personal statement college essay examples

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Hit enter to search or ESC to close. Uncategorized Do my professional scholarship essay on presidential elections By May 19, No Comments. Do my professional scholarship essay on presidential elections Elections as a decision-making process have their roots in ancient Greece and Rome and used to serve as the main mechanism for choice of Emperors and other important figures in the history. Though writing an essay for a scholarship application can be a daunting task, think of it as an opportunity to showcase your abilities and talents to the scholarship committee.

Personal statement college essay examples how to write a join query in sql

Personal statement college essay examples

I launched a thunderbolt straight through the air and declared a super-effective knockout. Of course, I never was able to explain what I was seeing to my bewildered friends that day in first grade. But after learning about entoptic phenomena, I realized that my entoptic adventure was not a hallucination but, in fact, one of my first intellectual milestones, when I was first able to connect meticulous observation of my environment to my imagination.

Two of their names are Larry and Kailan, and they are the top-ranked players in the Exynos League. Exynos is the name of the elaborate basketball league I have created in my imagination over the last ten years of playing basketball on the neighborhood court in the evenings. As I play, I envision Larry and Kailan right there with me: reaching, stealing, and blocking. Undoubtedly, I might look a little silly when I throw the ball backwards as if Larry blocked my layup attempt—but imagining competitors defending me drives me to be precise in my execution of different moves and maneuvers.

But I perceive perhaps the most vivid images through music, as I tell a different story with each piece I play on the violin. Denizens of this world are rumored to watch Netflix re-runs without WiFi and catch many a Pikachu via psychokinesis.

It makes tons of uncommon connections. Yet the author uses the idea of imagination and its relation to vision to weave these disparate topics into a coherent narrative. In fact, his ability to do so emphasizes his ability to think creatively in ways that the average person may not. To find these, consider brainstorming everything you want colleges to know about you and then think of interesting ways in which these might intersect. You absolutely can if you want to, but feel free to let your imagination run wild.

If something excites or intrigues you, try writing a draft about it and see where it takes you. It would absolutely stand out from the other essays in the bunch. Sure, other people play basketball. But, the particular way in which the author articulates his interests and connects them makes it memorable. Current inventory: thirty-two note pads, ten packs of Pilot G-2 pens, and pure willpower. I come from a long line of list-makers. It shows up on both sides of my family, so by the time this trait reached my generation, it hit a peak.

My chronic list-making tendencies began in fourth grade when I begged for a white board and a set of Expo markers for Christmas. I started creating daily color-coordinated to-do lists replete with little checkmark boxes, and fun facts for my family to enjoy—perhaps to compensate for the fact that my large white board reigned over the kitchen space.

A list is the keeper of spontaneous expression. With every contraction of my brain, every output of overflowing postulations, every idea my imagination rapidly hurls at me, those thoughts that had been unconscious suddenly surface at the touch of pen to paper. A thought, which is in so many ways intangible, is absolutely tangible on paper. And I like that thought—that our words can have resonance. Words and how they shape our reality have been a driving force in my life….

As a writer, I am constantly constructing reality. Writing on a page has a physicality: each word by itself could seem mundane and even unimaginative, but the way I choose to arrange them on the page makes them meaningful. Someone reads them, and now my words exist in the world as their own object.

As a debater, I edit on paper, I write on paper, I read on paper. As an artist, I spin my words into portraits of people, landscapes of nature, even cartoons of fantastical polka dotted critters. Words build bridges. They serve to connect the me I am—a tad disorganized, spontaneous, a little confused, and very overwhelmed—with the me I aspire to be.

I can rely on them. Although the course of my life is most likely going to be transient, jumbled, and complex, covered in a tangle of corrections, with contradicting figures sprawled all over, lists will always keep me grounded. There is something wonderful about a physical pen with graceful ink in my control that a handwritten list can solely provide, and that I will not grow out of. Lists go hand in hand with refreshing walks and a cup of hot chocolate in the morning: they are always there for me, to be read or put away or kept tucked away in a drawer or pocket—within reach.

In that moment between thinking a thing and writing it down, a shift takes place. It includes some great one-liners. No paragraph is too dense or excessively wordy. Long sentences are balanced out by short, quippy insights. This give and take of short and long keeps the piece flowing smoothly. It harnesses the power of a great throughline. This piece is what we would call a montage essay. Have a look at our blog post on Montage Structure for all the details on this.

In this case, the idea of making lists is what connects everything. This essay is a great example of how you can structure your piece. It emphasizes not only what the author thinks about but also how she thinks. Sometimes students think that writing a personal statement is about cramming as much information as possible about themselves into the word count. Although this author briefly mentions her interest in writing and debate, the majority of the essay is mostly just her nerding out about lists and the power of a good doodle.

While that might not seem like a topic with enough substance, the way she writes about it reveals so much about personal values. Let this be an example of how expansive the idea of a personal statement can be and how much creative liberty you can take in choosing your topic. Since childhood, I have been an obsessive builder and problem solver.

When I was 6, I spent two months digging a hole in my backyard, ruining the grass lawn, determined to make a giant koi pond after watching a show on HGTV. After watching Castaway when I was 7, I started a fire in my backyard--to my mother's horror--using bark and kindling like Tom Hanks did. I neglected chores and spent nights locked in my room drawing pictures and diagrams or learning rubik's cube algorithms while my mother yelled at me through the door to go to sleep. I've always been compulsive about the things I set my mind to.

The satisfaction of solving problems and executing my visions is all-consuming. But my obsessive personality has helped me solve other problems, too. When I was 8, I taught myself how to pick locks. So I didn't eat at school for two weeks and saved up enough lunch money to buy a lockpicking set from Home Depot. After I wiggled the tension wrench into the keyhole and twisted it counterclockwise, I began manipulating the tumblers in the keyhole with the pick until I heard the satisfying click of the lock and entered the room.

Devouring his stash of Lemonheads was awesome, but not as gratifying as finally getting inside his room. As the projects I tackled got bigger, I had to be more resourceful. One day in history class after reading about early American inventions, I decided to learn how to use a Spinning Jenny. For weeks, I brushed my two cats everyday until I had gathered enough fur. I washed and soaked it, carded it with paddle brushes to align the fibers, and then spun it into yarn, which I then used to crochet a clutch purse for my grandmother on mother's day.

She still uses it to this day. In high school, my obsessive nature found a new outlet in art. Being a perfectionist, I often tore up my work in frustration at the slightest hint of imperfection. As a result, I was slowly falling behind in my art class, so I had to seek out alternate solutions to actualize the ideas I had in my head.

Oftentimes that meant using mixed media or experimenting with unconventional materials like newspaper or cardboard. Eventually I went on to win several awards, showcased my art in numerous galleries and magazines, and became President of National Art Honors Society. After high school I began to work on more difficult projects and I channeled my creativity into a different form of art - programming.

I'm writing a program in Matlab that can measure visual acuity and determine what prescription glasses someone would need. I ultimately plan to turn this into a smartphone app to be released to the general public. The fact is that computer coding is in many ways similar to the talents and hobbies I enjoyed as a child—they all require finding creative ways to solve problems. While my motivation to solve these problems might have been a childlike sense of satisfaction in creating new things, I have developed a new and profound sense of purpose and desire to put my problem solving skills to better our world.

It turns a perceived weakness into a critical strength. At the beginning of the essay, the author talks about all of the problems she caused because of her obsession ironically with problem-solving. However, as the piece progresses, we begin to see how her childlike curiosity and interest in making things became a clear asset. It becomes a way of emphasizing values like resourcefulness, empathy, and dedication. This example is no exception. The author here spends some time at the end talking about her plans for a prescription-measuring smartphone app and her general interest in learning more about computer coding.

While the piece has a clear conclusion, these examples highlight the ongoing nature of her educational journey and her openness to further learning. It was the first Sunday of April. My siblings and I were sitting at the dinner table giggling and spelling out words in our alphabet soup. The phone rang and my mother answered. It was my father; he was calling from prison in Oregon.

Fortunately, my father was bailed out of prison by a family friend in Yakima. Unfortunately, though, most of our life savings was spent on his bail. My father went from being a costurero sewing worker to being a water-filter salesman, mosaic tile maker, lemon deliverer, and butcher. Money became an issue at home, so I started helping out more. Sundays and summertime were spent cleaning houses with my mother. I worked twice as hard in school. I helped clean my church, joined the choir, and tutored my younger sister in math.

Slowly, life improved. Then I received some life-changing news. The lawyer had an idea: I had outstanding grades and recommendation letters. If we could show the judge the importance of my family remaining here to support my education, perhaps we had a chance. So I testified. Testifying in court helped me grow as a person, has made me more open-minded and aware of the problems facing my community.

And my involvement in the urban farm has led me to consider a career as a nutritionist. Though neither of my parents attended college, they understand that college is a key factor to a bright future and therefore have been very supportive. And though we don't yet have the house with the small porch and the dog, we're still holding out hope. Drops us in a moment in time. This is a great tactic when done well because it helps us identify with the author and piques our curiosity.

Shows the agency, independence, and resilience of the applicant. The author here goes through a lot over the course of the essay. They have to face very real fears about incarceration, deportation, and financial instability on a daily basis. Talking about the ways in which they approached these obstacles highlights their ability to think clearly under pressure and make the most of what they have.

If you have faced significant hardships , worked through them, learned valuable lessons, and want to share these with colleges, the personal statement can be a good place to do that. If you want to write about struggles that are particularly related to COVID, check out our guide for specific suggestions. Era el primer domingo de abril. Era mi padre. Mis padres se negaron a dejarme tener un trabajo "real. En domingos y en el verano limpiaba casas con mi madre.

Poco a poco, la vida mejoraba. Aunque ninguno de mis padres asistieron a la universidad, ellos entienden que la universidad es un factor clave para un futuro brillante, y por lo tanto, han sido un gran apoyo. At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom.

Regardless, I knew what was happening: my dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse. Living without a father meant money was tight, mom worked two jobs, and my brother and I took care of each other when she worked. For a brief period of time the quality of our lives slowly started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became an integral part of our family. He paid attention to the needs of my mom, my brother, and me. I cooked, Jose cleaned, I dressed Fernando, Jose put him to bed. We did what we had to do.

As undocumented immigrants and with little to no family around us, we had to rely on each other. Fearing that any disclosure of our status would risk deportation, we kept to ourselves when dealing with any financial and medical issues. I avoided going on certain school trips, and at times I was discouraged to even meet new people. I felt isolated and at times disillusioned; my grades started to slip. Over time, however, I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself.

Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher. I learned how to fix a bike, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls. I became resourceful, fixing shoes with strips of duct tape, and I even found a job to help pay bills. I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money mom had to spend raising me. I also worked to apply myself constructively in other ways. These changes inspired me to help others.

I became president of the California Scholarship Federation, providing students with information to prepare them for college, while creating opportunities for my peers to play a bigger part in our community. I began tutoring kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus.

And I have yet to see the person that Fernando will become. Not because I have to. Because I choose to. Again, the author shows growth. We see concrete signs of growth in the way he improved his grades and got more involved in school clubs like the California Scholarship Federation as well as athletic extracurriculars like swimming.

Essentially, he shows how he made the best of his situation. One of the best things about this essay is the very end. He tells us about all the other things he hopes to do and conveys a clear excitement at the possibility for learning in the future.

It endears him to readers and demonstrates his natural inclination to continue pushing forward, no matter what life might throw his way. Umbra: the innermost, darkest part of a shadow. The fifth set of chimes rings out and I press my hands against the dusty doors. My nose itches, but scratching would smudge the little black whiskers painted onto my face. I peer through the tiny crack between the cupboard doors, trying to glimpse the audience.

The sixth set of chimes, my cue, begins, and I pop onto stage, the brilliant lights flooding my vision. Clara and Drosselmeyer stand to my left, and in front of me lies an endless ocean of audience. I pause a moment, taking it in, then do my best mouse scurry towards the wings. I love performing and dancing to connect with an audience. My hands, covered in grease, hurt terribly as I help another girl with the wire crimper. We force the handles together, and our Anderson connector is finally ready.

People scurry around us—several students are riveting metal, assisted by my father for me, robotics is a family activity , while another pair, including my younger brother, works on assembling the drive train. The next room is filled with shouted Java commands and autonomous code. I love the comradery in robotics, the way teams support each other even amid intense competitions. I love seeing the real world application of knowledge, and take pride in competing in front of hundreds of people.

Most of all, I love spending time with my family, connecting with them in our own unique way. Back in the electrical room, I plug in my connector, and the room is filled with bright green light. I pull on a pair of Nitrile gloves before grabbing my forceps. I carefully extract my latest Western Blot from its gel box, placing it on the imaging system.

Christmas carols play softly as I chase my little brother around the living room, trying to get him to wear a Santa hat. The smell of tamales wafts through the air as my mom and grandmother stand over the pot of mole sauce. The ornament boxes are opened on the floor, each one special to our family, representing our adventures, our love, our history. My dad is winding a mile-long string of lights around the tree, covering the room with a soft glow.

Light will usually travel in a perfectly straight line, but if it comes in contact with something it can bounce off it or bend around it, which is why people make shadows. The very innermost part of that shadow, the umbra, is where no light has bent around you—it has completely changed direction, bounced off.

People are constantly changing and shaping the light around them, and never notice. It demonstrates craft. She uses images to beautiful effect, drawing us into each experience in her montage, from the moments on stage to robotics to the lab to her family. This is very hard to pull off well, and is why she went through so many revisions, to walk a fine line between subtlety and clarity.

Show and tell. And her final paragraph both shows and tells, using language that offers strong symbolism, while also ending with some poetic phrasing that tells us how this all comes together in case we somehow missed it. We walk away with a strong sense of who this student is and what she would bring to our college campus. Graduate School. Online Courses. Free Resources. College Application Hub. International Students. Personal Statement. Supplemental Essays. University of California.

College Admissions. Matchlighters Scholarship. College Admission Essentials. College Essay Essentials. Essay Workshop In A Box. Email Me. Learn how to write your personal statement here. Personal Statement Example 2 Quattro Lingue. Take Thanks Hajjah. Personal Statement Example 3 Personal Statement Example 4 Flying. One day, this obsession reached its fever pitch. I decided to fly. Personal Statement Example 7 Entoptic Phenomena. Personal Statement Example 8 The Listmaker.

Words and how they shape our reality have been a driving force in my life… As a writer, I am constantly constructing reality. My father won his case and was granted residency. I believe college can help. Spanish Translation: Era el primer domingo de abril. Creo que la universidad puede ayudar. Personal Statement Example 12 Umbra. Is there anything that inspiration has made you do e. These can be milestones, hobbies, qualities, or quirks that are what make you, you.

Topics to consider might be:. This is just a way to get ideas flowing! Start by writing a few sentences or paragraphs about any of your shortlisted topics, and let the words flow. Write for about 15 minutes, on each shortlisted topic. We all have a story to tell, and we all have a different journey that led us to where we are today. Write your personal statement in a genuine tone that reflects who you are. This means, in particular, not using big words just to show off.

Or, even worse, you accidentally use the word incorrectly! Who will you be writing your personal statement for? What message do you want to convey? Make sure you keep within the required length. Some college or scholarship applications will allow you to write up to or words. There was a time when we used to rely on pencil and paper to write down all of our ideas and information including first-draft college essays. Now, we mainly rely on screens, so our eyes grow tired, causing us to miss typos and grammar mistakes.

So save that document in an easy-to-find folder on your computer. Then stepping away from your computer and taking a break helps relax your mind and body and then refocus when you come back to edit the document. All the grammar things! Your personal statement reflects who you are, from the topic you choose to the style you write it in, so impress colleges or scholarship providers with excellent structure and great grammar! We recommend asking a friend, counselor, or parent to read your personal statement before you submit the document.

One more set of eyes will really help you get a second opinion on the tone, writing quality, and overall representation of who you are in your personal statement. Get double-use out of your personal statement. Going Merry is your home for all things scholarships—fill out a profile, get matched to eligible scholarships, and apply. You can even save essays so that you can easily upload the same one for multiple scholarship applications.

We were inspired by the Common App to make applying for scholarships easier. Register for an account here , get the full lowdown on how it works , or just sign up for the newsletter below to get 20 scholarship opportunities delivered to our inbox each each week! Oh yes we do. First, here are some excerpts of personal statements from members of our very own Going Merry team! He made me laugh and taught me all the things that made me into a young tomboy: what an RBI is, how to correctly hook a fish when I feel it biting, what to bring on a camping trip.

He is a man of jokes and words, not of comforting motions. But as I grew older and I too became infatuated with words—albeit in written form—our topics of conversation became more diverse and often more profound. During these talks, my father would insert stories about his youth. It came back to me, scrawled in red, on the first big history test of the year.

The one the teacher had assured us was a third of our grade. What happened? I had two options here. I could accept that I was in fact a D student despite what I had thought. Or I could study hard for the next test and try to bring my grade up by the force of the average. It means I was lucky, or blessed, or anything else you want to call it. I have talent.

The game just makes intuitive sense to me. It is far too easy to view talent as an excuse. For me, it is a motivator. For my talent, I will accept nothing less than a dream that only a tiny percentage of people ever get to experience. Talent is a responsibility. Because you had nothing to do with acquiring it, you are compelled to achieve every last bit you can with it.

While I had grown used to thinking varsity would be it, that was not the case. Now, I can focus on the goal while I accomplish the steps. I was told that teens are moody. I would grow out of it. Diagnosis and medication have saved my life, allowing me to see the world as people without my brain chemistry would. It might sound bad—as though kindness can only exist in the smallest forms. This is not what I mean. There are extraordinary people out there who devote their lives to doing very large, very important things for others.

They are not the norm. What is normal are the tiny kindnesses. These do not cost a person much of anything. A slice of time, a moment of openness, and little else. And here are 3 college personal statements, about what drove their interest in their intended major:.

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What did this feel like? Was there a particular moment when they realized that the work would no longer be done for them? How did they grapple with this sudden burden of responsibility? The essay needs to focus on their own realization here, and less so on the process of proving their maturity to their parents.

Secondly, the author should take a step back and think about what true independence and adulthood means to them. Though the essay focuses on this coming-of-age period in their life, they never talk specifically about what this peak achievement would mean for them personally. Was it that they could get on a plane and go to Morocco and be alright without their parents, or was it that they had the ability to decide that they were interested in an immersive experience and that they took the necessary steps to achieve this interest?

Adulthood and independence mean different things to different people and look a little bit different to each of us depending on our different situations. Lastly, the essay could benefit from a deeper exploration of their relationship with their parents. The author talks in very broad terms about how they were raised and how their separation led to growth.

Early in the essay, they mention a battle between their wishes and those of their parents. What did these conversations, either internal or external, look like? They should show this in their writing, rather than telling it. Remember that the success of the essay depends on the ability to deeply personalize it and explore the relevant emotions and reflections associated with each step in the journey to adulthood.

While their journey to adulthood may include their parents, this essay should center around the author and their own recognition of their personal milestones and accomplishments. The twisting roads, ornate mosaics, and fragrant scent of freshly ground spices had been so foreign at first.

It was hard to believe that only a few years earlier my mom was worried about letting me travel around my home city on my own, let alone a place that I had only lived in for a few weeks. While I had been on a journey towards self-sufficiency and independence for a few years now, it was Morocco that pushed me to become the confident, self-reflective person that I am today.

As a child, my parents pressured me to achieve perfect grades, master my swim strokes, and discover interesting hobbies like playing the oboe and learning to pick locks. I felt compelled to live my life according to their wishes.

Of course, this pressure was not a wholly negative factor in my life —— you might even call it support. Despite all these achievements, I felt like I had no sense of self beyond my drive for success. I had always been expected to succeed on the path they had defined. As early as middle school, I was riding the light rail train by myself, reading maps to get myself home, and applying to special academic programs without urging from my parents.

Even as I took more initiatives on my own, my parents both continued to see me as somewhat immature. I would be studying Arabic and learning my way around the city of Marrakesh. Although I think my parents were a little surprised when I told them my news, the addition of a fully-funded scholarship convinced them to let me go. I lived with a host family in Marrakesh and learned that they, too, had high expectations for me.

If I messed up, they patiently corrected me but refused to let me fall into the easy pattern of speaking English just as I did at home. Just as I had when I was younger, I felt pressured and stressed about meeting their expectations. However, one day, as I strolled through the bustling market square after successfully bargaining with one of the street vendors, I realized my mistake.

I had applied for this trip, and I had committed to the intensive language study. Similarly, the pressure my parents had put on me as a child had come out of love and their hopes for me, not out of a desire to crush my individuality. As my bus drove through the still-bustling market square and past the medieval Ben-Youssef madrasa, I realized that becoming independent was a process, not an event.

Now, although I am even more self-sufficient than I was three years ago, I try to approach every experience with the expectation that it will change me. View more personal statement essay examples by signing up for a free CollegeVine account. Why is this? Most students applying to top schools will have stellar academics and extracurriculars.

Your essays are your chance to stand out and humanize your application. Before submitting your application, you should have someone else review your essays. While high school offered welcome academic opportunities--studying two languages and taking early science APs chief among them--the social environment was a different beast. Many classmates considered me more a little brother than a true friend, and my age and laser focus on academics initially made me socially inept.

Oftentimes, I secretly wished I was normal age. That secret desire manifested itself in different ways. I had grown up obsessively tracking my New England Patriots. Now, instead of armchair quarterbacking, I poured hours into throwing mechanics and studying film after my homework each night. But in the rush to change, my attitude towards academics shifted; I came to regard learning as more a job than a joy.

That view held sway until a conversation with my friend Alex, the fastest receiver on the team. As I told him I wished we could switch places so I could succeed on the gridiron, he stared incredulously. Instead of playing sports, I recognized, I should coach them. My goal to coach professionally has already helped me embrace the academic side of the game--my side--rather than sidelining it. Academically, that change re-inspired me. Able to express my full personality without social pressure, I rededicated myself in the classroom and my community.

I still secretly wish to be Tom Brady. The first line is great. In just the first bit we already know that the author is a football enthusiast, detail-oriented, and academically gifted. Not only does it tell us a lot about him, but it allows him to transition into the meat of his story about how his unconventional educational trajectory influenced the person he is today.

Think about how you can use the first sentence or two of your personal statement to effectively introduce readers to your narrative voice and rope them into reading more. Great personal statements often convey growth. In this example, the author struggles to find a place for himself in high school after skipping two grades and being homeschooled for a significant portion of his life.

If you think of your essay like a movie reel of your life, this moment is sort of like the climax. It covers a broad time frame, but still fits in tons of nice details. These are what make the essay great and specific to his life. As a young child, I was obsessed with flying. I spent hours watching birds fly, noting how the angle of their wings affected the trajectory of their flight.

I would then waste tons of fresh printer paper, much to the dismay of my parents, to test out various wing types by constructing paper airplanes. I built a plane out of a wooden clothes rack and blankets, with trash bags as precautionary parachutes. After being in the air for a solid second, the world came crashing around me as I slammed onto the bed, sending shards of wood flying everywhere. Why did hitting something soft break my frame?

As I grew older, my intrinsic drive to discover why stimulated a desire to solve problems, allowing my singular passion of flying to evolve into a deep-seated love of engineering. I began to challenge myself academically, taking the hardest STEM classes offered. Not only did this allow me to complete all possible science and math courses by the end of my junior year, but it also surrounded me with the smartest kids of the grades above me, allowing me access to the advanced research they were working on.

As such, I developed an innate understanding of topics such as protein function in the brain and differential equation modeling early in high school, helping me develop a strong science and math foundation to supplement my passion for engineering. I sought to make design collaborative, not limited to the ideas of one person.

Most of all, I sought to solve problems that impact the real world. Inspired by the water crisis in India, I developed a water purification system that combines carbon nanotube filters with shock electrodialysis to both desalinate and purify water more efficiently and cost-effectively than conventional plants. The project received 1st Honors at the Georgia Science Fair. Working on these two projects, I saw the raw power of engineering — an abstract idea gradually becoming reality.

I was spending most of my days understanding the why behind things, while also discovering solutions to prevalent issues. Thirteen years have passed since that maiden flight, and I have yet to crack physical human flight. My five-year-old self would have seen this as a colossal failure. But the intense curiosity that I found in myself that day is still with me. It has continued to push me, forcing me to challenge myself to tackle ever more complex problems, engrossed by the promise and applicability of engineering.

I may never achieve human flight. However, now I see what once seemed like a crash landing as a runway, the platform off of which my love of engineering first took flight. This writer is clearly a curious and intellectual person. It returns back to where it started.

In this case, the author comes back to his first flying experience and re-evaluates what the experience means to him now as well as how his thinking has evolved. Your end should loop back to where you started after your narrative arc is mostly complete. Uses specific jargon but not too much. We paused and listened, confused by sounds we had only ever heard on the news or in movies. My mother rushed out of the house and ordered us inside.

The Arab Spring had come to Bahrain. I learned to be alert to the rancid smell of tear gas. Its stench would waft through the air before it invaded my eyes, urging me inside before they started to sting. Newspaper front pages constantly showed images of bloodied clashes, made worse by Molotov cocktails. Martial Law was implemented; roaming tanks became a common sight. Bahrain, known for its palm trees and pearls, was waking up from a slumber. The only home I had known was now a place where I learned to fear.

September — Two and a half years after the uprisings, the events were still not a distant memory. I decided the answer to fear was understanding. I began to analyze the events and actions that led to the upheaval of the Arab Springs. In my country, religious and political tensions were brought to light as Shias, who felt underrepresented and neglected within the government, challenged the Sunnis, who were thought to be favored for positions of power.

I wanted equality and social justice; I did not want the violence to escalate any further and for my country to descend into the nightmare that is Libya and Syria. September — Pursuing understanding helped allay my fears, but I also wanted to contribute to Bahrain in a positive way.

I participated in student government as a student representative and later as President, became a member of Model United Nations MUN , and was elected President of the Heritage Club, a charity-focused club supporting refugees and the poor. As an MUN delegate, I saw global problems from perspectives other than my own and used my insight to push for compromise.

I debated human rights violations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from an Israeli perspective, argued whether Syrian refugees should be allowed entry into neighboring European countries, and then created resolutions for each problem. In the Heritage Club, I raised funds and ran food drives so that my team could provide support for less fortunate Bahrainis.

We regularly distributed boxed lunches to migrant workers, bags of rice to refugees and air conditioners to the poor. Both Shia and Sunni candidates are selected, helping to diversify the future leadership of my country. I was shortlisted to attend the training during that summer. But as I learned to apply different types of leadership styles to real-life situations and honed my communication skills to lead my team, I began to see what my country was missing: harmony based on trust.

Bringing people together from different backgrounds and successfully completing goals—any goal—builds trust. And trust is the first step to lasting peace. October — I have only begun to understand my people and my history, but I no longer live in fear. Instead, I have found purpose. I plan to study political science and economics to find answers for the issues that remain unresolved in my country.

Bahrain can be known for something more than pearl diving, palm trees, and the Arab Spring; it can be known for the understanding of its people, including me. Orients the reader in time. This author talks about an intensely political topic, which changed drastically over the course of a specific timeframe. Because of that, the use of timestamps elevates the piece and makes it easier for readers to follow the chronology of the story.

If your essay topic is something that has changed significantly over time or has developed in a chronological way, this might be a great blueprint for you. Check out our Feelings and Needs Exercise to brainstorm for this kind of essay where you learn something along a narrative arc from Point A to Point B. Gives us the right amount of context. However, remember that this is ultimately a personal statement, not a political statement.

You want to make sure you talk about yourself in the essay. When possible, think about how big issues manifest in your day to day life as well as what you specifically are doing to take action. I have been pooped on many times. I mean this in the most literal sense possible. I have been pooped on by pigeons and possums, house finches and hawks, egrets and eastern grays. Actually, that I do mind a little. Their chances of going back to the wild, going back to their homes, rely on my attention to their needs and behaviors.

My enduring interest in animals and habitat loss led me to intern at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley over the summer, and it was there that I was lucky enough to meet those opossum joeys that defecated on my shoes whenever I picked them up forcing me to designate my favorite pair of shoes as animal hospital shoes, never to be worn elsewhere again. It was there that a juvenile squirrel decided my finger looked fit to suckle, and that many an angry pigeon tried to peck off my hands.

And yet, when the internship ended, I found myself hesitant to leave. It was from the sense of responsibility that I developed while working with orphaned and injured wildlife. After all, most of the animals are there because of us—the baby opossums and squirrels are there because we hit their mothers with our cars, raptors and coyotes end up there due to secondary rodenticide poisoning and illegal traps.

We are responsible for the damage, so I believe we are responsible for doing what we can to help. And of course, there is empathy—empathy for the animals who lost their mothers, their homes, their sight and smell, their ability to fly or swim. These are not jobs that can be avoided or left half-finished. For some, the Arctic is simply too far away, and the oceans will always teem with life, while for others these problems seem too great to ever conquer.

And while I have had these same feelings many times over, I organized letter-writing campaigns, protested, and petitioned the oil companies to withdraw. I campaigned in local parks to educate people on sustaining the seas.

I hold on to the hope that persistent efforts will prevent further damage. I sometimes wonder if my preoccupation with social and environmental causes just makes me feel less guilty. The upshot is that I simply cannot walk away from injustice, however uncomfortable it is to confront it. I choose to act, taking a stand and exposing the truth in the most effective manner that I think is possible. Another great hook. Much like the football essay, this one starts off with a bang. After hearing about all the pecking, hissing, pooping, and clawing that the author endured, chances are you want to read more.

And notice how the initial pooping hook comes back in the last line of the essay. The scope gets wider as the piece progresses. The author starts with specific details about an internship opportunity then gradually works her way to broader topics about social justice and environmental activism.

Every part of the piece emphasizes her values, but they are more explicitly stated towards the end. This trajectory is nice because it allows the reader to ease themselves into the world of the author and then see how specific opportunities or interests connect to broader goals or ambitions.

This author does a great job of using humor as a tool to endear her to readers, but not as a crutch to lean on when she has nothing else to say. Not only is she cracking jokes about poop, but also deeply interrogating her own motivations for being interested in social and environmental activism.

Kardashian updates? Nope: A Word A Day. Out of the collection of diverse words I received, one word stuck out to me in particular. Entoptic : relating to images that originate within the eye as opposed to from light entering the eye. Examples of entoptic phenomena: floaters, thread-like fragments that appear to float in front of the eye but are caused by matter within the eye.

Flustered, I was attempting to evolve my abilities to learn to see the invisible. Between rubbing my eyes and squinting, I began to make out subtle specks in the air that drifted from place to place. I launched a thunderbolt straight through the air and declared a super-effective knockout.

Of course, I never was able to explain what I was seeing to my bewildered friends that day in first grade. But after learning about entoptic phenomena, I realized that my entoptic adventure was not a hallucination but, in fact, one of my first intellectual milestones, when I was first able to connect meticulous observation of my environment to my imagination.

Two of their names are Larry and Kailan, and they are the top-ranked players in the Exynos League. Exynos is the name of the elaborate basketball league I have created in my imagination over the last ten years of playing basketball on the neighborhood court in the evenings. As I play, I envision Larry and Kailan right there with me: reaching, stealing, and blocking.

Undoubtedly, I might look a little silly when I throw the ball backwards as if Larry blocked my layup attempt—but imagining competitors defending me drives me to be precise in my execution of different moves and maneuvers. But I perceive perhaps the most vivid images through music, as I tell a different story with each piece I play on the violin.

Denizens of this world are rumored to watch Netflix re-runs without WiFi and catch many a Pikachu via psychokinesis. It makes tons of uncommon connections. Yet the author uses the idea of imagination and its relation to vision to weave these disparate topics into a coherent narrative. In fact, his ability to do so emphasizes his ability to think creatively in ways that the average person may not. To find these, consider brainstorming everything you want colleges to know about you and then think of interesting ways in which these might intersect.

You absolutely can if you want to, but feel free to let your imagination run wild. If something excites or intrigues you, try writing a draft about it and see where it takes you. It would absolutely stand out from the other essays in the bunch. Sure, other people play basketball. But, the particular way in which the author articulates his interests and connects them makes it memorable. Current inventory: thirty-two note pads, ten packs of Pilot G-2 pens, and pure willpower.

I come from a long line of list-makers. It shows up on both sides of my family, so by the time this trait reached my generation, it hit a peak. My chronic list-making tendencies began in fourth grade when I begged for a white board and a set of Expo markers for Christmas. I started creating daily color-coordinated to-do lists replete with little checkmark boxes, and fun facts for my family to enjoy—perhaps to compensate for the fact that my large white board reigned over the kitchen space.

A list is the keeper of spontaneous expression. With every contraction of my brain, every output of overflowing postulations, every idea my imagination rapidly hurls at me, those thoughts that had been unconscious suddenly surface at the touch of pen to paper.

A thought, which is in so many ways intangible, is absolutely tangible on paper. And I like that thought—that our words can have resonance. Words and how they shape our reality have been a driving force in my life…. As a writer, I am constantly constructing reality. Writing on a page has a physicality: each word by itself could seem mundane and even unimaginative, but the way I choose to arrange them on the page makes them meaningful.

Someone reads them, and now my words exist in the world as their own object. As a debater, I edit on paper, I write on paper, I read on paper. As an artist, I spin my words into portraits of people, landscapes of nature, even cartoons of fantastical polka dotted critters. Words build bridges.

They serve to connect the me I am—a tad disorganized, spontaneous, a little confused, and very overwhelmed—with the me I aspire to be. I can rely on them. Although the course of my life is most likely going to be transient, jumbled, and complex, covered in a tangle of corrections, with contradicting figures sprawled all over, lists will always keep me grounded.

There is something wonderful about a physical pen with graceful ink in my control that a handwritten list can solely provide, and that I will not grow out of. Lists go hand in hand with refreshing walks and a cup of hot chocolate in the morning: they are always there for me, to be read or put away or kept tucked away in a drawer or pocket—within reach.

In that moment between thinking a thing and writing it down, a shift takes place. It includes some great one-liners. No paragraph is too dense or excessively wordy. Long sentences are balanced out by short, quippy insights. This give and take of short and long keeps the piece flowing smoothly. It harnesses the power of a great throughline. This piece is what we would call a montage essay. Have a look at our blog post on Montage Structure for all the details on this. In this case, the idea of making lists is what connects everything.

This essay is a great example of how you can structure your piece. It emphasizes not only what the author thinks about but also how she thinks. Sometimes students think that writing a personal statement is about cramming as much information as possible about themselves into the word count.

Although this author briefly mentions her interest in writing and debate, the majority of the essay is mostly just her nerding out about lists and the power of a good doodle. While that might not seem like a topic with enough substance, the way she writes about it reveals so much about personal values. Let this be an example of how expansive the idea of a personal statement can be and how much creative liberty you can take in choosing your topic.

Since childhood, I have been an obsessive builder and problem solver. When I was 6, I spent two months digging a hole in my backyard, ruining the grass lawn, determined to make a giant koi pond after watching a show on HGTV. After watching Castaway when I was 7, I started a fire in my backyard--to my mother's horror--using bark and kindling like Tom Hanks did.

I neglected chores and spent nights locked in my room drawing pictures and diagrams or learning rubik's cube algorithms while my mother yelled at me through the door to go to sleep. I've always been compulsive about the things I set my mind to. The satisfaction of solving problems and executing my visions is all-consuming. But my obsessive personality has helped me solve other problems, too. When I was 8, I taught myself how to pick locks. So I didn't eat at school for two weeks and saved up enough lunch money to buy a lockpicking set from Home Depot.

After I wiggled the tension wrench into the keyhole and twisted it counterclockwise, I began manipulating the tumblers in the keyhole with the pick until I heard the satisfying click of the lock and entered the room. Devouring his stash of Lemonheads was awesome, but not as gratifying as finally getting inside his room. As the projects I tackled got bigger, I had to be more resourceful. One day in history class after reading about early American inventions, I decided to learn how to use a Spinning Jenny.

For weeks, I brushed my two cats everyday until I had gathered enough fur. I washed and soaked it, carded it with paddle brushes to align the fibers, and then spun it into yarn, which I then used to crochet a clutch purse for my grandmother on mother's day. She still uses it to this day. In high school, my obsessive nature found a new outlet in art. Being a perfectionist, I often tore up my work in frustration at the slightest hint of imperfection. As a result, I was slowly falling behind in my art class, so I had to seek out alternate solutions to actualize the ideas I had in my head.

Oftentimes that meant using mixed media or experimenting with unconventional materials like newspaper or cardboard. Eventually I went on to win several awards, showcased my art in numerous galleries and magazines, and became President of National Art Honors Society. After high school I began to work on more difficult projects and I channeled my creativity into a different form of art - programming.

I'm writing a program in Matlab that can measure visual acuity and determine what prescription glasses someone would need. I ultimately plan to turn this into a smartphone app to be released to the general public. The fact is that computer coding is in many ways similar to the talents and hobbies I enjoyed as a child—they all require finding creative ways to solve problems. While my motivation to solve these problems might have been a childlike sense of satisfaction in creating new things, I have developed a new and profound sense of purpose and desire to put my problem solving skills to better our world.

It turns a perceived weakness into a critical strength. At the beginning of the essay, the author talks about all of the problems she caused because of her obsession ironically with problem-solving. However, as the piece progresses, we begin to see how her childlike curiosity and interest in making things became a clear asset. It becomes a way of emphasizing values like resourcefulness, empathy, and dedication. This example is no exception. The author here spends some time at the end talking about her plans for a prescription-measuring smartphone app and her general interest in learning more about computer coding.

Your essay can be the difference between an acceptance and rejection — it allows you to stand out from the rest of applicants with similar profiles.

Best scholarship essay proofreading site gb I pause a moment, taking it in, then do my best mouse scurry towards the wings. Eventually I went on to win several awards, showcased my vancouver resume in numerous galleries and magazines, and became President of National Art Honors Society. Are you tired of seeing an iPhone everywhere? In each of these essays, students were able to share stories from their everyday lives to reveal something about their character, values, and life that aligned with the culture and values at Hopkins. I peer through the tiny crack between the cupboard doors, trying to glimpse the audience. Check out the Wordvice Admissions Resource blog. To this day, I ponder its full importance in my life.
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Personal statement college essay examples Write for about 15 minutes, on each shortlisted topic. Do you have personal statement examples? Essentially, the personal statement is an essay that allows the admissions reader to learn more about you as a person. In the Heritage Club, I raised funds and ran food drives so that my team could provide support for less fortunate Bahrainis. These are what make the essay great and specific to his life.
Us social class essay Though her withered hands no longer displayed the swiftness and precision they once did, her face showed the aged rigor of a professional. I stood up and brushed thin sheets of ice off of my knees. They were all people my age who could not afford to be part of a record label and did something extraordinary by playing in these abandoned churches, making their own CDs and making thousands of promotional buttons by hand. Graduate School. It was from the sense of responsibility that I developed while working with orphaned and injured wildlife. With the last word, I feel satisfaction and pride.
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Because of this my parents both had a limited understanding of how independent and self motivated I had become. The event that brought my independence and self motivation, and the idea that I had reached adulthood to light, was my exchange trip to Morocco in the summer of I kept looking, and eventually found the SNYI-L program, a program with a full paying scholarship opportunity. The application in itself was a huge process, one I had to do on my own. Applying for a passport, organizing how my parents would both sign for my passport while living in separate states, keeping track of countless forms, finding my immunization records, etc.

At this point my parents finally somewhat recognized how self motivated and independent I had become. Being accepted as a finalist was icing on the cake. The idea that I could live in a foreign country, with a family I had never met, for two months, and the effort that it took for me to reach that point, drove home the idea that I was independent, I truly was an adult. The author has drafted a thoughtful coming-of-age story by exploring their relationship with their parents and how it influenced their own ability to independently make decisions about their interests and goals.

As they imply in their essay, self-determination is a process which all children must undergo at some point—they must find who they are, what they like and believe, and what they hope to accomplish free from the influence of the pillars in their life who have largely determined that for them up until the point of realization. Did they feel that they could only truly accept themselves as independent once their parents accepted it?

They should also spend more time reflecting on their own realization about their adulthood and how they came to take the reigns of their own future. What did this feel like? Was there a particular moment when they realized that the work would no longer be done for them? How did they grapple with this sudden burden of responsibility? The essay needs to focus on their own realization here, and less so on the process of proving their maturity to their parents. Secondly, the author should take a step back and think about what true independence and adulthood means to them.

Though the essay focuses on this coming-of-age period in their life, they never talk specifically about what this peak achievement would mean for them personally. Was it that they could get on a plane and go to Morocco and be alright without their parents, or was it that they had the ability to decide that they were interested in an immersive experience and that they took the necessary steps to achieve this interest?

Adulthood and independence mean different things to different people and look a little bit different to each of us depending on our different situations. Lastly, the essay could benefit from a deeper exploration of their relationship with their parents. The author talks in very broad terms about how they were raised and how their separation led to growth. Early in the essay, they mention a battle between their wishes and those of their parents.

What did these conversations, either internal or external, look like? They should show this in their writing, rather than telling it. Remember that the success of the essay depends on the ability to deeply personalize it and explore the relevant emotions and reflections associated with each step in the journey to adulthood.

While their journey to adulthood may include their parents, this essay should center around the author and their own recognition of their personal milestones and accomplishments. The twisting roads, ornate mosaics, and fragrant scent of freshly ground spices had been so foreign at first. It was hard to believe that only a few years earlier my mom was worried about letting me travel around my home city on my own, let alone a place that I had only lived in for a few weeks.

While I had been on a journey towards self-sufficiency and independence for a few years now, it was Morocco that pushed me to become the confident, self-reflective person that I am today. As a child, my parents pressured me to achieve perfect grades, master my swim strokes, and discover interesting hobbies like playing the oboe and learning to pick locks.

I felt compelled to live my life according to their wishes. Of course, this pressure was not a wholly negative factor in my life —— you might even call it support. Despite all these achievements, I felt like I had no sense of self beyond my drive for success. I had always been expected to succeed on the path they had defined.

As early as middle school, I was riding the light rail train by myself, reading maps to get myself home, and applying to special academic programs without urging from my parents. Even as I took more initiatives on my own, my parents both continued to see me as somewhat immature. I would be studying Arabic and learning my way around the city of Marrakesh. Although I think my parents were a little surprised when I told them my news, the addition of a fully-funded scholarship convinced them to let me go.

I lived with a host family in Marrakesh and learned that they, too, had high expectations for me. Today, my brother is one of my closest friends. Every week I accompany him to Carlson Hospital where he receives treatment for his obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.

After he leaves, I take out my notebook and begin writing where I left off. And Grace, my fears relieved For analysis of what makes this essay amazing , go here. Essay written for the "topic of your choice" prompt for the Common Application college application essays. Bowing down to the porcelain god, I emptied the contents of my stomach. Foaming at the mouth, I was ready to pass out. Ten minutes prior, I had been eating dinner with my family at a Chinese restaurant, drinking chicken-feet soup.

My mom had specifically asked the waitress if there were peanuts in it, because when I was two we found out that I am deathly allergic to them. When the waitress replied no, I went for it. 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. To find out if your essay passes the Great College Essay Test like this one did, go here. This essay could work for prompts 1, 2, 5 and 7 for the Common App.

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.

Each of the first five paragraphs works to SHOW. 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. He also goes one step further. Q: So what am I going to do with all these lessons? Identify your single greatest strength in this case, it was his ability to adapt to whatever life gave him. Ask: how did I learn this?

Show 1: "By teaching me English, nine year-old Cody taught me the importance of being able to learn from anyone. Show 2: "the Martinez family showed me the value of spending time together as a family" implication: he doesn't have this with his own family.

Show 3: "the Struiksma family taught me to reserve judgment about divorced women and adopted children. Show 4: "Mrs. Ortiz taught me the value of discipline. For years, processed snack foods ruled the kitchen kingdom of my household and animal products outnumbered plant-based offerings.

I fully embraced this new eating philosophy to show my support. I became entranced by the world of nutritional science and how certain foods could help prevent cancer or boost metabolism. Each new food I discovered gave me an education on the role diet plays on health.

I learned that, by eating sweet potatoes and brown rice, you could cure acne and heart disease. I discovered eating leafy greens with citrus fruits could boost iron absorption rates. I loved pairing my foods to create the perfect macronutrient balance.

Did you know beans and rice make a complete protein? Food has also turned me into a sustainability nut. Living plant-based also saves the planet from the impact of animal agriculture. For the same amount of land space, a farmer can produce kilograms of soybeans versus 16 kilograms of beef. I do my part to have as small of an ecological footprint as I can. I stopped using plastic snack bags and instead turned to reusable beeswax wraps.

My favorite reusable appliance is my foldable straw. We are currently working on a restaurant campaign to encourage local eateries to create a plant-based, oil-free menu option and become PlantPure certified. After discovering how many restaurants use oil in their cooking, I decided I needed to open a plant-based oil free cafe to make up for this gap.

This allows me to educate people about nutritional science through the stomach. Finally, I am a strong proponent of hands-on experience for learning what good food looks and tastes like, so cooking is one of my favorite ways to teach the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Our society has taught us that delicious food has to make us feel guilty, when that is simply not the case.

The best feeling in the world is falling in love with a dish and then learning all the health benefits that it provides the body. While my classmates complain about being tired, I have more energy because my body is finally getting the right macros, vitamins, and minerals it needs. But the foods I am particular about have changed. Rather than a carboholic, I choose to call myself a vegeholic.

Its instructions are simple: Open the Google Sheet, enter a number between 1 and 20 that best represents my level of happiness, and write a short comment describing the day. But the practical aspect of the spreadsheet is only a piece of what it has represented in my life. What had started as a farcical proposition of mine transformed into a playground where high school classmates and I convene every two weeks to prepare a savory afternoon snack for ourselves.

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.