undergrad admission essay

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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?

Undergrad admission essay proper performing arts resume format

Undergrad admission essay

2004 AP WORLD HISTORY DBQ ESSAY

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response.

Remember: words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. The application won't accept a response shorter than words. For the latest updates, please visit. Interested in applying to Michigan? The first-year and transfer applications open on Aug.

Get Details. Utility Ask a question Request Information I am a First-Year Applicants. Visit Campus. Transfer Students. Common Questions What materials does U-M need in order to review a first-year application? What is Early Action and will it be reviewed differently than a Regular Decisio…. How and where should I send my transcript? Essay Questions. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. Required for all applicants Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School including preferred admission and dual degree programs to which you are applying at the University of Michigan.

How would that curriculum support your interests? Required for all applicants The Common Application Personal Essay First-Year Applicants: The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 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. Application Essays. Guidelines When applying to Purdue you should use the Common Application. First-Time College Students Freshmen.

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Each one of us leaves find a legacy as we for fill our purpose in life. I believe my purpose as a student is to encourage others to become active community members and motivate them to reach new heights. As a student of the University of California, I will contribute my understanding of the human condition and student motivation to help strengthen student relationships within the campus and throughout the community.

This is a college essay that worked for Cornell University. Note: Learn about how to get into Cornell undergrad. My fingers know instinctively, without a thought. They turn the dial, just as they have hundreds of times before, until a soft, metallic click echoes into my eardrum and triggers their unconscious stop.

I exultantly thrust open my locker door, exposing its deepest bowels candidly to the wide halls of the high school. The bright lights shine back, brashly revealing every crevice, nook, and cranny, gleaming across its scintillating, bare surfaces.

On this first day of senior year, I set out upon my task. I procure an ordinary plastic grocery bag from my backpack. The contents inside collectively represent everything about me in high school — they tell a story, one all about me. I reach in and let my fingers trail around the surfaces of each object. I select my first prey arbitrarily, and as I raise my hand up to eye level, I closely examine this chosen one.

A miniature Flamenco dancer stares back at me from the confines of the 3-D rectangular magnet, half popping out as if willing herself to come to life. Instantly, my mind transports me back a few summers before, when I tapped my own heels to traditional music in Spain. I am reminded of my thirst to travel, to explore new cultures utterly different from my familiar home in Modesto, California.

As a result, I have developed a restlessness inside me, a need to move on from four years in the same high school, to take advantage of diverse opportunities whenever possible, and to meet interesting people. I take out the next magnet from my plastic bag. This one shows a panoramic view of the city of Santa Barbara, California. Here, I recall spending six weeks in my glory, not only studying and learning, but actually pursuing new knowledge to add to the repertoire of mankind.

I could have easily chosen to spend my summer lazing about; in fact, my parents tried to persuade me into taking a break. Instead, I chose to do advanced molecular biology research at Stanford University. I wanted to immerse myself in my passion for biology and dip into the infinitely rich possibilities of my mind. This challenge was so rewarding to me, while at the same time I had the most fun of my life, because I was able to live with people who shared the same kind of drive and passion as I did.

After sticking up my magnets on the locker door, I ran my fingers across the bottom of the bag, and I realized that one remained. This student was admitted to Northwestern University. I briefly ponder the traditional routes, such as taking a job or spending most of the summer at the beach. However, I know that I want to do something unique. I am determined to even surpass my last summer, in which I spent one month with a host family in Egypt and twelve days at a leadership conference in New York City The college courses I have taken at Oregon State University since the summer after 7th grade will no longer provide the kind of challenge I seek.

Six months later, I step off the airplane to find myself surrounded by palm trees, with a view of the open-air airport. I chuckle to myself about the added bonus of good weather, but I know I have come to Palo Alto, California, with a much higher purpose in mind. I will spend six weeks here in my glory, not only studying and learning, but actually pursuing new knowledge to add to the repertoire of mankind.

Through the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program, I will earn college credit by conducting original molecular biology research, writing my own research paper, and presenting my findings in a research symposium. I decided to spend my summer doing research because I knew that I liked scientific thought, and that I would passionately throw myself into any new challenge.

I always want to know more — to probe deeper into the laws of the universe, to explore the power and beauty of nature, to solve the most complicated problems. I have an insatiable curiosity and a desire to delve deeper down in the recesses of my intellect.

At the Summer Research Program, I found out how much I enjoy thinking critically, solving problems, and applying my knowledge to the real world. While pursuing research in California, I was also able to meet many similarly motivated, interesting people from across the United States and abroad. As I learned about their unique lifestyles, I also shared with them the diverse perspectives I have gained from my travel abroad and my Chinese cultural heritage.

I will never forget the invaluable opportunity I had to explore California along with these bright people. I could have easily chosen to spend that summer the traditional way; in fact, my parents even tried to persuade me into taking a break. Instead, I chose to do molecular biology research at Stanford University. This challenge was so rewarding to me, while at the same time I had the most fun of my life, because I was able to live with people who share the same kind of drive and passion as I do.

When I turned twelve, my stepdad turned violent. He became a different person overnight, frequently getting into fights with my mom. You might say that my upbringing was characterized by my parents morphing everyday objects into weapons and me trying to morph into the perfect white walls that stood unmoving while my family fell apart. This period in my life is not a sob story, but rather, the origin story of my love of writing.

During a fight once, my stepdad left the house to retrieve a baseball bat from his truck. And in that moment, I did not cry as I was prone to do, but I pulled out a book, and experienced a profound disappearance, one that would always make me associate reading with escapism and healing. And as I got older, I began to think that there must be others who were going through this, too.

I tried to find them. I created an anonymous blog that centered what it meant for a teenager to find joy even as her life was in shambles. In this blog I kept readers updated with what I was learning, nightly yoga to release tension from the day and affirmations in the morning to counter the shame that was mounting as a result of witnessing weekly my inability to make things better at home. At that time, I felt uncertain about who I was because I was different online than I was at home or even at school where I was editor of my high school literary journal.

It took me a while to understand that I was not the girl who hid in the corner making herself small; I was the one who sought to connect with others who were dealing with the same challenges at home, thinking that maybe in our isolation we could come together. I was able to make enough from my blog to pay some bills in the house and give my mom the courage to kick my stepfather out. When he exited our home, I felt a wind go through it, the house exhaling a giant sigh of relief.

I know this is not the typical background of most students. Sharing my story with like-minded teens helped me understand what I have to offer: my perspective, my unrelenting optimism. I do not experience despair for long because I know that this is just one chapter in a long novel, one that will change the hearts of those who come across it. This student was accepted to Yale University.

Note: Learn about how to get into Yale University. I was a straight A student until I got to high school, where my calm evenings cooking dinner for my siblings turned into hours watching videos, followed by the frantic attempt to finish homework around 4 am. I thought she would call me lazy, accuse me of wasting the gift of being an American that she and my father gave me.

They only had to put things in a planner, not make sure the deadlines were placed in multiple locations, physical and digital. My mom took off from her grocery store job to take me to two more appointments to ask about ADHD, the term the doctor had used, but other doctors were not willing to listen. I had As in every class except for World Literature. But I knew something was wrong. After our third doctor visit, I worked with the librarian after school to sift through research on ADHD and other learning disabilities until we came across the term executive functioning.

Armed with knowledge, we went to a new doctor, and before my mom could insist that we get testing or get referred to a specialist, the doctor handed us a signed referral. She asked me about the folder in my hand. I told her it was full of my research. My mom mentioned that some doctors had refused to refer us to a specialist because my grades were too high. I was shocked at this revelation.

The last three doctors had mumbled something about grades but had never said a thing about race. Before I could deny it fervently, the doctor, who was from Taiwan, nodded sympathetically. And some adolescents learn to mask symptoms by building systems. I believe you should get tested.

The semester following the confirmation of my learning disability diagnosis was challenging to say the least. The librarian, who had become my close confidante, introduced me to an academic tutor who specialized in learning disabilities and taught me skills like using redundancy and time management to make it easier for me to grapple with moving parts.

This student was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania. My brother and I are exactly one year and one day apart. As children we wore the same clothes, received the same haircut. By the time we got to middle school it was clear that my older brother preferred quiet, indoor activities, while I was a born performer who preferred the theatrical, even when off stage.

I took his relative silence to be disinterest and found it offensive. In particular I delved into the world of musical theater in addition to regularly singing solos at our high school choir concerts. I spent hours after school preparing for shows. And when I came home, I practiced as well, falling into a rigorous routine I thought I needed to remain at my best and be competitive for parts. My bedroom was far enough from my parents so as not to disturb them, but space to practice became an issue with my brother because, well, we shared a room.

Imagine him meditating on a window seat while I am belting, trying to sustain a high note. Needless to say, this created tension between us. From his point of view, high school was hard enough without the constant sound of Glee arrangements. While I could sing it fine in its original key, I had a hard time singing it along with the music because the arrangement of the song we were working on had a key change that was out of my range.

This was the first time I struggled to learn a song, and I was a week from the audition. I was irritable in that period and stopped practicing, declaring I had reached the height of my singing career. My brother experiencing quiet when I got home for the first time in years.

After a couple days of this, when I got home, he asked me to join him in meditation. And feeling my anger at my inability to navigate this song gracefully, I did. It was difficult at first. I was trying to clear my head. When your mind drifts away, you simply come back, no judgment. I liked the sound of that, and it became my new philosophy.

I kept trying at the song, no longer getting angry at myself, and just in time for the audition I was able to maintain power in my voice despite the key change. As for my brother, we no longer argue. I now understand why he prefers the quiet. This student was admitted to Brown University. Note: Learn about how to get into Brown.

My parents are aerospace engineers, humble even as their work helps our society explore new frontiers. They believe that you make a stand through the work that you do, not what you say. This is what they taught me. This is what I believed until my sophomore year when I was confronted with a moment where I could not stay quiet.

Some students were openly the children of skinheads. After a racist exchange with a student who insulted her and refused to sit at the same lunch table, my best friend, who was Muslim, did not stand for the pledge of allegiance in homeroom the next day. She was suspended for insubordination and when I called her, she said that surely in this situation I might find a way to think of more than my own feelings. I felt ashamed.

I apologized, asking how to best support her. She said it was just important that I listen and understand that she could not thrive in an environment that promoted sameness. She spoke to me with a vulnerability I had never heard before. At the end of our conversation, I apologized profusely. She said she did not need my words and what she needed from me was to take a stand. This was the opposite of the belief my parents drilled in me. I felt conflicted at first, as if by speaking about the situation I was doing something wrong.

However, my friend had to deal with a reality that I did not. And perhaps taking a stand would allow my institution and everyone in it to learn to be a more inclusive space for everyone. Maybe there was a way to take a stand and to do the necessary work to change things. Of the students at my high school, over signed, a number that far exceeded my expectation. Use your power to do good. Since then, I have tried to be more aware that not everyone experiences comfort in the same environments that I do.

My friend and I created a club to foster cross-cultural dialogue. In the past year two other clubs of its kind began at other local schools. More than anything I am proud that I have learned to be a better friend and a more thoughtful community member in a way that honors who I am and what I value. Medical School Admissions College Admissions. Yet, my curiosity has always surpassed my height. Therefore, it is not surprising that I became transfixed the first time I played 20Q the electronic version of Twenty Questions.

Somehow, a little spherical device guessed what I was thinking. The piece of technology sparked my curiosity and instilled in me a unique interest in 20Q. This interest would later reveal valuable character traits of mine while also paralleling various facets of my life.

I became determined to discover how 20Q guessed correctly. After some research, I discovered artificial intelligence, more specifically, artificial neural networks—systems which learn and improve themselves. This idea fascinated me. I wanted to learn more. I read avidly, seeking and absorbing as much information as I could. When given the opportunity years later, I signed up for the first computer programming class available to me.

I found myself in an environment I loved. I would stay after class, go in during free periods, make my own apps, and work over Cloud-based IDEs. I prized the freedom and the possibilities. After my introduction to 20Q, I began to play Twenty Questions the traditional parlor game and became determined to rival the guessing accuracy of the artificial intelligence. At first I was mediocre. However, through long car rides with family, good-natured yet heated competitions with friends, logical strategy, and time, I became more effective.

As 20Q implements what it learns, so do I. Later that year, I became the first player in my grade to score a varsity touchdown. Once I became proficient at Twenty Questions, I strengthened my resolve to become masterful. To do so, I needed to become a skillful inquisitor and to combine that with my analytical nature and interpersonal skills, all of which are vital for success in Twenty Questions.

Because I had been debating politics with my friends since the 8th grade, I recognized that debate could sharpen these skills. I began to debate more frequently and later more effectively in English and government class, at the lunch table and family gatherings, and whenever the opportunity presented itself. This spurred in me an interest for how public policy and government work, leading me to attend Boys State and receive a nomination for The United States Senate Youth Program.

So far, I have realized that thriving at Twenty Questions, just like life, is all about tenacity, rationality and interpersonal skills. I have found that, as in Twenty Questions, always succeeding is impossible; however, by persevering through difficulties and obstacles, favorable outcomes are often attainable. As I have become better at Twenty Questions, so too have I improved in many other aspects of my life.

Nonetheless, I realize that I still have unbounded room to grow. And much like 20Q, I will continue to learn throughout my life and apply my knowledge to everything I do. I was born with an extra hand—kind of. I do, however, have the unusual ability to use both hands equally well. When I was little, I thought of my ambidexterity as a fun trick. I always liked to play with people when learning a new skill:.

For me, ambidexterity has always meant versatility. From using my left hand in a restrictive corner while doing yardwork to switch-hitting in baseball depending on the context of the game, my hands give me the flexibility to adapt to my surroundings. It makes sense that only my closest friends know about my dual-handed capabilities. Similarly, much of who I am remains unnoticed at first glance, not because of insignificance but because of initial perception. I like to think that ambidexterity helps me juggle these different parts of myself without letting anything go.

In my job as a Little League umpire, I have three distinct identities. Though each of these roles helps me in their own way, collectively, they are the reason I was made the lead umpire of the league. In terms of academics, ambidexterity means finishing a half-hour phone call trying to understand the complexities of William Faulkner and immediately turning around to text watered-down calculus explanations to help another student.

Even teachers, however, see the respect other students have for me during class discussions. Outside of class, other students come to me because they recognize that I genuinely want to help guide them toward their own success. When it comes down to it, ambidexterity means balance. From athlete to academic, from reliable employee to kind-hearted helper, I take on an array of roles in my life. Just as my two hands merge to create a more efficient system, my personal flexibility allows me to handle the many aspects of my life from different angles.

Although each part of me is individually effective, my most complete self comes from applying them together. It allows me to become more than just efficient or well-rounded but a better friend, a more fitting leader, and a respected role model. So now, when I run into the inevitable questions in college applications about who I really am, I can answer clearly: I am ambidextrous. Instinctively, I hold my breath. The pungent fragrance of roasted coffee beans and the shrill sound of steam whistles from the espresso machines force my senses into overload.

Before me are mounds of freshly-baked goodies and colossal stacks of books piled on bookshelves as high as the ceiling. With one hand holding my cookie, I collect as many books as my chubby arms can hold and plop into my favorite blue armchair. Braving these adventures instilled in me a sense of invincibility that pushed me to tackle new experiences, even engaging in mischievous absurdities, both in this world and reality.

Expressions of this unwavering self-confidence and sense of invincibility were not solely limited to my sense of fashion, but rather, it was ingrained in every thought and action that I had. Ignorant to the laws of gravity, I once jumped off the dolly after reaching peak acceleration, wholeheartedly believing that I could fly. With a bruised ego and scraped knees, I learned a valuable lesson: invincibility is a mere delusion.

Moving to Canada without any support, my educated parents relinquished their professional aspirations to build a stable business to provide for me. Shifting from being front and center to an observant spectator, I began to see beyond myself, picking up the art of people-watching. I found myself creating whimsical backstories of circumstance for each passerby, intertwining chance encounters and meaningful exchanges.

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Revise the essay to clearly present your educational goal and Waterloo It is too long. You should be able to better explain that within 2 sentences What you should have done was used a few of the word count to While it is all compelling and up to date The reviewer will not be interested in reading that However, your decision to enroll in Waterloo is commonplace. It does not carry I've reworked my essay using this as my base and am The essay was fantastic in I'm glad that I started early I shall get working on them right away.

Thank you for your help! These are normal and average on the Nice to know you. Dear Holt, please excuse me, I'd like to add more feedbacks on this I believe you have written a highly impressive response which is sure to reflect well on your application Reverse the presentation to kick - off with, "Being an avid technophile Critical Thinking is the key to success 3 - There are a lot of grammatical errors in this essay. Winning a Competition and Getting Involved in Organizations; NUS Achievements Personal Statement 3 - If your intended major is computer science, why would you throw it off by mentioning other subjects that you're My blog - extracurricular activities essay - Undergrad College Application 3 - Merged: Sustainability in the fashion industry - Extracurricular activities essay Please briefly elaborate on one of your Write about an unforgettable experience in your life.

Could you give me comments on my paragraph? Study plan for study permit for software engineering; comprehensive and competitive education system 2 - The study plan you present lacks a study focus based an research purposes in relation to career planning and Essay about "How did you get passionate about physics" 3 - Okay, So 1.

Study plan for Canadian Study permit in Bachelors of Business Management 2 - You do not need to go overboard with information about your current university and other academic history in the For a happier tomorrow - The American University in Cairo essay 2 - You described what the university is best known for in relation to Psychology.

First time I wrote an essay - Questbridge: An experience that caused you to change your perspective 2 - It is not a "poor me" essay. I'm able to understand how far I can go and the effort that it requires; UGRAD Program participation 2 - This is the most community relevant aspect of your discussion. Columbia SHP - interests and background in science and mathematics. My thirst for knowledge - benefitting from study at American University in Cairo 2 - The question is, to me, forward thinking in presentation.

UGRAD - I can resolve Georgia's internal and external problems 3 - Holt Thanks for the answer,I already started fixing the said points by your advice,it really was dry and missing If possible, kindly help me out. Application for the math program of the university of Waterloo - AIF form essay 7 - With a limited number of characters, maybe you can answer more directly to what they ask so that you Own glass of lemonade. Describe a time when you encountered a conflict and how you handled it 3 - Holt I'm working as a teacher part-time after completing an introductory teaching course provided by an online language school, Canadian entrepreneurs - Waterloo AIF, first question of Part A 3 - When you're talking about future goals, you need to provide a more solid educational and working experience background to Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology.

In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic. Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time. Despite taking a long time and the difficulty in carving separate time for school with such occupational requirements, I remained persistent aiming towards attending school as my schedule would allow.

My military commitment ends this July and will no longer complicate my academic pursuits. In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science. The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science.

Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr. As an undergraduate, I was privileged to gain extensive research experience working in a research lab with Dr.

During the three years I worked in her lab, I aided in designing a study, writing an Institutional Review Board IRB application, running participants through both pilot and regular studies, coding data, and analyzing said data, with these experiences culminating in my honors thesis. Participating in such a large study from start to finish has validated my interest in academic research as a profession.

This fall I will embark on writing an additional honors thesis in political science. While the precise topic of my thesis is undecided, I am particularly interested in Mexico and its development towards a more democratic government. Minoring in Spanish, I have read various pieces of literature from Mexico and have come to respect Mexico and Latin American culture and society.

I look forward to conducting this research as it will have a more qualitative tilt than my thesis in psychology, therefore granting an additional understanding of research methodology. My present decision to switch from social psychology to political science is further related to a study abroad course sponsored by the European Union with Dr. Professor Mitchell obtained a grant to take a class of students to Belgium in order to study the EU.

This course revealed a direct correlation between what I had studied in the classroom with the real world. After spending several weeks studying the EU, its history and present movement towards integration, the class flew to Brussels where we met with officials and proceeded to learn firsthand how the EU functioned.

My interest in attending the University of Rochester in particular, relates to my first semester at OU and the opportunity to take an introductory course in statistics with the now retired Dr. Larry Miller. Through the combination of a genuine appreciation and knack for statistics and with his encouragement, I proceeded to take his advanced statistics class as well as the first graduate level statistics course at OU.

I continued my statistical training by completing the second graduate statistics course on model comparisons with Dr. Roger Johnson, a Professor in the Psychology Department. The model comparison course was not only the most challenging course I have taken as an undergraduate, but the most important. As the sole undergraduate in the course and only college algebra under my belt, I felt quite intimidated.

Yet, the rigors of the class compelled me to expand my thinking and learn to overcome any insecurities and deficits in my education. Top Outstanding Psychology Student award in statistics. This award is given to the top undergraduate student with a demonstrated history of success in statistics. My statistical training in psychology orientates me toward a more quantitative graduate experience.

While attending the University of Rochester, I would like to study international relations or comparative politics while in graduate school. I find the research of Dr. Additionally, my attendance would allow the Political Science department to make a more accurate determination on how well I would fit in to the program than from solely my graduate school application.

Attending the University of Rochester with its focus on quantitative training, would not only allow me to utilize the skills and knowledge I gained as an undergraduate, but also would expand this foundation to better prepare me to conduct research in a manner I find fascinating.

From attending S. I thrive on difficult tasks as I enjoy systematically developing solutions to problems. Attending the University of Rochester would more than likely prove a challenge, but there is no doubt in my mind that I would not only succeed but enable me to offer a unique set of experiences to fellow members of the incoming graduate class. The number of competitors in the Midwest Spelling Bee had dropped from to the thirty-some who remained after two waves of preliminaries, a group I was awed to be in.

The third round would likely be the last one carried out with pencil and paper. A sole word stood between me and the oral competition to follow. My approach to academic success in middle school consisted of rote memorization and stodgy study habits. Fortunately for my sanity and social life, I have since discovered that learning derived from experience can introduce an invaluable layer of reality to otherwise useless knowledge.

But, an error is an error, and my misspelling of the word earned me a disheartening dismissal from the Midwest Spelling Bee. I immediately resolved to learn about the man whose name was responsible for cheapening my years of poring over vocabulary lists and etymology guides. Upon learning that Richard Wagner was one of the most prolific opera composers in history, I had to investigate.

Along my inquisitive quest, I encountered two newfound passions: opera music and the pursuit of stimulating information. I am an unabashed classical music aficionado. My enthusiasm came gradually over years of imposed piano lessons that eventually became voluntary as my interest in the activity piqued.

I came to sense the profound communion with notes on a page arising from tinkering out the same rhythms and melodies that were manuscripts by musical geniuses centuries ago. However, because I could not perform it, I never thought to explore opera. Without my keen interest in Wagner, I may have never encountered the awe-inspiring blend of visual and musical mastery that constitutes his interpretation of the genre. Opera swiftly captured my eye and ear for insightful art. For instance, in his landmark opera, Tristan und Isolde, Wagner unleashed a then-revolutionary tonal system which paved the way for twentieth century classical music.

Fueled by my frustration with the outcome of the bee, I searched for the source of my failure. In uncovering the works of Wagner, I gleaned a sense of the vast droves of information that can lie behind a seemingly simple word. I suddenly became aware of my incapacity to seek out the surprising insights that the world might have been waiting to reveal.

Thanks to a reevaluation triggered by a failure, I garnered a new appreciation for experiential learning. Since my underwhelming performance nearly four years ago, I have become well versed in the mysterious, gritty art of inquiry. Rather than perceiving my environment to be a sterile list of terms with a neat pronunciation guide to boot, I am now eager to take in the uncommon wisdoms of everything from the innovative operatic tropes of Wagner to the fickle nature of bees—both the pollinating insects and their manmade homonyms.

The exclusiveness portrayed in Mean Girls led me to expect that high school would consist of like-minded cliques. Rather, in high school I found that a single commonality can unite a seemingly random sampling of people.

Through marching band, this idea was embodied in a desire to perform music. The hierarchy of authority in marching band is one I have come to love, and not only because I achieved the top student position in it as a drum major. In that role, I watched younger members hone their skills in an effort to contribute to the collective performance.

The value of a uniform training followed by opportunities to lead is exemplified by the ambitious and talented student leaders produced. At UChicago, The Core serves a comparable purpose in preparing students for exhaustive academic exploration. I am enticed by the intensive inquiry and groundbreaking research that students partake in. Yet, I appreciate the benefit of undergoing the rigorous Core first. UChicago emphasizes experiential learning, even in the College, which appeals to my desire to collaborate with other brilliant learners.

When I visited campus, two specific encounters struck me. Initially, the Institute of Politics attracted me with its hands-on approach to policy issues through programs like Student Civic Engagement projects. Following a lecture on bureaucracy that may have droned over the heads of less inspired students, I was surrounded by a hubbub of engaged thinkers convening through discussion.

Through marching band, I discovered a passion for influencing others. A travel through my room reveals almost everything about me. The walls are splashed with two tones of eye-burning pink, fairies dance across the vibrant wallpaper sprinkled with sparkles, a white-washed dresser covered in knick-knacks, and an overflowing toy box fit perfectly in this Technicolor dream room.

In one corner of my room, a paint-by-numbers portrait that my grandfather created in a World War II hospital silently tells its story. My grandfather, an Italian barber, raised six children in Bayonne, NJ with my grandmother. My grandparents worked hard to deliver the most American of promises — that your kids will have a better standard of living than you. In that regard, my mother, who put herself through college to become an engineer, made good, affording to give me my own room, a luxury she never knew.

Who would guess that this desk is also the launching pad of myYearbook. Layers of spec sheets, Post-Its, and emails form a sea of productivity that I find comforting. Half-drunk coke cans tell the tale of a dozen all-nighters, and someone who is at her most creative at night. The desk is not all business though. My calculus and economics texts bookend my laptop, and a bouquet of dead flowers from my boyfriend rest in peace on my shelf, revealing a morbid sentimentality.

The third corner holds my well-worn, folded-up gymnastics floor beam and barely used grips. Unlike many gymnasts though, I prefer not to wear the grips on bars because they make it harder to feel the bar. I started gymnastics when I was five, and since then my hands have earned their calluses, and I am proud of them. It was my first significant project online and helped give me a sense of the power of the Internet to connect people. As part of the artist community WetCanvas. Sadly, I know this will not always be my room.

The pink fairies will give way to adult- sized possessions and responsibilities.

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