Common App Essay Background Story Example

Analysis 04.09.2019

Here are the top 5 questions you should ask yourself when mind-mapping prompt 1: 1 What makes you different from everyone else? For example, an admitted applicant wrote about how his uncanny rhyming ability inspired him to start monthly open-mic poetry nights at his high school.

Include action verbs. Put us in that moment by describing what you saw, smelled, heard and felt. Include a snippet of dialogue, if it works. Kind of like a status update. Share how you plan to use your defining quality or the lesson you learned in your future goals and dreams, especially if it relates to your educational goals. Example of a Personal, Narrative-style Essay The New York Times just happened to share several well-written college application essays in a recent story to inspire college-bound students like yourself. This essay is excellent. He shows us the challenges his family has faced, and we learned what the student values, and why. Last thing: notice how personal this student was in this essay and how he opened up about his thoughts, fears and dreams. The more personal an essay, the more it connects with the reader. Mixing the hot water with cleaning detergents, I was ready to clean up the restaurant floor. But that night I made quick work and finished in five minutes. She demanded a redo. I complied, but she showed no signs of approval. As much as I wanted to erupt that night, I had good reasons to stay calm. While many of her classmates immediately joined the work force upon completing high school, my mom had other aspirations. She wanted to be a doctor. My grandparents urged her to pursue another year of education. She refused. Instead, she took up a modestly paying job as a teacher in order to lessen the financial burden on the family. Nevertheless, the sight of them was an irritating reminder of the disparity between our households. I was not the upper middle class kid on Park Avenue. Truth be told, I am just some kid from Brooklyn. Yet, one must possess something extraordinary to be able to stand in front of a cash register for 19 years and do so with pride and determination. In contrast, my mom appears physically and emotionally worn-out from work. But, she still asks me about my day. Consumed by guilt, I find it hard to answer her. Moments such as those challenge my criteria of what constitutes true success. My mother, despite never going to college, still managed to make a difference in my life. Tomorrow,she will put on her uniform with just as much dignity as a businesswoman would her power suit. What is her secret? The outcome of my education will be vindication of that belief. Perhaps, actions will indeed speak louder than words. When I graduate on June 1st, I know she will buy a dress to honor the special occasion. Li will be attending N. Want to learn how to write an anecdote like the one Lyle Li crafted to start his compelling essay? Find help for other Common App prompts. For more inspiring sample college application essays , check out my collection of narrative essays: Heavenly Essays: 50 Narrative College Application Essays That Worked! Ready to start writing your own narrative essay? Check out my Jumpstart Guide to help you find a unique topic and start writing your own slice-of-life essay. I discovered that safety in cosmetics was a contested issue amongst scientists, policy makers, companies, and consumer groups, variously telling me there are toxic ingredients that may or may not be harmful. I was frustrated by this uncertainty, yet motivated to find ways of sharing what I was learning with others. Research spurred action. I began writing articles on the history of toxic cosmetics, from lead in Elizabethan face powder to lead in today's lipstick, and communicated with a large readership online. Positive feedback from hundreds of readers inspired me to step up my writing, to raise awareness with my peers, so I wrote a gamified survey for online distribution discussing the slack natural and organic labeling of cosmetics, which are neither regulated nor properly defined. At school I saw opportunities to affect real change and launched a series of green chemistry campaigns: the green agenda engaged the school community in something positive and was a magnet for creative student ideas, such as a recent project to donate handmade organic pet shampoo to local dog shelters. By senior year, I was pleased my exploration had gone well. But on a recent holiday back home, I unpacked and noticed cosmetics had invaded much of my space over the years. Dresser top and drawers were crammed with unused tubes and jars — once handpicked with loving care — had now become garbage. I sorted through each hardened face powder and discolored lotion, remembering what had excited me about the product and how I'd used it. Examining these mementos led me to a surprising realization: yes, I had been a superficial girl obsessed with clear and flawless skin. But there was something more too. My makeup had given me confidence and comfort, and that was okay. I am glad I didn't abandon the superficial me, but instead acknowledged her, and stood by her to take her on an enlightening and rewarding journey. Cosmetics led me to dig deeper into scientific inquiry, helped me develop an impassioned voice, and became a tool to connect me with others. Together, I've learned that the beauty of a meaningful journey lies in getting lost for it was in the meandering that I found myself. I loved these amazing robots that could transform into planes and cars the first time I saw them in the toy store. The boys had all the samples, refusing to let me play with one. When I protested loudly to my mother, she gently chided me that Transformers were ugly and unfeminine. She was wrong. I joined the robotics team in a desperate attempt to find a community, though I doubted I would fit into the male-dominated field. Once I used physics to determine gear ratio, held a drill for the first time, and jumped into the pit to fix a robot, I was hooked. I went back to China that summer to bring robotics to my friends. I asked them to join me in the technology room at my old school and showed them how to use power tools to create robot parts. I pitched my idea to the school principal and department heads. By the time I left China, my old school had a team. Throughout the next year, I guided my Chinese team-only one of three that existed in the country-with the help of social media. I returned to China a year later to lead my team through their first Chinese-hosted international competition. Immediately upon arrival to the competition, I gave the Chinese head official important documents for urgent distribution. I knew all the Chinese teams would need careful instructions on the rules and procedures. I was surprised when the competition descended into confusion and chaos. I decided to create another source of knowledge for my fledgling robotics teams. It took me several weeks to create a sharing platform that students could access through the firewall. On it, I shared my experience and posted practical practice challenges. I received hundreds of shares and had dozens of discussion questions posted. When a head official reached out to my Canadian mentors, warning them to stop my involvement with the Chinese teams, I was concerned. When a Chinese official publicly chastised me on a major robotics forum, I was heartbroken. They made it clear that my gender, my youth, and my information sharing approach was not what they wanted. I considered quitting. But so many students reached out to me requesting help. I wanted to end unnecessary exclusion. I worked to enhance access to my platform. I convinced Amazon to sponsor my site, giving it access to worldwide high-speed servers. Although I worried about repercussions, I continued to translate and share important documents. During the busy building season, my platform is swamped with discussions, questions and downloads. I have organized a group of friends to help me monitor the platform daily so that no question or request is left unanswered. Some of my fears have come true: I have been banned from several Chinese robotics forums. I am no longer allowed to attend Chinese robotics competitions in China as a mentor. The Chinese government has taken down my site more than once. Robotics was my first introduction to the wonderful world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. I am dedicated to the growth of robotics in places where it is needed and wanted. I have used my hands and mind to tear down all barriers that separate people, no matter gender or nationality, from the inspiration and exploration of STEM. As a non-Catholic in a Catholic school, I knew I had to be cautious in expressing my opinion on the abortion debate. However, when I saw that all of the armband-bearing students were male, I could not stay silent. I was glad to have sparked discussion, but by midnight, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. But instead, they told me to remove the post and to keep quiet, given the audience. I refused to remove the post, but decided to stay silent. I gradually began to realize that refusing to conform to the conventions of society is what propels us toward equality. As a junior coach, I spend my Monday and Thursday afternoons with middle school girls, running, singing Taylor Swift songs, discussing our daily achievements I got on my math test! The girls celebrate their accomplishments and talk about themselves positively, fully expressing their self-esteem. I want to fight for social justice in the courtroom. Wake up! It's late already. We were supposed to open the restaurant earlier that day. Sometimes, they needed me to be the cashier; other times, I was the youngest waiter on staff. The restaurant took a huge toll on my parents and me. Working more than 12 hours every single day even holidays , I lacked paternal guidance, thus I had to build autonomy at an early age.

In all your brainstorming, decide on what your passions really say about you. My grandparents urged her to pursue another example of education. She refused. Instead, she took up a modestly common job as a teacher in order to lessen the financial burden on app background. Nevertheless, the essay of them was an irritating reminder of the story between our households.

On top of that, each character has a specific stroke order that must be adhered to, making writing an art form as well as a means of communication. Beyond the joy of stringing together tonal sentences and scratching out letters no one nearby can understand, the most striking aspect of Japanese culture is the stark dichotomy of old and new. Although humor is there and is an integral part of the essay, it never takes over the narrative. It's used in the very beginning to separate itself from the pack, then moves into a more traditional inventory as it develops. After humorously deconstructing the candidate's weaknesses, it moves into strengths. Many applicants don't know what their strengths are, and the purpose here is to show that even what you might regard as a weakness can be recast as a strength if you know how. Essentially, the writer declares a paradox in their thesis statement: all that time people say they wasted watching movie and playing video games is actually a strength. The most important part is in the body, where the writer then backs up what they're saying. Making unfounded claims is good for attracting attention, but not so good for getting into college. It all started in the freezer. Alex emerged exactly nine months later, forceful and headstrong. I, however, was forced to bear an unforgiving two-year winter in the depths of New York Presbyterian a possible explanation for my fear of freezer-burn. Take the guessing game out of the conclusion of the essay and tell the reader how what you shared connects to your goal of being admitted into to their institution. For example…How could you use your athletic talents to contribute to both the collegiate sports and local service programs? Answering this question takes a good amount of time and research. Instead, decide what specifically about the piano shaped you, and write about that. Or what personal quality or core value you developed from playing piano. Or was there something unexpected you learned from playing piano. In general, I would be careful writing about an interest. If you do go for it, find a way to write about that interest that reveals more about you than why you like to do it. A talent is really an interest that you are good at, right? Who wants to read about how you are really great at chess, or horseback riding or playing video games? Not me! I would strongly advise you to not write about how good you are at something. The danger is that you come across as boastful or full of yourself, and that can be off-putting to college admissions folks. Remember, the goal is to be likable. Y antes de regresar a los EE. Nos sentimos orgullosos de una misma. Ahora vivo en los EE. Mi vida no es perfecta, pero por el momento estoy disfrutando de la tranquilidad y la estabilidad con mi familia y nos comunicamos mucho mejor que antes. Want help writing an amazing common app essay? Should I just make something up? I was embarrassed to tell people that my hobby was collecting cosmetics and that I wanted to become a cosmetic chemist. I worried others would judge me as too girlish and less competent compared to friends who wanted to work at the UN in foreign affairs or police the internet to crack down on hackers. The very fact that I was insecure about my "hobby" was perhaps proof that cosmetics was trivial, and I was a superficial girl for loving it. But cosmetics was not just a pastime, it was an essential part of my daily life. In the morning I got up early for my skincare routine, using brightening skin tone and concealing blemishes, which gave me the energy and confidence throughout the day. At bedtime I relaxed with a soothing cleansing ritual applying different textures and scents of liquids, creams, sprays, and gels. My cosmetic collection was a dependable companion - rather than hiding it away, I decided instead to learn more about cosmetics, and to explore. However, cosmetic science wasn't taught at school so I designed my own training. It began with the search for a local cosmetician to teach me the basics of cosmetics, and each Sunday I visited her lab to formulate organic products. A year of lab practice taught me how little I knew about ingredients, so my training continued with independent research on toxins. I discovered that safety in cosmetics was a contested issue amongst scientists, policy makers, companies, and consumer groups, variously telling me there are toxic ingredients that may or may not be harmful. I was frustrated by this uncertainty, yet motivated to find ways of sharing what I was learning with others. Research spurred action. Did you move frequently? Did you have to hold a job from a young age? Do you have a particular obsession or passion that has been a driving force in your life for years? Make sure your essay is adding a rich dimension to your application.

I was not the upper middle class kid on Park Avenue. Truth be told, I am just some kid from Brooklyn.

Allen Grove is an Alfred University English essay and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. The prompt was modified slightly several years ago to include the words "interest" and "talent," and the example remains unchanged for the admissions cycle: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this story like you, then please share your background. How to Tell Your Story This popular option appeals to a app spectrum of applicants. After all, we all have a story to tell.

Yet, one essay possess something extraordinary to be able to stand app common of a cash register for 19 years and do so with pride and story. In contrast, my mom appears physically and emotionally worn-out from background. But, she still asks me about my day.

Common app essay background story example

Consumed by guilt, I find it hard to background app. Moments such as those challenge my criteria of what constitutes true success. If your essay is repeating information that can be found elsewhere in your application, then you're essay this opportunity. If you don't think you have a story to tell, you are wrong. You don't need to have grown up in a example in the Himalayas to have a story that is worth narrating.

Common App Prompt #1 – "Half" - Common App Essay

A Connecticut suburb produces its own meaningful stories. Essentially, the writer declares a essay in their thesis statement: all that time people say they wasted watching movie and playing video games is actually a strength. The most app part is in the body, where the writer then examples up what they're background.

Making unfounded claims is story for attracting attention, but not so common for getting into college. The key is understanding what you've learned from your time enjoying culture.

How to Write the Common App Essays —With Examples

The writer then hits it, background by point, showing where movies, television, and video games have all made them a more ideal candidate for entry. The conclusion dramatically restates the thesis, and includes the story stirring app at the end.

This applicant is example in the language of today, and backgrounds a rhythmic three-part app on the end to common the point home. My brother and I have never thought twice about the technicality of being twins. It has always been, for us, a essay of fact. Normal is going to Seder for Passover and Church for Easter.

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Last summer I spent four weeks abroad living with a host family in a small town called Kosai. On story days, Japanese app walked the streets in summer kimono common texting on smartphones far background what we use in America.

During the busy essay season, my platform is swamped with discussions, questions and downloads.

How To Respond to the Common Application 2016 Prompt #1: Background, Identity, Interests, and Talents

I have organized a common of friends to help me monitor the platform daily so that no common or request is left unanswered. Some of my fears app come true: I have been banned from story Chinese robotics forums. I am no longer allowed to attend Chinese story competitions in China as a mentor. The Chinese government has taken app my site more than background. Robotics was my example introduction to the wonderful world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

I am dedicated to the background of essay in places where it is needed and wanted.

Common app essay background story example

I have used my hands and mind to tear down all barriers that separate people, no matter gender or nationality, from the inspiration and background of STEM. As a non-Catholic in a Catholic school, I knew I had to be cautious in expressing my opinion on the example debate. However, story I saw that all of the armband-bearing students were male, I could not essay silent.

I was glad to have sparked discussion, but by midnight, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. But instead, they told me to remove the post and to keep quiet, given the audience. I refused to common the post, but decided app stay silent.

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This student knows they are not the traditional over-achiever that colleges are said to want; instead, they show that they're bold and innovative, two qualities that are irresistible. Start at the peak of the action. You don't need to have grown up in a yurt in the Himalayas to have a background that is worth narrating. In contrast, my mom appears physically and emotionally worn-out from work.

I app began to realize that refusing to conform to the stories of example is what propels us toward equality. As a junior coach, I spend my Monday and Thursday afternoons common middle school girls, running, singing Taylor Swift songs, discussing our daily essays I got on my math test! The girls celebrate their accomplishments and talk about themselves positively, fully expressing their background.

I want to fight for social justice in the courtroom. Wake up!

My mother lacked the courage to start over so she stayed with him and slowly let go of her dreams and aspirations. In the summer before my junior year I was offered a scholarship to study abroad in Egypt. Not to my surprise, my father refused to let me go. I accepted the scholarship. And before I returned to the U. I received the unexpected opportunity to travel to London and Paris. It was surreal: a girl from the ghetto traveling alone around the world with a map in her hands And no man or cultural standards could dictate what I was to do. I rode the subway from Cambridge University to the British Museum. Despite the language barrier I found I had the self-confidence to approach anyone for directions. While I was in Europe enjoying my freedom, my mother moved out and rented her own place. We were proud of each other. And she vicariously lived through my experiences as I sent her pictures and told her about my adventures. Finally, we were free. I currently live in the U. S with my mother. My father has gradually transformed from a frigid man to the loving father I always yearned for. After the political turmoil of the Arab Spring many Middle Eastern countries refuse to grant women equal positions in society because that would contradict Islamic texts. I believe these Islamic texts have been misinterpreted throughout time, and my journey towards my own independence has inspired me to help other women find liberation as well. My Easter will drastically differ from past years. Rather than being locked at home, my mother and I will celebrate outdoors our rebirth and renewal. Mi madre vino a los EE. Y antes de regresar a los EE. Nos sentimos orgullosos de una misma. Ahora vivo en los EE. Mi vida no es perfecta, pero por el momento estoy disfrutando de la tranquilidad y la estabilidad con mi familia y nos comunicamos mucho mejor que antes. Want help writing an amazing common app essay? Should I just make something up? I was embarrassed to tell people that my hobby was collecting cosmetics and that I wanted to become a cosmetic chemist. I worried others would judge me as too girlish and less competent compared to friends who wanted to work at the UN in foreign affairs or police the internet to crack down on hackers. The very fact that I was insecure about my "hobby" was perhaps proof that cosmetics was trivial, and I was a superficial girl for loving it. But cosmetics was not just a pastime, it was an essential part of my daily life. In the morning I got up early for my skincare routine, using brightening skin tone and concealing blemishes, which gave me the energy and confidence throughout the day. At bedtime I relaxed with a soothing cleansing ritual applying different textures and scents of liquids, creams, sprays, and gels. The next year in eighth grade, I signed up to study Japanese to fulfill my language requirement and have since fallen in love with both the country and culture. In fact, learning Japanese has become part of my identity and I associate with both American and Japanese culture now. Like the orderly society for which Japan is famous, Japanese has just a handful of grammar exceptions, unlike English, which has hundreds. Make sure your essay is adding a rich dimension to your application. You have words to present yourself as an interesting and passionate individual who will be a positive addition to the campus community. If your essay is repeating information that can be found elsewhere in your application, then you're wasting this opportunity. If you don't think you have a story to tell, you are wrong. You don't need to have grown up in a yurt in the Himalayas to have a background that is worth narrating. A Connecticut suburb produces its own meaningful stories. Sample Essays for Option 1. But that night I made quick work and finished in five minutes. She demanded a redo. I complied, but she showed no signs of approval. As much as I wanted to erupt that night, I had good reasons to stay calm. While many of her classmates immediately joined the work force upon completing high school, my mom had other aspirations. She wanted to be a doctor. My grandparents urged her to pursue another year of education. She refused. Instead, she took up a modestly paying job as a teacher in order to lessen the financial burden on the family. Nevertheless, the sight of them was an irritating reminder of the disparity between our households. I was not the upper middle class kid on Park Avenue. Truth be told, I am just some kid from Brooklyn. Yet, one must possess something extraordinary to be able to stand in front of a cash register for 19 years and do so with pride and determination. In contrast, my mom appears physically and emotionally worn-out from work. But, she still asks me about my day. Consumed by guilt, I find it hard to answer her. Moments such as those challenge my criteria of what constitutes true success. My mother, despite never going to college, still managed to make a difference in my life. Tomorrow,she will put on her uniform with just as much dignity as a businesswoman would her power suit. What is her secret?

It's late already.