My 6-year-old brother insisted on venturing in by himself. Reluctantly, I left him go, but I was worried. In reality, only five minutes had passed, but to me, it seemed like an eternity.
Five minutes turned to six, and my heart sank as I heard him screaming frantically from within. My fears had been realized; my brother was in trouble again. Without hesitation, I rushed into the bathroom to find my brother crying at the top of his lungs. Continue reading. Ngozirebecca Class of Memories of exciting battles like these are safely snuggled away in the pages of some of my most beloved books, and in their fantastic, otherworldly settings I have become the confident girl I am today.
When I was younger, I seriously struggled with self-acceptance. Leading ladies were gorgeous and delicate, not tall and awkward with afros that struck fear into the hearts of passersby. Insecure, I skulked into high school, the proverbial black sheep amongst ravenous coyotes and mama bears.
Even the most fluid writers are often stifled by fitting their narrative neatly into a category and the essay quickly loses authentic voice. Write freely and choose a prompt later. Spoiler alert It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. This college essay tip is by Brennan Barnard, director of college counseling at the Derryfield School in Manchester, N. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
After you're done writing, read your essay, re-read it a little later, and have someone else read it too, like a teacher or friend—they may find typos that your eyes were just too tired to see. Colleges are looking for students who can express their thoughts clearly and accurately, and polishing your essay shows that you care about producing high-quality, college-level work.
Plus, multiple errors could lower your chances of admission. So take the extra time and edit! Take the pressure off and try free-writing to limber up. If you are having trouble coming up with what it is you want to convey or finding the perfect story to convey who you are, use prompts such as: Share one thing that you wish people knew about you. What have you enjoyed about high school? I suggest handwriting versus typing on a keyboard for 20 minutes.
Don't worry about making it perfect, and don't worry about what you are going to write about. Think about getting yourself into a meditative state for 20 minutes and just write from the heart. To get myself in a meditative state, I spend 60 seconds set an alarm drawing a spiral. Never let the pen come off the page, and just keep drawing around and around until the alarm goes off. Then, start writing. It might feel you didn't write anything worthwhile, but my experience is that there is usually a diamond in the rough in there Do this exercise for days straight, then read out loud what you have written to a trusted source a parent?
Don't expect a masterpiece from this exercise though stranger things have happened. The goal is to discover the kernel of any idea that can blossom into your college essay—a story that will convey your message, or clarity about what message you want to convey. Show your emotions. Adding feelings to your essays can be much more powerful than just listing your achievements. It allows reviewers to connect with you and understand your personality and what drives you.
In particular, be open to showing vulnerability. Nobody expects you to be perfect and acknowledging times in which you have felt nervous or scared shows maturity and self-awareness. This college essay tip is by Charles Maynard, Oxford and Stanford University Graduate and founder of Going Merry , which is a one-stop shop for applying to college scholarships Be genuine and authentic. Your essay should be a true representation of who you are as a person—admissions officers want to read essays that are meaningful, thoughtful, and consistent with the rest of the application.
Essays that come from the heart are the easiest to write and the best written. Have a teacher or counselor, not just your smartest friend, review and edit your essays. This college essay tip is by Jonathan April, University of Chicago graduate, general manager of College Greenlight , which offers free tools to low-income and first-generation students developing their college lists.
Note how the writer incorporates a wide range of details and images through one particular lens: a scrapbook. Prompt: Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
The layouts of the pages are already imprinted in my mind, so I simply draw them on scratch paper. Now I can really begin. Cutting the first photograph, I make sure to leave a quarter inch border. I then paste it onto a polka-dotted green paper with a glue stick.
For a sophisticated touch, I use needle and thread to sew the papers together. Loads of snipping and pasting later, the clock reads three in the morning. I look down at the final product, a full spread of photographs and cut-out shapes.
As usual, I feel an overwhelming sense of pride as I brush my fingers over the crisp papers and the glossy photographs. For me, the act of taking pieces of my life and putting them together on a page is my way of organizing remnants of my past to make something whole and complete. This particular project is the most valuable scrapbook I have ever made: the scrapbook of my life. The entire left side I have dedicated to the people in my life.
All four of my Korean grandparents sit in the top corner; they are side by side on a sofa for my first birthday —my ddol. Meanwhile, my Texas cousins watch Daniel, the youngest, throw autumn leaves into the air that someone had spent hours raking up.
To the right, my school peers and I miserably pose for our history teacher who could not resist taking a picture when he saw our droopy faces the morning of our first AP exam. I move over to the right side of the page. At the top, I have neatly sewn on three items. The first is a page of a Cambodian Bible that was given to each of the soldiers at a military base where I taught English.
Beneath it is the picture of my Guatemalan girls and me sitting on the dirt ground while we devour arroz con pollo, red sauce slobbered all over our lips. I reread the third item, a short note that a student at a rural elementary school in Korea had struggled to write in her broken English. I lightly touch the little chain with a dangling letter E included with the note. Moving to the lower portion of the page, I see the photo of the shelf with all my ceramic projects glazed in vibrant hues.
With great pride, I have added a clipping of my page from the Mirror, our school newspaper, next to the ticket stubs for Wicked from my date with Dad. I make sure to include a photo of my first scrapbook page of the visit to Hearst Castle in fifth grade. Unlike the previous one, this page is not cluttered or crowded. There is my college diploma with the major listed as International Relations; however, the name of the school is obscure. The remainder of the page is a series of frames and borders with simple captions underneath.
Without the photographs, the descriptions are cryptic. For now, that second page is incomplete because I have no precise itinerary for my future. The red flags on the map represent the places I will travel to, possibly to teach English like I did in Cambodia or to do charity work with children like I did in Guatemala. As for the empty frames, I hope to fill them with the people I will meet: a family of my own and the families I desire to help, through a career I have yet to decide.
Until I am able to do all that, I can prepare. It reads like the opening to a movie. She keeps clothes for a long time; she likes to be comfortable. What does "Levi's" suggest? She's not obsessed with neatness. What do these details tell us? Family is really important to her. Fireplace: What does a fireplace connote? Warmth, closeness. My brother's hot cocoa: Why hot cocoa?
Again, warmth. How is the fact that her brother made it change the image? It implies that her brother is engaged in the family activity. Do you think she likes her brother?
Would your brother make hot cocoa for you? And finally: Listening to rain: Why not watching TV? What does it tell you about this family that they sit and listen to rain together? Taken together, they create an essence image. Quick: What essence image describes your family? Even if you have a non-traditional family—in fact, especially if you have a non-traditional family! Based on the image the writer uses, how would you describe her relationship with her family?
We know all we need to know. Did you notice? Did you notice how clearly she set up the idea of the scrapbook at the beginning of the essay? Look at the last sentence of the second paragraph bolded below : Cutting the first photograph, I make sure to leave a quarter inch border. The sentence in bold above is essentially her thesis.
I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles.
Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami.
Topic: Money.. Continue reading. Write like a journalist. I had flown many times before. Prompt: Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
Be genuine and authentic. This college essay tip is by Brennan Barnard, director of college counseling at the Derryfield School in Manchester, N.
Nevertheless, Princeton rejected her, and when I approached the university to find out if it had anything to do with her essay, it cited its policy of not commenting on any applicants or admissions decisions. For me, the act of taking pieces of my life and putting them together on a page is my way of organizing remnants of my past to make something whole and complete. Super clear.
Verbs jump, dance, fall, fail us. Loads of snipping and pasting later, the clock reads three in the morning. Rebecca Joseph, professor at California State University and founder of All College Application Essays , develops tools for making the college essay process faster and easier.
How have you shown your intellectual vitality? Standing Out From the Crowd Video Regis High School student Lyle Li reads from his college application essay about the hard work of his immigrant parents to secure a better education and a better life for him. Bauld added.
Some students spend a lot of time summarizing plot or describing their work and the "in what way" part of the essay winds up being one sentence. Leading ladies were gorgeous and delicate, not tall and awkward with afros that struck fear into the hearts of passersby. It could be your phone. This college essay tip is by Ashley McNaughton, Bucknell University graduate and founder of ACM College Consulting , consults on applicants internationally and volunteers with high achieving, low income students through ScholarMatch. All four of my Korean grandparents sit in the top corner; they are side by side on a sofa for my first birthday —my ddol. See full profile.
Verbs jump, dance, fall, fail us. She keeps clothes for a long time; she likes to be comfortable. Without the photographs, the descriptions are cryptic. The essays that impressed me the most were not academic essays, but personal statements that allowed me to get to know the reader.
I believe everyone has a story worth telling. When reading an essay, an admissions officer will try to determine: Who are you? By zeroing in on one particular aspect of what is, invariably, a long story, you may be better able to extract meaning from the story. It should be people who know you best and want you to succeed. It explains the framework for the whole essay.
It allows reviewers to connect with you and understand your personality and what drives you. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Start preparing now. Not only did they talk openly about issues that are emotionally complex and often outright taboo, but they took brave and counterintuitive positions on class, national identity and the application process itself.