sample college essays

“That man in the plaid shirt is stealing the eggs from their mothers again,” the chicken thinks the next day as he unlocks the cage. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due. Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. They understood. Long story short, I got hooked. I stopped using plastic snack bags and instead turned to reusable beeswax wraps. She didn’t get to. Like the sweet taste of kimchi, I hope to capture those memories in my keystrokes as I type away these words. This past summer, I took a month-long course on human immunology at Stanford University. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: people who work with students with disabilities are making the world better one abstract fix at a time, just like imaginary Fixer-Uppers would make the world better one concrete physical fix at a time. I loved pairing my foods to create the perfect macronutrient balance. Of course, those 28 months were too short to fully understand all five families, but I learned from and was shaped by each of them. I was the king of bowling, and Dawn was the queen of tennis. But in the next few weeks, something was happening inside me. I brought this desire home to a volunteer position at a local program for immigrant children. Apologies. We are currently working on a restaurant campaign to encourage local eateries to create a plant-based, oil-free menu option and become PlantPure certified. 3) When I realized I was a punk rocker philosopher. It’s a creative way for students to express themselves through writing. Or rather, the first camera I ever made. Can I be both? As much as I would enjoy it, I now accept that I won't become Emperor of the World, and that the Fixer-Uppers will have to remain in my car ride imaginings. Why did so many males think that brute strength was the best option? If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. I’ve worked hard to be bilingual so the iTaylor can be set to either English or Spanish. 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. I-I just saw one of those eggs, cracking, and there was a small yellow bird inside. But why college? Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. Beside a dark end table, we picked up teacups as the mild aroma greeted our noses. "Then I want our best elementary school students on it, STAT. The curious chicken quickly shuffles to Mother Hen, who has just settled on to her throne of hay and is closing her eyes. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence. My second family was the Martinez family, who were friends of the Watkins’s. My mom had specifically asked the waitress if there were peanuts in it, because when I was two we found out that I am deathly allergic to them. Do we assume that the paper wraps around the rock, smothering the rock into submission? Show 2: "the Martinez family showed me the value of spending time together as a family" (implication: he doesn't have this with his own family). He would talk a lot about his friends and school life, and I would listen to him and ask him the meanings of certain words. This place is somewhere where I can express myself freely and be who I want to be. I remember one night, a couple barged into my room while I was sleeping. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. M7652-000. The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted. Now, I volunteer to tutor others: as a Korean tutor for friends who love Korean culture and a golf tutor for new team members. I am the iTaylor. A Korean ballad streams from a pair of tiny computer speakers. Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. I look around my room, dimly lit by an orange light. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. This college application essay paints a vivid picture of how the applicant's commitment to cross-country running demonstrates endurance and a strong work ethic. I’m still a picky eater. "Mr. President? Technique #2: invented terminology. While this wonderful kaleidoscope of cultures has caused me to be the ‘peacekeeper’ during meal arbitrations, it has fundamentally impacted my life. Yes. Your goal? The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points, How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer. “Mother Hen, Mother Hen! So, I decided to study in America to learn more about the world. Students always ask about the essays. On a grander scale, it has elucidated that truly inclusive discourse and toleration of diverse perspectives render tribalism, sectarianism, and the  divisive aspects of identity politics powerless over our cohesion. Sam, “Switching Shoes”. As the nice man in a plaid shirt and blue jeans collects the hens’ eggs, the chicken feels an overwhelming sense of indebtedness to him for providing this idyllic lifestyle. What is it about this kind of teaching that she loves? 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?". I began wandering around campus with no company except my thoughts. He was my first friend in the New World. This is a college essay that worked for Duke University. The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted. Spending nights alone made me more independent--after all, it was then that I signed up for advanced math and programming courses and decided to apply for software internships. Still familiar, still tangible. The humor also feels relaxed. Death. This essay could work for prompt’s 1, 2, 5 and 7 for the Common App. As it prepares to take its first step into the unknown, a monstrous vehicle with 18 wheels made of metal whizzes by, leaving behind a trail of gray exhaust. Want to write the perfect college application essay? We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. This was written for a Common App college application essay prompt that no longer exists, which read: Evaluate a significant experience, risk, achievement, ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. Read essays that worked from the Class of 2019, as nominated by our admissions committee. Even though I had friends, writing, and therapy, my strongest support was my mother. With every new number I enter, I recognize that each entry is not what defines me; rather, it is the ever-growing line connecting all the data points that reflects who I am today. The key to all of these skills, I was to discover, happened to be learning from those around me. Since then, I’ve launched a sports medicine program to provide care to the 500-person choir program. Using my taste buds as my textbook to learn which flavors work together and which ones don’t helps me educate, as I’ve found that information tends to stick in a person’s mind once they’ve experienced healthy, delicious foods with their own senses. But even the prided recipe was defenseless against the ravages of Alzheimer’s that inflicted my grandma’s mind. This essay could work for prompt’s 1, 2 and 7 for the Common App. It was awkward. With a deep breath, the chicken steps into the swathe, a world of tall beige grass made brown by the darkness. It is an antagonist to the conventional. My mom cried and said she loved me. 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. The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. Mrs. Watkins was the coordinator of the foreign exchange student program I was enrolled in. Click here for my ultimate guide. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. Don't bore your reader. Then the man reaches into the wooden coop, his back to the entrance. Days passed. We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. That’s kind of what this writer does: he buries a series of hints (one in each paragraph) that he “explodes” in the final paragraph. Repeated date nights induced more arguments. That must be why I always had to be the one to approach people during my volunteer hours at the public library to offer help--no one ever asked me for it. So, rather than engage, I retreated to what was most comfortable: sports and work. Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? My school was part of the US Consulate in Dhahran, and when I was in the 8th grade it was threatened by ISIS. Learning how to wake up without my mom every morning became routine. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers. For me, time isn’t just seconds ticking by on a clock, it’s how I measure what matters. Things began to change at the beginning of my sophomore year, however, when I met my new roommate, Nico. Take a look at my dorm room. And Grace, my fears relieved...”. I don’t remember a single time that they argued about the games. But I also loved macaroni and cheese and LeBron and knew all the Red Hot Chili Peppers songs by heart. It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. In high school, I slowly began to forge a community of creators with my peers. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. Getting along with other people is necessary for anyone and living with five families has made me more sensitive to others’ needs: I have learned how to recognize when someone needs to talk, when I should give advice and when to simply listen, and when someone needs to be left alone; in the process, I have become much more adaptable. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities. Mind racing, heart beating faster, blood draining from my face. I am so proud of you.” Then, he patted my head as before. I embraced the pain, the hurt, and eventually, it became the norm. How could that be? He laughed and told me that it was a nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what she wanted to do. I am alive. These are some admissions essays that our officers thought were most successful! In my AP Literature class, my teacher posed a question to which students had to write a creative response. I’ll never forget the time when a visiting family and I were so involved in discussing ocean conservation that, before I knew it, an hour had passed. They covered the precious mahogany coffin with a brown amalgam of rocks, decomposed organisms, and weeds. Is it funny? Following a certain format is very important to write … Similarly, as president of the International Students Club, I invited my teammates to have meetings with me at the cafe. When gifted dresses I was told to “smile and say thank you” while Spiderman shirts took no prompting from me, I’d throw my arms around the giver and thank them. While translating has been a huge part of my life, a professional translator is not my dream job. Freshmen and Sophomores. What's also key is that the titles feed into the central metaphor of the essay, which keeps them from sounding like strange quirks that don't go anywhere. I stroked the bird with a paper towel to clear away the blood, see the wound. I refused to let go of my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that an illness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life. This mélange of cultures in my East-meets-West room embodies the diversity that characterizes my international student life. The heavy scuba gear jerks me under the icy water, and exhilaration washes over me. Laughter fills the show choir room as my teammates and I pass the time by telling bad jokes and breaking out in random bursts of movement. Band-aid? Check out essays by authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan, Leslie Jamison, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Esmé Weijun Wang to get more example of how to craft a compelling personal narrative. With a backwards glance at his friends, the chicken feels a profound sadness and pity for their ignorance. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation. I remember once asking a store owner in Paris where Rue des Pyramides was. though these are all great essays regardless of where (or if) students were admitted to their top choice school. And where do scissors lie in this chain of symbolism? My room was on the first floor, right in front of Shellie’s hair salon, a small business that she ran out of her home. The samples available online may not always be fit for the essay that you are required to write. Try it, my boy.”. I looked on as my shivering hand reached for the canister of BBs. Or, check out my complete guide for answering the most popular college essay prompts on the Common App. For more editing tips, check out a style guide like Dreyer's English or Eats, Shoots & Leaves. I turned around, hurled my BB gun into the nearby Kyung Creek and ran home as fast as I could. Fifteen years and I finally realized why, this was a girl’s body, and I am a boy. This awareness incited a passion for statecraft within me – the very art of balancing different perspectives - and therefore a desire to actively engage in government. It would be easy enough to simply describe the people she imagined in childhood as helpers or assistants, and to simply say that as a child she wanted to rule the world. Below is a great excerpt from a personal statement that talks about a scout’s journey to Eagle. I’ve realized that learning various languages has been a journey of self-discovery: the way I talk and interact with people changed depending on the language I used. I want a higher education. 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. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. Did you know beans and rice make a complete protein? In short: He buries a series of essence images in his first paragraphs (one per family). Volunteering at a cancer treatment center has helped me discover my path. After a few days of thorough investigation, I found the Struiksma family in California. Give more details about being a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program. It has escaped from a contrived and perverted domain as well as its own unawareness; it has arrived in a place where the pure order of the world reigns. But the foods I am particular about have changed. Or maybe I’m just making a big deal out of nothing... Fine. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. Even though I was probably only ten at the time, I wanted to find a way to help kids like me. It started after my grandparents first brought me to their home in France and I have now been to twenty-nine different countries. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. It was inside a small abandoned church. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ." When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. Writing about an extracurricular activity is not a unique … My goal is to use performance and storytelling to expose audiences to different cultures, religions, and points of view. I think of my journey as best expressed through a Chinese proverb that my teacher taught me, “I am like a chicken eating at a mountain of rice.” Each grain is another word for me to learn as I strive to satisfy my unquenchable thirst for knowledge. This ambiguity of existence, however, has granted me the opportunity to absorb the best of both worlds. I felt as if I was Edgar in Shakespeare’s King Lear and this could not get worse, but yet it did. The essay begins and ends with Bridget's enjoying a car ride, but this doesn't seem to be related either to the Fixer-Upper idea or to her passion for working with special-needs students. It wasn't until I was defeated, staring at a puddle of kombucha, that I realized that there doesn't always have to be a standard of perfection in my art, and that excited me. Instead of simply listening, I shared my experiences as a club president, a community leader, and a volunteer. Let's go through some of the strengths of her essay. Singing backup for Barry Manilow with my choir. I am David Phan, somebody who spends his weekends debating in a three piece suit, other days immersed within the punk rock culture, and some days writing opinionated blogs about underwear. (Two summers ago, my five year old cousin, who insisted on joining the ranks, had wandered off-course during the battle; we found him at the bottom of a 20 ft deep pit with a deep gash in his forehead and shirt soaked in blood) “Hey, stop!” I shouted, heart pounding. Many were lost and on a constant soul-search, and to my surprise, many, like myself, did not have a blue Mohawk or a nose piercing. I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles. You have your ironed briefs for your businessmen, your soft cottons for the average, and hemp-based underwear for your environmental romantics. Check out our detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application, some suggestions on what to avoid when writing your essay, and our guide to writing about your extracurricular activities. At first, the non-stop visits from strangers made me nervous, but soon I got used to them. The College Entrance Examination BoardTM does not endorse, nor is it affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this site. Mrs. Watkins was the coordinator of the foreign exchange student program I was enrolled in. There is a variety of underwear for a variety of people. When my parents finally revealed to me that my grandmother had been battling liver cancer, I was twelve and I was angry--mostly with myself. I had turned slightly at the noise and had found the barely breathing bird in front of me. Smeared blood, shredded feathers. How did … This vocation may come in the form of political leadership that truly respects all perspectives and philosophies, or perhaps as diplomacy facilitating unity between the various nations of the world. What is in the wrong place? Every week I accompany him to Carlson Hospital where he receives treatment for his obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. I want to be an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist who manages the medication of patients with chronic diseases. It would be fair to say that this was all due to Shellie’s upbringing. That was how the delectable Korean dish, kimchi, was born every weekend at my home. I remember being so unhappy with the photo I took; it was faded, underexposed, and imperfect. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education. Secretly, I made a decision that I wanted to be the one to discuss the news with him from my perspective. Here, I could nerd-out about warp drives and the possibility of anti-matter without being ignored. --Ivan Pavlov. Here is a secret that no one in my family knows: I shot my brother when I was six. Here, in my own home? Since I wasn’t an exchange student anymore, I had the freedom--and burden--of finding a new school and host family on my own. Enduring the stress of her restaurant, my father, and her mistakes, my mom attempted to end her life. What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? He gives us food, and a home.”. My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. When he reveals each lesson at the end, one after the other, we sense how all these seemingly random events are connected. With her help, I went on hormones five months after coming out and got surgery a year later. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. Juniors and Seniors. We learned the more we connected, the more our audience grew. On rainy days, Michael, Jen and I would sit on the porch and listen to the rain, talking about our dreams and thoughts. (He waits to TELL us what they mean ‘til that second to last paragraph.). I even ate fishcakes, which he loved but I hated. Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific. 5 essay examples (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on why the essays were exceptional Harvard. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly. It was awkward. When I was eight, I stood in the heart of Piazza San Marco feeding hordes of pigeons, then glided down Venetian waterways on sleek gondolas. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life. Prompt: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. Here are two sample college application essays from former students from last year. The Dirksen family had three kids. or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?). I asked my friend Danielle if I could live with her until I found a new home. 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. We then cleared the pillars of asparagus ferns until the Captain’s lair came into view. After the show, I met and became a part of this small community. The problems I would need to help remedy are numerous and daunting, but our annual Christmas feasts will forever remind me that they can be overcome, and that humanity’s diversity is not a weakness, but a definitive strength. It's family. Kimberly, the host mom, treated me the same way she treated her own son. I didn’t even make it past the first round of cuts. While driving in my car, I’d let my mind wander to movies like Big Hero Six and contemplate if a zero-friction bike really was possible. Gingerly, my grandma stood up from the couch in the living room, and as if lured by the smell, sat by the silver bowl and dug her hands into the spiced cabbages. As I studied Chinese at my school, I marveled how if just one stroke was missing from a character, the meaning is lost. Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. I found outlining complex ideas like these sometimes provide insights into something I’m researching or could one day materialize into future projects. Such essay samples provide them with a detailed guideline to learn the format and structure of an essay. The rising and falling of its small breast slowed. Overcoming epilepsy taught me to take risks and explore new places. Next up, language settings. ".miK ijniM" This is how I wrote my name until I was seven. Not paying attention to the clock, I allow myself to relax for a brief moment in my busy life. Her disheveled hair and expressionless face told of the aggressive development of her illness. Each new food I discovered gave me an education on the role diet plays on health. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper. No longer was I a bystander. Despite knowing how to execute these very particular tasks, I currently fail to understand how to change a tire, how to do my taxes efficiently, or how to obtain a good insurance policy. Twenty minutes have passed when the door abruptly opens. Get expert college essay tips with our guides on how to come up with great college essay ideas and how to write a college essay, step by step . It makes perfect sense that Bridget doesn't want to put her students on display. Maybe it was me. Finally, I am a strong proponent of hands-on experience for learning what good food looks and tastes like, so cooking is one of my favorite ways to teach the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Maybe it’s all a metaphor for larger ideals. The "Dead Bird" Example College Essay Example. Making that pinhole camera was truly a painstaking process: take a cardboard box, tap it shut, and poke a hole in it. My favorite reusable appliance is my foldable straw. And yes, a few of these essays did help these students get accepted into the Ivy League, (I’m not telling you which!) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. But learning the exact process of taking and developing a photo in its simplest form, the science of it, is what drove me to pursue photography. He does this through specific images and objects. Through my friendship with Nico, I learned how to open up and get support from my friends. Some application examples may even require more than one essay to be completed. Fortunately, I found her just in time. Writing a college essay is no simple task. What do I choose? Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees. For what seems like forever, it continues forward, as the black sky turns to purple, then blue, then pink. Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo. “Chris, what would you like to have for Christmas Dinner?”. Then, other things began to change. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. 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. My father raised his cup of coffee and made a toast to me, “Good girl! But does compromise necessarily trump brute force? Startled, the Captain and his generals abandoned their post. I found the general atmosphere of hunky-dory acceptance foreign and incredibly unnerving. My desire to major in biology in college has been stimulated by my fascination with the human body, its processes, and the desire to find a way to help people with allergies. It means making the best with what you have to contribute to a community. I felt so stupid, I knew I was capable, I could solve a Rubik’s cube in 25 seconds and write poetry, but I felt broken. I was always scared of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. But the chicken dismisses the cowardly voice in its head, reminding itself of the injustice back in the deceptively charming prison. And then it dawns on him. Tagged: college essay example, personal statement example, sample college essay, sample personal statement, sample supplemental essay, example supplemental essay, Video Course: How to Write a Personal Statement, Video Course: How to Write the College Application + Supplemental Essays, Video Course: How to Write the UC Personal Insight Questions, Essay Feedback: Work with my friends at Prompt, Get the Complete Guide to Writing the "Why us?" The essay is a variation on the classic college essay theme where a potential hardship becomes positive. Aside from getting yourself a good sample, you can also enlist the help of a competent editor. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?3. If you purchase an item through one of our links PrepScholar may receive a commission. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now: hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(360031, 'f20994d3-fd87-4c1e-988d-22ad8d920c1a', {}); Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over 100 of these. Hearing people’s stories and looking at their warm smiles when they taste various pastries as I sat by the window, I watched as a production designer scouted locations for his film, or a painter took notes while brainstorming for his freehand brushwork of Blue House. Then, I ran for Student Government and failed. Click here for this student's amazing Instagram photos. Like the various nations of the European Union, the individual proponents of these culinary varieties are lobbying their interests to me, a miniature Jean-Claude Junker. But who actually wants to play a game of rock-paper-scissors? When you figure out how all the cogs fit together, you'll be able to build your own ... um ... whatever this is. If I am going to nourish my body, shouldn’t I also want to nourish the earth? I had the epiphany that oh wait, maybe it was my fault that I had never prioritized communication skills, or open-mindedness (qualities my fellow candidates possessed). Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it. All of our sample college essays include the question prompt and the year written. Let it sit for a few days untouched. As I learned more about the medical world, I became more fascinated with the body’s immune responses, specifically, how a body reacts to allergens. As our Christmas Dinner squabbles suggest, seemingly insurmountable impasses can be resolved through respect and dialogue, even producing delicious results! 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