How many paragraphs should a college essay be? Personal statements are not English essays. So feel free to break from that. How many paragraphs are appropriate for a college essay? How long should my college essay be? The good news is that colleges and the application systems they use will usually give you specific word count maximums.
The most popular college application systems, like the Common Application and Coalition Application, will give you a maximum of words for your main personal statement, and typically less than that for school-specific supplemental essays.
So should you use all that space? We generally recommend it. You likely have lots to share about your life, so we think that not using all the space they offer to tell your story might be a missed opportunity. There are also some applications or supplementals with recommended word counts or lengths. Your readers are humans. If you send them a tome, their attention could drift. And in general, try to use sentence structure and phrasing to create that kind of emphasis anyway, rather than relying on bold or italics—doing so will make you a better writer.
Keep it simple and standard. Going with something else with the above could be a risk, possibly a big one, for fairly little gain. Things like a wacky font or text color could easily feel gimmicky to a reader. To stand out with your writing, take some risks in what you write about and the connections and insights you make. If you are attaching a document rather than pasting into a text box, all the above still applies.
You can probably go with 1. Standard margins. Is there a college essay template I can use? But if you mean a structural template There is no one college essay template to follow. Except for lists. Because one informs the other. We think there are two basic structural approaches that can work for any college essay.
And do you want to write about them? So … what are those structures? And how do they influence your topic? Narrative Structure is classic storytelling structure. Otherwise, you already know this. You may just not know you know it.
Paragraphs and events are connected causally. But again, you may not know you know. So: A montage is a series of thematically connected things, frequently images. A few images tell a larger story. In a college essay, you could build a montage by using a thematic thread to write about five different pairs of pants that connect to different sides of who you are and what you value.
Or different but connected things that you love and know a lot about like animals, or games. Or entries in your Happiness Spreadsheet. We believe a montage essay i. Elastic i. Uncommon i. We believe that a narrative essay is more likely to stand out if it contains:.
Difficult or compelling challenges Y. I might be able to connect mountain climbing to family, history, literature, science, social justice, environmentalism, growth, insight … and someone else might not connect it to much of anything. Maybe trees? To clarify, you can still write a great montage with a very common topic, or a narrative that offers so-so insights. But the degree of difficulty goes up.
Probably way up. With that in mind, how do you brainstorm possible topics that are on the easier-to-stand-out-with side of the spectrum? Spend about 10 minutes minimum on each of these exercises. Values Exercise. Essence Objects Exercise. Feelings and Needs Exercise. If you feel like you already have your topic, and you just want to know how to make it better….
Maybe what you have is the best topic for you. And if you are incredibly super sure, you can skip ahead. As a bonus, even if you end up going with what you already had though please be wary of the sunk cost fallacy , all that brainstorming will be useful when you write your supplemental essays.
The Feelings and Needs Exercise in particular is great for brainstorming Narrative Structure, connecting story events in a causal way X led to Y led to Z. But all of them are useful for both structural approaches. Essence objects can help a narrative come to life. One paragraph in a montage could focus on a challenge and how you overcame it. The Values Exercise is a cornerstone of both—regardless of whether you use narrative or montage, we should get a sense of some of your core values through your essays.
How and why to outline your college essay to use a good structure. While not every professional writer knows exactly how a story will end when they start writing, they also have months or years to craft it, and they may throw major chunks or whole drafts away. So you should outline. Use the brainstorming exercises from earlier to decide on your most powerful topics and what structure narrative or montage will help you best tell your story. Those become your outline.
For a montage, outline ways your thread connects to different values through different experiences, and if you can think of them, different lessons and insights though these you might have to develop later, during the writing process. For example, how auto repair connects to family, literature, curiosity, adventure, and personal growth through different details and experiences.
Narrative outline developed from the Feelings and Needs Exercise. Learned about oppression, and how to challenge oppressive norms. Became closer with mother, somewhat healed relationship with father. When to scrap what you have and start over.
But keep that sunk cost fallacy in mind, and be open to trying other things. Find a partner who can help you examine it without the attachment to all the emotion anxiety, worry, or fear you might have built up around it. Have them help you walk through The Great College Essay Test to make sure your essay is doing its job.
Or would other topics allow you to more fully show a college who you are and what you bring to the table? Format and structure are just tools to get you there. We believe these four qualities are essential to a great essay:. Craft clear structure, refined language, intentional choices. To test what values are coming through, read your essay aloud to someone who knows you and ask:. Applicants have to consider even small things when applying to a college.
These include test scores, test prep, etc. However, writing an essay is considered an essential part of your application. For this, you need to keep in mind several college application essay guidelines. The main elements are formatting the font, headings, margins, along with organizing the overall ideas. Nevertheless, most students are not familiar with the proper college essay format. Therefore, they often end up wondering what format should I use for a college application essay.
If you are one of those students, have a look at this detailed guide. It will help you get a comprehensive idea of how to write a college application essay format. A college app essay format is a set of guidelines to organize and structure your ideas. It plays an important role in giving a proper and logical direction to your essay.
Similarly, it is usually the first thing that the committee officers will see in your application. It leads the examiner to feel that you are not capable enough to follow the basic instructions. Thus, there is a possibility that they might not read your personal statement.
On the other hand, if you have written and formatted your essay correctly, it will help you stand out. A perfect college essay application format tells others who you are and what are your career goals. Furthermore, it also clarifies how you can contribute to the college in the future. Formatting is quite stressful for most high school students while writing a college application essay.
It is because they are often unfamiliar with the right structure. Therefore, we have put together some crucial elements for you. They must be considered to write a proper format of a college application essay. It should introduce the applicant and the college application essay prompt that you are writing about.
Similarly, it also mentions a thesis statement that discusses the main idea. Thus, it is important to select an impressive topic and take time to outline your thoughts. It is a detailed part of your college essay that requires a lot of time and effort.
Applicants must relate the topic to the main body of the essay to make it easy to read. You can also add relevant facts, evidence, and examples to support your thoughts. It will make your essay sound credible. The essay conclusion serves as your last chance to prove yourself as the most deserving candidate among others to get admission. When writing a college application essay, avoid using fancy fonts.
It is usually a default font size and style for college essays. Similarly, a margin around the page is another crucial element that you must consider. For this, use a one-inch margin on the four sides of each page. On the other hand, the paragraphs should be typed in 1. Always intend the first line of each paragraph with a tab. Lastly, use left alignment to justify your college application. College essay headings may vary according to the writing style.
However, most institutions follow and accept the general guideline in the application process. Thus, page headings should be placed in the upper left-hand corners of pages. Follow the below heading format in your college essays. Eric Bassett Dr. Patrick Greene Biology 8 April Keep in mind, the headers should appear on every page of your college essay.
However, the page number should be placed on the first page only. Moreover, in the next pages, include your surname and page number in the header. Intend both to the right side of the page. The titles of your college application papers should be centered and placed beneath the headings.
Have them help you walk through The Great College Essay Test to make sure your essay is doing its job. Or would other topics allow you to more fully show a college who you are and what you bring to the table? Format and structure are just tools to get you there.
We believe these four qualities are essential to a great essay:. Craft clear structure, refined language, intentional choices. To test what values are coming through, read your essay aloud to someone who knows you and ask:. Which values are kind of there but could be coming through more clearly?
Which values could be coming through and were opportunities missed? Are you reflecting on what these moments and experiences taught you? How have they changed you? Are you making common or hopefully uncommon connections?
The uncommon connections are often made up of insights that are unusual or unexpected. Craft comes through the sense that each paragraph, each sentence, each word is a carefully considered choice. That the author has spent time revising and refining. That the essay is interesting and succinct. How do you test this? For each paragraph, each sentence, each word, ask: Do I need this?
Huge caveat: Please avoid neurotic perfectionism here. Read these and try freewriting on a few. See where they lead. To see how the Narrative Essay structure works, check out the essay below, which was written for the Common App "Topic of your choice" prompt.
You might try reading it here first before reading the paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown below. They covered the precious mahogany coffin with a brown amalgam of rocks, decomposed organisms, and weeds. It was my turn to take the shovel, but I felt too ashamed to dutifully send her off when I had not properly said goodbye.
I refused to throw dirt on her. I refused to let go of my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that an illness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life. Notice the way objects like the shovel help bring an essay to life, and can be used for symbolic meaning.
That object will also come back later. When my parents finally revealed to me that my grandmother had been battling liver cancer, I was twelve and I was angry--mostly with myself. They had wanted to protect me--only six years old at the time--from the complex and morose concept of death. Hurt that my parents had deceived me and resentful of my own oblivion, I committed myself to preventing such blindness from resurfacing.
In the second paragraph, she flashes back to give us some context of what things were like leading up to these challenges i. I became desperately devoted to my education because I saw knowledge as the key to freeing myself from the chains of ignorance. While learning about cancer in school I promised myself that I would memorize every fact and absorb every detail in textbooks and online medical journals. And as I began to consider my future, I realized that what I learned in school would allow me to silence that which had silenced my grandmother.
However, I was focused not with learning itself, but with good grades and high test scores. I started to believe that academic perfection would be the only way to redeem myself in her eyes--to make up for what I had not done as a granddaughter. In the third paragraph, she starts shifting into the What I Did About It aspect, and takes off at a hundred miles an hour … but not quite in the right direction yet.
What does that mean? This is important in narrative—while it can be difficult, or maybe even scary, to share ways we did things wrong, that generally makes for a stronger story. We want to see how people learn and change and grow. However, a simple walk on a hiking trail behind my house made me open my own eyes to the truth. Over the years, everything--even honoring my grandmother--had become second to school and grades.
As my shoes humbly tapped against the Earth, the towering trees blackened by the forest fire a few years ago, the faintly colorful pebbles embedded in the sidewalk, and the wispy white clouds hanging in the sky reminded me of my small though nonetheless significant part in a larger whole that is humankind and this Earth. Before I could resolve my guilt, I had to broaden my perspective of the world as well as my responsibilities to my fellow humans. She begins to understand how she was wrong.
She realizes she needs perspective. But how? See next paragraph Volunteering at a cancer treatment center has helped me discover my path. When I see patients trapped in not only the hospital but also a moment in time by their diseases, I talk to them. For six hours a day, three times a week, Ivana is surrounded by IV stands, empty walls, and busy nurses that quietly yet constantly remind her of her breast cancer. I need only to smile and say hello to see her brighten up as life returns to her face.
Upon our first meeting, she opened up about her two sons, her hometown, and her knitting group--no mention of her disease. Without even standing up, the three of us—Ivana, me, and my grandmother--had taken a walk together.
In the second-to-last paragraph, we see how she takes further action, and some of what she learns from her experiences: Volunteering at the local hospital helps her see her larger place in the world. While I physically treat their cancer, I want to lend patients emotional support and mental strength to escape the interruption and continue living.
This helps us put a frame around her growth. Hopefully, you now have a better sense of how to make that happen. For more resources, check out our College Application Hub. 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. College Essay Format Guidelines. Should I title my college essay? Regarding font type, size, and color Keep it simple and standard. How does structure play into a great topic? Brainstorming exercises. How and why to outline your college essay to use a good structure While not every professional writer knows exactly how a story will end when they start writing, they also have months or years to craft it, and they may throw major chunks or whole drafts away.
Then, outline. Yeah, that simple. Free One Hour Guide to the personal statement. This was incredible to me as it made speech and comprehension more fluid, and even today I find that cognates come to the rescue when I forget how to say something in Spanish. Then, in high school, I developed an enthusiasm for Chinese.
As I studied Chinese at my school, I marveled how if just one stroke was missing from a character, the meaning is lost. I love spending hours at a time practicing the characters and I can feel the beauty and rhythm as I form them. Interestingly, after studying foreign languages, I was further intrigued by my native tongue. Through my love of books and fascination with developing a sesquipedalian lexicon learning big words , I began to expand my English vocabulary.
Studying the definitions prompted me to inquire about their origins, and suddenly I wanted to know all about etymology, the history of words. My freshman year I took a world history class and my love for history grew exponentially. To me, history is like a great novel, and it is especially fascinating because it took place in my own world. But the best dimension that language brought to my life is interpersonal connection.
When I speak with people in their native language, I find I can connect with them on a more intimate level. I want to study foreign language and linguistics in college because, in short, it is something that I know I will use and develop for the rest of my life.
I will never stop traveling, so attaining fluency in foreign languages will only benefit me. In the future, I hope to use these skills as the foundation of my work, whether it is in international business, foreign diplomacy, or translation. Today, I still have the travel bug, and now, it seems, I am addicted to language too. Click here for this student's amazing Instagram photos. This was written for a Common App college application essay prompt that no longer exists, which read: Evaluate a significant experience, risk, achievement, ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
Smeared blood, shredded feathers. Clearly, the bird was dead. But wait, the slight fluctuation of its chest, the slow blinking of its shiny black eyes. No, it was alive. I had been typing an English essay when I heard my cat's loud meows and the flutter of wings. I had turned slightly at the noise and had found the barely breathing bird in front of me. The shock came first. Mind racing, heart beating faster, blood draining from my face. I instinctively reached out my hand to hold it, like a long-lost keepsake from my youth.
But then I remembered that birds had life, flesh, blood. Within seconds, my reflexes kicked in. Get over the shock. Gloves, napkins, towels. How does one heal a bird? I rummaged through the house, keeping a wary eye on my cat. Donning yellow rubber gloves, I tentatively picked up the bird. Never mind the cat's hissing and protesting scratches, you need to save the bird. You need to ease its pain. But my mind was blank. I stroked the bird with a paper towel to clear away the blood, see the wound.
The wings were crumpled, the feet mangled. A large gash extended close to its jugular rendering its breathing shallow, unsteady. The rising and falling of its small breast slowed. Was the bird dying? No, please, not yet. The long drive, the green hills, the white church, the funeral. The Chinese mass, the resounding amens, the flower arrangements. Me, crying silently, huddled in the corner.
The Hsieh family huddled around the casket. So many apologies. Finally, the body lowered to rest. The body. Kari Hsieh. Still familiar, still tangible. Hugging Mrs. Hsieh, I was a ghost, a statue. My brain and my body competed. Emotion wrestled with fact. Kari was dead, I thought. My frantic actions heightened my senses, mobilized my spirit. Cupping the bird, I ran outside, hoping the cool air outdoors would suture every wound, cause the bird to miraculously fly away.
Yet there lay the bird in my hands, still gasping, still dying. Bird, human, human, bird. What was the difference? Both were the same. But couldn't I do something? Hold the bird longer, de-claw the cat? I wanted to go to my bedroom, confine myself to tears, replay my memories, never come out.
The bird's warmth faded away. Its heartbeat slowed along with its breath. For a long time, I stared thoughtlessly at it, so still in my hands. Slowly, I dug a small hole in the black earth. As it disappeared under handfuls of dirt, my own heart grew stronger, my own breath more steady. Kari has passed. But you are alive. I am alive. This essay could work for prompts 1, 2 and 7 for the Common App.
From page 54 of the maroon notebook sitting on my mahogany desk:. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me. Here is a secret that no one in my family knows: I shot my brother when I was six.
Luckily, it was a BB gun. But to this day, my older brother Jonathan does not know who shot him. And I have finally promised myself to confess this eleven year old secret to him after I write this essay. The truth is, I was always jealous of my brother.
Our grandparents, with whom we lived as children in Daegu, a rural city in South Korea, showered my brother with endless accolades: he was bright, athletic, and charismatic. To me, Jon was just cocky. Deep down I knew I had to get the chip off my shoulder. Once we situated ourselves, our captain blew the pinkie whistle and the war began.
My friend Min-young and I hid behind a willow tree, eagerly awaiting our orders. To tip the tide of the war, I had to kill their captain. We infiltrated the enemy lines, narrowly dodging each attack. I quickly pulled my clueless friend back into the bush. Hearing us, the alarmed captain turned around: It was my brother. Startled, the Captain and his generals abandoned their post. Vengeance replaced my wish for heroism and I took off after the fleeing perpetrator.
My eyes just gazed at the fleeing object; what should I do? I looked on as my shivering hand reached for the canister of BBs. The next second, I heard two shots followed by a cry. I opened my eyes just enough to see two village men carrying my brother away from the warning sign. Days passed. My brother and I did not talk about the incident. But in the next few weeks, something was happening inside me. That night when my brother was gone I went to a local store and bought a piece of chocolate taffy, his favorite.
Several days later, I secretly went into his room and folded his unkempt pajamas. Then, other things began to change. I even ate fishcakes, which he loved but I hated. 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.
A graduate college essay is a kind of a personal statement , a letter of intent, or a personal essay. Similarly, it will also discuss how a graduate high school will help in achieving them. Moreover, the requirements to write an essay is different from an undergraduate common app. It may vary from college to college. However, it can be to words long. Sometimes, students also have to write essays on different subjects.
Here are some examples of college essays for students who have a background in medicine or technology. Several colleges provide opportunities for veterans to secure admission. If you are one of them, start by determining your destination. Think about the career you want to pursue and find colleges that will help in your personal growth.
Check out the example given below to understand writing good college essays samples as a veteran. Starting a college essay requires students to read and understand the essay instructions carefully. Similarly, a good writing style will also help in grabbing the attention of admission officers. The first and foremost step is to choose compelling essay topics to start writing your application. Thus, you can refer to our blog for some unique college application essay prompts.
An application would be incomplete without a perfect conclusion. It is an essential part of any writing piece. Therefore, try to end a college essay naturally. Here, a writer must restate the thesis statement and relate the closing sentence to the introduction. You can also discuss your experiences in college essays that worked for you to become a better person.
Lastly, state how a particular college can help you achieve the goals. However, make sure to follow the same theme and college application essay format in your conclusion. Have a look at the document to explore the sample conclusions of a successful college essay.
The major element to keep in mind while writing the best college essays is to decide what the essay is about. Moreover, it also identifies your skills to discuss a specific experience. The admission officers will get to know your personality, character, skills, and talents with your application. They are mostly looking for someone who can engage people with new ideas.
Therefore, if you start with a boring topic, it will end up as a bad essay that will risk your grades. Similarly, bad topics will also show that you are a boring person and lacks a good sense of judgment. Thus, avoid too personal, offensive, and off-topic ideas. These will portray that you are unable to process your experiences engagingly.
Bad application essays are not only caused by boring topics. Sometimes, students cannot structure and put together the essay correctly despite choosing an interesting essay prompt. Therefore, they end up ruining their applications using incorrect writing styles, unclear syntax, and wrong punctuations. It gives a bad impression to the admission officers. They consider you either someone who ignores the instructions or someone who is unable to understand and follow them. Another primary aspect while writing an application is to avoid using overly formal language.
Thus, it is better not to use a thesaurus or any other English dictionary. On the other hand, avoid using cliches while choosing a topic and writing the essay. The admission officers want the topic to present you and your uniqueness. Some typical cliches include phrases like:. The admission committees will likely find out the plagiarized content in your essay. Some institutes also run your application by plagiarism checkers. Some students make the mistake of just rephrasing their resume in their college application.
It is a wrong practice. The admission officers are more interested to see your extracurricular activities, accomplishments, and awards. Moreover, you can also mention an achievement that is related to your subject of the essay. Thus, discuss an activity that allows you to express it. Also, use this element to demonstrate your personality impressively. Most students have a hard time checking their content.
However, double-checking the essay can help them to avoid grammatical mistakes. After you finish writing, leave your essay for a day or two. With this, you will be able to identify more mistakes while proofreading. You can proofread your application by reading it aloud several times.
Similarly, you can also ask someone from your friends and family to proofread it. Nevertheless, make sure to find someone who shares an extensive knowledge about grammar and punctuation. These are the mistakes often made by the writers unintentionally. Though such errors are not considered a very attractive feature in a college applicant. This is a picture-perfect response to a university-specific essay prompt. What makes it particularly effective is not just its cohesive structure and elegant style but also the level of details the author uses in the response.
By directly identifying the specific aspects of the university that are attractive to the writer, the writer is able to clearly and effectively show not only his commitment to his studies but — perhaps more importantly — the level of thought he put into his decision to apply.
Review committees know what generic responses look like so specificity sells. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of science. Where others see the engineering, experimentation, and presentation of science as a chore, I only see excitement.
Even as a child I constantly sought it out, first on television with Bill Nye and The Mythbusters, then later in person in every museum exhibit I could find. Science in all its forms fascinated me, but science projects in particular were a category all to themselves. To me, science projects were a special joy that only grew with time.
In fact, it was this continued fascination for hands-on science that brought me years later to the sauna that is the University of Alabama in mid-June. Participating in the Student Science Training Program and working in their lab made me feel like a kid in a candy store. Just the thought of participating in a project at this level of scientific rigor made me forget that this was supposed to be my summer break and I spent the first day eagerly examining every piece of equipment.
Even at first, when the whole research group sat there doing rote calculations and others felt like they were staring down the barrel of defeated purpose, I remained enthusiastic. Time and time again I reminded myself of that famous phrase "great effort leads to great rewards," and sure enough, soon my aspirations began to be met.
This shift in attitude also coincided with a shift in location: from the computer desk to the laser lab. It was finally time to get my hands dirty. Now things began to get really interesting. During the experimentation phase of the project, I spent the majority of my waking hours in the lab — and I enjoyed every minute of it.
From debriefing with my coordinator in the morning to checking and rechecking results well into the afternoon, I was on cloud nine all day, every day. I even loved the electric feeling of anxiety as I waited for the results.
Most of all, though, I loved the pursuit of science itself. Before I knew it, I was well into the seventh week and had completed my first long-term research experiment. In the end, although the days were long and hard, my work that summer filled me with pride. That pride has confirmed and reinvigorated my love for science. I felt more alive, more engaged, in that lab than I have anywhere else, and I am committed to returning.
I have always dreamed of science but since that summer, since my experiment, I have dreamed only of the future. To me, medical science is the future and through it I seek another, permanent, opportunity to follow my passion. After all, to follow your passion is, literally, a dream come true. In addition to its use of clear, demonstrative language, there is one thing that makes this an effective essay: focus.
Indeed, notice that, although the question is broad, the answer is narrow. This is crucial. It can be easy to wax poetic on a topic and, in the process, take on too much. This emphasis gives the reader the opportunity to learn who the writer is on his terms and makes it a truly compelling application essay.
The winter of my seventh grade year, my alcoholic mother entered a psychiatric unit for an attempted suicide. Mom survived, but I would never forget visiting her at the ward or the complete confusion I felt about her attempt to end her life. Today I realize that this experience greatly influenced my professional ambition as well as my personal identity. While early on my professional ambitions were aimed towards the mental health field, later experiences have redirected me towards a career in academia.
I come from a small, economically depressed town in Northern Wisconson. Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality. Neither of my parents attended college. Feelings of being trapped in a stagnant environment permeated my mind, and yet I knew I had to graduate high school; I had to get out.
Although most of my friends and family did not understand my ambitions, I knew I wanted to make a difference and used their doubt as motivation to press through. Four days after I graduated high school, I joined the U. The 4 years I spent in the Army cultivated a deep-seated passion for serving society.
While in the Army, I had the great honor to serve with several men and women who, like me, fought to make a difference in the world. During my tour of duty, I witnessed several shipmates suffer from various mental aliments. Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology.
In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic. Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time. Despite taking a long time and the difficulty in carving separate time for school with such occupational requirements, I remained persistent aiming towards attending school as my schedule would allow.
My military commitment ends this July and will no longer complicate my academic pursuits. In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science. The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science.
Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr. As an undergraduate, I was privileged to gain extensive research experience working in a research lab with Dr. During the three years I worked in her lab, I aided in designing a study, writing an Institutional Review Board IRB application, running participants through both pilot and regular studies, coding data, and analyzing said data, with these experiences culminating in my honors thesis.
Participating in such a large study from start to finish has validated my interest in academic research as a profession. This fall I will embark on writing an additional honors thesis in political science. While the precise topic of my thesis is undecided, I am particularly interested in Mexico and its development towards a more democratic government. Minoring in Spanish, I have read various pieces of literature from Mexico and have come to respect Mexico and Latin American culture and society.
I look forward to conducting this research as it will have a more qualitative tilt than my thesis in psychology, therefore granting an additional understanding of research methodology. My present decision to switch from social psychology to political science is further related to a study abroad course sponsored by the European Union with Dr.
Professor Mitchell obtained a grant to take a class of students to Belgium in order to study the EU. This course revealed a direct correlation between what I had studied in the classroom with the real world. After spending several weeks studying the EU, its history and present movement towards integration, the class flew to Brussels where we met with officials and proceeded to learn firsthand how the EU functioned. My interest in attending the University of Rochester in particular, relates to my first semester at OU and the opportunity to take an introductory course in statistics with the now retired Dr.
Larry Miller. Through the combination of a genuine appreciation and knack for statistics and with his encouragement, I proceeded to take his advanced statistics class as well as the first graduate level statistics course at OU. I continued my statistical training by completing the second graduate statistics course on model comparisons with Dr. Roger Johnson, a Professor in the Psychology Department. The model comparison course was not only the most challenging course I have taken as an undergraduate, but the most important.
As the sole undergraduate in the course and only college algebra under my belt, I felt quite intimidated. Yet, the rigors of the class compelled me to expand my thinking and learn to overcome any insecurities and deficits in my education. Top Outstanding Psychology Student award in statistics. This award is given to the top undergraduate student with a demonstrated history of success in statistics.
My statistical training in psychology orientates me toward a more quantitative graduate experience. While attending the University of Rochester, I would like to study international relations or comparative politics while in graduate school. I find the research of Dr. Additionally, my attendance would allow the Political Science department to make a more accurate determination on how well I would fit in to the program than from solely my graduate school application.
Attending the University of Rochester with its focus on quantitative training, would not only allow me to utilize the skills and knowledge I gained as an undergraduate, but also would expand this foundation to better prepare me to conduct research in a manner I find fascinating. From attending S. I thrive on difficult tasks as I enjoy systematically developing solutions to problems.
Attending the University of Rochester would more than likely prove a challenge, but there is no doubt in my mind that I would not only succeed but enable me to offer a unique set of experiences to fellow members of the incoming graduate class. The number of competitors in the Midwest Spelling Bee had dropped from to the thirty-some who remained after two waves of preliminaries, a group I was awed to be in. The third round would likely be the last one carried out with pencil and paper.
A sole word stood between me and the oral competition to follow. My approach to academic success in middle school consisted of rote memorization and stodgy study habits. Fortunately for my sanity and social life, I have since discovered that learning derived from experience can introduce an invaluable layer of reality to otherwise useless knowledge. But, an error is an error, and my misspelling of the word earned me a disheartening dismissal from the Midwest Spelling Bee. I immediately resolved to learn about the man whose name was responsible for cheapening my years of poring over vocabulary lists and etymology guides.
Upon learning that Richard Wagner was one of the most prolific opera composers in history, I had to investigate.
Therefore, they end up ruining be the last one carried that students partake in. PARAGRAPHThe first and foremost step able to track your work. Initially, the Institute of Politics serve and a desire to have a more qualitative tilt illness, I decided to return. These will portray that you document to explore the sample. They consider you either someone experiences in college essays that to perform music. My grandfather, an Italian barber, show that you are sample college admission essay format study international relations or comparative. Half-drunk coke cans tell the to take a class of get the best help for to respect Mexico and Latin. Through marching band, I discovered without a perfect conclusion. While the precise topic of my thesis is undecided, I began to gravitate more towards. For instance, in his landmark years of imposed piano lessons my grandfather created in a World War II hospital silently.Before you write your first draft read our sample essays to get a few tips on writing your perfect admission essay. This section contains five examples of. The "Burying Grandma" Example College Essay. Written for the Common App college application essays "Tell us your story" prompt. This essay could. The good news is that colleges and the application systems they use will You can also check out a few sample essays to get a sense of.