100 Most Successful College Essays
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7 GREAT College Essay Tips to Help You Stand Out
I therefore refrain from the temptation to label—despite it being an act that makes me feel so fulfilled when applied to physical objects—when real people are the subjects. The consequences of premature labeling are too great, the risk of inaccuracy too high because, most of the time, not even the hundreds of alphanumeric digits and symbols available for entry on my P-Touch can effectively describe who an individual really is. By integrating occasional humour and witty commentary into an otherwise lyrical and earnest self-reflection, Justine masterfully conveys an unfettered, sincere wisdom and maturity coveted by prestigious universities.
Justine breaks the ice by recalling a moment in her childhood that captures her fervent passion for labelling. When applying to selective academic institutions, idiosyncrasies and peculiar personal habits, however trivial, are always appreciated as indicators of individuality. She also writes from a place of raw honesty and emotion by offering the rationale behind her bizarre passion. She recognizes, however, it would be imprudent to navigate all facets of life with an unfaltering drive to compartmentalize everything and everyone she encounters. In doing so, Justine seamlessly transitions to the latter, more pensive half of her personal statement.
She extracts several insights by analyzing how, in staunch contrast with her neatly-organized pencil cases, the world is confusing, and rife with contradictions. In concluding, Justine returns back to the premise that started it all, reminding the reader of her take on why compartmentalizing the world would be an ultimately unproductive effort. It reads easily, flows with imagery, and employs a simple concept—her labelling practices—to introduce a larger, thoughtful conversation. I thought about every one of my atoms, wondering where they had been and what miracles they had witnessed. My physical body is a string of atoms, but what of my inner self, my soul, my essence?
Every one of us is made of star stuff, forged through fires, and emerging as nicked as the surface of the moon. I was duly impressed with Quidditch and the Invisibility Cloak, of course, but I was absolutely spellbound by how much I could learn about Harry. The kippers he had for breakfast, the supplies he bought for Potions—the details everyone skimmed over were remarkable to me. Fiction was a revelation. I considered the usual suspects—invisibility, superhuman strength, flying—but threw them out immediately. My superhero alter ego would be Story Girl. Here was my imaginary superpower, embodied in real life! I had been struggling with AP Biology, seeing it as a class full of complicated processes and alien vocabulary.
That changed radically when I listened, enthralled, as Radiolab traced the effects of dopamine on love and gambling. It contained conflict and emotion and a narrative; it made me anxious to learn more. The layperson often writes off concepts—entropy, the Maginot Line, anapestic meter—as too foreign to comprehend. But with the right framing, the world suddenly becomes an open book, enticing and ripe for exploration.
I want to become a writer to find those stories, much like Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich from Radiolab, making intimidating subjects become familiar and inviting for everyone. I want to become Story Girl. Carrie begins her essay with a fondly-remembered compliment from her brother, introducing her most passionate endeavor: storytelling. By recalling anecdotes related to her love of stories, she establishes herself as a deeply inquisitive and creative person; someone whose greatest virtue is their unfettered thirst for knowledge.
Going on to explore the intersections between stories and science, Carrie reveals her past difficulties with AP biology; that is, until she learnt about the amazing stories hidden within the subject. By combining her previous interest with her newfound love for biology, Carrie is able to highlight how her past experiences have assisted her in overcoming novel challenges. This portrays her as a resilient and resourceful problem-solver: traits that colleges value heavily in their students. Carrie ends her essay with her belief that through stories, everything is possible.
She expounds on her future ambitions in regards to storytelling, as well as her desire to make learning both fun and accessible to everyone via the power of stories. By comparing her goals to that of a superhero, Carrie is able to emphasise her enthusiasm for contributing to social change. As an admission essay specialist , Dan Lichterman has been empowering students to find their voice since He helps students stand out on paper, eliminating the unnecessary so the necessary may speak. Drawing upon his storytelling background, Dan guides applicants to craft authentic essays that leap off the page. He is available for online writing support within the US and internationally.
To learn more and schedule a brief complimentary consultation visit danlichterman. But simply constructing letters and characters from strokes of ink gives me immense satisfaction. I often find myself crafting characters in the margins of notebooks with a fifty-cent pencil, or tracing letters out of thin air with anything from chopsticks to fingertips. The art of handwriting is a relic in the information era. Why write when one can type? Perhaps the Chinese had an answer before the advent of keyboards. Moreover, perhaps this strange passion in polishing every single character of a word delineates my dedication to learning, testifies my zeal for my conviction, and sketches a crucial stroke of my character.
My pen firmly nods in agreement with Hilbert, while my mind again fumbles for the path to knowledge. The versatility of handwriting enthralls me. Fittingly, each hand seems to parallel one of my many academic interests. Characters of the Regular Hand kai shu , a legible script, serve me well during many long hours when I scratch my head and try to prove a mathematical statement rigorously, as the legibility illuminates my logic on paper.
Words of the Running Hand xing shu , a semi-cursive script, are like the passionate words that I speak before a committee of Model United Nations delegates, propounding a decisive course of action: the words, both spoken and written, are swift and coherent but resolute and emphatic. And strokes of the Cursive Hand cao shu resemble those sudden artistic sparks when I deliver a line on stage: free spontaneous, but emphatic syllables travel through the lights like rivers of ink flowing on the page.
Yet the fact that the three distinctive hands cooperate so seamlessly, fusing together the glorious culture of writing, is perhaps a fable of learning, a testament that the many talents of the Renaissance Man could all be worthwhile for enriching human society. Such is my methodology: just like I organize my different hands into a neat personal style with my fetish for writing, I can unify my broad interests with my passion for learning. We -- will -- know!
I must know: for knowing, like well-crafted letters, has an inherent beauty and an intrinsic value. I will know: for my versatile interests in academics will flow like my versatile styles of writing. We can visualize spontaneously crafted letters filling his notebooks. We see him trace Chinese characters into air by chopstick and fingertip. We learn that he expresses his innermost self through an art that has become a relic within the information age.
Jiafeng goes on to reveal that his intellectual pursuit has been shaped by not one but three Chinese styles of handwriting, each reflecting a distinct element of his intellectual growth. He presents these polymath pursuits as united by writing, indicating to readers that his broad interests are all an expression of the same principle of discovery. Crimson's students work with expert tutors and mentors to gain admission to the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Duke — as well as Oxford, Cambridge and other world leading institutions in the UK — at 4x the general applicant rate.
Increasingly powerful palpitations throbbed in my heart as my eyes darted around the classroom — searching for a profound response to Dr. I took a deep breath while reaching the most genuine answer I could conjure. He arched his flummoxed brows as he began to open his mouth. In class, I often separated the culture of Christianity from the religion. To tie these immensely disparate concepts as one and coin it as Christianity would present fallacies that contradict with the Christianity I knew. People were just using Christianity as an excuse to exalt themselves rather than the holy name of Jesus. My greatest realization came when Douglass declared Christian slave-holders as the worst slave-holders he ever met because of their deceptive feign of piety and use of Christianity to justify the oppression of their slaves.
To Douglass, Christianity was the opposite. People use this sacred religion to spread hatred, and to many, this is the only Christianity they know. Issues such as racism, white privilege, and gender disparity are highly salient topics of current political discussion. As a Korean-American in the South, I am no stranger to intolerance. Because their words were less eloquent, people deemed their thoughts as less valuable as well. My protective nature drives my desire to connect with different people and build understanding. Excluded from the Manichaean narrative of this country, I observe the turmoil in our nation through a separate lens - a blessing and a curse.
Not only do I find myself awkwardly fixed in a black vs. In the end, I find myself stuck amongst the conventional labels and binaries that divide America. Franklin said after I shared these thoughts to the class. As an anomaly, accepting different truths is second nature. At a time in which the Black Lives Matters movement was sweeping America and racial tension was at a high, Ella was able to offer a powerful and brave perspective: how she feels to be neither Black nor White. The true strength of this essay is its willingness to go where people rarely go in college essays: to race, to politics and to religion.
It requires intellectual bravery to ask the hard questions of your own religion as opposed to succumbing to cognitive dissonance. This is a trait that exists in a powerful independent thinker who could push all kinds of debates forwards - academic ones or otherwise. Her word choice continues to emphasize bravery and strength. Her humorous quirks show the insidious racism. She even needs to shield her family from the humble request for some more Ketchup at McDonalds! Imagine if one is nervous to ask for some more Ketchup and even such a mundane activity becomes difficult through the friction of racial tension and misunderstanding. She demonstrates her intellectual prowess in her discussion of somewhat high-brow topics but also grounds herself in the descriptions of her daily acts of kindness.
Creatively Ella weaves numerous literary devices in and out of her story without them being overbearing. These include alliteration and the juxtaposition of longer sentences with shorter ones to make a point. Her final dialogue is subtle but booming. The reader is left genuinely sympathetic for her plight, challenges and bravery as she goes about her daily life. Ella is a bold independent thinker with a clear social conscience and an ability to wade in the ambiguity and challenge of an imperfect world.
College Confidential is your gateway to real, unfiltered guidance about applying to college and exploring majors and careers. CC is powered by our community of real students, parents, and admissions professionals. I looked at her blankly. Where were the charts of colors and books of techniques? Why was her smile so decidedly encouraging?
The sudden expectations made no sense. In a daze, I assembled my supplies the way the older students did. I was scared. I knew everything but nothing. And even in those first blissful moments of experimentation, it hurt to realize that my painting was all wrong. The gleam of light. The distorted reflection. A thousand details taunted me with their refusal to melt into the glass. The vase was lifeless at best. As the draining hours of work wore on, I began wearing reckless holes in my mixing plate.
It was my fourth hour here. Why had I not received even a single piece of guidance? At the peak of my frustration, she finally reentered the studio, yawning with excruciating casualness. I felt myself snap. She looked at me with a shocked innocence that only heightened the feeling of abandonment. And then suddenly she broke into a pitch of urgent obviousness: "What are you doing! Don't you see those details?? There's orange from the wall and light brown from the floor. There's even dark green from that paint box over there. You have to look at the whole picture," she stole a glance at my face of bewilderment, and, sighing, grabbed my paint,stained hand.
But over the years I did begin to see. It was beautiful and illogical. Black was darker with green and red, and white was never white. I began to study animals. The proportions and fan brush techniques were certainly difficult, but they were the simple part. It was the strategic tints of light and bold color that created life. In return for probing into previously ignored details, my canvas and paints opened the world.
I began to appreciate the pink kiss of ever-evolving sunsets and the even suppression of melancholy. When my father came home from a business trip, it was no longer a matter of simple happiness, but of fatigue and gladness' underlying shades. The personalities who had once seemed so annoyingly arrogant now turned soft with their complexities of doubt and inspiration. Each mundane scene is as deep and varied as the paint needed to capture it. One day, I will learn to paint people. As I run faster into the heart of art and my love for politics and law, I will learn to see the faces behind each page of cold policy text, the amazing innovation sketched in the tattered Constitution, and the progressiveness living in oak-paneled courts.
I know that in a few years I will see a thousand more colors than I do today. Yet the most beautiful part about art is that there is no end. No matter how deep I penetrate its shimmering realms, the enigmatic caverns of wonder will stay. My favorite college essays begin with one moment in time and end by tying that moment into a larger truth about the world. In this essay, Elizabeth uses this structure masterfully. The essay opens with dialogue, placing the reader right in the middle of the action. She skips backstory and explanations that can bore readers and bog down a short essay.
The reader is left feeling as though we are sitting beside her, staring at an empty vase and a set of paints, with no idea how to begin. The SPARC method of essay writing says that the best college essays show how a student can do one or more of these five things: Seize an opportunity, Pursue goals despite obstacles, Ask important questions, take smart Risks, or Create with limited resources. As the essay transitions from the personal to the universal, her experience painting the vase becomes a metaphor for how she sees the world. Not only has painting helped her appreciate the subtle shades of color in the sunset, it has opened her up to understand that nothing in life is black and white.
Sponsored by Bridge to College, a data company that matches students to colleges that are an academic, financial, and social fit. We provide services to students, families, high schools, and colleges to support all of their admissions needs. I entered the surprisingly cool car. Since when is Beijing Line 13 air-conditioned? The pressure of their eyes on me filled the car and smothered me. An old man very loudly whispered to a child curled up in his lap. If only they could look inside. They would know that I actually speak Chinese—not just speak, but love. They would know that this love was born from my first love of Latin—the language that fostered my admiration of all languages. Latin lives in the words we speak around the world today.
And translating this ancient language is like watching a play and performing in it at the same time. We share the intrinsic value of loyalty to friends, family, and society. We stand true to our own word, and we uphold others to theirs. Language has helped me do that. If these subway passengers understood me, they would know that the very reason I sat beside them was because of Latin. I realized how learning another language could expose me to other worlds and other people—something that has always excited me. I also realized that if I wanted to know more about the world and the people in it, I would have to learn a spoken language. Spanish, despite the seven years of study prior to Latin, did not stick with me.
And the throatiness of French was not appealing. But Chinese, more than these other traditional languages, intrigued me. The doors to new worlds it could open seemed endless. Thus I chose Chinese. If these subway passengers looked inside me, they would find that my knowledge of both Latin and Chinese makes me feel whole. It feels like the world of the past is flowing through me alongside the world of the future. If this little boy and his family and friends could look inside, they would understand that Latin laid the foundation for my lifelong commitment to languages. Without words, thoughts and actions would be lost in the space between our ears. Unfortunately, they will not know this until I speak.
Then once I speak, the doors will open. Your college essay should serve two purposes: allow the reader to gain insights about you that they are not able to do in other parts of your application and provide an example of your writing abilities. To the former, you are hoping to demonstrate five soft skills that most colleges are at least implicitly interested in gleaning, those that indicate your capacity to be a good student at their institution. Alex arrives at both goals in an interesting way. Without seeing the rest of her application, I can only assume that she is possibly interested in pursuing a major in a language if she is pursuing a major in an applied math, this essay would be extremely interesting and she has likely participated in some kind of team sport to demonstrate the soft skill of teamwork.
I want to keep reading. And she does that. I want to keep reading because there is something she is saying about her identity--be it performative or actual--that I am curious about. People make an assumption that we are exploiting these identities into sob stories that admissions readers will immediately hang on to. We are encouraging students to write about something similar to what Alex did—describe how your identity has created a learning opportunity or a moment of resilience or determination.
Alex seems like someone who is well resourced: her access to certain text; language curricula and the amount of time she spent studying those languages; even her sentence structure, gives that away. The topic here is work, money, and class. Five Examples of College Application Essays edition. Once again, the team from NY Times selected the best college admission essays from high school students. Out of more than submitted pieces of work, only these five ultimately made the cut. Read them and see why.
The essays from this list are not your usual literary masterpieces, but they did the job and allowed students to get access to some great universities such as UC Berkeley, Stanford or Harvard. Read just a couple of them to fill your inspiration tank. Here you can find some nice examples of eight essays of successful applicants to Hamilton College. They were selected by Hamilton Alumni Review Magazine and showcased with the permission of the students from various backgrounds. This essay was written by an anonymous writer. The critique is broken down into four parts — introduction, body, conclusion, and the overall score. Look at your own essay in that way and make sure it has all the right ingredients.
Every year, the admissions committee selects some of the best and most creative essays that allowed students to get enrolled in the university. As stated on the page, the most important thing about creating your statement is originality, and the ability to share your own story in a unique way. Demonstrating your precocious thought-process is what matters the most. You can find more examples from JH University from the class of and The best thing about these lists is that below each essay, you can find the actual comments from the admission committee.
His personality comes through as he naturally conveys humor. Through his anecdotes from growing up, we got a sense of how he might approach his studies here at Hopkins. This list is really great because it comes with videos, where the members of the admissions committee discuss different aspects of each essay and about what made them so great. Three Examples of Top College Essays.
You need to check some examples of inventive statements just to get a feel of what is expected. Then you can make up your own mind and base your work on your unique circumstances. This is one of the most successful essays of all time. Because it grips you from the very first sentence and tells a true story of sorrow and pain. Talking about your deep emotions and painful memories is never easy, but it can make a huge impression on the readers. You can find the full profile of the student who wrote it here along with their other achievements and profiles of other successful students. And here you can find six more essays that got students into Harvard. Please let me know about your struggles in the comments section below.
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