If this sounds like you, then please share your story. What does that even mean? In my hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, where normality was…well, the norm, I tried to be a typical student — absolutely, perfectly normal.
I blended into crowds, the definition of typical. I became a person who refused to surprise people. Just another brick in the wall. And then I moved to Berkeley for six months. One of the first of my fellow students to befriend me wore corset tops and tutus and carried a parasol with which she punctuated her every utterance.
Her best friend was a boy with purple hair who once wore a shirt with built in LED lights for Christmas. They were the most popular people in school, in direct contrast to all that was socially acceptable in New Haven. Our peers recognized them as being unique, but instead of ostracizing them or pitying them, the students in Berkeley celebrated them. In Berkeley, I learned the value of originality: Those who celebrate their individuality are not only unique but strong.
It takes great strength to defy the definitions of others, and because of that strength, those who create their own paths discover a different world than those who travel the same worn road. I returned to New Haven a changed person. My appearance was certainly different — red streaks in my hair and a newfound fondness for tutus certainly made me stand out.
If one of the purposes of a college essay is to make yourself come to life off the page, then this essay hits the mark. Far from seeming unfinished or unedited, the somewhat stream-of-consciousness style establishes a humorous and self-deprecating tone that makes the reader instantly like the applicant. The sweet smell of cinnamon resonated through the house.
A wave of heat washed over my face as I opened the oven door to reveal my first batch of snickerdoodles. Small domes of sugary cookies shyly peeked from the edge of the door.
I smiled as I thought about the joy these cookies would bring to my friends. They like to compare me to the witch in Hansel and Gretel, joking that I fatten children up and then forget to eat them. Suddenly I started scratching my neck, feeling the hives that had started to form. I rushed to the restroom to throw up because my throat was itchy and I felt a weight on my chest. I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths. I was fighting the one thing that is meant to protect me and keep me alive — my own body.
All I knew was that I felt sick, and I was waiting for my mom to give me something to make it better. I thought my parents were superheroes; surely they would be able to make well again. But I became scared when I heard the fear in their voices as they rushed me to the ER. After that incident, I began to fear.
I became scared of death, eating, and even my own body. Ultimately, that fear turned into resentment; I resented my body for making me an outsider. In the years that followed, this experience and my regular visits to my allergy specialist inspired me to become an allergy specialist.
Even though I was probably only ten at the time, I wanted to find a way to help kids like me. I wanted to find a solution so that nobody would have to feel the way I did; nobody deserved to feel that pain, fear, and resentment. This past summer, I took a month-long course on human immunology at Stanford University.
I learned about the different mechanisms and cells that our bodies use in order to fight off pathogens. My desire to major in biology in college has been stimulated by my fascination with the human body, its processes, and the desire to find a way to help people with allergies.
Watkins was the coordinator of the foreign exchange student program I was enrolled in. She had a nine year old son named Cody. I would babysit Cody every day after school for at least two to three hours. He would talk a lot about his friends and school life, and I would listen to him and ask him the meanings of certain words.
He was my first friend in the New World. She had recently delivered a baby, so she was still in the hospital when I moved into their house. The Martinez family did almost everything together. We made pizza together, watched Shrek on their cozy couch together, and went fishing on Sunday together.
On rainy days, Michael, Jen and I would sit on the porch and listen to the rain, talking about our dreams and thoughts. Within two months I was calling them mom and dad. After I finished the exchange student program, I had the option of returning to Korea but I decided to stay in America.
I wanted to see new places and meet different people. After a few days of thorough investigation, I found the Struiksma family in California. They were a unique group. The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted.
The kids always had something warm to eat, and were always on their best behavior at home and in school. In the living room were six or seven huge amplifiers and a gigantic chandelier hung from the high ceiling.
The kitchen had a bar. At first, the non-stop visits from strangers made me nervous, but soon I got used to them. I remember one night, a couple barged into my room while I was sleeping. It was awkward. In the nicest way possible, I told them I had to leave.
They understood. The Ortiz family was my fourth family. Kimberly, the host mom, treated me the same way she treated her own son. She made me do chores: I fixed dinner, fed their two dogs Sassy and Lady, and once a week I cleaned the bathroom. I also had to follow some rules: No food in my room, no using the family computer, no lights on after midnight, and no ride unless it was an emergency.
The first couple of months were really hard to get used to, but eventually I adjusted. I lived with the Ortiz family for seven months like a monk in the deep forest.
It was unexpected and I only had a week to find a new host family. I asked my friend Danielle if I could live with her until I found a new home. The Dirksen family had three kids. They were all different. Danielle liked bitter black coffee, Christian liked energy drinks, and Becca liked sweet lemon tea.
After dinner, we would all play Wii Sports together. I was the king of bowling, and Dawn was the queen of tennis. Afterward, we would gather in the living room and Danielle would play the piano while the rest of us sang hymns. Of course, those 28 months were too short to fully understand all five families, but I learned from and was shaped by each of them.
By teaching me English, nine year-old Cody taught me the importance of being able to learn from anyone; the Martinez family showed me the value of spending time together as a family; the Struiksma family taught me to reserve judgment about divorced women and adopted children; Mrs.
In short: He buries a series of essence images in his first paragraphs one per family. When he reveals each lesson at the end, one after the other, we sense how all these seemingly random events are connected.
We realize this writer has been carefully constructing this piece all along; we see the underlying structure. See how distinct each family is? He does this through specific images and objects. Q: Why did he just show us all these details? A: To demonstrate what each family has taught him. 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. To me, medical science is the future and through it I seek another, permanent, opportunity to follow my passion.
After all, to follow your passion is, literally, a dream come true. In addition to its use of clear, demonstrative language, there is one thing that makes this an effective essay: focus. Indeed, notice that, although the question is broad, the answer is narrow. This is crucial. It can be easy to wax poetic on a topic and, in the process, take on too much. This emphasis gives the reader the opportunity to learn who the writer is on his terms and makes it a truly compelling application essay.
Find your school with our USA School Search College Essay Three The winter of my seventh grade year, my alcoholic mother entered a psychiatric unit for an attempted suicide.
Mom survived, but I would never forget visiting her at the ward or the complete confusion I felt about her attempt to end her life. Today I realize that this experience greatly influenced my professional ambition as well as my personal identity. While early on my professional ambitions were aimed towards the mental health field, later experiences have redirected me towards a career in academia.
I come from a small, economically depressed town in Northern Wisconson. 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.
It started after my grandparents first brought me to their home in France and I have now been to twenty-nine different countries. Slowly, I dug a small hole in the black earth. No, it was alive. 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. Then, other things began to change. 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.
But wait, the slight fluctuation of its chest, the slow blinking of its shiny black eyes. Ask: how did I learn this? While attending the University of Rochester, I would like to study international relations or comparative politics while in graduate school. What does that even mean? At last, it is time to return home to Shanghai. They were all different.
She had recently delivered a baby, so she was still in the hospital when I moved into their house. I thought my parents were superheroes; surely they would be able to make well again.