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Year after year, we review dozens of reader nominations, revisit sites from past lists, consider staff favorites, and search the far-flung corners of the web for new celebration of new year essay for a varied compilation that will prove an asset to any writer, of any genre, at any experience level. This selection represents this year's creativity-centric websites for writers. These websites fuel out-of-the-box thinking and help writers awaken their choke palahnuik and literary analysis. Be sure to check out the archives for references to innovative techniques and processes from famous thinkers like Einstein and Darwin. The countless prompts, how-tos on guided imagery and creative habits, mixed-media masterpieces, and more at Creativity Portal have sparked imaginations for more than 18 years. Boost your literary credentials by submitting your best caption for the stand-alone cartoon to this weekly choke palahnuik and literary analysis from The New Yorker. The top three captions advance to a public vote, and the winners will be included in a future issue of the magazine.

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School entrance essay example

I enjoy helping out with the animals there and aiding the general conservation attempts of the charity. Generally, we tended to smaller animals like badgers and raccoons but sometimes we got larger animals to look after like deer, which have been injured out in the wild.

For me, helping to look after a wounded deer and helping her return to the wild was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Naturally, I found it very refreshing to see your institutions commitment to ethical and sustainable research practices. One day, I would like the opportunity to contribute to academic journals of the future so that I can influence generations of the future to go into the sciences.

Learning about how western Christendom ushered to defense of the holy land and occupied the surrounding areas seemed strangely reminiscent of western interventionism following the Iraq war. To me this was one of those places where History seemed to repeat itself. Since first becoming enamored with the Crusades my passion for History has steadily grown outwards. My interest in studying history comes both as a result of interest, and as a stepping-stone into a career in Journalism.

A History degree would act as evidence of my ability to research and disseminate information into a concise and compelling format. Indeed, I would be well place to communicate with others in lectures and seminars as I have read enough over time to become quite fluent at presenting information and arguing a point.

After completing a work experience placement at a local newspaper recently I have known that Journalism was the career for me. As part of my experience, I had the opportunity to shadow one of the local journalists, helping to source research for articles through a mixture of online and print based sources.

It was my responsibility to ensure that what was written down was accurate and to organize this data so that it could be included within an article. I even got the chance to ghost write on a couple of smaller pieces. I thrive off absorbing ideas from new books. My favorite book would have to be The Prince by Machiavelli.

I found the way that Machiavelli eschews traditional morality in favor of tyrannical pragmatism to be very interesting and disturbing. Exposing myself to these unorthodox political ideas is part of what has made me want to go into political journalism, to engage with ideas that others have put out there, and to critique them.

Whilst other kids were out playing football, I was in the boxing gym working hard. As I grew older at high school I began to look for an avenue that I could make a real career out of, and by chance I stumbled upon an old episode of the TV show Law and Order. I found the idea of being a lawyer and being judged on your performance to be incredibly interesting. To me, being a lawyer meant working in a meritocratic environment where you are rewarded on your performance.

Harvard Law School has become synonymous with the study of law across the world, and for good reason. As an elite academic institution, Harvard Law School has the capacity not just to forge careers, but also to forge illustrious careers. I am confident that I am of the character, ability, and intestinal fortitude to thrive in such an environment.

For me this is an opportunity to stand out from my peers and to create the life that I want to live. A degree from Harvard Law School will place the keys of my future in law well within my own hands. Recently, I completed a work experience placement shadowing a lawyer, and have had the opportunity to sit and observe a number of trials.

With my commitment to working hard, I will be well placed within the culture of Harvard Law School. While I like to read, play soccer, be in the outdoors, and hang out with my friends, my passion is music. It started when as a 7 year olds and has blossomed into something I would have never expected.

I have learned how to work hard and about victory and defeat. Music has led me on many adventures, helped me find my identity, and shaped who I am today. One of my first significant experiences as a musician came in the sixth grade. My school did not offer band classes until middle school, but by that age I had been studying a few years with a private instructor and was a member of a community youth orchestra.

When I arrived at school, I quickly discovered that I was one of the best musicians in my grade and was given the opportunity to join three bands: the sixth grade band, the seventh grade band, and the jazz band which was normally limited to seventh and eighth graders. I reluctantly performed a short trumpet solo during our first performance before the student body. I worked hard on the piece and it went well, but what I remember most was that when I walked down the halls after the concert other sixth graders congratulated me.

While it may sound vein, this experience allowed me at a young and impressionable age to embrace who I am and gave me self-confidence, pride, and a sense of identity. That spring I also auditioned for two all-district bands with the best seventh and eighth graders in the county even though I was only in sixth grade. The experience did not go as well — I was nervous and did a terrible job. I was devastated, but soon realized that if I truly wanted to be great I had to dedicate myself to working harder and learning to handle stress better.

I have drawn on these lessons many times in high school. I joined the marching and jazz bands, and made multiple all-district and all-state bands. In addition, when faced with peer pressure or when it would have been easy to question who I am, I was better able to be steadfast and grounded than many of my peers. My greatest musical achievement happened at the end of my junior year when I participated in the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

I stopped working afterschool my last two quarters and doubled my practice time to prepare for the audition. I remembered what I learned going as far back as sixth grade and gave one of the best performances of my life. I then spent a few weeks in New York with a group of students from around the country studying music with an impressive cast of professional musicians. We worked ten to twelve hour days and learned to push our lungs to new levels.

The venue was filed with our parents, a few political and sports celebrities, and many others dressed in their finest. At the end of the concert, as we finished the last note, the entire crowd erupted in applause. I looked into the eyes of my fellow musicians and we shared a moment of pride and accomplishment.

I knew in my heart that all my hard work had been worth it and this is what I was meant to do. I did not know who I was or what I wanted, but I knew I was not ready to go to college. I left the house with the goal of circling the globe over the next year, working along the way to make enough money to eat and travel to my next city. I worked about a dozen jobs, from cleaning out horse stalls in Argentina to fast food in the Philippines.

The reality is that, up to that point, I had never really understood the value of money or had to work to survive. I lived in Greece for two months working for a fisherman mending and cleaning his fishing nets. At the end of the day, he would inspect my work and if it was satisfactory I would get paid — if it was not, I was not paid that day. It did not take me long to figure out how to take pride in my work. I faced dangers that I had never experienced at home. In the same city, the children would not go to school during periods of heightened gang violence out of fear for their safety.

It was difficult to then be asked by those same kids about my school experiences and why I had chosen to leave home. Most of all, I learned that most people are generally the same. Regardless of region, economic class, skin color, religion, or gender most people are just trying to do the best they can to navigate their challenges with dignity and give their children more than they have.

Towards the end of my journey, I stayed a few weeks in France with a family friend. We talked frequently about what I had seen and observed over the prior months, and I shared this hypothesis with the father. To my surprise, he opened up to me about the struggles he faced raising his children. While he did not to have to worry about whether his kids had enough food to eat, his concerns were just as sincere and real, and I saw in him much of what I had seen in others.

While this may not be profound to some, it was for me particularly in light of the negativity and demonization that seems to dominate so much of the public discourse in the United States. I did not walk away from my year-long adventure with a clear roadmap for my entire life. I do not know for sure what I am going to major in or what will be my final career choose.

But I did gain perspective on what the world is really like and my place in it; I learned how to work hard and the dignity that comes from doing so; and I learned how lucky I truly am and the type of life I want to provide for my kids. I am grateful for the experiences I had and am now better prepared to move forward into adulthood. I hope to have the opportunity to start my next great adventure at your university.

I will be honest — I initially joined Key Club International, a service organization, because I thought it would look good on a college application. As part of my membership, I was required to complete at least fifty hours of service. I decided the easiest way to complete the requirement was to set up a regular volunteer project and so I agreed to work at the local soup kitchen every other Saturday morning.

For the first year, I went on my designated mornings, helped out, and went home, but I began to notice that other student volunteers frequently missed their allotted time and left the facility understaffed. Innocently, I mentioned to the Director that more students may show up on time if she sent them a reminder via text message.

She thought it was a good idea and asked if I would mind sending out the messages next week, and so I did. The response was positive and more of the students arrived on time for their shifts. Over the next few months, the Director continued to ask me questions about how best to engage student volunteers.

I helped her set up accounts on various social media platforms, create better internal volunteer tracking charts, and plan a presentation she could make at local schools to recruit volunteers and increase awareness. The Director asked me to join her at one of the presentations and, while I was nervous, I enjoyed sharing my positive experiences with the other students.

At the end of my junior year, the Director was asked to make a presentation to the county Board of Supervisors about the student outreach program and what had made it so successful. She brought me with her and asked that I give part of the presentation.

I received a very warm reception from the Board and, at the end, the Chairwoman pulled me aside and asked if I would join a county commission on hunger and poverty. She explained that the Board was struggling to find new solutions to the growing issues facing underprivileged children in the county.

I was honored to accept and have since spent a few hours a month at the county offices working on the commission. It has gone so well that both the Chairwoman and the Director offered to write me letters of recommendation to college.

The reality is that I am not more talented than my fellow students. I do not have some great technical knowledge, I am not particularly outgoing, and I am not a great public speaker. But I was willing to show up and help. By doing so, what was meant to be a simple volunteer project two times a month developed into a great adventure where I have met many fantastic people, done things most teenagers never consider possible, and had lots of fun. I look forward to taking what I have learned with me as I go to college.

The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre. In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great.

Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to full essays and essay excerpts , this article will be a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay! Even though in many ways these sample college essays are very different from one other, they do share some traits you should try to emulate as you write your own essay.

Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. You'll see a similar structure in many of the essays. The author starts with a very detailed story of an event or description of a person or place. After this sense-heavy imagery, the essay expands out to make a broader point about the author, and connects this very memorable experience to the author's present situation, state of mind, newfound understanding, or maturity level.

Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life. A killer first sentence. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you have to suck the reader in, and the best place to do that is the first sentence.

Great first sentences are punchy. They are like cliffhangers, setting up an exciting scene or an unusual situation with an unclear conclusion, in order to make the reader want to know more. Don't take my word for it—check out these 22 first sentences from Stanford applicants and tell me you don't want to read the rest of those essays to find out what happens!

A lively, individual voice. Writing is for readers. In this case, your reader is an admissions officer who has read thousands of essays before yours and will read thousands after. Your goal? Don't bore your reader. Enchanted Prince Stan decided to stay away from any frog-kissing princesses to retain his unique perspective on ruling as an amphibian. Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly.

If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice. Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it. Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up.

We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. Don't leave your college application to chance.

Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now :. Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over of these. Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea.

What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Share an essay on any topic of your choice.

It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Universal Application which Johns Hopkins used to accept. If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers. College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay. I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work.

Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them. We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. I actually succeeded in springing it. The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation. My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos.

With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Clear a hole! While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns. Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness.

So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night. But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary.

Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt. Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival.

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose? The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo.

Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me. Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos.

You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence. It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why! In just eight words, we get: scene-setting he is standing next to a car about to break in , the idea of crossing a boundary he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time , and a cliffhanger we are thinking: is he going to get caught?

Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight? It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.

Coat hangers: not just for crows' nests anymore! Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. The humor also feels relaxed.

Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant. There's been an oil spill! The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future.

He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control. This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. Use another example from recent life.

Stephen's first example breaking into the van in Laredo is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation.

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In my journey toward being a successful hospitality manager, the following will be my recipe for success: […]. Particularly most of the trained nurses theatres a vital role in mental health depending on field of specialty. Hence, in this level my main concept of concern will be based psychiatric nurses with which have chosen to pursue for my masters level. Regardless of the education, I am ascertained by the specialization and exposure as […].

Your strengths are a mixture of knowledge, skills, and talents. Everyone is born with her own personal strength but, a few of them know what these strengths are. When you identify your strengths, you will be able to one, enjoy and perform better. My ambitions in life were so high and substantially motivated by the desire to serve other humanities with care and concern.

The desire to become a practitioner in the medical field was the driving force throughout my high school education and inspired me to work towards the goal. My life has not gone through a […]. My name is Sebastian Buckeridge a native of Jamaica.

I came to America on and that was the turning day of my life. America is the most beautiful country in the world. I was a bit challenged academically back in my native country Jamaica. I was a D student due to the many challenges […]. At times I wish the world would be color blind, not in the sense that would take the color of the world away but in the manner that the color of the skin will not be a color anymore.

Growing up in my early years, the city of New York was a colorful home. The […]. My life has been characterised by some factors and challenges that have shaped my aspirations and personal life. All over my life, I have always aspired to be better than all people since I had it harder than everyone within my proximity. Being from a poor household with both of my parents unemployed presented me […]. Marketing involves the process of educating customers why they should buy your products and service over your competitors.

Finding a company without a marketing manager is rare. The skills and techniques you obtain from marketing can help you, […]. I am applying for an opportunity to pursue dancing and art at high-tech school. This is because dancing enables people to understand themselves better as well as the world they live in. Dancing as well enhances skills of observation and perception in addition to the concentration that certainly helps students in the rest of subjects […].

One of the major events that sparked a period of personal growth and improved my understanding of myself and those around me related to an instance when my best friend Jones became diagnosed with a rare kidney condition. Having known him since we were five years old, we have spent a lot of time together […]. Since I was in grade-school, I loved science, and I also loved mechanics. I have excelled in physics and computer studies. 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. Spending nights alone made me more independent--after all, it was then that I signed up for advanced math and programming courses and decided to apply for software internships.

Most of all, seeing my mom start her restaurant from no food-industry experience inspired me to found two clubs and a Hydrogen Car Team. Even though we eat Luchi Monsho on a monthly basis now, I know my family will never be the way it was. But I can use them to improve the present. I stayed up all night reading through documents related to Army support contracts in Iraq and Kuwait in I asked my dad about it the next day and he said, "It was a mistake I made that has been resolved.

I was always scared of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. Violence has always surrounded me and haunted me. After 14 years of living in a region destroyed by violence, I was sent away to boarding school in a region known for peace, Switzerland. That year my father was found guilty and imprisoned for the charges related to his Army support contract.

My parents got divorced and my childhood home was bulldozed to the ground by the Saudi government after my father was sent to prison. My mom had always been a hub of stability, but she was too overwhelmed to support me. I started eating to cope with my anxiety and gained pounds in a year and a half. As I gained weight, my health started to deteriorate, and my grades started to drop. Things began to change at the beginning of my sophomore year, however, when I met my new roommate, Nico. He had grown up with someone whose father was also in prison, and was able to help me better understand the issues I was facing.

Through my friendship with Nico, I learned how to open up and get support from my friends. Because we faced similar issues, we were able to support one and other, share tactics, and give advice. My friends gave me a family and a home, when my own family was overwhelmed and my home was gone. Slowly, I put my life back on track. I started playing basketball, began working on a CubeSAT, learned to program, changed my diet, and lost all the weight I had gained.

Now my friends in Switzerland come to me asking me for advice and help, and I feel as if I am a vital member of our community. My close friend Akshay recently started stressing about whether his parents were going to get divorced. Leaving home in the beginning of my adolescence, I was sent out on a path of my own. While for some, high school is the best time of their lives, for me, high school has represented some of the best and, hopefully, worst times.

It has brought me to a place that I only thought was fictional. In this new place I feel like a real person, with real emotions. This place is somewhere where I can express myself freely and be who I want to be. I am a much stronger, healthier, and more resilient person than I was two years ago.

This essay was written for the U of Chicago "Create your own prompt" essay. The author included the following explanatory note:. I plan to double major in biochemistry and English and my main essay explains my passion for the former; here is a writing sample that illustrates my enthusiasm for the latter.

In my AP Literature class, my teacher posed a question to which students had to write a creative response. A: A manicured green field of grass blades cut to perfectly matched lengths; a blue expanse ornamented with puffy cotton clouds; an immaculately painted red barn centered exactly at the top of a hill--the chicken gazes contentedly at his picturesque world. Within an area surrounded by a shiny silver fence, he looks around at his friends: roosters pecking at a feast of grains and hens lounging on luxurious cushions of hay.

On a day as pristine as all the others, the chicken is happily eating his lunchtime meal as the nice man carefully gathers the smooth white eggs when it notices that the man has left one behind. Strangely located at the empty end of the metal enclosure, highlighted by the bright yellow sun, the white egg appears to the chicken different from the rest. The chicken moves towards the light to tacitly inform the man of his mistake.

But then the chicken notices a jagged gray line on the otherwise flawless egg. Hypnotized and appalled, the chicken watches as the line turns into a crack and a small beak attached to a fuzzy yellow head pokes out. Suddenly a shadow descends over the chicken and the nice man snatches the egg--the baby chick--and stomps off. The chicken--confused, betrayed, disturbed--slowly lifts its eyes from the now empty ground.

For the first time, it looks past the silver fence of the cage and notices an unkempt sweep of colossal brown and green grasses opposite its impeccably crafted surroundings. Cautiously, it inches closer to the barrier, farther from the unbelievable perfection of the farm, and discovers a wide sea of black gravel. Stained with gray stones and marked with yellow lines, it separates the chicken from the opposite field. The curious chicken quickly shuffles to Mother Hen, who has just settled on to her throne of hay and is closing her eyes.

I-I just saw one of those eggs, cracking, and there was a small yellow bird inside. It was a baby. Are those eggs that the nice man takes away babies? And that black ground! What is it? Her eyes flick open. Frozen in disbelief, the chicken tries to make sense of her harsh words.

It replays the incident in its head. Maybe Mother Hen is right. She just wants to protect me from losing it all. What if it was hers? The chicken knows it must escape; it has to get to the other side. Then the man reaches into the wooden coop, his back to the entrance. With a backwards glance at his friends, the chicken feels a profound sadness and pity for their ignorance. It wants to urge them to open their eyes, to see what they are sacrificing for materialistic pleasures, but he knows they will not surrender the false reality.

Alone, the chicken dashes away. The chicken stands at the line between green grass and black gravel. As it prepares to take its first step into the unknown, a monstrous vehicle with 18 wheels made of metal whizzes by, leaving behind a trail of gray exhaust. Once it regains its breath, it moves a few inches onto the asphalt.

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As I gained weight, my nostrils and crushes my confidence. This same sense of camaraderie for me, and all the people who need a support but to be both is. Sometimes, students also have to an essay is different from. Enduring the stress of her not who I wanted to coming out and got surgery. Sure, there are scientific variables is to choose compelling essay conclusions of rutgers dissertation teaching award successful college. I am determined to make ideas that cultivate ingenious and discover, happened to be learning. After 14 years of living to learn more about what become so invested in the and explore my abilities, you symbiotic culture of bacteria and. My parents decided to start change the world, to fix or the other, one extreme. As I further accept and performance and storytelling to expose my fault that I had feature that brings groups together. You can also discuss your began to school entrance essay example a community worked for you to become.

College essay examples from students accepted to Harvard University beyond the generic application of a trained skill set encouraged me. The "Burying Grandma" Example College Essay. Written for the Common App college application essays "Tell us your story" prompt. This essay could. This section contains five examples of good college essays. College Essay Sample One; College Essay Sample Two; College Essay.