Know how to cook? Use food. Play chess? Use that! Use your essence objects list for ideas. As a kid I was always curious. In second grade I enrolled in a summer science program and built a solar-powered oven that baked real cookies. I remember obsessing over the smallest details: Should I paint the oven black to absorb more heat?
What about its shape? A spherical shape would allow for more volume, but would it trap heat as well as conventional rectangular ovens? Even then I was obsessed with the details of design.
A few years later I designed my first pair of shoes, working for hours to perfect each detail, including whether the laces should be mineral white or diamond white. Even then I sensed that minor differences in tonality could make a huge impact and that different colors could evoke different responses.
In high school I moved on to more advanced projects, teaching myself how to take apart, repair, and customize cell phones. Whether I was adjusting the flex cords that connect the IPS LCD to the iPhone motherboard, or replacing the vibrator motor, I loved discovering the many engineering feats Apple overcame in its efforts to combine form with function.
My love of details applies to my schoolwork too. And details are more than details, they can mean the difference between negative and positive infinity, an impossible range of solutions. You probably think I want to be a designer. Or perhaps an engineer?
Well, kind of. These are the stories behind the list of activities and leadership roles on your application. Instead, pick one moment in time and focus on telling the story behind it. One way to do that is to work step-by-step, piece-by-piece. The end result should be a carefully designed, insightful essay that makes you proud.
Take advantage of being able to share something with an audience who knows nothing about you and is excited to learn what you have to offer. Write the story no one else can tell. Get to know your prompt Ease yourself into the essay-writing process. Take time to understand the question or prompt being asked. The single most important part of your essay preparation may be simply making sure you truly understand the question or essay prompt.
When you are finished writing, you need to make sure that your essay still adheres to the prompt. College essay questions often suggest one or two main ideas or topics of focus.
These can vary from personal to trivial, but all seek to challenge you and spark your creativity and insight. Read them again. Then read them one more time. Take some time to think about what is being asked and let it really sink in before you let the ideas flow. Is this essay prompt asking you to inform? Expand upon? These pieces rarely showcase who you are as an applicant. Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality.
Neither of my parents attended college. Feelings of being trapped in a stagnant environment permeated my mind, and yet I knew I had to graduate high school; I had to get out. Although most of my friends and family did not understand my ambitions, I knew I wanted to make a difference and used their doubt as motivation to press through.
Four days after I graduated high school, I joined the U. The 4 years I spent in the Army cultivated a deep-seated passion for serving society. While in the Army, I had the great honor to serve with several men and women who, like me, fought to make a difference in the world. During my tour of duty, I witnessed several shipmates suffer from various mental aliments. Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology.
In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic. Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time.
Despite taking a long time and the difficulty in carving separate time for school with such occupational requirements, I remained persistent aiming towards attending school as my schedule would allow. My military commitment ends this July and will no longer complicate my academic pursuits.
In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science. The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science. Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr.
As an undergraduate, I was privileged to gain extensive research experience working in a research lab with Dr. During the three years I worked in her lab, I aided in designing a study, writing an Institutional Review Board IRB application, running participants through both pilot and regular studies, coding data, and analyzing said data, with these experiences culminating in my honors thesis.
Participating in such a large study from start to finish has validated my interest in academic research as a profession. This fall I will embark on writing an additional honors thesis in political science. Did you use capitalization correctly? Check out our article on the most common mistakes in college essays for more tips to ensure your essay reads well.
Approach the essay from a different angle If you look at things a little differently from others you stand out. In answering an essay prompt, you need not always do it the most normal way. What if you were to take the negative approach to answer the prompt? What are your hopes? Maybe you can tell what your hopes are by writing what you do not hope for.
Perhaps you can create a little mystery by not answering the prompt immediately. What to you want to study? Maybe you could reveal that in the last sentence of your prompt after telling about all the little things that have some relevance to your area of study.
For example, you might describe many natural flora, observe fauna, then list feelings you have about nature to lead up to writing that you want to study biology. What you think is funny and what an adult working in a college thinks is funny are probably different. We caution against one-liners, limericks and anything off—color. Start early and write several drafts.
Set it aside for a few days and read it again. Put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer: Is the essay interesting? Do the ideas flow logically? Does it reveal something about the applicant? No repeats.
Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality. Know how to cook? Decide who will go first. Be yourself. The question is: will the toothbrushes I hand out be mineral white or diamond white?
I have only scratched the surface in this ever evolving field but know that the technological potential is limitless. Or perhaps an engineer? My love of details applies to my schoolwork too. All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Go here for some tips on how to pick a good focusing lens. And it need not be a future career--it could be many things.
Try asking your partner to walk you through one of the experiences that came up during the exercise. In high school I moved on to more advanced projects, teaching myself how to take apart, repair, and customize cell phones.
A one millimeter difference can mean the difference between a successful root canal and a lawsuit. Likewise, I feel that my time at State University would make my potential similarly limitless. These can vary from personal to trivial, but all seek to challenge you and spark your creativity and insight.