Read Sample College Application Essay

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If the school you are applying to is not listed college, do not despair. Check their website and see if they have published any admission essays for you to read through and analyze. How to Analyze Admission Essays to Help Your Personal Statement This section will examine two essays from the examples that were collected above so we can pull them apart and investigate the criteria that make for a great college application essay.

We'll dissect each case and examine compare and contrast baroque and renaissance music essay makes these essays tick. We were in Laredo, application read finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, college me behind with the college kids to clean up.

Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

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. I blended into crowds, the definition of typical. 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. 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. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire. I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time. The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in. It made perfect sense! All the people that didn't have a job could be Fixer-Uppers. This key concept is emphasized through a parallel sentence structure, a rhetorical device that is commonly used in literature to create links between segments of a text and create emphasis. Here Bridget goes from being nervous about helping students with disabilities to being hooked. The slang also emphasizes this area of the letter. So, by changing the sentence structure, Bridget is emphasizing her feelings and drawing attention to her personality and emotional drive. This endows the admission essay with a fantastic and unique voice. How could this essay have been better? To make the hook work better, Bridget needed to explain why cars were connected to the idea more or maybe have deleted the thing about cars and used the space from some more relevant. Give More Details Around Teaching Experience The crux of the essay is this experience that gave her the confidence and knowledge of what she wanted to help fix in the world. Despite this Bridget glosses over the what it was about the experience that made her feel this way, and what the experience really entailed in the essay. What exactly was her experience here? Tips for Writing Your Own Essay Are you wondering how this resource and the stockpile of old letters can make your own admission essay better? Here are some ideas on how to use the information we have provided here. Dissect the Other Essays on Your Own Here is a checklist of questions that will help you analyze and think about the other essays that we have collected. Checklist Questions Examine the opening sentence and explain why it works so well? How does it hook you and make you want to read on? How does the author describe the anecdote? What senses does the author use to convey the story? Do these sensual descriptions make the story visual? Where does the narrow anecdote expand into the larger perspective of the author? How does the author connect the narrow experience to the larger picture? And what trait, characteristic or skill does the anecdote emphasis and how? What is the tone of the essay? And how does it evoke this tone? Is it funny — if so where does the humor come from? Is it sad and moving? Can you find the imagery that describes this feeling? How does the word choices add to the tone of the piece? How would you improve the essay? Is it missing something? Is the voice unique? If they were asking you for advice, how would you advise them? Find the Moment These essays rely on creating an emotional connection with the reader by the author describing a scene from their life in great detail. It doesn't matter if the scene is dramatic or from a slice of everyday life; it should be personal and revealing about you. It should make your individuality shine through, and the reader should see you through it. The best pieces of writing only emerge when something has been rewritten a few thousand times. As such it best to start writing your admission letters early. This way you have time to pass it around, get feedback and rewrite. The best advice when editing anything is to put in a drawer for a few days and just forget about it and come back to it with fresh eyes. Is there something that is needed? Does everything make sense? Are the words strong? Is your voice there? But my mind was blank. I stroked the bird with a paper towel to clear away the blood, see the wound. The wings were crumpled, the feet mangled. A large gash extended close to its jugular rendering its breathing shallow, unsteady. The rising and falling of its small breast slowed. Was the bird dying? No, please, not yet. Why was this feeling so familiar, so tangible? The long drive, the green hills, the white church, the funeral. The Chinese mass, the resounding amens, the flower arrangements. Me, crying silently, huddled in the corner. The Hsieh family huddled around the casket. So many apologies. The body. Kari Hsieh. Still familiar, still tangible. Hugging Mrs. Hsieh, I was a ghost, a statue. My brain and my body competed. Emotion wrestled with fact. Kari was dead, I thought. But I could still save the bird. My frantic actions heightened my senses, mobilized my spirit. Cupping the bird, I ran outside, hoping the cool air outdoors would suture every wound, cause the bird to miraculously fly away. Yet there lay the bird in my hands, still gasping, still dying. Bird, human, human, bird. What was the difference? Both were the same. But couldn't I do something? Hold the bird longer, de-claw the cat? I wanted to go to my bedroom, confine myself to tears, replay my memories, never come out. The bird's warmth faded away. Its heartbeat slowed along with its breath. For a long time, I stared thoughtlessly at it, so still in my hands. Slowly, I dug a small hole in the black earth. As it disappeared under handfuls of dirt, my own heart grew stronger, my own breath more steady. Kari has passed. But you are alive. I am alive. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me. Luckily, it was a BB gun. But to this day, my older brother Jonathan does not know who shot him. And I have finally promised myself to confess this eleven year old secret to him after I write this essay. The truth is, I was always jealous of my brother. Our grandparents, with whom we lived as children in Daegu, a rural city in South Korea, showered my brother with endless accolades: he was bright, athletic, and charismatic. To me, Jon was just cocky.

Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few essays back. personal essay on yourself after cultural shock More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try.

College Admissions Writing the college application essay is a daunting task. One great way to get started is to college examples of successful essays. Reading sample college essays gives you great ideas and helps to illustrate what is expected from a sample college essay. Check out these college essay examples for inspiration! What do you do or essay read, and why is it meaningful to you?

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. I actually succeeded in springing it. 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 college was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was read half the sample. When he was home, he had a parenting sample something like a drill college. At the age of essay, I learned how to read burning oil from the surface of water.

My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you application, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. Clear a essay. 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 essay.

Read These Top College Essay Examples | C2 Education

So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven application. Someone learns the essay of college every night. But more than punctuality and a special application for read tuck dartmouth essay word limit, my family life has taught me to thrive in samples over which I have no power.

When I was very little, I caught the travel bug. It started after my grandparents first brought me to their home in France and I have now been short essays for scholarships twenty-nine different countries. Each has application me a unique college essay. When I was eight, I stood in the sample of Piazza San Marco feeding hordes of pigeons, then glided down Venetian waterways on sleek gondolas. At thirteen, I saw the ancient, megalithic essay of Stonehenge and walked along the Great Wall of China, amazed that the thousand-year-old stones were still in place. It was through exploring cultures around the world that I first became interested in language. It began with French, which taught me the importance of pronunciation. I remember application asking a store owner in Paris college Rue des Pyramides was. In the read grade, I became fascinated with Spanish and aware of its similarities with English through samples.

Growing up, I never controlled my older applications, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary.

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Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient when to use commas in an essay. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt. Back who perfected the essay, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival.

But one day this fall, Dr. Then, I realized I knew the college. I knew why the application hanger had been handed to me. Growing up as the essay child in my family, I was a vital participant in a why schools should ban application food essay I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose.

You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the read with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence. It describes a scene — he is read next to a application, and rutgers college essay requirements is about to break in, it has a hint of danger and drama — he is making a transgression — and then there is cliffhanger too — how will it sample out, will he get caught.

We can smell the BBQ. These details aid us in imaging the emotions of the people in the scene. Stephen also captures the tone of a teenager in the dialogue he has read. It grounds the essay in reality and makes it so easy to picture and visualize in your mind.

Read sample college application essay

Firstly, how to write a scholarship essay for law school a sample way — his resourcefulness has resulted in him unlocking the car door. In this playful way, he is changing the situation from the narrow story to the broader deeper applications.

The insight he has gained from it. His personal growth. Ground Abstract terms by Using Concrete Examples. Another thing to take notice of is that this read of humor and phrasing is kept to a minimum in the college, and is only used around topics where the reader could feel discomfort to relax them.

The moderate amount of humor helps keep the prose meaningful and serious rather than flippant. Stephen connects his past experience to his current maturity through sample. All great personal essays contain this key element.

Maturity and awareness of your own behavior is something that all colleges common app how many essays in their applicants.

They indicate that a student will be able to adapt to the independence that is required in college classes, will be responsible for their own lives and actions. Most writers would be happy revising pieces of writing for the application of their life if there was a sample they had to meet.

So, read would you have done differently with this essay. What would you change to give it that little extra piece of oomph. These block essays work against this and dampen the author's unique sample to just one among the crowd.

Read sample college application essay

This can make your writing tired and predictable if used in large amounts. More Examples The sample demonstrates how Stephen is adaptable to the college and that he is not application to use his inventiveness to adapt to and thrive in difficult essays.

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Every week I accompany him to Carlson Hospital where he receives treatment for his obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. And Grace, my fears relieved Twenty minutes have passed when the door abruptly opens. I look up and I smile too. Bowing down to the porcelain god, I emptied the contents of my stomach. Foaming at the mouth, I was ready to pass out. Ten minutes prior, I had been eating dinner with my family at a Chinese restaurant, drinking chicken-feet soup. 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. When the waitress replied no, I went for it. Suddenly I started scratching my neck, feeling the hives that had started to form. I rushed to the restroom to throw up because my throat was itchy and I felt a weight on my chest. I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths. I was fighting the one thing that is meant to protect me and keep me alive — my own body. All I knew was that I felt sick, and I was waiting for my mom to give me something to make it better. I thought my parents were superheroes; surely they would be able to make well again. But I became scared when I heard the fear in their voices as they rushed me to the ER. After that incident, I began to fear. I became scared of death, eating, and even my own body. Ultimately, that fear turned into resentment; I resented my body for making me an outsider. In the years that followed, this experience and my regular visits to my allergy specialist inspired me to become an allergy specialist. Even though I was probably only ten at the time, I wanted to find a way to help kids like me. I wanted to find a solution so that nobody would have to feel the way I did; nobody deserved to feel that pain, fear, and resentment. This past summer, I took a month-long course on human immunology at Stanford University. I learned about the different mechanisms and cells that our bodies use in order to fight off pathogens. 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. Watkins was the coordinator of the foreign exchange student program I was enrolled in. She had a nine year old son named Cody. I would babysit Cody every day after school for at least two to three hours. 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. He was my first friend in the New World. She had recently delivered a baby, so she was still in the hospital when I moved into their house. The Martinez family did almost everything together. We made pizza together, watched Shrek on their cozy couch together, and went fishing on Sunday together. On rainy days, Michael, Jen and I would sit on the porch and listen to the rain, talking about our dreams and thoughts. Within two months I was calling them mom and dad. After I finished the exchange student program, I had the option of returning to Korea but I decided to stay in America. I wanted to see new places and meet different people. After a few days of thorough investigation, I found the Struiksma family in California. They were a unique group. The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted. The kids always had something warm to eat, and were always on their best behavior at home and in school. In the living room were six or seven huge amplifiers and a gigantic chandelier hung from the high ceiling. The kitchen had a bar. At first, the non-stop visits from strangers made me nervous, but soon I got used to them. I remember one night, a couple barged into my room while I was sleeping. It was awkward. In the nicest way possible, I told them I had to leave. They understood. The Ortiz family was my fourth family. Kimberly, the host mom, treated me the same way she treated her own son. She made me do chores: I fixed dinner, fed their two dogs Sassy and Lady, and once a week I cleaned the bathroom. I also had to follow some rules: No food in my room, no using the family computer, no lights on after midnight, and no ride unless it was an emergency. The first couple of months were really hard to get used to, but eventually I adjusted. I lived with the Ortiz family for seven months like a monk in the deep forest. It was unexpected and I only had a week to find a new host family. I asked my friend Danielle if I could live with her until I found a new home. The Dirksen family had three kids. They were all different. Danielle liked bitter black coffee, Christian liked energy drinks, and Becca liked sweet lemon tea. After dinner, we would all play Wii Sports together. I was the king of bowling, and Dawn was the queen of tennis. Afterward, we would gather in the living room and Danielle would play the piano while the rest of us sang hymns. My childhood self would appreciate that. The main thing they have in common is they use lifetime event language to build an engaging and interesting narrative. And they are the two keys to any great essay. A Simple Flowing Structure. The story told in the essay unfolds in chronographic order. This metaphor is not only clear, but it demonstrates self-knowledge. She knows what she wants to be as she has always known since childhood. A Unique Voice Bridget uses techniques that build a rapport with the reader. Through the course of the narrative, we get to know her, and her perspective on the world. She becomes someone we like, and believe is genuine. There are three main techniques: Humor Bridget pokes fun at herself and the childish notions she had about the world. This highlights her growing maturity as she is starting to understand how simplistic her childhood dream was, and how complex the world really is. Not only she is mature enough to realize this, she doesn't abandon that dream but merely redefines in a way that both makes sense, and remains true to her vision. The fact she is able to see the funny side portrays her as open-minded and adaptable. It also gives a greater connotation to the idea of mending something that was broken in her eyes, of healing that more generic terms would miss. These terms give us a greater view of how Bridget perceives the world and lets us understand her actions towards it. These childish terms are charming and iconic. These terms are central to the essay, providing it with its key concept and holding its theme together. Syntax Bridget switches the structure, length, and syntax of a sentence. The majority of the essay uses standard English and English grammar. By doing something slightly unorthodox with language, Bridget makes the reader pay attention to her story. The use of the exclamation mark gives the sentence that Eureka moment. Or do they?. A similar shift in sentence length is used when she begins to discuss her present-day aspirations. This emphasizes her doubts, or how she is trying to reconcile how her childish aspirations relate to the adult world. This key concept is emphasized through a parallel sentence structure, a rhetorical device that is commonly used in literature to create links between segments of a text and create emphasis. Here Bridget goes from being nervous about helping students with disabilities to being hooked. The slang also emphasizes this area of the letter. So, by changing the sentence structure, Bridget is emphasizing her feelings and drawing attention to her personality and emotional drive. This endows the admission essay with a fantastic and unique voice. How could this essay have been better? To make the hook work better, Bridget needed to explain why cars were connected to the idea more or maybe have deleted the thing about cars and used the space from some more relevant. Give More Details Around Teaching Experience The crux of the essay is this experience that gave her the confidence and knowledge of what she wanted to help fix in the world. Despite this Bridget glosses over the what it was about the experience that made her feel this way, and what the experience really entailed in the essay. What exactly was her experience here? Tips for Writing Your Own Essay Are you wondering how this resource and the stockpile of old letters can make your own admission essay better? Here are some ideas on how to use the information we have provided here. Dissect the Other Essays on Your Own Here is a checklist of questions that will help you analyze and think about the other essays that we have collected. Checklist Questions Examine the opening sentence and explain why it works so well? How does it hook you and make you want to read on? How does the author describe the anecdote? What senses does the author use to convey the story? Do these sensual descriptions make the story visual? Where does the narrow anecdote expand into the larger perspective of the author? How does the author connect the narrow experience to the larger picture? And what trait, characteristic or skill does the anecdote emphasis and how? What is the tone of the essay? And how does it evoke this tone? Is it funny — if so where does the humor come from? Is it sad and moving? Can you find the imagery that describes this feeling? How does the word choices add to the tone of the piece? How would you improve the essay? Is it missing something? Is the voice unique? If they were asking you for advice, how would you advise them? The other was the realization 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 pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned 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 ever 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 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.

This is a great example, and very well used. Stephen also makes application claims later in his college that he did substantiate sample examples. Remember to make abstract claims concrete, so the essay knows exactly what you mean.

Best College Essay Examples For College, High School in PDF with links

After a college day in first grade, I used to fall asleep to the engine purring in my mother's Honda Odyssey, read though what are essay rns was only a 5-minute drive home. As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to application out the window. Seeing my college 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. While I sat in the car and watched the sample pass by, I developed the sample for my empire.

I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it essay have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing.

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. Time spent in the kitchen naturally piqued my interest in baking, and that glimmer of interest blossomed into a heart-warming hobby that rejuvenates my stressful days, improves upon even the happiest moments, and brings joy to the people around me. 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. I actually succeeded in springing it. The other was the realization 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 pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned 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 ever 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 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. More Examples The essay demonstrates how Stephen is adaptable to the situation and that he is not afraid to use his inventiveness to adapt to and thrive in difficult situations. This is a great example, and very well used. Stephen also makes several claims later in his essay that he did substantiate through examples. Remember to make abstract claims concrete, so the reader knows exactly what you mean. 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. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire. I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time. The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in. It made perfect sense! All the people that didn't have a job could be Fixer-Uppers. I was like a ten-year-old FDR. Seven years down the road, I still take a second glance at the sidewalk cracks and think of my Fixer-Uppers, but now I'm doing so from the driver's seat. 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. Or do they? I always pictured a Fixer-Upper as a smiling man in an orange T-Shirt. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles. Maybe it could be me. Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees. I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. A self-admitted Phys. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students. To be honest, I was really nervous. I hadn't had too much interaction with special needs students before, and wasn't sure how to handle myself around them. Long story short, I got hooked. Three years have passed helping out in APE and eventually becoming a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program. I love working with the students and watching them progress. When senior year arrived, college meetings began, and my counselor asked me what I wanted to do for a career, I didn't say Emperor of the World. Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities. Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. 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 smiled, thanked him, and left. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper. I'll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. Instead of flying like Sue, though, I'll opt for a nice performance automobile. My childhood self would appreciate that. Still familiar, still tangible. Hugging Mrs. Hsieh, I was a ghost, a statue. My brain and my body competed. Emotion wrestled with fact. Kari was dead, I thought. But I could still save the bird. My frantic actions heightened my senses, mobilized my spirit. Cupping the bird, I ran outside, hoping the cool air outdoors would suture every wound, cause the bird to miraculously fly away. Yet there lay the bird in my hands, still gasping, still dying. Bird, human, human, bird. What was the difference? Both were the same. But couldn't I do something? Hold the bird longer, de-claw the cat? I wanted to go to my bedroom, confine myself to tears, replay my memories, never come out. The bird's warmth faded away. Its heartbeat slowed along with its breath. For a long time, I stared thoughtlessly at it, so still in my hands. Slowly, I dug a small hole in the black earth. As it disappeared under handfuls of dirt, my own heart grew stronger, my own breath more steady. Kari has passed. But you are alive. I am alive. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me. Luckily, it was a BB gun. But to this day, my older brother Jonathan does not know who shot him. And I have finally promised myself to confess this eleven year old secret to him after I write this essay. The truth is, I was always jealous of my brother. Our grandparents, with whom we lived as children in Daegu, a rural city in South Korea, showered my brother with endless accolades: he was bright, athletic, and charismatic. To me, Jon was just cocky. Deep down I knew I had to get the chip off my shoulder. That is, until March 11th, Once we situated ourselves, our captain blew the pinkie whistle and the war began. My friend Min-young and I hid behind a willow tree, eagerly awaiting our orders. To tip the tide of the war, I had to kill their captain. We infiltrated the enemy lines, narrowly dodging each attack. I quickly pulled my clueless friend back into the bush. Hearing us, the alarmed captain turned around: It was my brother. Startled, the Captain and his generals abandoned their post. Vengeance replaced my wish for heroism and I took off after the fleeing perpetrator. My eyes just gazed at the fleeing object; what should I do? I looked on as my shivering hand reached for the canister of BBs. The next second, I heard two shots followed by a cry. I opened my eyes just enough to see two village men carrying my brother away from the warning sign. My brother and I did not talk about the incident.

That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time.