Characteristics of good college essay

During the initial ascent, I felt strong and confident, though the intense scope of the route had begun to loosen my physical grip, as well as my grip on reality. I made it to the final hold, exhausting every drop of energy, unable to fathom lifting my arm again. The wall then became a towering mental blockade. I screamed and shot my hand up in a final attempt to finish the climb.

I was only hanging on by my fingertips and sheer determination, nevertheless I had made it to the top. My belayer celebrated and lowered me down. Weak and exhausted, I could barely unclip myself from the harness; however, mentally I had never felt stronger. It is during these experiences that the world falls away; all that is left is the rock face itself.

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I become one with the wall, solely captivated by the placements of its holds and the complexity of its challenge. Time ceases to exist. Rock climbing is a second language to me. I grew up scaling the tallest trees I could find, desiring the highest vantage point. Growing up in the uniformly flat state of Florida, I was limited in my upward journey. Luckily, I rekindled my love for climbing in high school, and now cannot imagine life without it. My passion for climbing is fueled by the adrenaline that pumps through my veins.

At first, I was an impatient climber who would try and solve the wall before me, making split-second decisions.

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However, this strategy rapidly tired me out after beginning to climb. Now, when I approach a wall, I first draw the problem out in my mind, using my hands to examine the holds. Like a game of chess, I lay out an intricate plan of attack. If I am completely perplexed by a wall, I converse with other pro climbers to guide me towards the best route.

Every time I interact with climbers better than myself, I learn a new technique and create new bonds. Being part of the rock climbing community has helped me develop my social skills. The best things about climbing is that there is no clear-cut way to climb a wall, and that there is always a new challenge. I get lost in the walls and climb for hours, as time becomes irrelevant. I think of nothing else but reaching the last hold and forget all of my worries. Even when my friends beg to go home from fatigue, I insist on attempting another route.

Patience, collaboration, and determination are all needed when climbing a wall, like in any field of research. If one plan falls short, I reassess and approach the wall from another angle.

Through this life-changing sport I have strengthened not only my body but also my mind, learning the beauty of problem solving. Through her writing, Callie allows the admissions committee to better understand her approach to learning new perspectives. This essay highlights her personality and values and helps us imagine how she will collaborate with others throughout different spaces on campus in a diverse student body.

By broadening her initial anecdote and having the majority of the essay focus on her reflections and takeaways, we were able to spend even more time learning about Callie. For twelve years that was our beautiful home, and we enjoyed every moment together. Last summer, Emily visited my new home of five years, San Francisco, for the first time.

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It felt like no time had passed. We still laughed until our faces turned tomato red. We still screamed our favorite Taylor Swift songs as if there was no tomorrow. Nothing could get in between the love we had for each other, even our vehemently opposing opinions. That challenge especially reflects the stagnant state of the current political climate in the United States. Extreme polarization is preventing collaboration that could resolve any issues. Even in my daily experiences, I notice the extreme dichotomy. My friends in California stereotype my friends in Texas.

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My friends in Texas stereotype my friends in California. During debates in history class or jokes during lunch, I observe that these toxic assumptions produce an atmosphere of mistrust. I find that abhorrence exhausting, especially considering that I experienced the beauty on both sides beneath the stereotypes.

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Disagreement between opposing perspectives is healthy in creating a functioning balance. However, when the fine line between argument and hatred blurs, resolution seems impossible. So, I try to listen with an open mind, even when that feels extremely difficult.

Sometimes, pure adrenaline rushes through my body, making me want to bang my hands on the table out of complete anger towards an opinion. I have learned, though, that suppressing my emotional side during a time of disagreement and instead responding with calmness gets my point across more effectively. People come from different backgrounds. They are surrounded by different cultures and experiences. The more I remain nonjudgmental, the more my own beliefs develop and become nuanced.

I have nothing to lose when I listen to my peers. I extract small pieces of their perspectives in order to enhance my own.

If I completely disagree with their opinions, I use their counterargument to articulate a more potent version of my position. The value in telling my story is just as important as hearing another. I love group projects in school, where ideas and creativity flow between people. I adore the end of a cross country race when all the girls from different schools hug and laugh with one another.

I cherish being on a soccer team, where the bond between my teammates and me is essential for achieving success. Appreciating uniqueness and connecting to different characters augments my own maturity and depth. I want to meet new people. I want to be challenged by new ideas. I want to experience new places. Despite our differences, Emily and I have a healthy relationship in which we are able to learn from one another; the acknowledgement of our individual value allows us to avoid bitterness. I strive to continue improving my ability to be comfortable with disagreement in order to learn more from my peers.

I may not always send up agreeing with Emily, or other people I care about, but I should at least try to understand a different perspective. Only then can I create a bridge that connects two different ideas, allowing for a more harmonious world. By utilizing the example of struggling to cook well in the kitchen, the writer is able to effectively relate to readers of all ages and backgrounds. Standing in front of the kitchen counter, my small hands are placed on the cool granite top and my eyes rest on the empty bowl set out in front of me. Add those features plays piano, excellent at football, speak five languages to your growing list of essay goals.

Remember that one of the goals of the admissions board when reading college admissions essays is to find students who will enhance the educational experience of other students. As with tip 3, you already have an edge by being an international student.

Section 1: Planning Your Essay

As an international student, you offer other students an opportunity for cultural diversity. As with Tip 3, it is not enough to assume the college admissions board will recognize this benefit. You need to highlight it in your essay. Again, a sentence or two should be enough to accomplish this goal. Again, remember that you are more than just an international student. You have so much more to contribute to the campus social and learning environment than just your home culture. Take a few moments to consider what else you may contribute. Now you need to focus your goals to only three or four ideas — the ones that will make you the most attractive to the college admissions board.


  • Have your say;
  • 9-essay-writing-tips-to-wow-college-admissions-officers.
  • How the Best College Essays Stand Out From the Competition;

No matter what the prompt asks, you want to ensure you include those three or four ideas in your college admissions essay. The concept is to present a few ideas very well, rather than list all your ideas poorly. A narrowly focused essay will be much more effective than a general, vague one. You should take the time to read and re-read the essay prompt, so you can answer it fully.

However, you must demonstrate that you can read and follow directions. Think of that great pile of applications.

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The admissions officers are looking for a reason to disregard candidates. On the other hand, the prompt is designed to give you some freedom for creativity, which will allow you to work in those three or four key ideas that you have developed through tips 1 through 4. You are encouraged to find novel ways of answering the prompt, so long as you do indeed answer the questions provided.

If you need more help choosing a topic , you can find some tips on our Choosing a Topic for Your College Essay page. At this stage in the college admissions essay writing process, you have considered the goals and psychology of the college admissions board.

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