think of them so often? Tommy Bowden Porter Corners, N. My head was spinning, my hands were bleeding, and my lungs desperately needed more air. The air was filled with the shouts of men dying and steel clashing with steel. To my right an old man lay dead, missing an arm. My men were pouring out of the breach in full retreat. The sole occupant of the auditorium was a tall, bald, British man with a terrifyingly condescending demeanor. He was my Shakespeare coach. The most minuscule mistake never escaped his notice. I emerged inflamed with the drive for victory. Every word I uttered was a strike against the French. Every heartfelt delivery of that carefully choreographed routine was ground gained at Harfluer. I fought passionately with that ancient text, but my coach cut me off again.

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a college that he hoped all seniors would reflect on best the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?

Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me. Growing up as the essay child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society.

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And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to essay a serendipitous college with confidence. What Makes This Essay Tick? It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very best.

2018 best college essays

Let's find out why! In best eight words, we get: scene-setting he is standing next to a car about to break inthe essay in english about my family of crossing a boundary he is maybe about to do an essay college for the first timeand a cliffhanger we are thinking: is he going to get caught?

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Is he headed for a life of college Is he about to be scared straight? It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ.

Details also help us visualize the essays of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of best speech makes the scene pop.

Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking. Coat hangers: not just for crows' nests anymore! Stephen makes the locked car experience how to answer cfa level 3 essay meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the essay through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click.

They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not best on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by how does pearson autograde essays up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Part of this is because he introduces it college the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us guidelines for writing a college admission essay person.

This approach also diffuses the best discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly college community essay examples is OK.

Notice, good word choices for essays, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant. There's been an oil spill!

I walked into class the first morning, enthusiastically looking forward to the opportunity to share my knowledge, experiences, and stories. I was hoping for motivated kids, eager to learn, attentive to my every word. Instead, I got Spencer, who thought class was a good time to train his basketball skills by tossing crumpled speeches into the trash can from afar. When I was younger, I thought that a good teacher was one that gave high-fives after class. Later, of course, I knew it was far more complicated than that. I thought about teachers I admired and their memorable qualities. They were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and inspiring. Their classes were always fun, and they always taught me something. There was plenty I wanted to teach, from metaphors to logical fallacies. But most importantly, I wanted my students to enjoy public speaking, to love giving speeches as much as I did. I learned how to be kind. When I was younger, some parents in my neighborhood deemed me a bully because I was so much larger than children my age. I had to be extra welcoming and gentle simply to play with other children. I learned humility. At 7 feet tall, everyone expects me to be an amazing basketball player. They come expecting to see Dirk Nowitzki, and instead they might see a performance more like Will Ferrell in Semi-Pro. I have learned to be humble and to work even harder than my peers to meet their and my expectations. I developed a sense of lightheartedness. When people playfully make fun of my height, I laugh at myself too. On my first day of high school, a girl dropped her books in a busy hallway. I crouched down to her level and gathered some of her notebooks. As we both stood up, her eyes widened as I kept rising over her. Dumbfounded, she dropped her books again. Embarrassed, we both laughed and picked up the books a second time. All of these lessons have defined me. People unfamiliar to me have always wanted to engage me in lengthy conversations, so I have had to become comfortable interacting with all kinds of people. Looking back, I realize that through years of such encounters, I have become a confident, articulate person. Being a 7-footer is both a blessing and a curse, but in the end, accepting who you are is the first step to happiness. Tara Cicic Brooklyn, N. I am here because my great-grandfather tied his shoelace. His fellow soldiers surged across the field, but he paused for the briefest of moments because his laces had come undone. Those ahead of him were blown to bits. Years later, as Montenegro was facing a civil war, the communists came to his home. His village was small, and he knew the men who knocked on his door. But this familiarity meant nothing, for when they saw him they thought of the word America, stamped across a land where the poor were stripped of their rights and where the fierce and volatile Balkan temper would not do. As his neighbors ransacked his home, his wife had thrust his good pair of shoes at him. I also cannot run, but I wear my new shoes with great ease and comfort. I wear the secret guilt, the belief in equality, the obsession with culture, and the worship of rational thinking and education that becomes the certain kind of American that I am. None of these things are costumes. They may be a part, but I can say with certainty that they are not all. We visit every two or three years or so. Everybody is there, my entire collection of cousins and aunts and grandparents neatly totted up in a scattering of villages and cities, arms open with the promise of a few sneaky sips of rakia and bites of kajmak. I love them, I truly do. But they are not me, those things. They are something else. Somebody is always falling ill, or drinking too much, or making trouble for themselves. We speak of them sometimes, or pity them, but we do not go to their weddings or funerals. And yet I feel worried, not for them, but for myself. The Serbs and Montenegrins are people of complicated histories, and as I watch the documentaries my father made during the civil war there, I am gripped with fear and fascination. Those strange people can be so hateful. They cry and beat their hearts at the thought of Serbian loss in the Battle of Kosovo in This kind of nationalism makes me cringe. I do not want to be that way. But is there not something beautiful in that kind of passion and emotion? What does it say of me that I sometimes cannot help but romanticize something I know to be destructive and oppressive? This is why I worry. They are not me, I tell myself, and I am right. But can they not be just a part? Can they not be a tiny sliver, or maybe even a sizeable chunk, comparable even to the American in me? Must I relegate them to nothing at all? For if those shoes, the ones my grandfather bent to tie in the middle of that blazing battlefield in France, are not mine, then why do I think of them so often? Tommy Bowden Porter Corners, N. My head was spinning, my hands were bleeding, and my lungs desperately needed more air. The air was filled with the shouts of men dying and steel clashing with steel. To my right an old man lay dead, missing an arm. My men were pouring out of the breach in full retreat. The sole occupant of the auditorium was a tall, bald, British man with a terrifyingly condescending demeanor. He was my Shakespeare coach. The most minuscule mistake never escaped his notice. I emerged inflamed with the drive for victory. Every word I uttered was a strike against the French. Every heartfelt delivery of that carefully choreographed routine was ground gained at Harfluer. I fought passionately with that ancient text, but my coach cut me off again. Do it again. I put forth all my effort, but again he stopped me. I performed it countless times over, but with each rendition the quality exponentially worsened. Finally, he told me to stop. We had done all we could for today. I stepped off stage and collapsed into a chair, angry and defeated. I was here to prove to myself that I could accomplish something momentous. I was born with two speech impediments. Participating in theatre was the last thing anyone expected of me. Yet I wanted to sway crowds with my voice, make them cry, laugh and shout for joy. I was a terrified year-old the first time I stepped on stage, and equally frightened moments before I finally performed at Lincoln Center. I became a person who refused to surprise people. Just another brick in the wall. And then I moved to Berkeley for six months. One of the first of my fellow students to befriend me wore corset tops and tutus and carried a parasol with which she punctuated her every utterance. Her best friend was a boy with purple hair who once wore a shirt with built in LED lights for Christmas. They were the most popular people in school, in direct contrast to all that was socially acceptable in New Haven. Our peers recognized them as being unique, but instead of ostracizing them or pitying them, the students in Berkeley celebrated them. In Berkeley, I learned the value of originality: Those who celebrate their individuality are not only unique but strong. It takes great strength to defy the definitions of others, and because of that strength, those who create their own paths discover a different world than those who travel the same worn road. I returned to New Haven a changed person. My appearance was certainly different — red streaks in my hair and a newfound fondness for tutus certainly made me stand out. If one of the purposes of a college essay is to make yourself come to life off the page, then this essay hits the mark. Far from seeming unfinished or unedited, the somewhat stream-of-consciousness style establishes a humorous and self-deprecating tone that makes the reader instantly like the applicant. The sweet smell of cinnamon resonated through the house. A wave of heat washed over my face as I opened the oven door to reveal my first batch of snickerdoodles. Small domes of sugary cookies shyly peeked from the edge of the door. I smiled as I thought about the joy these cookies would bring to my friends. They like to compare me to the witch in Hansel and Gretel, joking that I fatten children up and then forget to eat them. There is something about the warmth of a kitchen filled with the buttery smell of pastry that evokes a feeling of utter relaxation. I find joy in sharing this warm and homey experience by showering the people around me with sweets. For as long as I can remember, baking has been an integral part of my life. Thanks to busy parents and hungry siblings, I was encouraged to cook from a relatively young age.

The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control. This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal colleges. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants.

These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of how many words can you have in the college essay life.

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing mental health parity act essay thesis examples never "finished"—just "due.

Stephen colleges handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these best expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. Use another example from recent life.

Stephen's first example breaking into the van in Laredo is a best illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected college. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different xl write an essay to different people.

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