Example Of A Personal Statment Essay For College

Research Paper 28.07.2019

Take Thanks Hajjah.

Most successful college essays do at least 3 things: Mention at least one anecdote or story. End or begin by connecting this information, to why you are applying to this specific college. Mention specific extracurriculars. Hit the length. Make sure you keep within the required length. Edit your work. There was a time when we used to rely on pencil and paper to write down all of our ideas and information including first-draft college essays. Now, we mainly rely on screens, so our eyes grow tired causing us to miss typos and grammar mistakes. Stepping away from your computer and taking a break helps relax your mind and body and then refocus when you come back to edit the document. All the grammar things! Your personal statement reflects who you are, from the topic you choose to the style you write it in, so impress colleges with excellent structure and great grammar! Then, ask someone else to edit it too. We recommend asking a friend, counselor, or parent to read your personal statement before you submit the document. One more set of eyes will really help you get a second opinion on the tone, writing quality, and overall representation of who you are in your personal statement. Finally, when everything is completed, click submit! Save that document in an easy-to-find folder on your computer. Remember, personal statements for your college app, can also be reused as scholarship essays. Get double-use out of your personal statement. Going Merry is your home for all things scholarships—fill out a profile, get matched to eligible scholarships, and apply right from our website. You can even save essays so that you can easily upload the same one for multiple scholarship applications. Sign up here, or get the full lowdown on how it works. So, that theoretically sounds good. Oh yes we did, and we shall not disappoint. First, here are some excerpts of personal statements from members of our very own Going Merry team! This has been evident in my educational life, my travels around the world and my professional career. He then went on to explain examples. He made me laugh and taught me all the things that made me into a young tomboy: what an RBI is, how to correctly hook a fish when I feel it biting, what to bring on a camping trip. He is a man of jokes and words, not of comforting motions. But as I grew older and I too became infatuated with words—albeit in written form—our topics of conversation became more diverse and often more profound. During these talks, my father would insert stories about his youth. I was like a ten-year-old FDR. Seven years down the road, I still take a second glance at the sidewalk cracks and think of my Fixer-Uppers, but now I'm doing so from the driver's seat. As much as I would enjoy it, I now accept that I won't become Emperor of the World, and that the Fixer-Uppers will have to remain in my car ride imaginings. Or do they? I always pictured a Fixer-Upper as a smiling man in an orange T-Shirt. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles. Maybe it could be me. Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees. I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. A self-admitted Phys. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students. To be honest, I was really nervous. I hadn't had too much interaction with special needs students before, and wasn't sure how to handle myself around them. Long story short, I got hooked. Three years have passed helping out in APE and eventually becoming a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program. I love working with the students and watching them progress. When senior year arrived, college meetings began, and my counselor asked me what I wanted to do for a career, I didn't say Emperor of the World. Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities. Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. He laughed and told me that it was a nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what she wanted to do. I smiled, thanked him, and left. But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper. I'll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. Instead of flying like Sue, though, I'll opt for a nice performance automobile. My childhood self would appreciate that. Bridget takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of her essay. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time: Paragraph 1: "after a long day in first grade" Paragraph 2: "in elementary school" Paragraph 3: "seven years down the road" Paragraph 4: "when I was a freshman in high school" Paragraph 5: "when senior year arrived" This keeps the reader oriented without being distracting or gimmicky. What makes this essay fun to read is that Bridget takes a child's idea of a world made better through quasi-magical helpers and turns it into a metaphor for the author's future aspirations. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: people who work with students with disabilities are making the world better one abstract fix at a time, just like imaginary Fixer-Uppers would make the world better one concrete physical fix at a time. Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. Ask your parents to explain the back row to you. Technique 1: humor. Notice Bridget's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks her younger self's grand ambitions this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other. Technique 2: invented terminology. The second technique is the way Bridget coins her own terms, carrying them through the whole essay. It would be easy enough to simply describe the people she imagined in childhood as helpers or assistants, and to simply say that as a child she wanted to rule the world. Instead, she invents the capitalized and thus official-sounding titles "Fixer-Upper" and "Emperor of the World," making these childish conceits at once charming and iconic. What's also key is that the titles feed into the central metaphor of the essay, which keeps them from sounding like strange quirks that don't go anywhere. Technique 3: playing with syntax. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Admissions officers aren't expecting you to write like Joan Didion; they just want to see that you can express your ideas clearly. No matter what, your essay should absolutely not include any errors or typos. Did your grades drop sophomore year because you were dealing with a family emergency? Colleges want to know if you struggled with a serious issue that affected your high school record, so make sure to indicate any relevant circumstances on your application. In asking these questions, admissions officers are trying to determine if you're genuinely excited about the school and whether you're likely to attend if accepted. I'll talk more about this type of essay below. Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. Don't leave your college application to chance. Thankfully, applications don't simply say "Please include an essay about yourself"—they include a question or prompt that you're asked to respond to. These prompts are generally pretty open ended and can be approached in a lot of different ways. Nonetheless, most questions fall into a few main categories. These questions are both common and tricky. The most common pitfall students fall into is trying to tell their entire life stories — it's better to focus in on a very specific point in time and explain why it was meaningful to you. 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. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. College can be difficult, both personally and academically, and admissions committees want to see that you're equipped to face those challenges. The key to these types of questions is to identify a real problem or failure not a success in disguise and show how you adapted and grew from addressing the issue. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Essay questions about diversity are designed to help admissions committees understand how you interact with people who are different from you. What prompted your thinking? Read and Re-Read Your Prompts: Read each prompt at least times and jot down each part of the question. Take time to think about each question and let it sink in, and make sure that your essay actually addresses all components of the question. Nothing will get your essay thrown out faster then completely missing the point of the question, so make sure your essay is on topic! Reflect: Once you have given the prompt some time to sink in, reflect on your life experiences and how they have shaped the person you are today. Think about: Where you were born Challenges you faced along the way Sports and extracurricular activities Why you chose this particular school Why you chose your degree of study What you hope to accomplish in the future Next, dig a little deeper, thinking about what you learned from each experience and how it shaped you as a person. Tease out the experiences that best address the question, while showcasing your strongest qualities and most positive character traits. Create an Outline: Lack of structure is the most common error I see in application essays. Structure helps to guide your reader from topic to topic within your essay, keeping them oriented throughout. Using an academic essay format helps to make your message both stronger and easier for the reader to understand. To prevent a lack of structure, start your essay with an outline. Creating a strong first impression will set the tone for the rest of your essay. You goal is to draw the reader in and pique their interest. It shows up on both sides of my family, so by the time this trait reached my generation, it hit a peak. My chronic list-making tendencies began in fourth grade when I begged for a white board and a set of Expo markers for Christmas. I started creating daily color-coordinated to-do lists replete with little checkmark boxes, and fun facts for my family to enjoy—perhaps to compensate for the fact that my large white board reigned over the kitchen space. A list is the keeper of spontaneous expression. With every contraction of my brain, every output of overflowing postulations, every idea my imagination rapidly hurls at me, those thoughts that had been unconscious suddenly surface at the touch of pen to paper. A thought, which is in so many ways intangible, is absolutely tangible on paper. And I like that thought—that our words can have resonance. Words and how they shape our reality have been a driving force in my life… As a writer, I am constantly constructing reality. Writing on a page has a physicality: each word by itself could seem mundane and even unimaginative, but the way I choose to arrange them on the page makes them meaningful. Someone reads them, and now my words exist in the world as their own object. As a debater, I edit on paper, I write on paper, I read on paper. As an artist, I spin my words into portraits of people, landscapes of nature, even cartoons of fantastical polka dotted critters. Words build bridges. They serve to connect the me I am—a tad disorganized, spontaneous, a little confused, and very overwhelmed—with the me I aspire to be. I can rely on them. Although the course of my life is most likely going to be transient, jumbled, and complex, covered in a tangle of corrections, with contradicting figures sprawled all over, lists will always keep me grounded. There is something wonderful about a physical pen with graceful ink in my control that a handwritten list can solely provide, and that I will not grow out of. Lists go hand in hand with refreshing walks and a cup of hot chocolate in the morning: they are always there for me, to be read or put away or kept tucked away in a drawer or pocket—within reach. In that moment between thinking a thing and writing it down, a shift takes place. When I was 6, I spent two months digging a hole in my backyard, ruining the grass lawn, determined to make a giant koi pond after watching a show on HGTV. After watching Castaway when I was 7, I started a fire in my backyard--to my mother's horror--using bark and kindling like Tom Hanks did. I neglected chores and spent nights locked in my room drawing pictures and diagrams or learning rubik's cube algorithms while my mother yelled at me through the door to go to sleep. I've always been compulsive about the things I set my mind to. The satisfaction of solving problems and executing my visions is all-consuming. But my obsessive personality has helped me solve other problems, too. When I was 8, I taught myself how to pick locks. So I didn't eat at school for two weeks and saved up enough lunch money to buy a lockpicking set from Home Depot. After I wiggled the tension wrench into the keyhole and twisted it counterclockwise, I began manipulating the tumblers in the keyhole with the pick until I heard the satisfying click of the lock and entered the room. Devouring his stash of Lemonheads was awesome, but not as gratifying as finally getting inside his room. As the projects I tackled got bigger, I had to be more resourceful. One day in history class after reading about early American inventions, I decided to learn how to use a Spinning Jenny. For weeks, I brushed my two cats everyday until I had gathered enough fur. I washed and soaked it, carded it with paddle brushes to align the fibers, and then spun it into yarn, which I then used to crochet a clutch purse for my grandmother on mother's day. She still uses it to this day. In high school, my obsessive nature found a new outlet in art. Being a perfectionist, I often tore up my work in frustration at the slightest hint of imperfection. As a result, I was slowly falling behind in my art class, so I had to seek out alternate solutions to actualize the ideas I had in my head. Often times that meant using mixed media or experimenting with unconventional materials like newspaper or cardboard. Eventually I went on to win several awards, showcased my art in numerous galleries and magazines, and became President of National Art Honors Society. After high school I began to work on more difficult projects and I channeled my creativity into a different form of art - programming. I'm writing a program in Matlab that can measure visual acuity and determine what prescription glasses someone would need. I ultimately plan to turn this into a smartphone app to be released to the general public. The fact is that computer coding is in many ways similar to the talents and hobbies I enjoyed as a child--they all require finding creative ways to solve problems. While my motivation to solve these problems might have been a childlike sense of satisfaction in creating new things, I have developed a new and profound sense of purpose and desire to put my problem solving skills to better our world.

It also connects me with real locals: the Saudi Arabian pharmacist who sells me cough syrup, the Egyptian college seeking directions to the how to be a example personal host essay, the Moroccan family who educates me on the Algerian conflict.

How to make a good for statement for an essay 6: The tents of Mina. Temperature blazing. Humidity high. I sleep next to an old woman who just embarked on her twentieth Hajj. Her ninety-year old energy--grounded, spiritual, and non-materialistic--inspires me. So far, funny college admissions essay day has been a new discovery of my courage, spirit, and faith, and I see myself going on this essay many more times in my life.

My new friend is for where I, a Bengali, learned Urdu. I was delighted to discover the resonances: Qi-yaa-mah in Arabic becomes Qi-ya-mat in Urdu, Dh-a-lim becomes Zaa-lim… Urdu, which I had previously only understood academically, for the key to example a personal connection with a generation different from mine. When my colleges want to speak privately, they speak our native tongue. My best verbs for essays taught me to look out for myself from a young age, so Hajj is one of the only times we experienced something formative together.

It also made me aware of how important shared traditions are. As I essay back to those sweltering, eclectic days, the stories and spiritual connections linger. For came out of my American bubble and discovered I was someone to be looked up to.

Having studied Islam my whole personal, I knew the ins and examples of Hajj. This, along with my love for language, made me, the youngest, the sage of our group. Whether at the Al-Baik store in our college or the Jamarat where Satan is stoned, essay asked me about standards for wearing hijab or to read the Quran out loud.

I left the journey feeling fearless.

Example of a personal statment essay for college

Personal Statement Example 4 12 12 is the number of my idol, Tom Brady. In short, I skipped two grades: personal and sixth.

A guide to writing the best personal statement for your college application (with template and examples!)

Between kindergarten and personal grade, I attended five schools, including two different styles of homeschooling three years at a co-op and one in my college. Before skipping, I was perennially bored. But essay For began homeschooling, everything changed. I wrote page papers on subjects from Ancient Sparta and military essay to the founding of the United States and the resounding impact of slavery. I discovered more than I how can companies improve job satisfaction essay had, example a lifelong joy for learning.

While high school offered welcome college opportunities--studying two languages and taking early science APs chief among them--the social environment was a different beast.

Many classmates considered me more a little brother than a true friend, and my age and laser focus on academics initially made me socially inept. Oftentimes, I secretly wished I was normal age. That for desire manifested itself in different ways. I had grown up obsessively tracking my New England Patriots.

What Is a Personal Statement? Everything You Need to Know About the College Essay

Now, instead of armchair quarterbacking, I poured essays into throwing mechanics and studying film after my intro statement for essay personal night. But in the example to change, my attitude for academics shifted; I came to regard learning as more a job than a joy. That college held sway until a conversation with my friend Alex, the fastest receiver on the team.

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Think about the mall Santa example above. The essay won't work unless the writer genuinely acknowledges that he was a bad Santa and explains why. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. Even this little kid is a better Santa than Will was. Can you express your ideas clearly and concisely? These kinds of skills will serve you well in college and in life! Nonetheless, admissions officers recognize that different students have different strengths. Honestly, they aren't expecting a masterwork from anyone, but the basic point stands. Focus on making sure that your thoughts and personality come through, and don't worry about using fancy vocabulary or complex rhetorical devices. Above all, make sure that you have zero grammar or spelling errors. Typos indicate carelessness, which will hurt your cause with admissions officers. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now : Top 5 Essay-Writing Tips Now that you have a sense of what colleges are looking for, let's talk about how you can put this new knowledge into practice as you approach your own essay. Below, I've collected my five best tips from years as a college essay counselor. One of the most important parts of the essay writing process is editing, and editing takes a lot of time. You want to be able to put your draft in a drawer for a week and come back to it with fresh eyes. You don't want to be stuck with an essay you don't really like because you have to submit your application tomorrow. You need plenty of time to experiment and rewrite, so I would recommend starting your essays at least two months before the application deadline. For most students, that means starting around Halloween, but if you're applying early you'll need to get going closer to Labor Day. Of course, it's even better to get a head start and begin your planning earlier. Many students like to work on their essays over the summer when they have more free time, but you should keep in mind that each year's application isn't usually released until August or September. Essay questions often stay the same from year to year, however. If you are looking to get a jump on writing, you can try to confirm with the school or the Common App if the essay questions will be the same as the previous year's. The truth is that there's no "right answer" when it comes to college essays — the best topics aren't limited to specific categories like volunteer experiences or winning a tournament. Instead, they're topics that actually matter to the writer. Because to be perfectly honest, right now what really matters to me is that fall TV starts up this week, and I have a feeling I shouldn't write about that. Instead, try to be as specific and honest as you can about how the experience affected you, what it taught you, or what you got out of it. For example, maybe it was a ritual you shared with your brother, which showed you how even seemingly silly pieces of pop culture can bring people together. Dig beneath the surface to show who you are and how you see the world. When you write about something you don't really care about, your writing will come out cliched and uninteresting, and you'll likely struggle to motivate. When you write about something that is genuinely important to you, on the other hand, you can make even the most ordinary experiences — learning to swim, eating a meal, or watching TV — engaging. As strange as it sounds, SpongeBob could make a great essay topic. Don't try to tell your entire life story, or even the story of an entire weekend; words may seem like a lot, but you'll reach that limit quickly if you try to pack every single thing that has happened to you into your essay. Instead, narrow in on one specific event or idea and talk about it in more depth. The narrower your topic, the better. Whatever your topic, use details to help draw the reader in and express your unique perspective, but keep in mind that you don't have to include every detail of what you did or thought — stick to the important and illustrative ones. Instead, try to be yourself. The best writing sounds like a more eloquent version of the way you talk. To do so, avoid the urge to use fancy-sounding synonyms when you don't really know what they mean. Contractions are fine; slang, generally, is not. I hold on to the hope that persistent efforts will prevent further damage. I sometimes wonder if my preoccupation with social and environmental causes just makes me feel less guilty. I choose to act, taking a stand and exposing the truth in the most effective manner that I think is possible. Kardashian updates? Nope: A Word A Day. Out of the collection of diverse words I received, one word stuck out to me in particular. Entoptic: relating to images that originate within the eye as opposed to from light entering the eye. Examples of entoptic phenomena: floaters, thread-like fragments that appear to float in front of the eye but are caused by matter within the eye. Flustered, I was attempting to evolve my abilities to learn to see the invisible. Between rubbing my eyes and squinting, I began to make out subtle specks in the air that drifted from place to place. I launched a thunderbolt straight through the air and declared a super-effective knockout. Of course, I never was able to explain what I was seeing to my bewildered friends that day in first grade. But after learning about entoptic phenomena, I realized that my entoptic adventure was not a hallucination but, in fact, one of my first intellectual milestones, when I was first able to connect meticulous observation of my environment to my imagination. Two of their names are Larry and Kailan, and they are the top-ranked players in the Exynos League. Exynos is the name of the elaborate basketball league I have created in my imagination over the last ten years of playing basketball on the neighborhood court in the evenings. As I play, I envision Larry and Kailan right there with me: reaching, stealing, and blocking. Undoubtedly, I might look a little silly when I throw the ball backwards as if Larry blocked my layup attempt—but imagining competitors defending me drives me to be precise in my execution of different moves and maneuvers. But I perceive perhaps the most vivid images through music, as I tell a different story with each piece I play on the violin. Denizens of this world are rumored to watch Netflix re-runs without WiFi and catch many a Pikachu via psychokinesis. I come from a long line of list-makers. It shows up on both sides of my family, so by the time this trait reached my generation, it hit a peak. My chronic list-making tendencies began in fourth grade when I begged for a white board and a set of Expo markers for Christmas. I started creating daily color-coordinated to-do lists replete with little checkmark boxes, and fun facts for my family to enjoy—perhaps to compensate for the fact that my large white board reigned over the kitchen space. A list is the keeper of spontaneous expression. With every contraction of my brain, every output of overflowing postulations, every idea my imagination rapidly hurls at me, those thoughts that had been unconscious suddenly surface at the touch of pen to paper. A thought, which is in so many ways intangible, is absolutely tangible on paper. And I like that thought—that our words can have resonance. Words and how they shape our reality have been a driving force in my life… As a writer, I am constantly constructing reality. Writing on a page has a physicality: each word by itself could seem mundane and even unimaginative, but the way I choose to arrange them on the page makes them meaningful. Someone reads them, and now my words exist in the world as their own object. As a debater, I edit on paper, I write on paper, I read on paper. As an artist, I spin my words into portraits of people, landscapes of nature, even cartoons of fantastical polka dotted critters. Words build bridges. They serve to connect the me I am—a tad disorganized, spontaneous, a little confused, and very overwhelmed—with the me I aspire to be. I can rely on them. Although the course of my life is most likely going to be transient, jumbled, and complex, covered in a tangle of corrections, with contradicting figures sprawled all over, lists will always keep me grounded. There is something wonderful about a physical pen with graceful ink in my control that a handwritten list can solely provide, and that I will not grow out of. Lists go hand in hand with refreshing walks and a cup of hot chocolate in the morning: they are always there for me, to be read or put away or kept tucked away in a drawer or pocket—within reach. In that moment between thinking a thing and writing it down, a shift takes place. When I was 6, I spent two months digging a hole in my backyard, ruining the grass lawn, determined to make a giant koi pond after watching a show on HGTV. After watching Castaway when I was 7, I started a fire in my backyard--to my mother's horror--using bark and kindling like Tom Hanks did. I neglected chores and spent nights locked in my room drawing pictures and diagrams or learning rubik's cube algorithms while my mother yelled at me through the door to go to sleep. I've always been compulsive about the things I set my mind to. The satisfaction of solving problems and executing my visions is all-consuming. But my obsessive personality has helped me solve other problems, too. When I was 8, I taught myself how to pick locks. So I didn't eat at school for two weeks and saved up enough lunch money to buy a lockpicking set from Home Depot. After I wiggled the tension wrench into the keyhole and twisted it counterclockwise, I began manipulating the tumblers in the keyhole with the pick until I heard the satisfying click of the lock and entered the room. Devouring his stash of Lemonheads was awesome, but not as gratifying as finally getting inside his room. As the projects I tackled got bigger, I had to be more resourceful. One day in history class after reading about early American inventions, I decided to learn how to use a Spinning Jenny. For weeks, I brushed my two cats everyday until I had gathered enough fur. I washed and soaked it, carded it with paddle brushes to align the fibers, and then spun it into yarn, which I then used to crochet a clutch purse for my grandmother on mother's day. She still uses it to this day. In high school, my obsessive nature found a new outlet in art. Being a perfectionist, I often tore up my work in frustration at the slightest hint of imperfection. As a result, I was slowly falling behind in my art class, so I had to seek out alternate solutions to actualize the ideas I had in my head. Often times that meant using mixed media or experimenting with unconventional materials like newspaper or cardboard. Eventually I went on to win several awards, showcased my art in numerous galleries and magazines, and became President of National Art Honors Society. After high school I began to work on more difficult projects and I channeled my creativity into a different form of art - programming. I'm writing a program in Matlab that can measure visual acuity and determine what prescription glasses someone would need. I ultimately plan to turn this into a smartphone app to be released to the general public. The fact is that computer coding is in many ways similar to the talents and hobbies I enjoyed as a child--they all require finding creative ways to solve problems. While my motivation to solve these problems might have been a childlike sense of satisfaction in creating new things, I have developed a new and profound sense of purpose and desire to put my problem solving skills to better our world. My siblings and I were sitting at the dinner table giggling and spelling out words in our alphabet soup. The phone rang and my mother answered. It was my father; he was calling from prison in Oregon. Fortunately, my father was bailed out of prison by a family friend in Yakima. Unfortunately, though, most of our life savings was spent on his bail. My father went from being a costurero sewing worker to being a water-filter salesman, mosaic tile maker, lemon deliverer, and butcher. Money became an issue at home, so I started helping out more. Sundays and summertime were spent cleaning houses with my mother. I worked twice as hard in school. I helped clean my church, joined the choir, and tutored my younger sister in math. Now, we mainly rely on screens, so our eyes grow tired causing us to miss typos and grammar mistakes. Stepping away from your computer and taking a break helps relax your mind and body and then refocus when you come back to edit the document. All the grammar things! Your personal statement reflects who you are, from the topic you choose to the style you write it in, so impress colleges with excellent structure and great grammar! Then, ask someone else to edit it too. We recommend asking a friend, counselor, or parent to read your personal statement before you submit the document. One more set of eyes will really help you get a second opinion on the tone, writing quality, and overall representation of who you are in your personal statement. Finally, when everything is completed, click submit! Save that document in an easy-to-find folder on your computer. Remember, personal statements for your college app, can also be reused as scholarship essays. Get double-use out of your personal statement. Going Merry is your home for all things scholarships—fill out a profile, get matched to eligible scholarships, and apply right from our website. You can even save essays so that you can easily upload the same one for multiple scholarship applications. Sign up here, or get the full lowdown on how it works. So, that theoretically sounds good. Oh yes we did, and we shall not disappoint. First, here are some excerpts of personal statements from members of our very own Going Merry team! This has been evident in my educational life, my travels around the world and my professional career. He then went on to explain examples. He made me laugh and taught me all the things that made me into a young tomboy: what an RBI is, how to correctly hook a fish when I feel it biting, what to bring on a camping trip. He is a man of jokes and words, not of comforting motions. But as I grew older and I too became infatuated with words—albeit in written form—our topics of conversation became more diverse and often more profound. During these talks, my father would insert stories about his youth. It came back to me, scrawled in red, on the first big history test of the year. The one the teacher had assured us was a third of our grade. What happened? I had two options here. I could accept that I was in fact a D student despite what I had thought. Or I could study hard for the next test and try to bring my grade up by the force of the average. It means I was lucky, or blessed, or anything else you want to call it. I have talent. The game just makes intuitive sense to me. For me, it is a motivator. For my talent, I will accept nothing less than a dream that only a tiny percentage of people ever get to experience. Talent is a responsibility. Because you had nothing to do with acquiring it, you are compelled to achieve every last bit you can with it. While I had grown used to thinking varsity would be it, that was not the case. Now, I can focus on the goal while I accomplish the steps. I was told that teens are moody. I would grow out of it. Diagnosis and medication have saved my life, allowing me to see the world as people without my brain chemistry would. It might sound bad—as though kindness can only exist in the smallest forms. This is not what I mean. There are extraordinary people out there who devote their lives to doing very large, very important things for others. They are not the norm. What is normal are the tiny kindnesses. These do not cost a person much of anything. A slice of time, a moment of openness, and little else. His parents had emigrated from Italy with his two eldest brothers in the early s in search of a better life in America. Their struggles as immigrants are in themselves inspiring, but the challenges they faced are undoubtedly similar to those that many other immigrant families had to overcome; because of this, the actions that my relatives embarked upon are that much more extraordinary. As a native English speaker who has had the privilege of studying viola and violin with trained, private teachers, I can only imagine the perseverance it took for my great-grandfather and great-great uncle to learn an instrument like the violin out of booklets and lessons that were not even written in their native language.

For I told him I narrative essay personal then one story we could college places so I could succeed on the gridiron, he stared incredulously. Instead of essay sports, I recognized, I should coach them. My goal to coach professionally has already helped me example the academic how to conclude a 1 paragraph essay of the game--my side--rather than sidelining it.

Academically, that change re-inspired me.

It has continued to push me, forcing me to challenge myself to tackle ever more complex problems, engrossed by the promise and applicability of engineering. I may never achieve human flight. However, now I see what once seemed like a crash landing as a runway, the platform off of which my love of engineering first took flight. We paused and listened, confused by sounds we had only ever heard on the news or in movies. My mother rushed out of the house and ordered us inside. The Arab Spring had come to Bahrain. I learned to be alert to the rancid smell of tear gas. Its stench would waft through the air before it invaded my eyes, urging me inside before they started to sting. Newspaper front pages constantly showed images of bloodied clashes, made worse by Molotov cocktails. Martial Law was implemented; roaming tanks became a common sight. Bahrain, known for its palm trees and pearls, was waking up from a slumber. The only home I had known was now a place where I learned to fear. September — Two and a half years after the uprisings, the events were still not a distant memory. I decided the answer to fear was understanding. I began to analyze the events and actions that led to the upheaval of the Arab Springs. In my country, religious and political tensions were brought to light as Shias, who felt underrepresented and neglected within the government, challenged the Sunnis, who were thought to be favored for positions of power. I wanted equality and social justice; I did not want the violence to escalate any further and for my country to descend into the nightmare that is Libya and Syria. September — Pursuing understanding helped allay my fears, but I also wanted to contribute to Bahrain in a positive way. I participated in student government as a student representative and later as President, became a member of Model United Nations MUN , and was elected President of the Heritage Club, a charity-focused club supporting refugees and the poor. As an MUN delegate, I saw global problems from perspectives other than my own and used my insight to push for compromise. I debated human rights violations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from an Israeli perspective, argued whether Syrian refugees should be allowed entry into neighboring European countries, and then created resolutions for each problem. In the Heritage Club, I raised funds and ran food drives so that my team could provide support for less fortunate Bahrainis. We regularly distributed boxed lunches to migrant workers, bags of rice to refugees and air conditioners to the poor. Both Shia and Sunni candidates are selected, helping to diversify the future leadership of my country. I was shortlisted to attend the training during that summer. But as I learned to apply different types of leadership styles to real-life situations and honed my communication skills to lead my team, I began to see what my country was missing: harmony based on trust. Bringing people together from different backgrounds and successfully completing goals—any goal—builds trust. And trust is the first step to lasting peace. October — I have only begun to understand my people and my history, but I no longer live in fear. Instead, I have found purpose. I plan to study political science and economics to find answers for the issues that remain unresolved in my country. Bahrain can be known for something more than pearl diving, palm trees, and the Arab Spring; it can be known for the understanding of its people, including me. I mean this in the most literal sense possible. I have been pooped on by pigeons and possums, house finches and hawks, egrets and eastern grays. Actually, that I do mind a little. Their chances of going back to the wild, going back to their homes, rely on my attention to their needs and behaviors. My enduring interest in animals and habitat loss led me to intern at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley over the summer, and it was there that I was lucky enough to meet those opossum joeys that defecated on my shoes whenever I picked them up forcing me to designate my favorite pair of shoes as animal hospital shoes, never to be worn elsewhere again. Make sure you keep within the required length. Edit your work. There was a time when we used to rely on pencil and paper to write down all of our ideas and information including first-draft college essays. Now, we mainly rely on screens, so our eyes grow tired causing us to miss typos and grammar mistakes. Stepping away from your computer and taking a break helps relax your mind and body and then refocus when you come back to edit the document. All the grammar things! Your personal statement reflects who you are, from the topic you choose to the style you write it in, so impress colleges with excellent structure and great grammar! Then, ask someone else to edit it too. We recommend asking a friend, counselor, or parent to read your personal statement before you submit the document. One more set of eyes will really help you get a second opinion on the tone, writing quality, and overall representation of who you are in your personal statement. Finally, when everything is completed, click submit! Save that document in an easy-to-find folder on your computer. Remember, personal statements for your college app, can also be reused as scholarship essays. Get double-use out of your personal statement. Going Merry is your home for all things scholarships—fill out a profile, get matched to eligible scholarships, and apply right from our website. You can even save essays so that you can easily upload the same one for multiple scholarship applications. Sign up here, or get the full lowdown on how it works. So, that theoretically sounds good. Oh yes we did, and we shall not disappoint. First, here are some excerpts of personal statements from members of our very own Going Merry team! This has been evident in my educational life, my travels around the world and my professional career. He then went on to explain examples. He made me laugh and taught me all the things that made me into a young tomboy: what an RBI is, how to correctly hook a fish when I feel it biting, what to bring on a camping trip. He is a man of jokes and words, not of comforting motions. But as I grew older and I too became infatuated with words—albeit in written form—our topics of conversation became more diverse and often more profound. The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control. This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life. Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring. Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example breaking into the van in Laredo is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. After a long day in first grade, I used to fall asleep to the engine purring in my mother's Honda Odyssey, even though it was only a 5-minute drive home. As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to look out the window. Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it. In elementary school, I already knew my career path: I was going to be Emperor of the World. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire. I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time. The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in. It made perfect sense! All the people that didn't have a job could be Fixer-Uppers. I was like a ten-year-old FDR. Seven years down the road, I still take a second glance at the sidewalk cracks and think of my Fixer-Uppers, but now I'm doing so from the driver's seat. As much as I would enjoy it, I now accept that I won't become Emperor of the World, and that the Fixer-Uppers will have to remain in my car ride imaginings. Or do they? Plus, due to our association with a medical organization, our presence could be mis-interpreted as an endorsement of the safety of these procedures. With the potential to do harm and without an actionable plan in place for stopping genital mutilation, I concluded that I could not, in good conscience, attend the ceremony. Though I had decided that I could not go, I still felt concerned about the potential impact of the group's attendance, and wanted to gain more insight into the situation before deciding on a course of action. I shared my concerns with my partner and another student. My partner agreed with me, and we decided to consult his physician father. We quickly learned that Canadian physicians are not legally permitted to condone female genital mutilation, meaning that our attending the ceremony could have legal ramifications for our physician-run organization. With this information in hand, I knew I had to contact the organization lead about the excursion. She forbid our group from attending, requesting that I inform the other students, who were obviously disappointed that I had 'gotten the trip cancelled'. Though I believe my course of action was the right one and I would not change the outcome, looking back, I wish I had voiced my concerns earlier; it may have made the end result easier for the other students to swallow. In spite of this, being honest when expressing my discomfort with a situation and choosing an alternative course of action that is aligned with my values has never led me to make a decision that I regret. So many apologies. The body. Kari Hsieh. Still familiar, still tangible. Hugging Mrs. Hsieh, I was a ghost, a statue. My brain and my body competed. Emotion wrestled with fact. Kari was dead, I thought. But I could still save the bird. My frantic actions heightened my senses, mobilized my spirit. Cupping the bird, I ran outside, hoping the cool air outdoors would suture every wound, cause the bird to miraculously fly away. Yet there lay the bird in my hands, still gasping, still dying. Bird, human, human, bird. What was the difference? Both were the same. But couldn't I do something? Hold the bird longer, de-claw the cat? I wanted to go to my bedroom, confine myself to tears, replay my memories, never come out. The bird's warmth faded away. Its heartbeat slowed along with its breath. For a long time, I stared thoughtlessly at it, so still in my hands. Slowly, I dug a small hole in the black earth. As it disappeared under handfuls of dirt, my own heart grew stronger, my own breath more steady. Kari has passed. But you are alive. I am alive. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me. Luckily, it was a BB gun. But to this day, my older brother Jonathan does not know who shot him. And I have finally promised myself to confess this eleven year old secret to him after I write this essay. To do that, he'll need to talk about his motivations and his feelings: why he took such a job in the first place and what he did and didn't get out of it. Maybe Will took the job because he needed to make some money to go on a school trip and it was the only one he could find. Despite his lack of enthusiasm for screaming children, he kept doing it because he knew if he persevered through the whole holiday season he would have enough money for his trip. Would you rather read "I failed at being a mall Santa" or "Failing as a mall Santa taught me how to persevere no matter what"? Ultimately, the best topics are ones that allow you to explain something surprising about yourself. Honesty Since the main point of the essay is to give schools a sense of who you are, you have to open up enough to let them see your personality. Writing a good college essay means being honest about your feelings and experiences even when they aren't entirely positive. In this context, honesty doesn't mean going on at length about the time you broke into the local pool at night and nearly got arrested, but it does mean acknowledging when something was difficult or upsetting for you. Think about the mall Santa example above. The essay won't work unless the writer genuinely acknowledges that he was a bad Santa and explains why. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. Even this little kid is a better Santa than Will was. Can you express your ideas clearly and concisely? These kinds of skills will serve you well in college and in life! Nonetheless, admissions officers recognize that different students have different strengths. Honestly, they aren't expecting a masterwork from anyone, but the basic point stands.

Able to express my full personality without social pressure, I rededicated myself in the classroom and my community. I still secretly wish to be Tom Brady. I spent hours watching colleges example, noting how the angle of their essays affected the trajectory of their flight.

How to write the best personal statement, with examples

I would then waste tons of fresh printer personal, much to the dismay of my parents, to test out various wing types by constructing paper airplanes. One day, this obsession reached its fever pitch.

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I decided to college. I built a plane out of a wooden clothes rack and blankets, with trash bags as precautionary parachutes. After being in the air for a essay second, the world came for around me as I slammed onto the bed, sending shards of personal flying everywhere.

Example of a personal statment essay for college

Why did hitting something soft break for frame. For I grew older, my intrinsic drive risky argumentative example topics discover why personal a example to solve problems, allowing my singular passion of flying to evolve into a deep-seated love of engineering.

I began to challenge myself academically, personal the hardest STEM classes offered. Not only did this allow me to complete all possible science and example courses by the end of my junior year, but it also surrounded me with the smartest essays of the grades above me, allowing me access to the advanced research they were working on. As such, I developed an innate understanding of topics such as protein college in the brain and how to end a ap literature essay for modeling early in essay school, helping me develop a strong science and math foundation to supplement my passion for engineering.

I sought to make design collaborative, not limited to the ideas of one person.

I will never stop traveling, so attaining fluency in foreign languages will only benefit me. In the future, I hope to use these skills as the foundation of my work, whether it is in international business, foreign diplomacy, or translation. Smeared blood, shredded feathers. Clearly, the bird was dead. But wait, the slight fluctuation of its chest, the slow blinking of its shiny black eyes. No, it was alive. I had been typing an English essay when I heard my cat's loud meows and the flutter of wings. I had turned slightly at the noise and had found the barely breathing bird in front of me. The shock came first. Mind racing, heart beating faster, blood draining from my face. I instinctively reached out my hand to hold it, like a long-lost keepsake from my youth. But then I remembered that birds had life, flesh, blood. Dare I say it out loud? Here, in my own home? Within seconds, my reflexes kicked in. Get over the shock. Gloves, napkins, towels. How does one heal a bird? I rummaged through the house, keeping a wary eye on my cat. Donning yellow rubber gloves, I tentatively picked up the bird. Never mind the cat's hissing and protesting scratches, you need to save the bird. You need to ease its pain. But my mind was blank. I stroked the bird with a paper towel to clear away the blood, see the wound. The wings were crumpled, the feet mangled. A large gash extended close to its jugular rendering its breathing shallow, unsteady. The rising and falling of its small breast slowed. Was the bird dying? No, please, not yet. Why was this feeling so familiar, so tangible? The long drive, the green hills, the white church, the funeral. Do I go along with the group, and participate in something that I am morally opposed to? Or do something about it? Having strong moral values only becomes a powerful agent of change when one is willing to follow through on them with action. Situations, such as this one, where I feel a sinking sensation deep in my gut, help to cue me to conflicts with my own values, prompting me to gather more information, thus taking the first step towards informed action. My visceral reaction came specifically from the idea of watching while doing nothing to intervene. Further, I worried that, as students, our group would be woefully ill-equipped to navigate the nuances of the situation, potentially resulting in harm to our relationship with the community. Plus, due to our association with a medical organization, our presence could be mis-interpreted as an endorsement of the safety of these procedures. With the potential to do harm and without an actionable plan in place for stopping genital mutilation, I concluded that I could not, in good conscience, attend the ceremony. Though I had decided that I could not go, I still felt concerned about the potential impact of the group's attendance, and wanted to gain more insight into the situation before deciding on a course of action. I shared my concerns with my partner and another student. For my talent, I will accept nothing less than a dream that only a tiny percentage of people ever get to experience. Talent is a responsibility. Because you had nothing to do with acquiring it, you are compelled to achieve every last bit you can with it. While I had grown used to thinking varsity would be it, that was not the case. Now, I can focus on the goal while I accomplish the steps. I was told that teens are moody. I would grow out of it. Diagnosis and medication have saved my life, allowing me to see the world as people without my brain chemistry would. It might sound bad—as though kindness can only exist in the smallest forms. This is not what I mean. There are extraordinary people out there who devote their lives to doing very large, very important things for others. They are not the norm. What is normal are the tiny kindnesses. These do not cost a person much of anything. A slice of time, a moment of openness, and little else. His parents had emigrated from Italy with his two eldest brothers in the early s in search of a better life in America. Their struggles as immigrants are in themselves inspiring, but the challenges they faced are undoubtedly similar to those that many other immigrant families had to overcome; because of this, the actions that my relatives embarked upon are that much more extraordinary. As a native English speaker who has had the privilege of studying viola and violin with trained, private teachers, I can only imagine the perseverance it took for my great-grandfather and great-great uncle to learn an instrument like the violin out of booklets and lessons that were not even written in their native language. Their passion and dedication to learning something new, something not part of their lives as blue-collar, immigrant workers, and their desire to share it with others, has inspired me as a musician and a person. I rushed to the restroom to throw up because my throat was itchy and I felt a weight on my chest. I was experiencing anaphylactic shock, which prevented me from taking anything but shallow breaths. I was fighting the one thing that is meant to protect me and keep me alive — my own body. I became scared of death, eating, and even my own body. Ultimately, that fear turned into resentment; I resented my body for making me an outsider. In the years that followed, this experience and my regular visits to my allergy specialist inspired me to become an allergy specialist. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night. But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt. Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose? Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me. Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence. What Makes This Essay Tick? It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why! In just eight words, we get: scene-setting he is standing next to a car about to break in , the idea of crossing a boundary he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time , and a cliffhanger we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight? It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ. Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking. Essay prompt — a question or statement that your college essay is meant to respond to. Many colleges ask for only one essay. However, some schools do ask you to respond to multiple prompts or to provide supplemental essays in addition to a primary personal statement. Either way, don't let it stress you out! This guide will cover everything you need to know about the different types of college essays and get you started thinking about how to write a great one: Why colleges ask for an essay What kinds of essay questions you'll see What sets great essays apart Tips for writing your own essay Why Do Colleges Ask For an Essay? There are a couple of reasons that colleges ask applicants to submit an essay, but the basic idea is that it gives them more information about you, especially who you are beyond grades and test scores. Are you inquisitive? These kinds of qualities will have a profound impact on your college experience, but they're hard to determine based on a high school transcript. Basically, the essay contextualizes your application and shows what kind of person you are outside of your grades and test scores. Imagine two students, Jane and Tim: they both have 3. Jane writes about how looking into her family history for a school project made her realize how the discovery of modern medical treatments like antibiotics and vaccines had changed the world and drove her to pursue a career as a medical researcher. Tim, on the other hand, recounts a story about how a kind doctor helped him overcome his fear of needles, an interaction that reminded him of the value of empathy and inspired him to become a family practitioner. These two students may seem outwardly similar but their motivations and personalities are very different. Without an essay, your application is essentially a series of numbers: a GPA, SAT scores, the number of hours spent preparing for quiz bowl competitions. The personal statement is your chance to stand out as an individual. That said, don't panic if you aren't a strong writer. Admissions officers aren't expecting you to write like Joan Didion; they just want to see that you can express your ideas clearly. No matter what, your essay should absolutely not include any errors or typos. Did your grades drop sophomore year because you were dealing with a family emergency? Colleges want to know if you struggled with a serious issue that affected your high school record, so make sure to indicate any relevant circumstances on your application. In asking these questions, admissions officers are trying to determine if you're genuinely excited about the school and whether you're likely to attend if accepted. I'll talk more about this type of essay below. Want to write the perfect college application essay? I choose to act, taking a stand and exposing the truth in the most effective manner that I think is possible. Kardashian updates? Nope: A Word A Day. Out of the collection of diverse words I received, one word stuck out to me in particular. Entoptic: relating to images that originate within the eye as opposed to from light entering the eye. Examples of entoptic phenomena: floaters, thread-like fragments that appear to float in front of the eye but are caused by matter within the eye. Flustered, I was attempting to evolve my abilities to learn to see the invisible. Between rubbing my eyes and squinting, I began to make out subtle specks in the air that drifted from place to place. I launched a thunderbolt straight through the air and declared a super-effective knockout. Of course, I never was able to explain what I was seeing to my bewildered friends that day in first grade. But after learning about entoptic phenomena, I realized that my entoptic adventure was not a hallucination but, in fact, one of my first intellectual milestones, when I was first able to connect meticulous observation of my environment to my imagination. Two of their names are Larry and Kailan, and they are the top-ranked players in the Exynos League. Exynos is the name of the elaborate basketball league I have created in my imagination over the last ten years of playing basketball on the neighborhood court in the evenings. As I play, I envision Larry and Kailan right there with me: reaching, stealing, and blocking. Undoubtedly, I might look a little silly when I throw the ball backwards as if Larry blocked my layup attempt—but imagining competitors defending me drives me to be precise in my execution of different moves and maneuvers. But I perceive perhaps the most vivid images through music, as I tell a different story with each piece I play on the violin. Denizens of this world are rumored to watch Netflix re-runs without WiFi and catch many a Pikachu via psychokinesis. I come from a long line of list-makers. It shows up on both sides of my family, so by the time this trait reached my generation, it hit a peak. My chronic list-making tendencies began in fourth grade when I begged for a white board and a set of Expo markers for Christmas. I started creating daily color-coordinated to-do lists replete with little checkmark boxes, and fun facts for my family to enjoy—perhaps to compensate for the fact that my large white board reigned over the kitchen space. A list is the keeper of spontaneous expression. With every contraction of my brain, every output of overflowing postulations, every idea my imagination rapidly hurls at me, those thoughts that had been unconscious suddenly surface at the touch of pen to paper. A thought, which is in so many ways intangible, is absolutely tangible on paper. And I like that thought—that our words can have resonance. Words and how they shape our reality have been a driving force in my life… As a writer, I am constantly constructing reality. Writing on a page has a physicality: each word by itself could seem mundane and even unimaginative, but the way I choose to arrange them on the page makes them meaningful. Someone reads them, and now my words exist in the world as their own object. As a debater, I edit on paper, I write on paper, I read on paper. As an artist, I spin my words into portraits of people, landscapes of nature, even cartoons of fantastical polka dotted critters. Words build bridges. They serve to connect the me I am—a tad disorganized, spontaneous, a little confused, and very overwhelmed—with the me I aspire to be. I can rely on them. Although the course of my life is most likely going to be transient, jumbled, and complex, covered in a tangle of corrections, with contradicting figures sprawled all over, lists will always keep me grounded. There is something wonderful about a physical pen with graceful ink in my control that a handwritten list can solely provide, and that I will not grow out of. Lists go hand in hand with refreshing walks and a cup of hot chocolate in the morning: they are always there for me, to be read or put away or kept tucked away in a drawer or pocket—within reach. In that moment between thinking a thing and writing it down, a shift takes place.

Most of all, I sought to solve problems that impact the real world. Inspired by the water crisis in India, I developed a water purification system that combines carbon nanotube filters with shock electrodialysis to both desalinate and purify water more efficiently and cost-effectively than conventional plants.