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This essay highlights her personality and values and helps us imagine how she will collaborate with others throughout different spaces on campus in a diverse student body. By broadening her initial anecdote and having the majority of the essay focus on her reflections and takeaways, we were able to spend even more time learning about Callie. For twelve years that was our beautiful home, and we enjoyed every moment together.

Last summer, Emily visited my new home of five years, San Francisco, for the first time. It felt like no time had passed. We still laughed until our faces turned tomato red. We still screamed our favorite Taylor Swift songs as if there was no tomorrow.

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Nothing could get in between the love we had for each other, even our vehemently opposing opinions. That challenge especially reflects the stagnant state of the current political climate in the United States. Extreme polarization is preventing collaboration that could resolve any issues. Even in my daily experiences, I notice the extreme dichotomy. My friends in California stereotype my friends in Texas.

My friends in Texas stereotype my friends in California. During debates in history class or jokes during lunch, I observe that these toxic assumptions produce an atmosphere of mistrust. I find that abhorrence exhausting, especially considering that I experienced the beauty on both sides beneath the stereotypes. Disagreement between opposing perspectives is healthy in creating a functioning balance.

However, when the fine line between argument and hatred blurs, resolution seems impossible. So, I try to listen with an open mind, even when that feels extremely difficult. Sometimes, pure adrenaline rushes through my body, making me want to bang my hands on the table out of complete anger towards an opinion. I have learned, though, that suppressing my emotional side during a time of disagreement and instead responding with calmness gets my point across more effectively.

People come from different backgrounds. They are surrounded by different cultures and experiences. The more I remain nonjudgmental, the more my own beliefs develop and become nuanced. I have nothing to lose when I listen to my peers. I extract small pieces of their perspectives in order to enhance my own. If I completely disagree with their opinions, I use their counterargument to articulate a more potent version of my position. The value in telling my story is just as important as hearing another. I love group projects in school, where ideas and creativity flow between people.

I adore the end of a cross country race when all the girls from different schools hug and laugh with one another. I cherish being on a soccer team, where the bond between my teammates and me is essential for achieving success. Appreciating uniqueness and connecting to different characters augments my own maturity and depth.

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I want to meet new people. I want to be challenged by new ideas. I want to experience new places. Despite our differences, Emily and I have a healthy relationship in which we are able to learn from one another; the acknowledgement of our individual value allows us to avoid bitterness. I strive to continue improving my ability to be comfortable with disagreement in order to learn more from my peers. I may not always send up agreeing with Emily, or other people I care about, but I should at least try to understand a different perspective.

Only then can I create a bridge that connects two different ideas, allowing for a more harmonious world. By utilizing the example of struggling to cook well in the kitchen, the writer is able to effectively relate to readers of all ages and backgrounds. Standing in front of the kitchen counter, my small hands are placed on the cool granite top and my eyes rest on the empty bowl set out in front of me. On one side lies a pack of masa harina and on the other, a pitcher filled with water. Tortillas are considered to be somewhat of a staple food in Guatemala and in Central American cuisines.

Whenever my mom asks me to make tortillas, I groan internally; not because I dislike tortillas, but because I simply cannot make them. What should come naturally as a Guatemalan native is foreign to my small hands. My hands are unable to form the perfectly sized circles because they are trying to decide what dominates more—my Guatemalan roots or the American culture I grew up in. Minutes pass and I have done absolutely nothing.

Finally, I extend my hesitant arm to pick up the pack of masa harina and proceed to pour it into the bowl. As I pour the masa harina, I cannot help but think about how much it resembles my journey to America. When I moved, I brought my Guatemalan heritage with me into the massive bowl that is the United States. Continuing with the recipe, I gradually add water to the masa harina and knead it until it becomes the desired texture.

Assimilating into American culture and the American way of life was no easy feat for me and I struggled at first, but I found ways to manage.

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Although my parents were not fluent in English, I was able to learn English with the help of Dora the Explorer, Barney, and my surroundings. Little by little, American culture poured into my life, intermingling with my Guatemalan roots. My next step is to grab a small amount of masa in my hands and begin to roll it into as much of a perfectly shaped sphere as I can.

Flattening the ball of masa between my hands, I begin to shape it into a tortilla. Similar to how I have a preconceived notion of how I want the tortilla to turn out, I tend to idealize how I want my life to turn out. Just like the cracks and tears in my tortilla, I face obstacles in life. However, I have learned to not let them bring me down or keep me from continuing to try.

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For instance, I come from a low socioeconomic background, but I have never let that stop me from pursuing my aspirations. It is not just about the tortilla that I am making right in front of me. It is about me, my life, and what kind of tortilla I will end up being. Will I be a tortilla that looks like every other one? Or will I be a tortilla, uniquely made in the most perfect imperfect shape? Despite my many failed attempts at making tortillas throughout my life, I have discovered the key ingredient to the tortilla recipe, and ultimately the recipe of life: persistence. Akash does a great job of displaying his academic curiosity by introducing us to his experiences with topics like the periodic table, mathematical symbols, and coding, and how these all came together to lead him toward a passion for medical research.

Ever since the first grade, Dmitri Mendeleev has been my hero. When I first saw the periodic table, I was in awe; the colors, the patterns, the symmetric shape—everything mesmerized me. Ever since that moment, the periodic table has defined the way I live.


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Just as Mendeleev put together a seemingly random assortment of elements to form the now infamous periodic table, I loved putting together the seemingly random jumble of words and numbers in word problems to formulate a solution. Math has always been a channel for my creativity and passion. In fact, it was through math that I first unearthed my love of discovery.

I still vividly remember the rush of joy that I felt when I finished struggling through my first word problem and triumphantly waved it around in the air. As I progressed further and further up the insurmountable mountain of math and began to encounter more foreign concepts, it only got more interesting. No longer was I in a world saturated with numbers; instead, letters and symbols began to enter the mix too.

My curiosity was insatiable. And then, I picked up my first calculus textbook. While many remember this moment as one of severe anxiety or trepidation, I remember looking at the strange, archaic symbols, bewildered, thinking where did the numbers go? Nonetheless, it was at that point that I decided to pursue mathematics. But, the more I researched, the more questions I had. As I dug deeper into the inviting, yet mysterious abyss of number theory, I saw math morph into shapes and patterns and I came to the realization that math is more than numbers; mathematics represents a field of patterns, representations, models that lay the foundation for the way our universe works.

The rush of discovery, the love of patterns, the joy of exploration—everything was the same. The duality of the periodic table—the cold, hard numbers mixed with the reassuring, steadfast patterns—has manifested itself in every aspect of my life. While the patterns of the periodic table drew me towards mathematics, it was the systematic, ordered way of bringing math into science that pulled me into coding, first making websites with HTML, then writing programs with Java. My passion for programming grew.

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The world of coding presented itself to me as a way to bring the patterns I loved into the world in a way I could see them. But something was still missing. After years of refining my analytical interests, I still yearned for that element of science that I had grown to love as a first grader. I was still missing that feeling of success after persevering through a difficult word problem or struggling through memorizing the first digits of pi. It was then that I discovered biology.

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As I explored various research studies that not only furthered scientific understanding but also helped millions around the world, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. Medical research, specifically in cellular biology and genetics, condenses my passion for mathematics, biology, and discovery into one distinct goal. Whether it be analyzing patterns in the genome, generating computer models of clathrin-mediated endocytosis, or studying the chemical composition of organic molecules, cellular biology embodies my passions just as well as the periodic table.

Virtual Tour Mail only correspondence N. Charles St. Sign up to receive emails for events, news, info sessions, and other admission related information. Essays That Worked. The Essays. Hear from the Class of These selections represent just a few examples of essays we found impressive and helpful during the past admissions cycle. In other words, they reminded me of myself… I was born with a speech impediment that weakened my mouth muscles.

Admissions Committee Comments Devon opens his essay with a story that is relatable to many: Struggling through a difficult activity rock climbing in this instance yet feeling determined to finish. Admissions Committee Comments Through her writing, Callie allows the admissions committee to better understand her approach to learning new perspectives. Admissions Committee Comments Akash does a great job of displaying his academic curiosity by introducing us to his experiences with topics like the periodic table, mathematical symbols, and coding, and how these all came together to lead him toward a passion for medical research.

Read more essays. The Class of Join our mailing list Say hello. Don't just summarize the plot; detail why you enjoyed this particular text and what it meant to you. What does your favorite book reveal about you? How do you identify with it, and how has it become personal to you? Again, be honest in answering this question—don't choose a classic from your literature class or a piece of philosophy just because you think it will make you seem smarter.

Writing fluently and passionately about a book close to you is always better than writing shakily or generally about a book that doesn't inspire you. Take this opportunity to really examine an experience that taught you something you didn't previously know about yourself, got you out of your comfort zone, or forced you to grow.

Sometimes it's better to write about something that was hard for you because you learned something than it is to write about something that was easy for you because you think it sounds admirable. As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: how you discovered this activity, what drew you to it, and what it's shown you about yourself. Get one-on-one help from former Ivy League and top tier admission officers. Our College Admission Counselors will help you find, apply, and get accepted to your dream school. Learn More.

Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you. Teach or Tutor for Us. College Readiness. All Rights Reserved. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. Recently viewed. Find Your Dream School. By submitting my email address. I certify that I am 13 years of age or older, agree to recieve marketing email messages from The Princeton Review, and agree to Terms of Use.

If you are using the Common App to apply for college admission in , you will have — words to respond to ONE of the following prompts: 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. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.

How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 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. 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. SAT Prep Courses. ACT Prep Courses. Enroll Now.

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perfect college essay questions Perfect college essay questions
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