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Common App Essay #14 – Admitted to all 8 Ivies

My favorite time to run is at night. This particular run in early August brought a break to the humid, muggy weather I left on the East Coast. I used my body as a human psychrometer, knowing that the cold feeling of evaporating sweat signaled much needed dry air. I cross over the bridge into…

Common Application Essay #33 – Tufts

My math teacher turns around to write an equation on the board and a sun pokes out from the collar of her shirt. A Starbucks barista hands me my drink with a hand adorned by a small music note. Where I work, a customer hands me her credit card wearing a permanent flower bracelet. Every…

Common Application Essay #32 – Tufts

The heavy front door opened, then shut. He was later today than usual. As I sat there, finishing up my second grade math homework, he greeted me with his trademark whimsical, yet tired, smile. His appearance:  a faded, worn-out shirt and durable, dusty jeans; his hands, caked with the grime and dirt that come with…

Common Application Essay #31 – Tufts

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I sit in soil pulling crab grass and borage. I’ve been a farmer since sophomore year. The farm–managed by my school–is a one-acre plot more accurately described as a garden with chickens. My task today is to pick cherry tomatoes, most of which have ripened. I grab a tray from the…

Common Application Essay #30 – Tufts

When problems arise, I solve them using copper fittings. I first discovered this versatile building material as a seven-year-old visiting my father’s HVAC shop. While waiting for him to finish working one night, I wandered from the modestly finished space at the front of the building to the shop in back, which featured high ceilings…

Common App Essay #29 – Tufts University

I have always loved riding in cars. 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…

Common App Essay #28 – Johns Hopkins

I had never broken into a car before. We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize…

Common App Essay #27 – Columbia University

“You’re such a hipster.” It’s a phrase heard everyday in school hallways across America, and its usage often operates as a conundrum that obscures teenagers’ perceptions of themselves and who they want to be. I, in turn, have struggled immensely with the paradoxical use of this label. Since the onset of my tween years and…

Johns Hopkins Worked Essay #7

Looking Through a Wider Lens What does it mean to be an advocate? I didn’t find the answer in any sort of textbook. Not the anatomy textbook that lay across the foot of my bed, filled with Post-Its and half-drawn diagrams. Nor the chemistry textbook that sat on top of it, covered in streaks of…

Johns Hopkins Worked Essay #6

And the Secret Ingredient is… Step 1: Get the ingredients On the granite countertop in front of me sat a pile of flour, two sticks of butter, and a bowl of shredded beef, just like the YouTube tutorial showed. My mind contorted itself as I tried figuring out what I was doing. Flanking me were…

Johns Hopkins Worked Essay #5

Superheroes Legends, lore, and comic books all feature mystical, beautiful beings and superheroes—outspoken powerful Greek goddesses, outspoken Chinese maidens, and outspoken blade-wielding women. As a child, I soared the skies with my angel wings, battled demons with katanas, and helped stop everyday crime (and of course had a hot boyfriend). In short, I wanted to…