Writing an application essay is hard enough. Writing an application essay that stands out from the pack can seem impossible. Sparkler Anthonysays:
I am really struggling with choosing the right topic/finding a central focus or theme for my college essay. I've gone through literally a million ideas and i can't seem to find the right one. Currently I want to write about my autistic sister and her influence on my life. Problem is, I feel like this topic is too cliche and just a guilt card. I've asked my family and friends what they think and i keep getting mixed answers. I'm really lost and would like some guidance. Would you have any tips or advice for me? Thank you very much for your time.
Anna's essay responds to the Common App instruction, "Evaluate a significant experience and its impact on you." If you're not hooked by the first sentence, you're a dirty liar.
“It’s Absinthe-should we try it?” my mother replied in her theatrical voice. My throat tensed, unsure if it should start choking or emitting hysterical laughter. Pensively, she twisted off the top of the crystalline vial and poured small drops of the emerald venom into two small glasses. We cheered; I stared at the liquid in my hand, put it just to my lips so it barely brushed my tongue, and quickly set the glass down. I watched my mother take a real sip and look at me with dazzling eyes and a grin to match, as if that was all it took to say, “That’s right Cancer: to hell with you.”
Jodi writes about a harrowing experience in her application essay. Check out her story.
A teacher once told me that if a person lives a perfect and uneventful life, he or she wouldn’t actually be living a life at all; the tribulations and obstacles in life are what make life worth living. Even at a young age, I knew that this was true. When I was eleven years old, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer too common in growing children my age. I left school to undergo daily treatments of chemotherapy. Every day for a year, chemicals were pumped through a medical port near my heart. As my body fought both the medicine and my tumor, my muscles grew sore. My hair fell off. Life became increasingly difficult. I felt like my body was fighting against me. My friends at school kept contact with me in the beginning, but soon, their lack of compassion strained our relationships; I stopped speaking to them shortly after I had my first major surgery.
Miss_Legithas a legit gripe with Twilight, and she doesn't care who knows it.
Question: Identify a significant global problem, issue or event which has appeared recently in major newspapers and about which you feel strongly. Write an imaginary letter to the editor of one of these major newspapers in which you take a position on that issue or event. Be sure to consider all key perspectives on the topic and support your stand with evidence.
Over the last few months, I have become deeply troubled by a new phenomenon. I am afraid that there is a disturbing trend emerging from the shadows and is now taking more than just the teen market by storm. I must say that I am quite fearful of the long term consequences that such a phase will have on both the younger and older generations of this country, maybe even the world. This plague upon society can only be addressed by one name: Twilight.
Ri's college essay grabbed my attention right from the first sentence. Does it have the same effect on you?
I am an American. I eat apple pie, watch baseball, and participate in every American holiday from Thanksgiving to the 4th of July. Every morning, I stand tall, place my hand over my heart, and pledge my allegiance to the country in which I was born and raised. Yet, for a long time, many of my peers did not regard me as an American. It was my fault that in 3rd grade, Ciera’s oldest brother died when the World Trade Center collapsed. She stopped playing with me during recess, and when I confronted her about it, she said that she wasn’t allowed to play with me anymore because her mommy said I was a terrorist. This struck me as odd because I am Indian. This was only the beginning of ignorant harassment that would torment me throughout my childhood. This treatment frustrated me so drastically that I began to ameliorate the situation by denying my own heritage to be more accepted by my peers. I would fight with my parents when they would try to make me go to a temple with them, I told people to refer to me as Ri, a more racially ambiguous name, I started eating meat, I chopped off my long hair, I refused to speak Telugu, my first language, and I tried to live and breathe in the American culture in hope that the label of ‘terrorist’ would no longer be thrust upon me.
Sparkler Frankie is a talented writer with strong opinions. Check out the essay he's planning to submit to colleges.
Prompt: In our history various people have taken stands against injustice, often at great personal risk. Have you ever taken a stand against something you considered unjust—or if you haven't, do you have an idea of what it might take for you to take such a stand? Please explain.
Ever since I learned of abortion and what it is, I knew it was wrong. I felt and still feel that taking the lives of innocent babies is wrong. I am ashamed to say that I haven’t done much about it. I wish that I could write this essay and say that I’ve changed the world and that everyone agrees and that all things wrong have been eliminated, but I can’t do that. However, I can do something now.
Laurais working on a college application essay about terror, tarnished reputations, and fifth grade. Check it out!
Prompt: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
The Anthem of My Elementary Years
All my life I’d prepared for it; from mindlessly completing writing drills, to leading my wagon train through the perilous Oregon Trail simulation. It all culminated in one moment: fifth grade graduation. I wasn’t anticipating the caps fabricated out of gray construction paper, nor was I awaiting the presentation of the coveted Presidential Award. Not being a superstar athlete, or the class clown, I was looking forward to having the spotlight for once. Upon the last day of elementary school, I grasped the microphone in my sweaty hands, with my pulse quickening as I drew in each strained breath. I began, voice wailing, “Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?” I gasped for a quick breath to continue the melody and then… silence.
If this whole Miss Marm thing falls through, I'm going to start a new career as a college admissions officer. It's so fun to read intensely personal essays, like this one by Stefanie.
Dad's the One She Loves the Most
My mom lifted me out of the backseat of the car. She made sure to cover the crown of my head with her hand so that I would not hit it on the outline of the door. She placed me on the ground and asked me, “You aren’t going to cry when I leave right?” I was three years old and always cried when she left. “No mommy I won’t cry.” I promised her. She stepped into the sunlight, and it made her look like an angel the way the rays of sun hugged her tight. I turned and saw my dad waving at us from the living room window. “Hi daddy!” I yelled. My mom retrieved my overnight bag from the trunk of the car and my dad joined us in the driveway. I ran and hugged him around the hips. “Hey baby.” He said to me. My mom bent down and engulfed me in the sea of her arms. “I love you Stefanie.” She said. “I love you too mommy.” She walked back to the car and got in. As I held my dad’s hand, I watched her drive right out of my life. That was 1997 and it is now 2010.
We're reading college application essays here on the Miss Marm blog, and today we've got a occulted doozy by Nita.
Musings Inspired by Simplicity
Sunday morning. The gnomon is already halfway through its day’s journey as I steer my bike onto the deserted, taciturn street and continue past the stop sign. The chipped paint and the straining planks are a tribute to toil; the wandering words drifting through my mind are one to tautology. Stagnancy pervades the atmosphere, yet this bucolic side of town is not without vitality. Simplicity, the source of sanguinity, teases my senses and coils herself around the ether of the world. A gentle breeze from the north carries the flowers from the Bradford pears to the deep green grass like snowflakes, occulted from the naked eye. Tulips line the edge of the center, circular garden bed, bright red and brilliant yellow. A butterfly floats by, uninhibited, unrestricted, free. Free from captivity or slavery, liberated. Liberty, conceived by Delacroix, Bartholdi, and Bellamy but emanating from distinct muses, struggles to lead the people, enlighten the world, and extend herself to all. Circling the cul-de-sac, a canopy formed by pine trees and crape myrtles offers a glimpse of nature’s heaven in the same way that Hinduism and Christianity can converge, creating a cross-section from which the idea of a trinity may emerge.
Judging by my inbox, you guys are working hard on your college application essays and personal statements. Let's make the grueling process more fun by reading each other's work and judging it in the comments! Here's how it will