harvard acceptance essays

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To be able to intrigue a reader, the most important thing is to have great characters. Characters should live, feel, express, and act like real people to be seen as genuine. A great way to get to know your characters is to ask questions about them and answer as honestly as possible from their perspective. Use as many or as few as you want and get to know your characters more closely. Use the questions as you would in an interview. I personally find this easier to get into the heads of my characters. What is your full name?

Harvard acceptance essays how to write a good artical

Harvard acceptance essays

PROFESSIONAL PERSONAL STATEMENT WRITING SITE UK

Tree frogs, specifically Japanese tree frogs and Suweon tree frogs, use songs not just to express their amorous intentions but to survive. While these two species may look physically identical, they are sexually incompatible. So in order to lure the right female, male frogs sing serenades that are distinguishable from other species.

Analyzing these serenades at an ecology lab with spectrograms and waveforms, I decoded every pulse of sounds emitted by these ravenous tree frogs into the patterns of numbers to let humans understand their lyrics. Unlike frogs' mating songs, bats use language not only to communicate but also to navigate and locate insects at night. While flying, bats shoot out biosonar sounds and listen to the echoes that bounce off obstacles to grasp the world around them.

Visualizing a world just with sound, I was enchanted by their invisible language when I studied the Greater Horseshoe bat's supersonic echolocation at a wildlife conservation lab. When bats cast nets of invisible words every millisecond during free flight and ziplining experiments, we captured and revealed their dialogue that had neither conjugations nor grammar.

After eavesdropping on tree frogs' and bats' conversations, I discovered that they use languages for survival. The language of the frogs exemplifies power — the stronger and bigger a frog is, the louder it can sing, scaring off all its prey and bravely exposing itself to predators.

And for bats, their invisible language is their vision. They silently scream out for help and listen carefully as nature's echoes guide their path. In a sense, animals communicate with other species and with nature. On the other hand, humans have developed esoteric words, convoluted sentences, and dialects to express their sophisticated ideas and feelings. This amazing evolution has, I believe, isolated us from nature. Now we prefer to live away from wildlife, tending to communicate only among other Homo sapiens sapiens through texts, tweets, and e-mails.

Taking a page from Dr. Dolittle's pocket diction, I hope that my work helps us broaden our anthropocentric minds and understand animals who also share our biosphere. If our souls are reconnected with nature, maybe we could hear Mother Nature whisper some secrets about her mysteries that we are too wired or unaware to heed. I distinctly remember writing my Harvard essay at Thanksgiving on my phone.

The inspiration just came in waves while I was spending time with my family. I talked about my grandmother, who passed around five or six years ago. She was someone who really influenced me in terms of seeing what one can do with a selfless attitude. Seeing what someone can do with a high school education was amazing for me, to think about what I could do with the power of a prestigious college education.

It was such an inspiration that I immediately wanted to start writing about her. My family was watching a football game, and I was pumping out this essay. There were a couple of weeks when I was sitting in front of my laptop and getting nothing. But once I figured out what I wanted to write, it was fast; in a day, I was done. In one of my essays, I wrote about growing up in a predominantly white area and a skin condition that I have called vitiligo. I wrote about how those things impacted my identity as an Indian woman.

In another, I wrote about how I went from competitive swimming, to lifeguarding, to teaching lessons, to starting a program for free swim lessons for underprivileged kids in my area. It was interesting to go back at the end and see what I had written, summing up my entire life for 17 years.

I did submit my essay with a typo! I wrote it on Google Drive and made a comment to myself and a reference to switching something around. I also wrote the essay as kind of a spoken-word poem. How many people have done that? I did not want to do the whole paragraph thing. I wrote about the culture shock I experienced moving from Jamaica to Milton, Mass. I was really happy with the essay.

It was very emotional to write, and I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I finished it. For my essay, I wrote about being an athlete and finding your way after athletics by applying yourself in school. In eighth grade, I broke my femur, and I wrote about overcoming that. Then in my senior year of high school I tore my UCLs in both hands playing football.

My essay was about finding your identity afterward. I wrote about living in Milan when I was younger and how it opened my eyes to other perspectives and taught me not to be so quick to judge other people. In middle and high schools, I lived back in my small town in the U. I wanted to sound like a person. I remember my sister was leaning on me, and we were driving on the highway.

It was very calming and peaceful. So, I wrote about my love for history and my love for listening to stories.

Remarkable, very cheap paper ghostwriting for hire us agree

My name helped me carve an identity separate from my myriad of siblings. Instead of enriching my brain with Grand Theft Auto, I preferred begging my parents to take me to the bookstore. While my parents mandated homework time for my brothers, they never questioned my work ethic or wiretapped my assignment notebook.

The thing that set me apart from the herd was that I was self-disciplined enough to take control of my own life. Putting school first came naturally to me, much to the distaste and confusion of my siblings. As I got older, I began to embody my name more and more.

I was often picked to lead classroom discussions and my complete disregard for making a fool of myself bolstered that skill. The manner in which I operate academically is perfectly described as Chaffee-esque; including but not limited to elaborate study songs, complex pneumonic devices, study forts, and the occasional John C.

Calhoun costume. Seeing someone struggle over those two unfamiliar syllables fills me with glee. I feel as though I am adding a new word to their vocabulary. So on my last day as a page in the U. Senate, I prepared myself for the anticipated awkward stumbling as Senator Harry Reid thanked me by name in his closing address.

But the stumble never came. I felt very humbled by his perfect pronunciation. Perhaps Chaffee is actually catching on! She shapes her development from preschool to high school in the lens of her name, demonstrating the importance that it has played throughout her life. Yet, the essay works quite well. Chaffee spends a great deal of time elaborating on how she was different from both her family and others with examples of her transgressions in preschool and her penchant for schoolwork and education as opposed to procrastination or video games like Grand Theft Auto.

Chaffee toots her own horn just a little bit when describing the merits of her work ethic, but it is still fairly endearing overall, and there is no shame in sharing a desire for learning. That summed up what running had always meant to me, ever since I was a seventh grader, choosing his sport for the first time. I was fine and content, however. I always had Jeffrey and Archie, classmates like me who ran slowly. We were good friends. We laughed together; we raced together; we pushed each other, and endured tough workouts together.

But after middle school the people I trained with went on to do things they were better at. I remained, even though I was not good enough to be considered for varsity. High school running was hell. I struggled with workouts, most of which I had to run alone.

In the hot, dry days of autumn, I often coughed on the dust trails left by my teammates as they vanished into the distance. During the workouts, I got passed incessantly, almost getting run over on occasion. It hurt not to be important; to be dead weight for the team.

I looked forward to the next year, when I could hopefully run with the incoming freshmen. Even a year later, I was still the slowest on the team. How could the freshmen who had snored off the whole summer beat me, a veteran from middle school and high school with decent summer training?

My mother, worried about the steady deterioration of my condition, contacted a doctor. The doctor prescribed a daily iron pill, and the results were exhilarating. I joked that I was taking steroids. I sunk into endless oxygen. I got tired less. During the workouts, I felt more machine than man.

Iron therapy taught me something fundamental. It reminded me why I was running; why I had stuck to this damn sport for four straight years. When I was anemic, I struggled to gather what little motivation I had for those painfully slow jogs in those parks. Putting the effort in, and seeing the dramatic results fooled my mind like a well-administered placebo. Iron therapy was the training wheels that would jump-start my dramatic improvement. It took four months—four months of iron pills, blood tests, and training—to get back to my personal best: the mile that I had run the year before.

Early February that year, the training wheels came off. I was running close to seven miles a day on my own. I could catch a light. I could walk as many stairs as I wanted without getting tired. I was even far ahead of where I was the year before. After two and a half years as a miler, I finally had a breakthrough race.

I ran a I asked coach if I could eventually break 5 minutes. He told me to focus more on maintaining my fitness through spring break. I ran the mile again, this time outdoors. Coach had me seeded at a I ran the first lap, holding back. I hoped to squeeze by with a The euphoria was unprecedented as I realized by the second lap that I was a dozen seconds ahead and still holding back.

I finished with a On the bus ride back from the meet, one of my long-standing dreams came true. I pretended to ignore Coach sitting next to me, but he kept on giving me glances. He was excited about my time. We talked a lot about the race. We talked about my continuous and dramatic improvement. He said it was early in the season and that I would break 5 minutes after only a few weeks of training. Six weeks later, Mr.

Song, my chemistry teacher, asked me if I had broken 5 minutes for the mile yet. I told him all about how I had run in three meets over the past month and had failed to break on every one of them. I told him that 5 minutes was now for me a mirage in the distance. Even though these consoling words were from the man who had baffled my nutritionist when he had guessed that I was anemic, I still doubted his wisdom.

On Sunday, I would run the mile once. My last mile of the year. This was it. Using my tried-and-true racing strategy, I finished with a , a second drop in time. Now, I am running more mileage than I ever have before. And my violin teacher still complains. Although challenging and not to mention the fact that he always finishes last , John has stuck with running for many years.

This magic mineral allows him to heal, excel in his running, and ultimately exceed his wildest expectations by almost breaking the 5-minute mark by a few seconds. John guides us through his story through the lens of his infallible work ethic. Even though he did not reach his exact goal, he is seconds away from it, and the reader knows he will keep pushing to achieve it. As a reader, I would love to hear more about what happens next. This self-reflection section is the most important element of the essay as it allows admissions readers a window into what drives a student.

As the essay culminates, John makes us smile as he smiles even though his violin teacher is still not too happy with him. We know John has learned to appreciate the beauty of the journey rather than the destination and we are just thrilled for him! The backbone of my life is my writing desk. Math exercises overlap an organizer, set next to almost-empty tubes of paint and overdue library books.

An eclectic desk shows an eclectic personality; mine has had the honor of being the training grounds prior to the Great final Battle exam of Chemistry, the peaceful meadow of relaxed reading afternoons, and all in all the pristine-turned-colorful canvas of an inquisitive mind. I remember buying it with my mother five years ago, when my bruised knees protested against the tiny white-paint-gone-yellow one I had used since childhood.

My new desk was made of native Rimu heartwood—solid, resilient, dependable—a perfect role model for me to grow into. Over the years, its material became representative of my New Zealand identity, its surface slowly coated in quirky personality, and its compartments filled with treasured memories; the heartwood desk echoed my heart.

At first, it did not fit with the decor of the rest of my room, which even now appears boxy and stark next to my grandiosely elegant writing desk, but its quiet strength is unafraid of individuality, just as I have learned to become. It has watched as I grew stronger branches, a straighter trunk, firmer roots; whereas I had once been but a shy young seedling, I sprouted leaves and with them the ability and yearning to provide shade for others. I have certainly physically grown into it, but although I would like to think that I have become completely independent, I remain human; in inevitable times of need, it is still my steadfast, sturdy desk that offers its support.

I sit here and, well, I write: joyfully, desolately, irately, wistfully—at times paralyzed by excitement, at others crippled by fear. I scrawl notes in my organizer which is, naturally, not in the least organized , words overflow my blog, overemotional oranges and blues plague my illustrations; shallow scratch marks indent the wood from where I have pressed too passionately into paper.

It may be solid, but it is elastic enough to be shaped, resilient enough to adapt: This is my soft wooden heart. It can take it. My desk remains constant despite scars of experience—unassuming, stoic, ever watchful. Even when I dismembered dying cell phones, their frail key tones pleading for mercy, the desk stood there, nonchalant. Regardless of what fervor goes on from time to time, it knows there will eventually be a constant calm; my lively nest of rebuilt mobiles still calls this place home.

Some things will never change. And, like a mother, it always turns out to be right. Beneath my seemingly chaotic coat of papers and objects; beneath the superfluous, temporary things that define my present life, my desk and my heart remain still—solid, stable, and evergreen, ready to be written onto and scratched into by experience. We glimpse her pride in her heritage, her struggles with self-doubt, and her faith in herself to adapt to change and embrace new experiences.

She has so much to show us and does so in such creative ways that readers can feel overwhelmed by the information and figurative language that competes for our attention. For even the most gifted writers, less is often more. I am a conservative. I may seem like an unlikely candidate for such beliefs; I live in Springfield, Massachusetts, an urban environment where the majority of the population utilizes some sort of government assistance to supplement the costs of living.

Well, maybe not the absolute majority, but I certainly see a lot of it. Though raised as a Catholic, I believe in nothing more than simple spirituality, and do not abide by all the stipulations of the strict Catholic community although I do continue to attend church because I find the environment welcoming and the people overwhelmingly happy and uplifting.

I attend the Drama Studio, a small, conservatory style acting community where I am considered the token Republican artsy and conservative—is this what Harold Camping meant by the Rapture? However, I have found that sharing the majority of my time with those of conflicting opinions has enlightened me in the ways of respect and compromise. Enter Jacob Mueller. Through this, I discovered a few important things; like me, he loved politics.

Like me, he was well informed. And, like me, he was more than willing to argue his opinion. Through our Odd Couple dynamic, we found an endless number of conversation topics. But the remarkable thing about our debates was not their intensity or their depth, but how much I was learning by listening to him talk. A strange thing was happening to me. For the girl who had always been staunchly opinionated and stubborn, who had never been one for agreeing with the opposition, who took pride in her ability to stand her ground even when she represented the minority view, compromise suddenly had a new meaning.

Its connotation was no longer negative. And, in turn my ability to not only understand but also respect a view contradictory to my own was growing in strength. In order to foster this newfound mind-set, I presented myself with the ultimate challenge. In a moment of excited passion, I logged on to Amazon. The little book, with its floppy laminated cover depicting a hammer and a sickle on a glossy black background and plain white block letters spelling out its title with inconspicuous innocence, took its place at the head of my bed, where it resided for the next month.

Bit by bit, it began to fill with marks of pensive notation, speckles of yellow appearing in odd places where the highlighter had bled through, its fragile pages curving with the insistent pen marks that filled their margins. As I devoured the words of Marx and Engels, I realized something remarkable. But I did understand what they were saying, and I was able to respect them both as visionaries and intellectuals. When I register to vote, I will not be registering as a Democrat.

But I can proudly say that The Communist Manifesto taught this Republican what it means to compromise, and to respect. Lessard explains humorously and intimately her status as a curious conservative. If one is going to talk about controversial topics like politics in a college essay, avoid entirely as this essay does—and even if you do make mention of The Communist Manifesto!

The main problem with manifestoes is that they are not personal, but abstract. By contrast, the college essay needs to tell us all about you, ideally in an unforgettable, up-close, down-to-earth way. Instead colleges want to get to know the real you.

One way this essay could be improved might include providing more detail about what exactly Lessard found meaningful in the works of Marx and Engels. As it stands, the essay only touches on The Communist Manifesto in a cursory way despite Lessard's reading of that work being pivotal to the arc of the essay. Very effectively, however, Lessard positions herself in this essay as a person on an intellectual journey who is open to new ideas and experiences.

This is an excellent posture to demonstrate to an admissions committee. College is all about learning—intellectually, socially, politically, and beyond—and colleges often find students irresistible when they are hellbent on learning to the utmost. Be an intellectual astronaut and demonstrate that in your college essay, as Lessard did quite effectively.

I wrap my scarf more firmly around my neck, feeling the chill of the brisk January air as I trudge my way to practice. Turning the corner three blocks down, I finally make it to the parking lot and see one of my friends.

Easy conversation flows between us as our well-trained feet follow the paths to our respective changing rooms. Familiar figures stand in various states of undress, and bisous go all around while we change and speculate on the various tortures Marc will put us through today.

Then we head down to the pool deck, ready to meet our fates. I get to our coach first, and mentally switch back into English. We foreigners have to stick together, after all. We end with a perfect fist bump, and I smirk. Marc eventually yells at us to get to work, and we all start to put on our caps and goggles. Four months ago, I was mute, standing awkwardly to the side, hoping that English instructions for the new and frightening social interaction would suddenly appear out of thin air.

Now, flawless French rolls off my lips as I greet my friends, laughing freely at inside jokes, not thinking twice about kissing swimsuit-clad swimmers on the cheek. Someone pushes me into the pool and my shriek is swallowed by the water. I surface and swear my revenge, glaring all the while at Pierre, the obvious culprit, who is grinning unabashedly. Then he yelps and falls as he himself is pushed in as well.

One of the first pieces of advice that I share about what makes a strong essay is for a student to not overthink it. Not everybody needs to cure a disease by the time they turn 16 or have had a research paper published in a professional journal. I got over it quickly. Opening: Sets the scene effectively, draws me in to want to learn more about her abroad experience, seems very friendly.

Exchanges with coach and the conversations and handshakes with teammates show adaptability and an ability to bring people together. The Cayman Islands, our home,… Share an essay on any topic of your choice. Short answer — Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below.

Harvard University requires the Common Application, with its word essay requirement, as well as their own short essay questions, included below. Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. The Common App Essay for is limited to word responses. You must choose one prompt for your essay. Some students have a background,… Please note: This action will also remove this member from your connections and send a report to the site admin.

Please allow a few minutes for this process to complete. No products in the cart. Sign in Sign up. Search for:. Successful Harvard Essays. These are successful college essays of students that were accepted to Harvard University. Use them to see what it takes to get into Harvard and other top schools and get inspiration for your own Common App essay, supplements, and short answers.

These successful Harvard essays include Common App essays , Harvard supplements , and other Harvard admissions essays. Harvard Supplemental Essay: Travel, living, or working experiences in your own or other communities.

RESUME GATECH

The Requirements: One long essay with no word limit, two word essays. You want to contribute additional context to what the Harvard admissions officers know about you, and you only have a small space to do it in, so use it wisely. This is a pretty straightforward prompt. Harvard wants you to list any of your intellectual activities that you have not mentioned elsewhere in your application.

Did you try to build an app this summer? Perhaps you took an online French course to familiarize yourself with the language before taking a trip to Paris with your family. Harvard wants to know — so get to typing! If you have the opportunity to reveal something new about yourself to admissions and speak to them in your own voice, take it!

But there are other ideas in that head of yours — we know it! Unless Harvard is your first choice and you are tackling this application with an early submission deadline in front of you, you may want to leave this essay until the end of your supplement run.

Are you applying to other schools with more specific prompts? Maybe those prompts will pull something unexpected out of your noggin that feels interesting enough to include or expand upon for Harvard? Also feel free to use their sample prompts as inspiration. Overall, remember the purpose of any admissions essay is to showcase something about yourself that admissions would not otherwise know about you. This is a suuuper short answer for international students.

Harvard University wants to know why you chose to apply to Harvard and why you want to attend Harvard above all other schools in the US, your home country, and abroad! Since you only have 50 words, you have no choice but to keep your answer short and sweet. That said, you can still focus on specific, personal details that show how much you know about the school. Adding a story of how he changed the lives of the immigrants he helped would enhance his message and create a fitting parallel with the anecdote of how Jack helped him as he assimilated only one line on the activities portion of his into Western culture.

Overall, Lucien combines humor with humility and leaves the reader feeling inspired. I think the most tragic part of my childhood originated from my sheer inability to find anything engraved with my name. No one ever gave me a key chain or coffee mug with the beautiful loops of those double Fs and Es.

My name has always been an integral part of my identity. Sure, it sounds a bit like my parents created it from a bag of Scrabble tiles, but it comes from a long-lost ancestor, Comfort Chaffee. In my opinion, a name can make or break a person. The ability to embody a name depends on the individual. My greatest goal in life is to be the kind of unique person deserving of a name so utterly random and absurd.

I began my journey in preschool. Nothing about me screamed normal. I was not prim, proper, and poised. I preferred sneaking away from my preschool classroom, barefoot, in the purple velvet dress I wore every single day to resting obediently during nap time.

I grew up in a family akin to a modified Brady Bunch. Stepsisters, half sisters, stepbrothers, and stepparents joined my previously miniscule household. I was a bit of a reverse black sheep in my family. My name helped me carve an identity separate from my myriad of siblings. Instead of enriching my brain with Grand Theft Auto, I preferred begging my parents to take me to the bookstore. While my parents mandated homework time for my brothers, they never questioned my work ethic or wiretapped my assignment notebook.

The thing that set me apart from the herd was that I was self-disciplined enough to take control of my own life. Putting school first came naturally to me, much to the distaste and confusion of my siblings. As I got older, I began to embody my name more and more. I was often picked to lead classroom discussions and my complete disregard for making a fool of myself bolstered that skill. The manner in which I operate academically is perfectly described as Chaffee-esque; including but not limited to elaborate study songs, complex pneumonic devices, study forts, and the occasional John C.

Calhoun costume. Seeing someone struggle over those two unfamiliar syllables fills me with glee. I feel as though I am adding a new word to their vocabulary. So on my last day as a page in the U. Senate, I prepared myself for the anticipated awkward stumbling as Senator Harry Reid thanked me by name in his closing address.

But the stumble never came. I felt very humbled by his perfect pronunciation. Perhaps Chaffee is actually catching on! She shapes her development from preschool to high school in the lens of her name, demonstrating the importance that it has played throughout her life.

Yet, the essay works quite well. Chaffee spends a great deal of time elaborating on how she was different from both her family and others with examples of her transgressions in preschool and her penchant for schoolwork and education as opposed to procrastination or video games like Grand Theft Auto. Chaffee toots her own horn just a little bit when describing the merits of her work ethic, but it is still fairly endearing overall, and there is no shame in sharing a desire for learning.

That summed up what running had always meant to me, ever since I was a seventh grader, choosing his sport for the first time. I was fine and content, however. I always had Jeffrey and Archie, classmates like me who ran slowly. We were good friends. We laughed together; we raced together; we pushed each other, and endured tough workouts together.

But after middle school the people I trained with went on to do things they were better at. I remained, even though I was not good enough to be considered for varsity. High school running was hell. I struggled with workouts, most of which I had to run alone. In the hot, dry days of autumn, I often coughed on the dust trails left by my teammates as they vanished into the distance.

During the workouts, I got passed incessantly, almost getting run over on occasion. It hurt not to be important; to be dead weight for the team. I looked forward to the next year, when I could hopefully run with the incoming freshmen. Even a year later, I was still the slowest on the team. How could the freshmen who had snored off the whole summer beat me, a veteran from middle school and high school with decent summer training?

My mother, worried about the steady deterioration of my condition, contacted a doctor. The doctor prescribed a daily iron pill, and the results were exhilarating. I joked that I was taking steroids. I sunk into endless oxygen. I got tired less. During the workouts, I felt more machine than man. Iron therapy taught me something fundamental. It reminded me why I was running; why I had stuck to this damn sport for four straight years.

When I was anemic, I struggled to gather what little motivation I had for those painfully slow jogs in those parks. Putting the effort in, and seeing the dramatic results fooled my mind like a well-administered placebo. Iron therapy was the training wheels that would jump-start my dramatic improvement.

It took four months—four months of iron pills, blood tests, and training—to get back to my personal best: the mile that I had run the year before. Early February that year, the training wheels came off. I was running close to seven miles a day on my own.

I could catch a light. I could walk as many stairs as I wanted without getting tired. I was even far ahead of where I was the year before. After two and a half years as a miler, I finally had a breakthrough race. I ran a I asked coach if I could eventually break 5 minutes. He told me to focus more on maintaining my fitness through spring break.

I ran the mile again, this time outdoors. Coach had me seeded at a I ran the first lap, holding back. I hoped to squeeze by with a The euphoria was unprecedented as I realized by the second lap that I was a dozen seconds ahead and still holding back. I finished with a On the bus ride back from the meet, one of my long-standing dreams came true.

I pretended to ignore Coach sitting next to me, but he kept on giving me glances. He was excited about my time. We talked a lot about the race. We talked about my continuous and dramatic improvement. He said it was early in the season and that I would break 5 minutes after only a few weeks of training.

Six weeks later, Mr. Song, my chemistry teacher, asked me if I had broken 5 minutes for the mile yet. I told him all about how I had run in three meets over the past month and had failed to break on every one of them. I told him that 5 minutes was now for me a mirage in the distance. Even though these consoling words were from the man who had baffled my nutritionist when he had guessed that I was anemic, I still doubted his wisdom. On Sunday, I would run the mile once.

My last mile of the year. This was it. Using my tried-and-true racing strategy, I finished with a , a second drop in time. Now, I am running more mileage than I ever have before. And my violin teacher still complains. Although challenging and not to mention the fact that he always finishes last , John has stuck with running for many years. This magic mineral allows him to heal, excel in his running, and ultimately exceed his wildest expectations by almost breaking the 5-minute mark by a few seconds.

John guides us through his story through the lens of his infallible work ethic. Even though he did not reach his exact goal, he is seconds away from it, and the reader knows he will keep pushing to achieve it. As a reader, I would love to hear more about what happens next. This self-reflection section is the most important element of the essay as it allows admissions readers a window into what drives a student.

As the essay culminates, John makes us smile as he smiles even though his violin teacher is still not too happy with him. We know John has learned to appreciate the beauty of the journey rather than the destination and we are just thrilled for him! The backbone of my life is my writing desk. Math exercises overlap an organizer, set next to almost-empty tubes of paint and overdue library books.

An eclectic desk shows an eclectic personality; mine has had the honor of being the training grounds prior to the Great final Battle exam of Chemistry, the peaceful meadow of relaxed reading afternoons, and all in all the pristine-turned-colorful canvas of an inquisitive mind.

I remember buying it with my mother five years ago, when my bruised knees protested against the tiny white-paint-gone-yellow one I had used since childhood. My new desk was made of native Rimu heartwood—solid, resilient, dependable—a perfect role model for me to grow into.

Over the years, its material became representative of my New Zealand identity, its surface slowly coated in quirky personality, and its compartments filled with treasured memories; the heartwood desk echoed my heart. At first, it did not fit with the decor of the rest of my room, which even now appears boxy and stark next to my grandiosely elegant writing desk, but its quiet strength is unafraid of individuality, just as I have learned to become.

It has watched as I grew stronger branches, a straighter trunk, firmer roots; whereas I had once been but a shy young seedling, I sprouted leaves and with them the ability and yearning to provide shade for others. I have certainly physically grown into it, but although I would like to think that I have become completely independent, I remain human; in inevitable times of need, it is still my steadfast, sturdy desk that offers its support.

I sit here and, well, I write: joyfully, desolately, irately, wistfully—at times paralyzed by excitement, at others crippled by fear. I scrawl notes in my organizer which is, naturally, not in the least organized , words overflow my blog, overemotional oranges and blues plague my illustrations; shallow scratch marks indent the wood from where I have pressed too passionately into paper.

It may be solid, but it is elastic enough to be shaped, resilient enough to adapt: This is my soft wooden heart. It can take it. My desk remains constant despite scars of experience—unassuming, stoic, ever watchful. Even when I dismembered dying cell phones, their frail key tones pleading for mercy, the desk stood there, nonchalant. Regardless of what fervor goes on from time to time, it knows there will eventually be a constant calm; my lively nest of rebuilt mobiles still calls this place home.

Some things will never change. And, like a mother, it always turns out to be right. Beneath my seemingly chaotic coat of papers and objects; beneath the superfluous, temporary things that define my present life, my desk and my heart remain still—solid, stable, and evergreen, ready to be written onto and scratched into by experience. We glimpse her pride in her heritage, her struggles with self-doubt, and her faith in herself to adapt to change and embrace new experiences.

She has so much to show us and does so in such creative ways that readers can feel overwhelmed by the information and figurative language that competes for our attention. For even the most gifted writers, less is often more. I am a conservative. I may seem like an unlikely candidate for such beliefs; I live in Springfield, Massachusetts, an urban environment where the majority of the population utilizes some sort of government assistance to supplement the costs of living.

Well, maybe not the absolute majority, but I certainly see a lot of it. Though raised as a Catholic, I believe in nothing more than simple spirituality, and do not abide by all the stipulations of the strict Catholic community although I do continue to attend church because I find the environment welcoming and the people overwhelmingly happy and uplifting.

I attend the Drama Studio, a small, conservatory style acting community where I am considered the token Republican artsy and conservative—is this what Harold Camping meant by the Rapture? However, I have found that sharing the majority of my time with those of conflicting opinions has enlightened me in the ways of respect and compromise.

Enter Jacob Mueller. Through this, I discovered a few important things; like me, he loved politics. Like me, he was well informed. And, like me, he was more than willing to argue his opinion. Through our Odd Couple dynamic, we found an endless number of conversation topics. But the remarkable thing about our debates was not their intensity or their depth, but how much I was learning by listening to him talk.

A strange thing was happening to me. For the girl who had always been staunchly opinionated and stubborn, who had never been one for agreeing with the opposition, who took pride in her ability to stand her ground even when she represented the minority view, compromise suddenly had a new meaning. Its connotation was no longer negative.

And, in turn my ability to not only understand but also respect a view contradictory to my own was growing in strength. In order to foster this newfound mind-set, I presented myself with the ultimate challenge. In a moment of excited passion, I logged on to Amazon. The little book, with its floppy laminated cover depicting a hammer and a sickle on a glossy black background and plain white block letters spelling out its title with inconspicuous innocence, took its place at the head of my bed, where it resided for the next month.

Bit by bit, it began to fill with marks of pensive notation, speckles of yellow appearing in odd places where the highlighter had bled through, its fragile pages curving with the insistent pen marks that filled their margins. As I devoured the words of Marx and Engels, I realized something remarkable. But I did understand what they were saying, and I was able to respect them both as visionaries and intellectuals. When I register to vote, I will not be registering as a Democrat.

But I can proudly say that The Communist Manifesto taught this Republican what it means to compromise, and to respect. Lessard explains humorously and intimately her status as a curious conservative. If one is going to talk about controversial topics like politics in a college essay, avoid entirely as this essay does—and even if you do make mention of The Communist Manifesto!

The main problem with manifestoes is that they are not personal, but abstract. By contrast, the college essay needs to tell us all about you, ideally in an unforgettable, up-close, down-to-earth way. Instead colleges want to get to know the real you. One way this essay could be improved might include providing more detail about what exactly Lessard found meaningful in the works of Marx and Engels. As it stands, the essay only touches on The Communist Manifesto in a cursory way despite Lessard's reading of that work being pivotal to the arc of the essay.

Very effectively, however, Lessard positions herself in this essay as a person on an intellectual journey who is open to new ideas and experiences. This is an excellent posture to demonstrate to an admissions committee. College is all about learning—intellectually, socially, politically, and beyond—and colleges often find students irresistible when they are hellbent on learning to the utmost.

Be an intellectual astronaut and demonstrate that in your college essay, as Lessard did quite effectively. I wrap my scarf more firmly around my neck, feeling the chill of the brisk January air as I trudge my way to practice. Turning the corner three blocks down, I finally make it to the parking lot and see one of my friends.

Easy conversation flows between us as our well-trained feet follow the paths to our respective changing rooms.

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