What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? With moments to spare, I catch a glimpse of the boarding platform for my train. Like a captain frantically seeking port in a storm, I haul myself through the turbulent ocean of people, trying to avoid being stranded — or trampled — in the dustiest city in the world: Beijing, capital of both China and smog. Luckily, I board my train with seconds to spare, and without being turned into a pancake — always a plus.
The conductor welcomes me aboard. At last, it is time to return home to Shanghai. In another week I will cross the globe to start a new life in a foreign land called Charlotte. Which is home? The place I am leaving or the place I am going? Arrival or departure? Unsettled, I turn to my ever-present book for comfort. They say the best books tell you what you already know, resonating with your own thoughts and emotions.
As I read, it is as if the tempest of my thoughts is spelled out on paper. His words somehow become my words, his memories become my memories. Despite the high speed of the bullet train, my mind is perfectly still — trapped between the narrative of the book and the narrative of my own life.
I read the last page and close the book, staring out the window at the shining fish ponds and peaceful rice paddies. I feel like a speck of dust outside the train, floating, content and happy to be between destinations. I am at home between worlds. I speak both English and Chinese: Chinese is for math, science, and process, but I prefer English for art, emotion, and description.
America owns my childhood, filled with pine trees, blockbuster movies, and Lake Tahoe snow; China holds my adolescence, accompanied by industrial smog, expeditious mobility, and fast-paced social scenes. We are drawing into Shanghai Hong Qiao station. Home is neither arrival nor departure, neither America nor China.
On top of its growing cultural and ethnic diversity, State University is becoming a master at creating a niche for every student. However, this does not isolate students by forcing them to work with only those individuals who follow their specific discipline.
Instead, it is the seamless interaction between facilities that allows each department, from engineering to programming, to create a real learning environment that profoundly mimics the real world. Thus, State University is not just the perfect place for me, it is the only place for me.
Indeed, having the intellectual keenness to absorb every ounce of knowledge presented through my time in the IB program, I know that I can contribute to State University as it continues to cultivate a scholarly climate that encourages intellectual curiosity. In a department where education and research are intermixed, I can continue to follow the path that towards scientific excellence. Long-mesmerized by hobbies like my work with the FIRST Robotics team, I believe State University would be the best choice to continue to nurture my love for electrical and computer engineering.
I have only scratched the surface in this ever evolving field but know that the technological potential is limitless. Likewise, I feel that my time at State University would make my potential similarly limitless. This is a picture-perfect response to a university-specific essay prompt. What makes it particularly effective is not just its cohesive structure and elegant style but also the level of details the author uses in the response.
By directly identifying the specific aspects of the university that are attractive to the writer, the writer is able to clearly and effectively show not only his commitment to his studies but — perhaps more importantly — the level of thought he put into his decision to apply.
Review committees know what generic responses look like so specificity sells. College Essay Two Prompt: What motivates you? For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of science. Where others see the engineering, experimentation, and presentation of science as a chore, I only see excitement. Even as a child I constantly sought it out, first on television with Bill Nye and The Mythbusters, then later in person in every museum exhibit I could find.
Science in all its forms fascinated me, but science projects in particular were a category all to themselves. To me, science projects were a special joy that only grew with time. In fact, it was this continued fascination for hands-on science that brought me years later to the sauna that is the University of Alabama in mid-June. Participating in the Student Science Training Program and working in their lab made me feel like a kid in a candy store.
Just the thought of participating in a project at this level of scientific rigor made me forget that this was supposed to be my summer break and I spent the first day eagerly examining every piece of equipment.
Even at first, when the whole research group sat there doing rote calculations and others felt like they were staring down the barrel of defeated purpose, I remained enthusiastic. Time and time again I reminded myself of that famous phrase "great effort leads to great rewards," and sure enough, soon my aspirations began to be met.
This shift in attitude also coincided with a shift in location: from the computer desk to the laser lab. It was finally time to get my hands dirty. Now things began to get really interesting. During the experimentation phase of the project, I spent the majority of my waking hours in the lab — and I enjoyed every minute of it. From debriefing with my coordinator in the morning to checking and rechecking results well into the afternoon, I was on cloud nine all day, every day. I even loved the electric feeling of anxiety as I waited for the results.
Most of all, though, I loved the pursuit of science itself. Before I knew it, I was well into the seventh week and had completed my first long-term research experiment. In the end, although the days were long and hard, my work that summer filled me with pride.
That pride has confirmed and reinvigorated my love for science. I felt more alive, more engaged, in that lab than I have anywhere else, and I am committed to returning.
I have always dreamed of science but since that summer, since my experiment, I have dreamed only of the future. In the eighth grade, I became fascinated with Spanish and aware of its similarities with English through cognates. This was incredible to me as it made speech and comprehension more fluid, and even today I find that cognates come to the rescue when I forget how to say something in Spanish.
Then, in high school, I developed an enthusiasm for Chinese. As I studied Chinese at my school, I marveled how if just one stroke was missing from a character, the meaning is lost.
I love spending hours at a time practicing the characters and I can feel the beauty and rhythm as I form them. Interestingly, after studying foreign languages, I was further intrigued by my native tongue. Through my love of books and fascination with developing a sesquipedalian lexicon learning big words , I began to expand my English vocabulary. Studying the definitions prompted me to inquire about their origins, and suddenly I wanted to know all about etymology, the history of words.
My freshman year I took a world history class and my love for history grew exponentially. To me, history is like a great novel, and it is especially fascinating because it took place in my own world. But the best dimension that language brought to my life is interpersonal connection.
When I speak with people in their native language, I find I can connect with them on a more intimate level. I want to study foreign language and linguistics in college because, in short, it is something that I know I will use and develop for the rest of my life.
I will never stop traveling, so attaining fluency in foreign languages will only benefit me. In the future, I hope to use these skills as the foundation of my work, whether it is in international business, foreign diplomacy, or translation. Smeared blood, shredded feathers. Clearly, the bird was dead.
But wait, the slight fluctuation of its chest, the slow blinking of its shiny black eyes. No, it was alive. I had been typing an English essay when I heard my cat's loud meows and the flutter of wings. I had turned slightly at the noise and had found the barely breathing bird in front of me. The shock came first. Mind racing, heart beating faster, blood draining from my face. I instinctively reached out my hand to hold it, like a long-lost keepsake from my youth.
But then I remembered that birds had life, flesh, blood. Dare I say it out loud? Here, in my own home? Within seconds, my reflexes kicked in. Get over the shock. Gloves, napkins, towels. How does one heal a bird? I rummaged through the house, keeping a wary eye on my cat. Donning yellow rubber gloves, I tentatively picked up the bird. Never mind the cat's hissing and protesting scratches, you need to save the bird.
You need to ease its pain. But my mind was blank. I stroked the bird with a paper towel to clear away the blood, see the wound.
The wings were crumpled, the feet mangled. A large gash extended close to its jugular rendering its breathing shallow, unsteady. The rising and falling of its small breast slowed. Was the bird dying? No, please, not yet. Why was this feeling so familiar, so tangible? The long drive, the green hills, the white church, the funeral. The Chinese mass, the resounding amens, the flower arrangements.
Me, crying silently, huddled in the corner. The Hsieh family huddled around the casket. So many apologies. The body. Kari Hsieh. Still familiar, still tangible. Hugging Mrs. Hsieh, I was a ghost, a statue. My brain and my body competed. Emotion wrestled with fact. Kari was dead, I thought. But I could still save the bird.
My frantic actions heightened my senses, mobilized my spirit. Cupping the bird, I ran outside, hoping the cool air outdoors would suture every wound, cause the bird to miraculously fly away. Yet there lay the bird in my hands, still gasping, still dying. Bird, human, human, bird. What was the difference?
However, this does not isolate students by forcing them to work with only those individuals who follow their specific discipline. Interestingly, after studying foreign languages, I was further intrigued by my native tongue. Participating in such a large study from start to finish has validated my interest in academic research as a profession. I know from personal experience that in order to achieve the trust, honesty, and success that State University values, new people are needed to create a respectful environment for these values. This fall I will embark on writing an additional honors thesis in political science. My brother and I did not talk about the incident.
Bird, human, human, bird. Within seconds, my reflexes kicked in. Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality. The kids always had something warm to eat, and were always on their best behavior at home and in school.
I speak both English and Chinese: Chinese is for math, science, and process, but I prefer English for art, emotion, and description. From debriefing with my coordinator in the morning to checking and rechecking results well into the afternoon, I was on cloud nine all day, every day. Why was this feeling so familiar, so tangible? We infiltrated the enemy lines, narrowly dodging each attack. My brain and my body competed.