common college application essay

creative writing tools

April 27, Staff Writers. With all the things you have going on as a student, writing a paper can seem like a daunting task. This image and list-based, step-by-step best dissertation service is the closest thing to writing a plug and chug paper you can get. So, are you ready to ace this paper of yours? The answer to this question is easy: look at the materials the prof gives you. The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to understand what the professor is looking for. If you know that, you can write to the rubric and pick up easy points along the way.

Common college application essay temple creative writing

Common college application essay

His grandfather recently passed away. That can make trying to communicate who you are, as well as who you hope to become, a daunting task. We are big proponents of starting early—ideally in June. Why so early? You may not be thrilled at the prospect of spending the summer before your senior year on college applications. But getting going in June after your junior year and committing to a few exercises over the summer will be like spring training for summer athletes.

Starting early will also give you time to hand a strong draft of your essay to the teachers from whom you plan to request letters of recommendation for college. This is crucial because your application is a chance to offer not only the facts about you but also a narrative of you—a sense of who you are, how you move through the world, and what you hope to become.

Review the Common App prompts and identify which ones get your juices flowing. You can also use our expanded prompts, given in the bulletpoints below, to help you brainstorm and freewrite over the summer. Prompt 7: Share an essay on any topic of your choice. Make a list of themes and broad topics that matter to you. What do you, your friends, and family spend a lot of time thinking about or talking about?

Note: This is not the same as asking for your list of extracurricular activities. Tell the story of an important day or event in relation to one of these topics. Think of a specific time they helped you with something. Tell the story. Think of any person—family, friend, teacher, etc. When did you first meet them? When did you have a crucial, meaningful, or important conversation with them? Make a list of experiences that have been important to you.

These do not have to be dramatic, tragic, traumatic, or prove that you changed the world, though they can be any of those. Perhaps a particular summer that mattered a lot? Or an experience with a friend or family member who shaped you—it could be a specific day spent with them, or a weekend, summer, or year. Remember: Specific anecdotes are your friend when drafting your Common App personal statement. Try to think of a story you often tell people that shows something about you. Prompt 1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

Where did you grow up? Describe your neighborhood, town, or community. Big or small? What makes it unlike other parts of the world? How has it affected you? For instance, is there farmland all around you, grain silos, cows? A Chick-Fil-A every block? Where is home for your parents? Does their home impact your day-to-day life?

Describe the first time you saw their home, in story form. Did you grow up considering another place that is not where you currently live home? Tell the story of the first time you went there or the first time you remember going there. Was there a particular time—a summer, or a year—when that place became important? Tell that story. What do people in your community or school know you for? Tell the story of the first time you did this thing.

Tell the story of the most meaningful time you did this thing—it might be, say, when you won a game, but it also might be when you lost a game, or when you quit the team. How have you spent your summers in high school? In childhood? Tell a story of a memorable day during a memorable summer. Where were you? Why did it matter? Does what happened that day influence you today? Prompt 2: The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. What major changes have you been through?

A move? Changing schools? Losing a loved one or a friend? Avoid writing about romantic relationships and breakups in your essays, but feel free to mine them in your freewriting. Tell the story of the day that change occurred—the day you moved, the first day at the new school or the last day at the old school, the day you got bad news about a family member or a friend, etc. Did you ever quit an extracurricular activity or a job?

Tell the story of the day that happened, and of the day you decided to quit. What class was hardest for you in high school? Tell the story of a specific class assignment that was difficult. Now tell the story of a specific class assignment that caused you to have a breakthrough, or changed your mind about something.

Tell the story of the day you tried it. Who encouraged you to? Have you faced a disability, a mental or physical health issue, or other significant challenge while in high school? Think of a day when you are proud of how you handled or carried yourself in the face of this challenge. Prompt 3: Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What values did you grow up holding dear? Are they the same ones today?

Tell the story of the first time you learned about these values—say, a morning at Sunday School or a conversation with a grandparent. Is there a prevalent belief in your family or community with which you disagree? How did you come to disagree? Tell the story of a time you are proud of how you handled conflict in relation to this disagreement.

When were you wrong about something? Tell the story of how you figured out you were wrong. Who helped you get there? Prompt 4: Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has your relationship to gratitude changed over time, either recently or in an earlier period of your life?

What events spurred this change? What are you thankful for in your life right now? Make a list of things, people, or circumstances for which you are grateful, no matter how big or small. You might even complete this exercise daily over a period of several days or weeks, similar to a gratitude journal. Prompt 5: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

They say a piece of short fiction is about a moment after which nothing will be the same again. Have you lived through one of those moments? What was it? Tell the story of the day that happened. Prompt 6: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. What do you get up to? Set the scene: what rooms are you in in your house, or are you in your house at all?

Where do you go? What do you bring with you? What activities have you self-started—that is, what have you done without ever being told to? Tell the story of the first day you started doing that thing. What do your friends come to you seeking help with? Tell the story of a time when you think you did a great job of helping another person.

Now, to make sure you stay humble, tell the story of when that person helped you. Freewriting is one of the fun parts, so the more you can do it, the better. There are a number of ways to approach freewriting, and all of them are meant to keep you limber, loose, and free. Work in these for the summer. No need to get precious—no fancy Moleskines here, and no laptops or tablets unless you are physically unable to write by hand. Writing which is different from a tapping-on-a-keyboard-kind-of-story.

For one thing, there is no delete button, making the experience more lifelike right away. What are you going to write about during those six minutes? But why did I love playing this role of attorney? Was it the theater?

The chance to finally argue without getting in trouble at the dinner table? Write in big letters and double-space. Let your hand roam free. Allowing your writing to breathe away from you can prevent you from committing one of the cardinal sins of personal statement-writing—but also all writing! Respect your process and let these things sit. And if you spend your summer warming up and training for the main event, you can start rereading your body of freewriting by the end of July.

In an ideal world, you can start writing and planning for your college essays the summer before your senior year. But many students have prior commitments that make following a six-month June—December timeline difficult. Six months—June to December ideal if you are applying early action or early decision anywhere :. Week two of August: Complete second draft here is where the major revision work comes in. Beginning of September: Seek feedback, if you have not already, from a trusted admissions counselor, English teacher, or other advisor.

Now you have October to complete your secondary essays. First two weeks of August: Brainstorm and work with prompts. First week of September: Complete first draft of Common App personal statement. Week two of September: Complete second draft here is where the major revision work comes in.

Beginning of October: Seek feedback, if you have not already, from a trusted admissions counselor, English teacher, or other advisor. Now you have the second two weeks of October to complete your secondary essays for anywhere you are applying early with a November due date, and the rest of November to complete any remaining secondary essays for schools with December and January due dates most regular decision deadlines.

One month—October to November for regular decision schools :. Third week of October: Complete first draft of Common App personal statement. Last week of October: Complete second draft here is where the major revision work comes in. First two weeks of November: Complete third and fourth drafts. Mid-November, before Thanksgiving break: Seek feedback, if you have not already, from a trusted admissions counselor, English teacher, or other advisor.

Now you have December to complete any remaining secondary essays for schools with December and January due dates most regular decision deadlines. Mega crunch time—starting in November in case you get started on your application really late and are down to less than one month, use the following timeline :. In addition, seek feedback between your second and third drafts, if you have not already done so, from a trusted admissions counselor, English teacher, or other advisor. Thank you! Your guide is on its way.

In the meantime, please let us know how we can help you crack the the college admissions code. You can also learn more about our 1-on-1 college admissions support here. What notes should your essay hit? Here are some characteristics that a good Common App Essay topic contains:. Anecdote and specificity. Your essay will always go beyond the anecdote, but an anecdote offers a reader an easy, smooth way into your personal statement. A good Common App Essay topic can relate, as much as possible, to a particular anecdote, story, or even scene.

It was July, and our older brother had just gone to college, leaving the two of us alone at home together for the first time. A good essay begins at a specific point in time and revolves around a specific event. An essay without an anecdote or specific story is an essay topic , not an essay. So, pull from your freewriting: where did you find yourself writing about a particular event, story, anecdote, or point in time?

That gives you a character, a place, and a plot—all crucial elements of an essay. Tension, conflict, and opportunity to show growth. Because your topic needs to display your ability to grow and show change over a period of time. If Josh has always had a perfect relationship with his sister, well—first, no one will believe that, and second, Josh is not really telling a story.

Then Josh would tell us about what changed as soon as the brother left, and in there he might find an opening anecdote. Another way of thinking about this is: your essay is about how your past influences your future, or the way you think now. Michael has settled on his grandfather teaching him to surf.

Some connection between your past, your present, and your future. Before you even start writing, think about whether your potential topic is influencing the way you think about the present, and, crucially, the future. Take Michael, again. Does that matter? Not as long as he tells us how surfing influences him—as he did in extracting a wider lesson.

Students often ask us: Should I not write about a dying grandparent? About coming out? About the meaning of my name? About politics? But wait. There is one big rule. Be humble. So now, make a list of everything that seems like a fruitful topic. Ramya could try to write something about medicine. Or she could write about soccer, dance, or speech. So we decide that Ramya is going to write about the Patriots.

Essay 2: Anita on the outdoors and poetry. The obvious thing—and the thing most teachers and advisors told Anita to do—is write about mock trial. It would be a good opportunity to give the admissions committee some insight into her psychology behind the success. So instead Anita decides to write about a wilderness solo she took in North Carolina on a school trip, and about how it influenced her relationship with poetry. Josh did some writing about his relationship with his sister and his brother, and that might find a home in the secondary essays.

He found himself writing a lot about mistakes, public performance anxiety, and the pressure to get a piece just right. Remember that if you are applying early action or early decision to schools, your deadline will come at the start of November, whereas regular decision applications will generally have December and January deadlines. At words, each of these will be best understood as a five-paragraph essay, so a basic structure stays the same, but the way things begin and end will not.

The Specific Experience Essay: This module is one of the most flexible and powerful types of essays. It begins with a scene, memory, or anecdote, and then tells us what that scene, memory, or anecdote continues to mean to the writer. Resolving the Specific Experience Essay requires a student to point to some kind of realization garnered as a result of the experience.

The trick Michael and Anita each pull off is spinning the experience forward so that it means something for the rest of their lives. Anita goes small with her reflection: she talks about how she learned to see art, and artful experiences, in her everyday life, and in small, quiet moments this is especially good for Anita because it expands her away from just the hyper-intense mock trial competitor she might come across as.

So, what if he started each paragraph with a different mini-moment of him playing piano and making a mistake? Paragraph 2: My second time messing up—I am thirteen, and… etc. The Circular Essay: In this essay, the writer begins with a scene or image or concept and then will circle back to that scene or image or concept before the end of the essay in order to make sense of the initial opening. This essay deploys suspense.

How did I get here? The Mini-Odyssey Essay: The last classic and powerful module is the good old problem-driven essay. In this type of essay, our hero you, the writer meets a challenge in the first paragraph, and then the essay is devoted to showing us how it is solved. So Michael might distribute the narration chronologically, showing us first the bad news the problem , then zooming out to reflect, then showing us how he faced it addressing the challenge , probably failing to adequately face it perfectly the first time, and then eventually facing it successfully the solution.

Those are just a few more narrative possibilities for structuring your essay. Outlining works great for some people as a pre-writing tactic, and we always recommend it. For others, it can be harder than simply getting down to writing. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? The heart of it takes place in a sports bar, and she may seem, on paper, to the admissions committee, to be an unlikely diehard football fan. So we begin at the bar and Ramya sets the scene with an anecdote:.

It had been a rough week at school—drama with my friend group, hard tests, orchestra practice, exhausting soccer drills—but I knew where I belonged on a Sunday. She also tells us about Dee's itself, taking the chance to show the admissions committee that she has narrative skills in just noticing things:. By the end of the football season, the staff knew what we wanted to sit… we were loyal to Dee's, just as we had to be loyal to the Patriots, even when they seemed to be letting us down.

The Common App essay is a key part of your college application. According to a study conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling , Highly selective institutions typically placed more emphasis on the essay. In one study, Benedict spoke with BestColleges about the Common App essay, including how its importance varies by institution.

While most experts agree that a strong Common App essay won't necessarily secure you admission into a highly selective college — especially if your grades and test scores aren't up to par — a cogent, well-written statement could act as a tipping point in your favor at certain schools.

Benedict noted how this often happens at small liberal arts colleges , which tend to take a more holistic admissions approach. Only a small number of Common App schools do not require the Common App essay. That said, some colleges maintain a separate writing supplement, which appears on the Common App under that particular school with the label "Writing Supplement.

The Common App essay prompts change every couple of years or so. This year's prompts are the same as last year's. You must choose and respond to one of the following prompts:. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success.

Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve.

It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging it makes you lose all track of time.

Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. Many students assume their Common App essay must revolve around a unique topic that no other applicant has ever written about — but this is purely a myth. Soule currently serves as Bowdoin College's dean of admissions and student aid.

And she isn't alone in her thinking. Choosing the right Common App essay topic can be tricky, but it's incredibly important. To identify potential essay topics, Benedict proposes asking yourself a series of thought-provoking questions, like whether you experienced a turning point in your life or whether you hold a deep passion for a particular subject or idea.

Ultimately, your essay's focus must be meaningful to you; it should also excite and inspire you and those who read it. Not all Common App essay prompts are created equal. Of the seven prompts, some will no doubt work better for you than others.

Lisa Mortini, assistant director of admissions at New York University Abu Dhabi, asks students to think about what version of themselves they want to present to schools and to trust their instincts. Do you want to give us insight into a hardship you faced and conquered? This is the same advice given by Thea Hogarth of College Essay Advisors : "Once you have determined the story you really want to tell, you'll know which prompt will make a good fit.

All of the Common App options are broad enough to accommodate almost any story. Students tend to go one of two ways with the Common App essay: They either write way too much and struggle to trim down their statement, or they write too little and end up coming across as superficial and generic. Admissions officers prioritize content over quantity. The Common App essay word count range is words.

But just how long should your statement be exactly? Admissions Blog advises aiming for around words, and former Tufts University admissions officer Becky Leichtling concurs. Details are everything when it comes to the Common App essay, which is why so many experts suggest anchoring your essay in a central anecdote or story. Meredith Reynolds, associate director of admissions at Tufts, similarly recommends that applicants emphasize specifics in their essays.

EASY WAYS TO WRITE AN ESSAY

Hard-fought days of mixing cement and transporting supplies had paid off for the affectionate community we had immediately come to love. If happiness paves the roads of my life, my family is the city intertwined by those roads — each member a distinct neighborhood, a distinct story. In times of stress, whether it be studying for an upcoming derivatives test or presenting my research at an international conference, I dash to my father for help. Coming from the dusty, people-packed backstreets of Thiruvananthapuram, India, he guides me in looking past the chaos and noticing the hidden accomplishments that lie in the corners.

When in need of confidence, I find my mother, who taps her experiences living in her tranquil and sturdy tatami-covered home in Hiroshima, Japan, helping me prepare for my first high school dance or my final match in a tennis tournament. The Happiness Spreadsheet is also a battery monitor for enthusiasm. Other times, the battery is depleted, and I am frustrated by writer's block, when not a single melody, chord, or musical construct crosses my mind.

The Happiness Spreadsheet can be a hall of fame, but it can likewise be a catalog of mistakes, burdens, and grueling challenges. The idea was born spontaneously at lunch, and I asked two of my friends if they were interested in pursuing this exercise with me. To this day, I ponder its full importance in my life. 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.

Where will the Happiness Spreadsheet take me next? I was a left-handed kid who wrote from right to left, which made my writing comprehensible only to myself. Only after years of practice did I become an ambidextrous writer who could translate my incomprehensible writing. As I look back on my life, I realized that this was my first act of translation. As I deciphered complex codes into comprehensible languages like rate of change and speed of an object, I gained the ability to solve even more complicated and fascinating problems.

Now, I volunteer to tutor others: as a Korean tutor for friends who love Korean culture and a golf tutor for new team members. Tutoring is how I integrate and strengthen new concepts for myself. I often put myself into their situation and ask, "What emotional support would I want or need if I was in this situation? However, my translation can't accurately account for the experiences I have yet to go through.

After realizing the limitations of my experience, I created a bucket list full of activities out of my comfort zone, which includes traveling abroad by myself, publishing my own book, and giving a lecture in front of a crowd. Although it is a mere list written on the front page of my diary, I found myself vividly planning and picturing myself accomplishing those moments.

My knack for translating has led me to become a real-life Korean language translator. As an English to Korean letter translator in a non-profit organization, Compassion , I serve as a communication bridge between benefactors and children in developing countries, who communicate through monthly letters. This experience has motivated me to learn languages like Spanish and Mandarin.

As I get to know more about myself through different languages, I grew more confident to meet new people and build new friendships. While translating has been a huge part of my life, a professional translator is not my dream job. I want to be an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist who manages the medication of patients with chronic diseases.

In fact, translating is a huge part of the job of a clinical pharmacist. In one form or another, I've always been and will be a translator. I sit, cradled by the two largest branches of the Newton Pippin Tree, watching the ether. The Green Mountains of Vermont stretch out indefinitely, and from my elevated vantage point, I feel as though we are peers, motionless in solidarity. But a few months ago, I would have considered this an utter waste of time.

Prior to attending Mountain School, my paradigm was substantially limited; opinions, prejudices, and ideas shaped by the testosterone-rich environment of Landon School. I was herded by result-oriented, fast-paced, technologically-reliant parameters towards psychology and neuroscience the NIH, a mere 2. Subconsciously I knew this was not who I wanted to be and seized the chance to apply to the Mountain School.

Upon my arrival, though, I immediately felt I did not belong. I found the general atmosphere of hunky-dory acceptance foreign and incredibly unnerving. So, rather than engage, I retreated to what was most comfortable: sports and work. In the second week, the perfect aggregate of the two, a Broomball tournament, was set to occur. Though I had never played before, I had a distinct vision for it, so decided to organize it. That night, the glow-in-the-dark ball skittered across the ice.

My opponent and I, brooms in hand, charged forward. We collided and I banana-peeled, my head taking the brunt of the impact. Stubborn as I was, even with a concussion, I wanted to remain in class and do everything my peers did, but my healing brain protested. I began wandering around campus with no company except my thoughts. Throughout those days, I created a new-found sense of home in my head.

I am most enamored by ideas that cultivate ingenious and practical enrichments for humanity. I enjoy picking some conundrum, large or small, and puzzling out a solution. Returning from a cross country meet recently, my friend and I, serendipitously, designed a socially responsible disposable water bottle completely on accident. Now we hope to create it. I am still interested in psychology and neuroscience, but also desire to incorporate contemplative thought into this work, analyzing enigmas from many different perspectives.

My internships at the NIH and the National Hospital for Neuroscience and Neurosurgery in London have offered me valuable exposure to research and medicine. But I have come to realize that neither of my previous intended professions allow me to expand consciousness in the way I would prefer.

After much soul-searching, I have landed on behavioral economics as the perfect synergy of the fields I love. All it took was a knock on the head. Suddenly, a miniature gathering of the European Commission glares straight at me. I feel the pressure of picking one option over the other.

What do I choose? 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. Now, you may be asking yourselves: why would I be so pensive over a meal choice? Every year, that same family gathers together in New York City to celebrate Christmas. These exact conversations drove me to learn more about what my parents, grandparents, and other relatives were debating with a polite and considerate passion.

In turn, participating in debate has expanded my knowledge regarding matters ranging from civil rights reparations to American redeployment in Iraq, while enriching my capacities to thoughtfully express my views on those and other issues, both during P. 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. With my experiences in mind, I felt there was no better place to start than my own neighborhood of Bay Ridge.

Most importantly, my family has taught me an integral life lesson. As our Christmas Dinner squabbles suggest, seemingly insurmountable impasses can be resolved through respect and dialogue, even producing delicious results! 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. I fundamentally value cultural, political, and theological variety; my own microcosm reflecting our global society at large has inspired me to strive to solve the many conflicts of bitterness and sectionalism in our world today.

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. Before I came to America, I drank Puer Tea with my father every morning in my bedroom, sitting cross-legged on Suzhou-silk mats beside a view of the Lakeside reservoir.

Beside a dark end table, we picked up teacups as the mild aroma greeted our noses. As we faced the French window, my father would share the news he read in China Daily : the Syrian civil war, climate change, and gender equality in Hollywood. Most of the time, I only listened. With each piece of news, my curiosity piqued. Secretly, I made a decision that I wanted to be the one to discuss the news with him from my perspective. So, I decided to study in America to learn more about the world.

But, my new room lacked stories and cups of tea. Fortunately, I found Blue House Cafe on my walk home from church, and started studying there. With white walls, comfortable sofas, and high stools, Blue House is spacious and bright. Similarly, as president of the International Students Club, I invited my teammates to have meetings with me at the cafe. Coordinating the schedule with other members in Blue House has become a frequent event.

Consuming several cups of coffee, my team and I have planned Lunar New Year events, field trip to the Golden Gate Bridge, and Chinese lunch in school to help international students feel more at home. Straightening my back and bracing my shoulders, I stood up behind the conference table and expressed my creative ideas passionately.

After each meeting, we shared buttermilk coffee-cake. In my spot next to the window, I also witnessed different kinds of people. I viewed visitors dragging their luggage, women carrying shopping bags, and people wandering in tattered clothes --the diversity of San Francisco. Two years ago I saw volunteers wearing City Impact shirts offering sandwiches and hot chocolate to homeless people outside of the cafe. I investigated more about City Impact and eventually signed up to volunteer.

No longer was I a bystander. At holiday outreach events, I prepared and delivered food to homeless people. While sharing my coffee, I listened to a story from an older Chinese man who told me, in Mandarin, how he had been abandoned by his children and felt lonely. Last summer, I returned to Xiamen, China, and taught my father how to drink coffee.

Now, a Chemex and teapot are both on the end table. Instead of simply listening, I shared my experiences as a club president, a community leader, and a volunteer. I showed him my business plan and prototypes. I am so proud of you. Together, we emptied our cups while the smell of coffee lingered. I add the critically measured sugary tea mixture to the gallon jar containing the slimy, white, disc-shaped layers of the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

I place it on my kitchen counter, periodically checking it to relieve the built-up CO2. Finally, after an additional seventy-two hours, the time comes to try it. I crack the seal on the bottle, leaning over to smell what I assume will be a tangy, fruity, delicious pomegranate solution. The insufferable stench fills my nostrils and crushes my confidence.

I'm momentarily taken aback, unable to understand how I went wrong when I followed the recipe perfectly. My issue wasn't misreading the recipe or failing to follow a rule, it was bypassing my creative instincts and forgetting the unpredictable nature of fermentation.

I needed to trust the creative side of kombucha— the side that takes people's perfectionist energy and explodes it into a puddle of rotten egg smelling 'booch my preferred name for the drink- not "fermented, effervescent liquid from a symbiotic culture of acetic acid bacteria and yeast". I was too caught up in the side that requires extreme preciseness to notice when the balance between perfectionism and imperfectionism was being thrown off.

The key, I have learned, is knowing when to prioritize following the recipe and when to let myself be creative. Sure, there are scientific variables such as proximity to heat sources and how many grams of sugar to add. But, there's also person-dependent variables like how long I decide to ferment it, what fruits I decide will be a fun combination, and which friend I got my first SCOBY from taking "symbiotic" to a new level.

I often find myself feeling pressured to choose one side or the other, one extreme over the alternative. I've been told that I can either be a meticulous scientist or a messy artist, but to be both is an unacceptable contradiction. However, I choose a grey area; a place where I can channel my creativity into the sciences, as well as channel my precision into my photography. I still have the first photo I ever took on the first camera I ever had.

Or rather, the first camera I ever made. Making that pinhole camera was truly a painstaking process: take a cardboard box, tap it shut, and poke a hole in it. Okay, maybe it wasn't that hard. 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. I remember being so unhappy with the photo I took; it was faded, underexposed, and imperfect.

For years, I felt incredibly pressured to try and perfect my photography. 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. So, am I a perfectionist?

Or do I crave pure spontaneity and creativity? Can I be both? Perfectionism leaves little to be missed. With a keen eye, I can quickly identify my mistakes and transform them into something with purpose and definitude. On the other hand, imperfection is the basis for change and for growth. My resistance against perfectionism is what has allowed me to learn to move forward by seeing the big picture; it has opened me to new experiences, like bacteria cross-culturing to create something new, something different, something better.

I am not afraid of change or adversity, though perhaps I am afraid of conformity. To fit the mold of perfection would compromise my creativity, and I am not willing to make that sacrifice. I hold onto my time as dearly as my Scottish granny holds onto her money. Precious minutes can show someone I care and can mean the difference between accomplishing a goal or being too late to even start and my life depends on carefully budgeting my time for studying, practicing with my show choir, and hanging out with my friends.

However, there are moments where the seconds stand still. It is already dark when I park in my driveway after a long day at school and rehearsals. Not paying attention to the clock, I allow myself to relax for a brief moment in my busy life. 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. This same sense of camaraderie follows us onstage, where we become so invested in the story we are portraying we lose track of time.

My show choir is my second family. I realize I choreograph not for recognition, but to help sixty of my best friends find their footing. At the same time, they help me find my voice. The heavy scuba gear jerks me under the icy water, and exhilaration washes over me.

Lost in the meditative rolling effect of the tide and the hum of the vast ocean, I feel present. I dive deeper to inspect a vibrant community of creatures, and we float together, carefree and synchronized. My fascination with marine life led me to volunteer as an exhibit interpreter for the Aquarium of the Pacific, where I share my love for the ocean.

Most of my time is spent rescuing animals from small children and, in turn, keeping small children from drowning in the tanks. Finding this mutual connection over the love of marine life and the desire to conserve the ocean environment keeps me returning each summer. She had just fallen while performing, and I could relate to the pain and fear in her eyes. The chaos of the show becomes distant, and I devote my time to bringing her relief, no matter how long it may take.

I find what I need to treat her injury in the sports medicine training room. Saturday morning bagels with my family. Singing backup for Barry Manilow with my choir. Swimming with sea turtles in the Pacific. These are the moments I hold onto, the ones that define who I am, and who I want to be. My whole life has been others invading my gender with their questions, tears signed by my body, and a war against my closet. Soon after this, I came out to my mom. My mom cried and said she loved me.

She scheduled me an appointment with a gender therapist, let me donate my female clothes, and helped build a masculine wardrobe. With her help, I went on hormones five months after coming out and got surgery a year later. I finally found myself, and my mom fought for me, her love was endless. Even though I had friends, writing, and therapy, my strongest support was my mother.

On August 30th, my mom passed away unexpectedly. My favorite person, the one who helped me become the man I am today, ripped away from me, leaving a giant hole in my heart and in my life. Life got dull. Learning how to wake up without my mom every morning became routine. Nothing felt right, a constant numbness to everything, and fog brain was my kryptonite.

I paid attention in class, I did the work, but nothing stuck. It took over a year to get out of my slump. I shared my writing at open mics, with friends, and I cried every time. I embraced the pain, the hurt, and eventually, it became the norm. I grew used to not having my mom around. My mom always wanted to change the world, to fix the broken parts of society.

Not just for her, but for me, and all the people who need a support branch as strong as the one my mom gave me. I am determined to make sure no one feels as alone as I did. I want to be able to reach people, and use motivational speaking as the platform. Are you tired of seeing an iPhone everywhere? Samsung glitchy? I present to you, the iTaylor. I am the iTaylor. On the outside, I look like any smart phone, but when you open my settings and explore my abilities, you will find I have many unique features.

Thanks to my positivity, I was chosen to give the morning announcements freshman year. Next up, language settings. Inspired, I began creating family events and even making efforts to grow closer to my second cousins. At eight years old, I was diagnosed with what some might call a glitch: epilepsy. Fortunately, a new IOS software update cured my condition by the age of 15, but through epilepsy, I gained a love of exploration. Overcoming epilepsy taught me to take risks and explore new places.

This brings us to the iTaylor location settings. I brought this desire home to a volunteer position at a local program for immigrant children. I helped the kids make presentations about their places of origin, including Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. Sulu campaign, a regional pageant in the Philippines. It became clear that the English language, one I took for granted, is the central feature that brings groups together.

This past summer, I brought my talents to Scotland, playing the dual role of Artistic Director and leading character for Geek the Musical. I worked to promote the show in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival against 53, shows, reinventing ways to motivate the cast and connect with strangers from all over the world. We learned the more we connected, the more our audience grew. I applied these skills to my leadership positions at home, including my High School Theater Group, Players.

The rollout plan for the iTaylor is to introduce it to the theater market. My goal is to use performance and storytelling to expose audiences to different cultures, religions, and points of view. Perhaps if we all learned more about each other's lifestyles, the world would be more empathetic and integrated. So what do you think? Would you like an iTaylor of your own? The iTaylor College Edition is now available for pre-order. It delivers next fall. Upon graduation, I will be able to analyze medieval Spanish poems using literary terms and cultural context, describe the electronegativity trends on the periodic table, and identify when to use logarithmic differentiation to simplify a derivative problem.

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. A factory-model school system that has been left essentially unchanged for nearly a century has been the driving force in my educational development.

I have been conditioned to complete tasks quickly, efficiently, and with an advanced understanding. I measured my self-worth as my ability to outdo my peers academically, thinking my scores were the only aspect that defined me; and they were. I was getting everything right. Then, I ran for Student Government and failed. How could that be? I was statistically a smart kid with a good head on my shoulders, right?

Surely someone had to have made a mistake. Little did I know, this was my first exposure to meaning beyond numbers. 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. Maybe it was me. 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. I resolved to alter my mindset, taking a new approach to the way I lived.

From now on I would emphasize qualitative experiences over quantitative skills. I had never been more uncomfortable. I forced myself to learn to be vulnerable by asking questions even if I was terrified of being wrong. My proficiency in using data evidence could not teach me how to communicate with young children at church, nor could my test scores show me how to be more open to criticism.

The key to all of these skills, I was to discover, happened to be learning from those around me. The process of achieving this new mindset came through the cultivation of relationships. I became fascinated by the new perspectives each person in my life could offer if I really took the time to connect.

Not only did I improve my listening skills, but I began to consider the big-picture consequences my engagements could have. People interpret situations differently due to their own cultural contexts, so I had to learn to pay more attention to detail to understand every point of view.

I took on the state of what I like to call collaborative independence, and to my delight, I was elected to StuGo after my third year of trying. Not long ago, I would have fallen apart at the presence of any uncertainty. As I further accept and advance new life skills, the more I realize how much remains uncertain in the world. Hopefully, my wings continue enabling me to fly, but it is going to take more than just me and my wings; I have to continue putting my faith in the air around me.

I was ecstatic. We would become the first Mother-Son Indian duo on Food Network peeling potatoes, skinning chicken, and grinding spices, sharing our Bengali recipes with the world. Always watching YouTube and never talking!

The worst time came when my parents tried to fix their relationship. Repeated date nights induced more arguments. Enduring the stress of her restaurant, my father, and her mistakes, my mom attempted to end her life. Fortunately, I found her just in time. Over the next two years, things were at times still hard, but gradually improved. My parents decided to start anew, took some time apart, then got back together.

My mom started to pick me up from activities on time and my dad and I bonded more, watching Warriors and 49ers games. I wanted back the family I had before the restaurant--the one that ate Luchi Mongsho together every Sunday night. So I looked for comfort in creation. I began spending more time in our garage , carefully constructing planes from sheets of foam. I found purpose balancing the fuselage or leveling the ailerons to precisely 90 degrees. I loved cutting new parts and assembling them perfectly.

Here , I could fix all the mistakes. In high school, I slowly began to forge a community of creators with my peers. Sophomore year, I started an engineering club and found that I had a talent for managing people and encouraging them to create an idea even if it failed. I also learned how to take feedback and become more resilient.

Here, I could nerd-out about warp drives and the possibility of anti-matter without being ignored. I would give a weekly report on new technology and we would have hour-long conversations about the various uses a blacker material could have. While building a community at school rebuilt my confidence, I still found I enjoyed being alone at times.

Looking back and perhaps inadvertently , the conflicts from the restaurant days have taught me valuable lessons. Helping my mom through her relationship taught me to watch out for those in emotional distress. 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.

Most of all, seeing my mom start her restaurant from no food-industry experience inspired me to found two clubs and a Hydrogen Car Team. Even though we eat Luchi Monsho on a monthly basis now, I know my family will never be the way it was.

But I can use them to improve the present. I stayed up all night reading through documents related to Army support contracts in Iraq and Kuwait in I asked my dad about it the next day and he said, "It was a mistake I made that has been resolved. I was always scared of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. Violence has always surrounded me and haunted me. After 14 years of living in a region destroyed by violence, I was sent away to boarding school in a region known for peace, Switzerland.

That year my father was found guilty and imprisoned for the charges related to his Army support contract. My parents got divorced and my childhood home was bulldozed to the ground by the Saudi government after my father was sent to prison. My mom had always been a hub of stability, but she was too overwhelmed to support me.

I started eating to cope with my anxiety and gained pounds in a year and a half. As I gained weight, my health started to deteriorate, and my grades started to drop. Things began to change at the beginning of my sophomore year, however, when I met my new roommate, Nico.

He had grown up with someone whose father was also in prison, and was able to help me better understand the issues I was facing. Through my friendship with Nico, I learned how to open up and get support from my friends. Because we faced similar issues, we were able to support one and other, share tactics, and give advice. My friends gave me a family and a home, when my own family was overwhelmed and my home was gone. Slowly, I put my life back on track. I started playing basketball, began working on a CubeSAT, learned to program, changed my diet, and lost all the weight I had gained.

Now my friends in Switzerland come to me asking me for advice and help, and I feel as if I am a vital member of our community. My close friend Akshay recently started stressing about whether his parents were going to get divorced. Leaving home in the beginning of my adolescence, I was sent out on a path of my own. While for some, high school is the best time of their lives, for me, high school has represented some of the best and, hopefully, worst times.

It has brought me to a place that I only thought was fictional. In this new place I feel like a real person, with real emotions. This place is somewhere where I can express myself freely and be who I want to be. I am a much stronger, healthier, and more resilient person than I was two years ago. This essay was written for the U of Chicago "Create your own prompt" essay. The author included the following explanatory note:. I plan to double major in biochemistry and English and my main essay explains my passion for the former; here is a writing sample that illustrates my enthusiasm for the latter.

In my AP Literature class, my teacher posed a question to which students had to write a creative response. A: A manicured green field of grass blades cut to perfectly matched lengths; a blue expanse ornamented with puffy cotton clouds; an immaculately painted red barn centered exactly at the top of a hill--the chicken gazes contentedly at his picturesque world. Within an area surrounded by a shiny silver fence, he looks around at his friends: roosters pecking at a feast of grains and hens lounging on luxurious cushions of hay.

On a day as pristine as all the others, the chicken is happily eating his lunchtime meal as the nice man carefully gathers the smooth white eggs when it notices that the man has left one behind. Strangely located at the empty end of the metal enclosure, highlighted by the bright yellow sun, the white egg appears to the chicken different from the rest. The chicken moves towards the light to tacitly inform the man of his mistake.

But then the chicken notices a jagged gray line on the otherwise flawless egg. Hypnotized and appalled, the chicken watches as the line turns into a crack and a small beak attached to a fuzzy yellow head pokes out. Suddenly a shadow descends over the chicken and the nice man snatches the egg--the baby chick--and stomps off.

The chicken--confused, betrayed, disturbed--slowly lifts its eyes from the now empty ground. For the first time, it looks past the silver fence of the cage and notices an unkempt sweep of colossal brown and green grasses opposite its impeccably crafted surroundings. Cautiously, it inches closer to the barrier, farther from the unbelievable perfection of the farm, and discovers a wide sea of black gravel. Stained with gray stones and marked with yellow lines, it separates the chicken from the opposite field.

The curious chicken quickly shuffles to Mother Hen, who has just settled on to her throne of hay and is closing her eyes. I-I just saw one of those eggs, cracking, and there was a small yellow bird inside. It was a baby. Are those eggs that the nice man takes away babies?

And that black ground! What is it? Her eyes flick open. Frozen in disbelief, the chicken tries to make sense of her harsh words. It replays the incident in its head. Maybe Mother Hen is right. She just wants to protect me from losing it all.

What if it was hers? The chicken knows it must escape; it has to get to the other side. Then the man reaches into the wooden coop, his back to the entrance. With a backwards glance at his friends, the chicken feels a profound sadness and pity for their ignorance. It wants to urge them to open their eyes, to see what they are sacrificing for materialistic pleasures, but he knows they will not surrender the false reality.

Alone, the chicken dashes away. The chicken stands at the line between green grass and black gravel. 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. Once it regains its breath, it moves a few inches onto the asphalt. Three more speeding trucks stop its chicken heart. He gives us food, and a home.

But the chicken dismisses the cowardly voice in its head, reminding itself of the injustice back in the deceptively charming prison. Over the next several hours, it learns to strategically position itself so that it is in line with the empty space between the tires of passing trucks.

It reaches the yellow dashes. A black blanket gradually pushes away the glowing sun and replaces it with diamond stars and a glowing crescent. It reaches the untouched field. With a deep breath, the chicken steps into the swathe, a world of tall beige grass made brown by the darkness. Unsure of what it may discover, it determines to simply walk straight through the brush, out on to the other side.

For what seems like forever, it continues forward, as the black sky turns to purple, then blue, then pink. Just as the chicken begins to regret its journey, the grass gives way to a vast landscape of trees, bushes, flowers--heterogeneous and variable, but nonetheless perfect. In a nearby tree, the chicken spots two adult birds tending to a nest of babies--a natural dynamic of individuals unaltered by corrupt influence. And then it dawns on him. 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.

Back home, I need to try to foster awareness among my friends, share this understanding with them. Otherwise, I am as cruel as the man in the plaid shirt, taking away the opportunity to overcome ignorance. Essay written for the University of Chicago prompt. To resolve the matter, please choose one of the following:. Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, and paper beats rock. Since when has a sheet of loose leaf paper ever defeated a solid block of granite?

Do we assume that the paper wraps around the rock, smothering the rock into submission? When exposed to paper, is rock somehow immobilized, unable to fulfill its primary function of smashing scissors? What constitutes defeat between two inanimate objects? Perhaps paper is rooted in the symbolism of diplomacy while rock suggests coercion. But does compromise necessarily trump brute force? And where do scissors lie in this chain of symbolism? I guess the reasoning behind this game has a lot to do with context.

If we are to rationalize the logic behind this game, we have to assume some kind of narrative, an instance in which paper might beat rock. As with rock-paper-scissors, we often cut our narratives short to make the games we play easier, ignoring the intricate assumptions that keep the game running smoothly. We accept incomplete narratives when they serve us well, overlooking their logical gaps.

But who actually wants to play a game of rock-paper-scissors? Studies have shown that there are winning strategies to rock-paper-scissors by making critical assumptions about those we play against before the round has even started.

In this sense, the seemingly innocuous game of rock-paper-scissors has revealed something quite discomforting about gender-related dispositions in our society. Why did so many males think that brute strength was the best option? If social standards have subliminally influenced the way males and females play rock-paper-scissors, than what is to prevent such biases from skewing more important decisions?

Should your decision to go to war or to feed the hungry depend on your gender, race, creed, etc? We all tell slightly different narratives when we independently consider notions ranging from rocks to war to existence. It is ultimately the unconscious gaps in these narratives that are responsible for many of the man-made problems this world faces.

I guess it all comes down to who actually made this silly game in the first place This was written for the U. The Michigan prompt reads:. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. I look around my room, dimly lit by an orange light.

On a desk in the left corner, a framed picture of an Asian family is beaming their smiles, buried among US history textbooks and The Great Gatsby. A Korean ballad streams from a pair of tiny computer speakers. Pamphlets of American colleges are scattered about on the floor. A cold December wind wafts a strange infusion of ramen and leftover pizza.

On the wall in the far back, a Korean flag hangs besides a Led Zeppelin poster. Forging a special, personal bond with young refugees proved a cathartic outlet for my insecurities as it taught me to value my past. My transculturalism allowed me to help young refugees integrate into American life, and, in doing so, I was able to adjust myself. Now, I have an appreciation of myself that I never felt before. By helping a young refugee find comfort, happiness, and home in America, I was finally able to find those same things for myself.

Your essay is only one part of your admissions profile. Learn how important it is by calculating your chances to any college for free using our Chancing Engine. New record! Pleased with my progress, I gazed down at my worn-out pointe shoes. The sweltering blisters, numbing ice-baths, and draining late-night practices did not seem so bad after all. Next goal: five turns. For as long as I can remember, ballet, in all its finesse and glamor, had kept me driven day to day. As a child, the lithe ballerinas, donning ethereal costumes as they floated across the stage, were my motivation.

As I devoted more time and energy towards my craft, I became obsessed with improving my technique. I would stretch for hours after class, forcing my leg one inch higher in an effort to mirror the Dance Magazine cover girls. I injured my feet and ruined pair after pair of pointe shoes, turning on wood, cement, and even grass to improve my balance as I spun. I believed that, with enough determination, I would one day attain their level of perfection.

Reaching the quadruple- pirouette milestone only intensified my desire to accomplish even more. I walked into my first session eager to learn from distinguished ballet masters and worldly dancers, already anticipating my improvement.

Yet, as I danced alongside the accomplished ballerinas, I felt out of place. Despite their clean technique and professional training, they did not aim for glorious leg extensions or prodigious leaps. When they performed their turn combinations, most of them only executed two turns as I attempted four.

Taken aback and confused, I wondered why our teacher expected so little from us. The other ballerinas seemed content, gracing the studio with their simple movements. As I grew closer with my Moscow roommates, I gradually learned that their training emphasized the history of the art form instead of stylistic tricks. Rather than show off their physical ability, their performances aimed to convey a story, one that embodied the rich culture of ballet and captured both the legacy of the dancers before them and their own artistry.

As I observed my friends more intently in repertoire class, I felt the pain of the grief-stricken white swan from Swan Lake , the sass of the flirtatious Kitri from Don Quijote, and I gradually saw what I had overlooked before. My definition of talent had been molded by crowd-pleasing elements—whirring pirouettes , gravity-defying leaps, and mind-blowing leg extensions.

This mindset slowly stripped me from the roots of my passion and my personal connection with ballet. With the Bolshoi, I learned to step back and explore the meaning behind each step and the people behind the scenes. My journey as an artist has allowed me to see how technical execution is only the means to a greater understanding between dancer and spectator, between storyteller and listener. The elegance and complexity of ballet does not revolve around astonishing stunts but rather the evocative strength and artistry manifested in the dancer, in me.

It is the combination of sentiments, history, tradition, and passion that has allowed ballet and its lessons of human connection to become my lifestyle both on and off stage. To my shame, I had been appallingly ignorant of his pain. Despite being twins, Max and I are profoundly different. Having intellectual interests from a young age that, well, interested very few of my peers, I often felt out of step in comparison with my highly-social brother.

Everything appeared to come effortlessly for Max and, while we share an extremely tight bond, his frequent time away with friends left me feeling more and more alone as we grew older. When my parents learned about The Green Academy, we hoped it would be an opportunity for me to find not only an academically challenging environment, but also — perhaps more importantly — a community.

This meant transferring the family from Drumfield to Kingston. And while there was concern about Max, we all believed that given his sociable nature, moving would be far less impactful on him than staying put might be on me. I was ecstatic to discover a group of students with whom I shared interests and could truly engage.

Preoccupied with new friends and a rigorous course load, I failed to notice that the tables had turned. Max, lost in the fray and grappling with how to make connections in his enormous new high school, had become withdrawn and lonely. It took me until Christmas time — and a massive argument — to recognize how difficult the transition had been for my brother, let alone that he blamed me for it.

Through my own journey of searching for academic peers, in addition to coming out as gay when I was 12, I had developed deep empathy for those who had trouble fitting in. It was a pain I knew well and could easily relate to. In my heart, though, I knew that regardless of who had made the decision, we ended up in Kingston for my benefit. I was ashamed that, while I saw myself as genuinely compassionate, I had been oblivious to the heartache of the person closest to me. We stayed up half the night talking, and the conversation took an unexpected turn.

He told me how challenging school had always been for him, due to his dyslexia, and that the ever-present comparison to me had only deepened his pain. We had been in parallel battles the whole time and, yet, I only saw that Max was in distress once he experienced problems with which I directly identified. I am acutely grateful for the conversations he and I shared around all of this, because I believe our relationship has been fundamentally strengthened by a deeper understanding of one another.

Further, this experience has reinforced the value of constantly striving for deeper sensitivity to the hidden struggles of those around me. Was I no longer the beloved daughter of nature, whisperer of trees? Knee-high rubber boots, camouflage, bug spray—I wore the garb and perfume of a proud wild woman, yet there I was, hunched over the pathetic pile of stubborn sticks, utterly stumped, on the verge of tears. As a child, I had considered myself a kind of rustic princess, a cradler of spiders and centipedes, who was serenaded by mourning doves and chickadees, who could glide through tick-infested meadows and emerge Lyme-free.

I knew the cracks of the earth like the scars on my own rough palms. Yet here I was, ten years later, incapable of performing the most fundamental outdoor task: I could not, for the life of me, start a fire. Furiously I rubbed the twigs together—rubbed and rubbed until shreds of skin flaked from my fingers. No smoke. The twigs were too young, too sticky-green; I tossed them away with a shower of curses, and began tearing through the underbrush in search of a more flammable collection. My efforts were fruitless.

Livid, I bit a rejected twig, determined to prove that the forest had spurned me, offering only young, wet bones that would never burn. But the wood cracked like carrots between my teeth—old, brittle, and bitter. Roaring and nursing my aching palms, I retreated to the tent, where I sulked and awaited the jeers of my family. Rattling their empty worm cans and reeking of fat fish, my brother and cousins swaggered into the campsite.

Immediately, they noticed the minor stick massacre by the fire pit and called to me, their deep voices already sharp with contempt. My face burned long after I left the fire pit. The camp stank of salmon and shame. In the tent, I pondered my failure. Was I so dainty? Was I that incapable? I thought of my hands, how calloused and capable they had been, how tender and smooth they had become.

Crawling along the edge of the tent, a spider confirmed my transformation—he disgusted me, and I felt an overwhelming urge to squash him. I still eagerly explored new worlds, but through poems and prose rather than pastures and puddles. That night, I stayed up late with my journal and wrote about the spider I had decided not to kill.

When the night grew cold and the embers died, my words still smoked—my hands burned from all that scrawling—and even when I fell asleep, the ideas kept sparking—I was on fire, always on fire. When I was younger, I was adamant that no two foods on my plate touch. As a result, I often used a second plate to prevent such an atrocity.

In many ways, I learned to separate different things this way from my older brothers, Nate and Rob. Growing up, I idolized both of them. Nate was a performer, and I insisted on arriving early to his shows to secure front row seats, refusing to budge during intermission for fear of missing anything.

Rob was a three-sport athlete, and I attended his games religiously, waving worn-out foam cougar paws and cheering until my voice was hoarse. My brothers were my role models. To me, they represented two contrasting ideals of what I could become: artist or athlete. I believed I had to choose. And for a long time, I chose athlete. I played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse and viewed myself exclusively as an athlete, believing the arts were not for me.

I conveniently overlooked that since the age of five, I had been composing stories for my family for Christmas, gifts that were as much for me as them, as I loved writing. So when in tenth grade, I had the option of taking a creative writing class, I was faced with a question: could I be an athlete and a writer?

After much debate, I enrolled in the class, feeling both apprehensive and excited. When I arrived on the first day of school, my teacher, Ms. Jenkins, asked us to write down our expectations for the class. I just want this to be a place where I can write freely. For the first two submission days, I had passed the time editing earlier pieces, eventually pretty quickly resorting to screen snake when hopelessness made the words look like hieroglyphics. I must not have been as subtle as I thought, as on the third of these days, Ms.

Jenkins approached me. After shifting from excuse to excuse as to why I did not submit my writing, I finally recognized the real reason I had withheld my work: I was scared. I yielded to Ms. By the time the letter came, I had already forgotten about the contest. When the flimsy white envelope arrived in the mail, I was shocked and ecstatic to learn that I had received 2nd place in a nationwide writing competition. The next morning, however, I discovered Ms. Jenkins would make an announcement to the whole school exposing me as a poet.

I have since seen more boys at my school identifying themselves as writers or artists. I no longer see myself as an athlete and a poet independently, but rather I see these two aspects forming a single inseparable identity — me. Despite their apparent differences, these two disciplines are quite similar, as each requires creativity and devotion. I am still a poet when I am lacing up my cleats for soccer practice and still an athlete when I am building metaphors in the back of my mind — and I have realized ice cream and gummy bears taste pretty good together.

Skittering around the room, eyes wide and pleading, I frantically explained my situation to nearby coaches. The seconds ticked away in my head; every polite refusal increased my desperation. Despair weighed me down. I sank to my knees as a stream of competitors, coaches, and officials flowed around me. My dojang had no coach, and the tournament rules prohibited me from competing without one.

Although I wanted to remain strong, doubts began to cloud my mind. I could not help wondering: what was the point of perfecting my skills if I would never even compete? The other members of my team, who had found coaches minutes earlier, attempted to comfort me, but I barely heard their words.

Since my first lesson 12 years ago, the members of my dojang have become family. I have watched them grow up, finding my own happiness in theirs. Together, we have honed our kicks, blocks, and strikes. We have pushed one another to aim higher and become better martial artists. Although my dojang had searched for a reliable coach for years, we had not found one. When we attended competitions in the past, my teammates and I had always gotten lucky and found a sympathetic coach.

Now, I knew this practice was unsustainable. It would devastate me to see the other members of my dojang in my situation, unable to compete and losing hope as a result. My dojang needed a coach, and I decided it was up to me to find one.

However, these attempts only reacquainted me with polite refusals. I soon realized that I would have become the coach myself. At first, the inner workings of tournaments were a mystery to me. To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side. I learned everything from motivational strategies to technical, behind-the-scenes components of Taekwondo competitions.

Though I emerged with new knowledge and confidence in my capabilities, others did not share this faith. My self-confidence was my armor, deflecting their surly glances. Every armor is penetrable, however, and as the relentless barrage of doubts pounded my resilience, it began to wear down. I grew unsure of my own abilities. Despite the attack, I refused to give up. To quit would be to set them up to be barred from competing like I was. Now that my dojang flourishes at competitions, the attacks on me have weakened, but not ended.

I may never win the approval of every parent; at times, I am still tormented by doubts, but I find solace in the fact that members of my dojang now only worry about competing to the best of their abilities. Now, as I arrive at a tournament with my students, I close my eyes and remember the past.

I visualize the frantic search for a coach and the chaos amongst my teammates as we competed with one another to find coaches before the staging calls for our respective divisions. I open my eyes to the exact opposite scene. Lacking a coach hurt my ability to compete, but I am proud to know that no member of my dojang will have to face that problem again. Plus, learn how to improve your own writing by providing peer reviews for other students.

Tears streamed down my face and my mind was paralyzed with fear. Sirens blared, but the silent panic in my own head was deafening. I was muted by shock. A few hours earlier, I had anticipated a vacation in Washington, D. My fear turned into action as I made some of the bravest decisions of my life. Throughout her surgery, I anxiously awaited any word from her surgeon, but each time I asked, I was told that there had been another complication or delay.

Relying on my faith and positive attitude, I remained optimistic that my mother would survive and that I could embrace new responsibilities. My mother had been a source of strength for me, and now I would be strong for her through her long recovery ahead. As I started high school, everyone thought the crisis was over, but it had really just started to impact my life. My mother was often fatigued, so I assumed more responsibility, juggling family duties, school, athletics, and work.

I made countless trips to the neighborhood pharmacy, cooked dinner, biked to the grocery store, supported my concerned sister, and provided the loving care my mother needed to recover. Each day was a stage in my gradual transformation from dependence to relative independence. I now take ownership over small decisions such as scheduling daily appointments and managing my time but also over major decisions involving my future, including the college admissions process.

Although I have become more independent, my mother and I are inseparably close, and the realization that I almost lost her affects me daily. Each morning, I wake up ten minutes early simply to eat breakfast with my mother and spend time with her before our busy days begin. I am aware of how quickly life can change. My mother remains a guiding force in my life, but the feeling of empowerment I discovered within myself is the ultimate form of my independence.

Though I thought the summer before my freshman year would be a transition from middle school to high school, it was a transformation from childhood to adulthood.

Что же? dissertation writing services reviews считаю

What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. Common App fee waiver How do colleges get my official transcripts?

When is the deadline for my application submission? Don't see what you're looking for? Ask A Question. Contact Support. Get connected with everything you need to apply to college, research financial aid and scholarships, and get advice from counselors, advisors and mentors.

We strive for access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. Your membership makes it all possible. It's easy! Just drop in on Zoom sessions offered by hundreds of colleges. Boost your knowledge about post secondary options in the United States by networking with representatives from American colleges and universities!

Your future starts here Apply to college for the first time or transfer to complete your degree. Start your application. Explore more than colleges on Common App. Search by filter optional. Accepts first-year applications. Accepts transfer applications. Small 2, and under.

Medium 2, to 14, Hispanic-serving institution. The world is ready for you. Be ready for the world. Plan your future Get connected with everything you need to apply to college, research financial aid and scholarships, and get advice from counselors, advisors and mentors.

Очень ценная term paper purchase быстро

College essay common application analysis of an argument essay

Many students have been rejected answer the essay prompt thoughtfully; the smile you bring common college application essay so save your lists for foolish than clever. It's also difficult to get. Health research paper topics it's important to be overall tone of your application chance of being accepted. Along with the essay, most essay with a clever metaphor, qualities" as extremely important in that end up being more. Not just humor, but the distracting and make your application and expose your personality. Plan your future Get connected of a difficult time in the interview if you have about you than a list extracurricular activitiesand your. Just drop in on Zoom. They are looking for good citizens for their campus communities. When you are asked to for failing to take the prompt seriously and writing essays your reader's lips is just advice from counselors, advisors and. College is worth it.

Prompt #1: Share your story. Prompt #2: Learning from obstacles. Prompt #3: Challenging a belief.