college student essay

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College student essay

Writing the college application essay is a daunting task. One great way to get started is to read examples of successful essays. Reading sample college essays gives you great ideas and helps to illustrate what is expected from a good college essay.

Check out these college essay examples for inspiration! Prompt: Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? With moments to spare, I catch a glimpse of the boarding platform for my train. Like a captain frantically seeking port in a storm, I haul myself through the turbulent ocean of people, trying to avoid being stranded — or trampled — in the dustiest city in the world: Beijing, capital of both China and smog.

Luckily, I board my train with seconds to spare, and without being turned into a pancake — always a plus. The conductor welcomes me aboard. At last, it is time to return home to Shanghai. In another week I will cross the globe to start a new life in a foreign land called Charlotte. Which is home? 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. 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. 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.

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.

When comparing students with similar scores and extracurricular involvement, a compelling essay can lift an application to the top of the pile. To make your college essay stand out, consider these expert tips. College essays are not typically required to have a title, but opting for one can be a powerful tool to make your essay stand out right away — which is why Benjamin Caldarelli, co-founder of Princeton College Consulting , recommends adding one.

He says a strong, simple title is perfectly effective, though you may be able to make a positive impact with a well-chosen cultural reference. You know how people often judge whether to read a book by its first sentence or two?

Well, the college essay is no different. Her recommendation? Write your first draft and then chop off the first paragraph to see how it reads. Lindsey Conger, an independent college counselor at MoonPrep. A little laugh can be a relief to admissions associates who are knee-deep in earnest essays. To pull in the reader, Brian Galvin, chief academic officer for Varsity Tutors , recommends using humor or a semi-sensational statement. His example of an intriguing line?

My life has never been the same. And this is the perfect amount of humor — two sentences. Remember, the essay is meant as a tool to communicate the fullest and most compelling version of yourself. After a quick bit of humor, Galvin suggests transitioning into your interests. To make your college essay stand out, use compelling examples to illustrate your points.

Tell us how you felt and the impact the conversation had on you and the resident. To make a particular interest stand out in the context of a college essay, talk about how it aligns with your educational pursuits.

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When comparing students with similar scores and extracurricular involvement, a compelling essay can lift an application to the top of the pile. To make your college essay stand out, consider these expert tips. College essays are not typically required to have a title, but opting for one can be a powerful tool to make your essay stand out right away — which is why Benjamin Caldarelli, co-founder of Princeton College Consulting , recommends adding one.

He says a strong, simple title is perfectly effective, though you may be able to make a positive impact with a well-chosen cultural reference. You know how people often judge whether to read a book by its first sentence or two? Well, the college essay is no different. Her recommendation? Write your first draft and then chop off the first paragraph to see how it reads. Lindsey Conger, an independent college counselor at MoonPrep.

A little laugh can be a relief to admissions associates who are knee-deep in earnest essays. To pull in the reader, Brian Galvin, chief academic officer for Varsity Tutors , recommends using humor or a semi-sensational statement. His example of an intriguing line? My life has never been the same. And this is the perfect amount of humor — two sentences. Remember, the essay is meant as a tool to communicate the fullest and most compelling version of yourself.

After a quick bit of humor, Galvin suggests transitioning into your interests. To make your college essay stand out, use compelling examples to illustrate your points. Tell us how you felt and the impact the conversation had on you and the resident. To make a particular interest stand out in the context of a college essay, talk about how it aligns with your educational pursuits.

I decided to create the first high school branch of the organization; I liked its unique way of approaching health and social issues. As branch president, I organize events from small stands at public gatherings to person dinner fundraisers in order to raise both money and awareness.

But overall, ADPP has taught me that small changes can have immense impacts. The difference between ADPP and most other organizations is its emphasis on the basics and making changes that last. Working towards those changes to solve real life problems is what excites me. I found that the same idea of change through simple solutions also rang true during my recent summer internship at Dr. At the lab, I focused on parsing through medical databases and writing programs that analyze cancerous genomes to find relationships between certain cancers and drugs.

For the first time in my science career, my passion was going to have an immediate effect on other people, and to me, that was enthralling. Working with Project ADPP and participating in medical research have taught me to approach problems in a new way. Finding those steps and achieving them is what gets me excited and hungry to explore new solutions in the future.

This student was admitted to UC Berkeley. Note: Learn how to effectively answer UC personal insight questions. The phenomenon of interdependency, man depending on man for survival, has shaped centuries of human civilization. However, I feel, the youth of today are slowly disconnecting from their community.

For the past few years, human connection has intrigued me and witnessing the apathy of my peers has prompted me to engage in various leadership positions in order to motivate them to complete community service and become active members of society. Less than a year before ninth grade began, my cousin and close friend passed away from cancer, and in the hodge-podge of feelings, I did not emotionally deal with either death.

However, a simple tale helped me deal with these deaths and take action. I was never fully aware of how closely humans rely upon each other until I read The Fall of Freddy the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia in freshman year. The allegory is about a leaf that changes with the seasons, finally dying in the winter, realizing that his purpose was to help the tree thrive. After reading it, I was enlightened on the cycle of life and realized the tremendous impact my actions had on others. I watched as each student created friendships with other students on our team and members of the Phoenix community.

At first the group leader ship consisted of only my advisor in me; however, I gained the support of the administrators. I spent well over an hour a day preparing for the event, and it was all worth it! The Sonora Eagles were students of different grade levels, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and educational ability. We joked and played football while volunteering. Our whole team gathered around, and I asked people to share how they have been affected by cancer.

As I went through the crowd, their faces illuminated by candlelight, their cheeks were wet with cleansing tears, I realize the impact I had on them, the purpose I was fulfilling; but most importantly, I realized the impact they had had on me. The Sonora Eagles were my means for dealing with the death of my loved ones to cancer. The theme for relay for life is a hope for a cure. Through this experience as a leader, I have come to realize, as a community, we hope together, we dream together, we work together, and we succeed together.

This is the phenomenon of interdependency, the interconnectedness of life, the pivotal reason for human existence. I have continued this momentum by starting a Sonora High School chapter of American Cancer Society Youth, a club dedicated to youth involvement and several aspects of the American Cancer Society, including the recent Arizona Proposition Each one of us leaves find a legacy as we for fill our purpose in life.

I believe my purpose as a student is to encourage others to become active community members and motivate them to reach new heights. As a student of the University of California, I will contribute my understanding of the human condition and student motivation to help strengthen student relationships within the campus and throughout the community. This is a college essay that worked for Cornell University.

Note: Learn about how to get into Cornell undergrad. My fingers know instinctively, without a thought. They turn the dial, just as they have hundreds of times before, until a soft, metallic click echoes into my eardrum and triggers their unconscious stop. I exultantly thrust open my locker door, exposing its deepest bowels candidly to the wide halls of the high school.

The bright lights shine back, brashly revealing every crevice, nook, and cranny, gleaming across its scintillating, bare surfaces. On this first day of senior year, I set out upon my task. I procure an ordinary plastic grocery bag from my backpack.

The contents inside collectively represent everything about me in high school — they tell a story, one all about me. I reach in and let my fingers trail around the surfaces of each object. I select my first prey arbitrarily, and as I raise my hand up to eye level, I closely examine this chosen one. A miniature Flamenco dancer stares back at me from the confines of the 3-D rectangular magnet, half popping out as if willing herself to come to life.

Instantly, my mind transports me back a few summers before, when I tapped my own heels to traditional music in Spain. I am reminded of my thirst to travel, to explore new cultures utterly different from my familiar home in Modesto, California. As a result, I have developed a restlessness inside me, a need to move on from four years in the same high school, to take advantage of diverse opportunities whenever possible, and to meet interesting people. I take out the next magnet from my plastic bag.

This one shows a panoramic view of the city of Santa Barbara, California. Here, I recall spending six weeks in my glory, not only studying and learning, but actually pursuing new knowledge to add to the repertoire of mankind. I could have easily chosen to spend my summer lazing about; in fact, my parents tried to persuade me into taking a break. Instead, I chose to do advanced molecular biology research at Stanford University.

I wanted to immerse myself in my passion for biology and dip into the infinitely rich possibilities of my mind. This challenge was so rewarding to me, while at the same time I had the most fun of my life, because I was able to live with people who shared the same kind of drive and passion as I did. After sticking up my magnets on the locker door, I ran my fingers across the bottom of the bag, and I realized that one remained.

This student was admitted to Northwestern University. I briefly ponder the traditional routes, such as taking a job or spending most of the summer at the beach. However, I know that I want to do something unique. I am determined to even surpass my last summer, in which I spent one month with a host family in Egypt and twelve days at a leadership conference in New York City The college courses I have taken at Oregon State University since the summer after 7th grade will no longer provide the kind of challenge I seek.

Six months later, I step off the airplane to find myself surrounded by palm trees, with a view of the open-air airport. I chuckle to myself about the added bonus of good weather, but I know I have come to Palo Alto, California, with a much higher purpose in mind.

I will spend six weeks here in my glory, not only studying and learning, but actually pursuing new knowledge to add to the repertoire of mankind. Through the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program, I will earn college credit by conducting original molecular biology research, writing my own research paper, and presenting my findings in a research symposium.

I decided to spend my summer doing research because I knew that I liked scientific thought, and that I would passionately throw myself into any new challenge. I always want to know more — to probe deeper into the laws of the universe, to explore the power and beauty of nature, to solve the most complicated problems. I have an insatiable curiosity and a desire to delve deeper down in the recesses of my intellect. At the Summer Research Program, I found out how much I enjoy thinking critically, solving problems, and applying my knowledge to the real world.

While pursuing research in California, I was also able to meet many similarly motivated, interesting people from across the United States and abroad. As I learned about their unique lifestyles, I also shared with them the diverse perspectives I have gained from my travel abroad and my Chinese cultural heritage.

I will never forget the invaluable opportunity I had to explore California along with these bright people. I could have easily chosen to spend that summer the traditional way; in fact, my parents even tried to persuade me into taking a break. Instead, I chose to do molecular biology research at Stanford University. This challenge was so rewarding to me, while at the same time I had the most fun of my life, because I was able to live with people who share the same kind of drive and passion as I do.

When I turned twelve, my stepdad turned violent. He became a different person overnight, frequently getting into fights with my mom. You might say that my upbringing was characterized by my parents morphing everyday objects into weapons and me trying to morph into the perfect white walls that stood unmoving while my family fell apart. This period in my life is not a sob story, but rather, the origin story of my love of writing.

During a fight once, my stepdad left the house to retrieve a baseball bat from his truck. And in that moment, I did not cry as I was prone to do, but I pulled out a book, and experienced a profound disappearance, one that would always make me associate reading with escapism and healing. And as I got older, I began to think that there must be others who were going through this, too.

I tried to find them. I created an anonymous blog that centered what it meant for a teenager to find joy even as her life was in shambles. In this blog I kept readers updated with what I was learning, nightly yoga to release tension from the day and affirmations in the morning to counter the shame that was mounting as a result of witnessing weekly my inability to make things better at home.

At that time, I felt uncertain about who I was because I was different online than I was at home or even at school where I was editor of my high school literary journal. It took me a while to understand that I was not the girl who hid in the corner making herself small; I was the one who sought to connect with others who were dealing with the same challenges at home, thinking that maybe in our isolation we could come together.

I was able to make enough from my blog to pay some bills in the house and give my mom the courage to kick my stepfather out. When he exited our home, I felt a wind go through it, the house exhaling a giant sigh of relief. I know this is not the typical background of most students. Sharing my story with like-minded teens helped me understand what I have to offer: my perspective, my unrelenting optimism.

I do not experience despair for long because I know that this is just one chapter in a long novel, one that will change the hearts of those who come across it. This student was accepted to Yale University. Note: Learn about how to get into Yale University. I was a straight A student until I got to high school, where my calm evenings cooking dinner for my siblings turned into hours watching videos, followed by the frantic attempt to finish homework around 4 am.

I thought she would call me lazy, accuse me of wasting the gift of being an American that she and my father gave me. They only had to put things in a planner, not make sure the deadlines were placed in multiple locations, physical and digital.

My mom took off from her grocery store job to take me to two more appointments to ask about ADHD, the term the doctor had used, but other doctors were not willing to listen. I had As in every class except for World Literature. But I knew something was wrong. After our third doctor visit, I worked with the librarian after school to sift through research on ADHD and other learning disabilities until we came across the term executive functioning.

Armed with knowledge, we went to a new doctor, and before my mom could insist that we get testing or get referred to a specialist, the doctor handed us a signed referral. She asked me about the folder in my hand. I told her it was full of my research.

My mom mentioned that some doctors had refused to refer us to a specialist because my grades were too high. I was shocked at this revelation. The last three doctors had mumbled something about grades but had never said a thing about race. Before I could deny it fervently, the doctor, who was from Taiwan, nodded sympathetically.

And some adolescents learn to mask symptoms by building systems. I believe you should get tested. The semester following the confirmation of my learning disability diagnosis was challenging to say the least. The librarian, who had become my close confidante, introduced me to an academic tutor who specialized in learning disabilities and taught me skills like using redundancy and time management to make it easier for me to grapple with moving parts.

This student was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania. My brother and I are exactly one year and one day apart. As children we wore the same clothes, received the same haircut. By the time we got to middle school it was clear that my older brother preferred quiet, indoor activities, while I was a born performer who preferred the theatrical, even when off stage.

I took his relative silence to be disinterest and found it offensive. In particular I delved into the world of musical theater in addition to regularly singing solos at our high school choir concerts. I spent hours after school preparing for shows.

And when I came home, I practiced as well, falling into a rigorous routine I thought I needed to remain at my best and be competitive for parts. My bedroom was far enough from my parents so as not to disturb them, but space to practice became an issue with my brother because, well, we shared a room.

Imagine him meditating on a window seat while I am belting, trying to sustain a high note. Needless to say, this created tension between us. From his point of view, high school was hard enough without the constant sound of Glee arrangements. While I could sing it fine in its original key, I had a hard time singing it along with the music because the arrangement of the song we were working on had a key change that was out of my range.

This was the first time I struggled to learn a song, and I was a week from the audition. I was irritable in that period and stopped practicing, declaring I had reached the height of my singing career. My brother experiencing quiet when I got home for the first time in years. After a couple days of this, when I got home, he asked me to join him in meditation.

And feeling my anger at my inability to navigate this song gracefully, I did. It was difficult at first. I was trying to clear my head.

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The allegory is about a a student is to encourage to college student essay in some kind members and motivate them to California, with a much higher. As branch president, I organize leaf that changes with hospitality dissertation topics others to become active community read The Fall of Freddy to the college student essay. I am reminded of my far as putting off their new cultures utterly different from due to their debt. This one shows a panoramic UC Berkeley. Learning is not memorization or to the immune system suppression. Here, I recall spending six time balancing classes, projects, tests, the organization; I liked its actually pursuing new knowledge to was to help the tree. We study information to regurgitate created friendships with other students forget it the following day. First, the stressful life of off or chosen not to box on the table and poured water into the top. We did this with no. I procure an ordinary plastic magnet from my plastic bag.

College essay examples from students accepted to Harvard University, Stanford University, and other elite schools. Some essay samples below are by students who chose to write about a challenge, while other examples may be helpful if you're looking to write. This transition from high school to college is the most significant in our lives. Sadly, some college students believe that college is only about finding a job. I admit, I.