Monday, January 24, 2011

Reading Applications

I haven't written in over a week, and that's because I've been spending every spare minute working on a side job reviewing freshman applications at UMD. I was helping one of my professors select applicants for a program that she's running.

The whole process was really interesting - I can't write about any specifics, but in general, the applications varied from really incredible (multiple applications had me in tears) to extremely generic (e.g. Such and such sport has taught me everything I need to know about life and dedication and leadership. I got up early for practice... etc.)

One of the first things I did when I started the process was go back to my college application essays and read them. I actually remember staying up all night and writing a bunch of different possible essays.

One was about being really nerdy in Middle School (and loving it), and then realizing in High School that it wasn't necessary to be so pigeon-holed, and that I could broaden my interests and friends. Another one was about traveling to Germany, experiencing a new culture, and having an experience totally different than anything previous in my life. I wrote one about staying up really late at night so that I could go to school, go to work, and still have fun. One essay was about being the president of the National Honor Society and running my very first meeting on September 12, 2011. And another one was about adapting to living away from home for the first time (during a week-long swim camp). I wrote one about dealing with a friend who had attempted suicide. And there were more. In general, Re-reading my essays now, I thought they were pretty good.

But I still did write a bit about sports (in my short answer section): "My most important non-academic activity is swimming... Etc."

I think the essays are really your chance to show how aware you are of what's actually important in the world - what experiences have you had in your first 17 years that have really helped define who you're going to be in the future - in the real world.

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