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While the Cafe Manager resume will be the most well-known part of the Cafe Manager job application, but, do consider the Cafe Manager cover letter equally important for landing a job. Writing a great Cafe Manager cover letter plays an important role in your job search journey. Many employers no longer ask for cover letters these days, whereas, many employers still ask for cover letters from job seekers. And if you are sending an email to the recruiting team to apply, your email itself acts as a cover letter. An engaging Cafe Manager cover letter can help you grab an employer's attention, which can lead to landing an interview for a job. Before creating a job-winning cover letter that really works for you, you need to know what content and format are to be used.

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Another great hook. Much like the football essay, this one starts off with a bang. After hearing about all the pecking, hissing, pooping, and clawing that the author endured, chances are you want to read more. And notice how the initial pooping hook comes back in the last line of the essay.

The scope gets wider as the piece progresses. The author starts with specific details about an internship opportunity then gradually works her way to broader topics about social justice and environmental activism. Every part of the piece emphasizes her values, but they are more explicitly stated towards the end. This trajectory is nice because it allows the reader to ease themselves into the world of the author and then see how specific opportunities or interests connect to broader goals or ambitions.

This author does a great job of using humor as a tool to endear her to readers, but not as a crutch to lean on when she has nothing else to say. Not only is she cracking jokes about poop, but also deeply interrogating her own motivations for being interested in social and environmental activism. 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. It makes tons of uncommon connections. Yet the author uses the idea of imagination and its relation to vision to weave these disparate topics into a coherent narrative.

In fact, his ability to do so emphasizes his ability to think creatively in ways that the average person may not. To find these, consider brainstorming everything you want colleges to know about you and then think of interesting ways in which these might intersect.

You absolutely can if you want to, but feel free to let your imagination run wild. If something excites or intrigues you, try writing a draft about it and see where it takes you. It would absolutely stand out from the other essays in the bunch. Sure, other people play basketball.

But, the particular way in which the author articulates his interests and connects them makes it memorable. Current inventory: thirty-two note pads, ten packs of Pilot G-2 pens, and pure willpower. 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. It includes some great one-liners. No paragraph is too dense or excessively wordy. Long sentences are balanced out by short, quippy insights. This give and take of short and long keeps the piece flowing smoothly. It harnesses the power of a great throughline.

This piece is what we would call a montage essay. Have a look at our blog post on Montage Structure for all the details on this. In this case, the idea of making lists is what connects everything. This essay is a great example of how you can structure your piece. It emphasizes not only what the author thinks about but also how she thinks.

Sometimes students think that writing a personal statement is about cramming as much information as possible about themselves into the word count. Although this author briefly mentions her interest in writing and debate, the majority of the essay is mostly just her nerding out about lists and the power of a good doodle. While that might not seem like a topic with enough substance, the way she writes about it reveals so much about personal values.

Let this be an example of how expansive the idea of a personal statement can be and how much creative liberty you can take in choosing your topic. Since childhood, I have been an obsessive builder and problem solver. 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.

Oftentimes 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 turns a perceived weakness into a critical strength.

At the beginning of the essay, the author talks about all of the problems she caused because of her obsession ironically with problem-solving. However, as the piece progresses, we begin to see how her childlike curiosity and interest in making things became a clear asset. It becomes a way of emphasizing values like resourcefulness, empathy, and dedication. This example is no exception. The author here spends some time at the end talking about her plans for a prescription-measuring smartphone app and her general interest in learning more about computer coding.

While the piece has a clear conclusion, these examples highlight the ongoing nature of her educational journey and her openness to further learning. It was the first Sunday of April. 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.

Slowly, life improved. Then I received some life-changing news. The lawyer had an idea: I had outstanding grades and recommendation letters. If we could show the judge the importance of my family remaining here to support my education, perhaps we had a chance. So I testified. Testifying in court helped me grow as a person, has made me more open-minded and aware of the problems facing my community. And my involvement in the urban farm has led me to consider a career as a nutritionist.

Though neither of my parents attended college, they understand that college is a key factor to a bright future and therefore have been very supportive. And though we don't yet have the house with the small porch and the dog, we're still holding out hope. Drops us in a moment in time. This is a great tactic when done well because it helps us identify with the author and piques our curiosity. Shows the agency, independence, and resilience of the applicant.

The author here goes through a lot over the course of the essay. They have to face very real fears about incarceration, deportation, and financial instability on a daily basis. Talking about the ways in which they approached these obstacles highlights their ability to think clearly under pressure and make the most of what they have.

If you have faced significant hardships , worked through them, learned valuable lessons, and want to share these with colleges, the personal statement can be a good place to do that. If you want to write about struggles that are particularly related to COVID, check out our guide for specific suggestions. Era el primer domingo de abril. Era mi padre. Mis padres se negaron a dejarme tener un trabajo "real. En domingos y en el verano limpiaba casas con mi madre.

Poco a poco, la vida mejoraba. Aunque ninguno de mis padres asistieron a la universidad, ellos entienden que la universidad es un factor clave para un futuro brillante, y por lo tanto, han sido un gran apoyo. At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom. Regardless, I knew what was happening: my dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse.

Living without a father meant money was tight, mom worked two jobs, and my brother and I took care of each other when she worked. For a brief period of time the quality of our lives slowly started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became an integral part of our family. He paid attention to the needs of my mom, my brother, and me. I cooked, Jose cleaned, I dressed Fernando, Jose put him to bed.

We did what we had to do. As undocumented immigrants and with little to no family around us, we had to rely on each other. Fearing that any disclosure of our status would risk deportation, we kept to ourselves when dealing with any financial and medical issues. I avoided going on certain school trips, and at times I was discouraged to even meet new people.

I felt isolated and at times disillusioned; my grades started to slip. Over time, however, I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself. Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher. I learned how to fix a bike, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls. I became resourceful, fixing shoes with strips of duct tape, and I even found a job to help pay bills.

I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money mom had to spend raising me. I also worked to apply myself constructively in other ways. These changes inspired me to help others. I became president of the California Scholarship Federation, providing students with information to prepare them for college, while creating opportunities for my peers to play a bigger part in our community.

I began tutoring kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus. And I have yet to see the person that Fernando will become. Not because I have to. Because I choose to. Again, the author shows growth. We see concrete signs of growth in the way he improved his grades and got more involved in school clubs like the California Scholarship Federation as well as athletic extracurriculars like swimming.

Essentially, he shows how he made the best of his situation. One of the best things about this essay is the very end. He tells us about all the other things he hopes to do and conveys a clear excitement at the possibility for learning in the future. It endears him to readers and demonstrates his natural inclination to continue pushing forward, no matter what life might throw his way.

Umbra: the innermost, darkest part of a shadow. The fifth set of chimes rings out and I press my hands against the dusty doors. My nose itches, but scratching would smudge the little black whiskers painted onto my face. I peer through the tiny crack between the cupboard doors, trying to glimpse the audience.

The sixth set of chimes, my cue, begins, and I pop onto stage, the brilliant lights flooding my vision. Clara and Drosselmeyer stand to my left, and in front of me lies an endless ocean of audience. I pause a moment, taking it in, then do my best mouse scurry towards the wings.

I love performing and dancing to connect with an audience. My hands, covered in grease, hurt terribly as I help another girl with the wire crimper. We force the handles together, and our Anderson connector is finally ready. People scurry around us—several students are riveting metal, assisted by my father for me, robotics is a family activity , while another pair, including my younger brother, works on assembling the drive train.

The next room is filled with shouted Java commands and autonomous code. I love the comradery in robotics, the way teams support each other even amid intense competitions. I love seeing the real world application of knowledge, and take pride in competing in front of hundreds of people. Most of all, I love spending time with my family, connecting with them in our own unique way.

Back in the electrical room, I plug in my connector, and the room is filled with bright green light. I pull on a pair of Nitrile gloves before grabbing my forceps. I carefully extract my latest Western Blot from its gel box, placing it on the imaging system. Christmas carols play softly as I chase my little brother around the living room, trying to get him to wear a Santa hat.

The smell of tamales wafts through the air as my mom and grandmother stand over the pot of mole sauce. The ornament boxes are opened on the floor, each one special to our family, representing our adventures, our love, our history. My dad is winding a mile-long string of lights around the tree, covering the room with a soft glow.

Light will usually travel in a perfectly straight line, but if it comes in contact with something it can bounce off it or bend around it, which is why people make shadows. The very innermost part of that shadow, the umbra, is where no light has bent around you—it has completely changed direction, bounced off. People are constantly changing and shaping the light around them, and never notice. It demonstrates craft. She uses images to beautiful effect, drawing us into each experience in her montage, from the moments on stage to robotics to the lab to her family.

This is very hard to pull off well, and is why she went through so many revisions, to walk a fine line between subtlety and clarity. Show and tell. And her final paragraph both shows and tells, using language that offers strong symbolism, while also ending with some poetic phrasing that tells us how this all comes together in case we somehow missed it. We walk away with a strong sense of who this student is and what she would bring to our college campus.

Graduate School. Online Courses. Free Resources. College Application Hub. International Students. Personal Statement. Supplemental Essays. University of California. College Admissions. Matchlighters Scholarship. College Admission Essentials. College Essay Essentials. Essay Workshop In A Box. If a university requires or offers an interview, these can normally be conducted over the phone or with alumni residing in the applicant's country.

Further, international applicants must also apply for a student visa, which can be a complex and time-consuming process. College admissions officers are generally looking to build a well-rounded class and look for students who will complement each other.

Consequently, many schools are looking for students who are passionate and excel at particular things, and candidates who fulfill certain institutional needs rather than a "well-rounded kid. Colleges are looking for Colleges put together their entering class as a mosaic: a few great scholars for each academic department; a handful of athletes; some musicians, dancers, and theater stars; a few for racial and economic diversity; some potential club leaders, etc.

Colleges want a kid who is devoted to — and excels at — something. The word they most often use is passion. Colleges want students who have demonstrated through their actions an ability to see and connect with a world that is larger than they are. Institutional needs include athletics and music as well as geographical, cultural, racial, and socioeconomic diversity Pell Grant recipients, first-generation students.

Some schools, particularly public universities, will use admissions criteria which are almost entirely formulaic in certain aspects of admission. Many admits, however, are made on the basis of subjective judgments regarding the student's "fit" for the institution. Admissions offices must read through thousands of applications, each of which include transcripts, letters of recommendation, and the application itself.

Larger admissions offices will have specialists assigned to cover different regions, and individual officers may act liaison for a regional set of high schools developing a deep understanding of their curriculum and rigor. Some admissions offices use a scoring system in an effort to normalize the many applicants. Many colleges also rely on personal essay s written by the applicant and letters of recommendation written by the applicant's teachers and guidance counselor.

One principal benefit of the essay lies in its ability to further differentiate students who have perfect or near-perfect grades and test scores. Institutions place different weight on these criteria: for example, "test optional" schools do not require or even accept the SATs for admission. Some colleges hire statistical experts known as "enrollment consultants" to help them predict enrollment by developing computer models to select applicants in such a way as to maximize yield and acceptance rates.

High school academic performance is generally the single most important factor in winning admission. Colleges also evaluate applicants by examining how a student has successfully exploited what a high school has had to offer. Where AP courses are offered, having a high grade point average based on good grades in AP-level or honors courses will be looked upon favorably, [99] but dropping a hard course will be seen negatively.

The college admissions office usually will know schools well enough to understand that not all schools offer AP-level courses so candidates from those schools are not put at a disadvantage. On the other hand, the admissions office will have a high school profile and takes into account such data as curriculum offerings, demographics, and grade distributions at the high school.

These are read in conjunction with the high school academic record, but their importance varies from school to school. Schools typically release information on the range of scores from their candidate pool as well as accepted student pool to make applicants aware of their student profile. Some schools will consider superscore results or superscoring when an applicant has taken the SAT multiple times by combining the highest score from different test subsections, [] [] although superscoring is rarely done for the ACT [] because of difficulty processing five separate rounded numbers.

This can be an important factor in some situations, sometimes a "driving factor," [] since a college may be more likely to say yes to a student likely to matriculate. Accordingly, it has been advised to become knowledgeable about schools being applied to, and "tailor each application accordingly.

We assumed they weren't coming, because we didn't have much contact from them. We know they're probably using us as a back-up and they haven't done much to show any sincere interest, so we decided to waitlist them. One report suggested that colleges seek students who will be actively involved on campus and not spend every day studying alone. Admissions officers often try to screen out difficult people.

Michele Hernandez suggested that almost all admissions essays were weak, cliche-ridden, and "not worth reading. Regular decision applicants are notified usually in the last two weeks of March, and early decision or early action applicants are notified near the end of December but early decision II notifications tend to be in February. The notification of the school's decision is either an admit, deny reject , waitlist, or defer.

Notifications as an online status update are becoming more common, although a few schools still send notifications by email or regular mail in which case a "fat" envelope is usually an acceptance whereas a "thin" envelope is usually a rejection or waitlist. Letters of admission typically require the admitted student to maintain good grades and good conduct before matriculation. Teachers and college counselors of seniors advise students against " senioritis.

Admitted students may also be awarded financial aid and notification of this is made around the same time. Students who are dissatisfied with an aid offer can appeal for the offer to be improved. International students who have been accepted will need to complete the necessary paperwork for visas such as an I form.

Rejection letters from most schools will mention that there is no appeal process but many schools, especially public universities such as the University of California have a formal appeal process requiring "new and compelling" information from the appellant. About half of schools use a wait list, particularly those that accept fewer than half of all applications.

Some schools put a large number onto the wait list relative to the class enrollment size even though this puts many wait-listed students in "limbo" and gives most of them only false hope, [] the "basic equivalent of purgatory. The admission process is a complicated dance of supply and demand for colleges. And this spring, many institutions have accepted fewer applicants, and placed more on waiting lists, until it becomes clear over the next few weeks how many spots remain.

While most college admissions involves high school students applying to colleges, transfer admissions are important as well. A common transfer path is students moving from two-year community colleges to four-year institutions, although there is considerable movement between four-year institutions. There are indications that many private colleges are more actively seeking transfer applicants. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Aspect of education. Main article: College and university rankings in the United States. Further information: College tuition in the United States. Further information: Student financial aid in the United States. Main article: College interview. Main article: Transfer admissions in the United States.

Retrieved August 28, Pew Research Center. April 9, Retrieved August 30, Common App. States News Service via Highbeam Research. October 20, Archived from the original on September 24, Retrieved August 31, CBS News. Retrieved May 15, The Telegraph. Retrieved January 14, Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 12, Rotherham May 5, Time Magazine. The New York Times. The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 7, Clinedinst; Sarah F. Hurley; David A. Hawkins Previous admission experience The Chronicle of Higher Education.

They are counselors, but also recruiters. They use marketing techniques, but many don't like to use the "m word. Archived from the original on March 29, Retrieved August 20, If you are a junior in high school, this winter or spring you are very likely to be inundated with glossy view books and slick brochures Counselors Beg to Differ With U. Retrieved May 17, Retrieved September 29, Retrieved July 31, Archived from the original on November 7, Retrieved July 20, Huffington Post.

Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade The College Solution. Retrieved September 14, One of the perverse aspects about the rankings is that turning out thoughtful, articulate young men and women, who can write cogently and think critically won't budge a school's ranking up even one spot. Retrieved June 26, Rankings Perversion — News mismeasures higher education and what we can do about it".

Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on January 14, Retrieved January 11, News rankings don't measure how much students learn; May 19, Archived from the original on April 13, The annual rankings of undergraduate colleges and universities by U. News and World Report generate negative opinions among professionals who work most closely with students and families News ' ". Inside Higher Ed. Annapolis Group. June 19, Archived from the original on June 26, Archived from the original on July 2, Retrieved May 25, USA Today.

Ruiz November 15, Discounting in higher education began in the s, as college admissions officers copied the pricing systems used by airlines and other businesses. The approach of charging as much as people would pay was novel in the academy. US News. May 11, CNN Money Magazine. While community college tuition posted a sharp 8.

To offset the cost, these schools often aggressively recruit students whose families can pay the full cost A Case Study". Find Yours. Retrieved May 18, Wetzel others Now, some colleges use this FAFSA position when considering students' applications for admission, which may affect decisions about admission or placement on the wait list, said David Hawkins The order, however, could also be hurting students who list their favorite school as No.

If a teenager shows too much interest in a school, the admission office may decide to offer the applicant a lower award because it is assumed that the child will enroll anyway Students can list up to 10 schools to receive their financial aid information, and the ones they list first strongly predict which enrollment offers they're likely to accept, college consultants say The FAFSA should either not allow institutions to see where students have applied or it should list the institutions in alphabetical order Retrieved February 12, The New York Times: Education.

Smart Student Guide. May 17, Number and percentage distribution of Title IV institutions, by control of institution, level of institution, and region: United States and other jurisdictions, academic year —10".

National Center for Educational Statistics, U. Department of Education. Retrieved January 24, Foderaro March 1, Rotherham December 1, But is this fair? Retrieved May 19, Retrieved June 22, Journal of College Admission via Highbeam Research. Archived from the original on January 25, According to Gandara and Lopez , SAT scores will be weighted anywhere from "almost not at all" to "heavily" in the admission decision, depending upon the college or university.

College Admissions; ACT vs. NPR Florida. January 1, Journal of College Admission. If two applicants appeared academically equivalent on paper and both were interviewing at a top tier school, the gregarious, self-confident candidate would most likely be perceived more favorably than the timid and self-conscious one Retrieved October 28, Hyman; Lynn F.

Jacobs; Jonathan Reider September 15, For your college admissions essay, you will be asked to write flawless words As far as I'm concerned, the only taboo is shameless self-promotion. These Teens Will Show You". Retrieved March 17,

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Although there are many ways to approach the title, it's important that the words at the top of the page make the proper impression. Ensure that college admissions officers are motivated to read your essay due to curiosity rather than necessity. Alternatively, imagine a newspaper in which every article lacks a title: You would be unlikely to pick up the paper and read anything.

Clearly, a newspaper without titles would be confusing for readers. Application essays are similar in that way: Your readers want to know what it is that they are going to read. A well-crafted title should:. When it comes to the third item, realize that you don't need to be too detailed. A good title can be clever or play with words, such as "Porkopolis" by Felicity or "Buck Up" by Jill. However, don't try to be too clever. Such efforts can backfire. A title can be provocative.

As an example, a student who wrote about encountering new foods while abroad titled her essay "Eating Eyeballs. Simple and direct language can also be quite effective. These titles don't play with words or reveal great wit, but they accomplish their purpose perfectly well. In all of these examples, the title provides at least a sense of the essay's subject matter, and each motivates the reader to continue reading.

After viewing such titles, even harried admissions officials are sure to ask: What the heck does "Porkopolis" mean? Why did you eat eyeballs? Why should you have quit your job? There are some common missteps that applicants make when it comes to titles.

Be aware of these pitfalls. Vague language. Be precise, not vague. Broad, overly general language. This is a continuation of the vague language problem. Some titles try to cover far too much. Any such effort is doomed to failure, and your reader will doubt your essay before beginning the first paragraph.

Overblown vocabulary. The best essays use clear and accessible language. When a writer attempts to sound intelligent by adding unnecessary syllables to every word, the reading experience is often torturous. For example, if an essay's title is "My Utilization of Erroneous Rationalizations During My Pupilage," the reader's immediate response is going to be pure dread. No one wants to read words on such a subject. Strained cleverness. Within a year of diagnosis, she lived with us like a total stranger.

One day, my mom brought home fresh cabbages and red pepper sauce. She brought out the old silver bowl and poured out the cabbages, smothering them with garlic and salt and pepper. The familiar tangy smell tingled my nose. Gingerly, my grandma stood up from the couch in the living room, and as if lured by the smell, sat by the silver bowl and dug her hands into the spiced cabbages. As her bony hands shredded the green lips, a look of determination grew on her face.

Though her withered hands no longer displayed the swiftness and precision they once did, her face showed the aged rigor of a professional. For the first time in years, the smell of garlic filled the air and the rattling of the silver bowl resonated throughout the house. That night, we ate kimchi. But kimchi had never tasted better.

Try it, my boy. Seeing grandma again this summer, that moment of clarity seemed ephemeral. Her disheveled hair and expressionless face told of the aggressive development of her illness. But holding her hands, looking into her eyes, I could still smell that garlic. The moments of Saturday mornings remain ingrained in my mind. Grandma was an artist who painted the cabbages with strokes of red pepper.

Like the sweet taste of kimchi, I hope to capture those memories in my keystrokes as I type away these words. A piece of writing is more than just a piece of writing. It evokes. It inspires. It captures what time takes away. Mine will be these words. When I was very little, I caught the travel bug. It started after my grandparents first brought me to their home in France and I have now been to twenty-nine different countries. Each has given me a unique learning experience.

When I was eight, I stood in the heart of Piazza San Marco feeding hordes of pigeons, then glided down Venetian waterways on sleek gondolas. At thirteen, I saw the ancient, megalithic structure of Stonehenge and walked along the Great Wall of China, amazed that the thousand-year-old stones were still in place. It was through exploring cultures around the world that I first became interested in language. It began with French, which taught me the importance of pronunciation.

I remember once asking a store owner in Paris where Rue des Pyramides was. In the eighth grade, I became fascinated with Spanish and aware of its similarities with English through cognates. This was incredible to me as it made speech and comprehension more fluid, and even today I find that cognates come to the rescue when I forget how to say something in Spanish.

Then, in high school, I developed an enthusiasm for Chinese. As I studied Chinese at my school, I marveled how if just one stroke was missing from a character, the meaning is lost. I love spending hours at a time practicing the characters and I can feel the beauty and rhythm as I form them. Interestingly, after studying foreign languages, I was further intrigued by my native tongue. Through my love of books and fascination with developing a sesquipedalian lexicon learning big words , I began to expand my English vocabulary.

Studying the definitions prompted me to inquire about their origins, and suddenly I wanted to know all about etymology, the history of words. My freshman year I took a world history class and my love for history grew exponentially.

To me, history is like a great novel, and it is especially fascinating because it took place in my own world. But the best dimension that language brought to my life is interpersonal connection. When I speak with people in their native language, I find I can connect with them on a more intimate level. I want to study foreign language and linguistics in college because, in short, it is something that I know I will use and develop for the rest of my life. 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. Today, I still have the travel bug, and now, it seems, I am addicted to language too.

Click here for this student's amazing Instagram photos. This was written for a Common App college application essay prompt that no longer exists, which read: Evaluate a significant experience, risk, achievement, ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. 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. 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. The long drive, the green hills, the white church, the funeral. The Chinese mass, the resounding amens, the flower arrangements. Me, crying silently, huddled in the corner. The Hsieh family huddled around the casket.

So many apologies. Finally, the body lowered to rest. 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. 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. This essay could work for prompts 1, 2 and 7 for the Common App.

From page 54 of the maroon notebook sitting on my mahogany desk:. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me. Here is a secret that no one in my family knows: I shot my brother when I was six. 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. The truth is, I was always jealous of my brother.

Our grandparents, with whom we lived as children in Daegu, a rural city in South Korea, showered my brother with endless accolades: he was bright, athletic, and charismatic. To me, Jon was just cocky. Deep down I knew I had to get the chip off my shoulder.

Once we situated ourselves, our captain blew the pinkie whistle and the war began. My friend Min-young and I hid behind a willow tree, eagerly awaiting our orders. To tip the tide of the war, I had to kill their captain. We infiltrated the enemy lines, narrowly dodging each attack. I quickly pulled my clueless friend back into the bush. Hearing us, the alarmed captain turned around: It was my brother. Startled, the Captain and his generals abandoned their post.

Vengeance replaced my wish for heroism and I took off after the fleeing perpetrator. My eyes just gazed at the fleeing object; what should I do? I looked on as my shivering hand reached for the canister of BBs. The next second, I heard two shots followed by a cry.

I opened my eyes just enough to see two village men carrying my brother away from the warning sign. Days passed. My brother and I did not talk about the incident. But in the next few weeks, something was happening inside me. That night when my brother was gone I went to a local store and bought a piece of chocolate taffy, his favorite. Several days later, I secretly went into his room and folded his unkempt pajamas. Then, other things began to change. I even ate fishcakes, which he loved but I hated.

Today, my brother is one of my closest friends. Every week I accompany him to Carlson Hospital where he receives treatment for his obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. After he leaves, I take out my notebook and begin writing where I left off. And Grace, my fears relieved For analysis of what makes this essay amazing , go here. Essay written for the "topic of your choice" prompt for the Common Application college application essays. Bowing down to the porcelain god, I emptied the contents of my stomach.

Foaming at the mouth, I was ready to pass out. Ten minutes prior, I had been eating dinner with my family at a Chinese restaurant, drinking chicken-feet soup. My mom had specifically asked the waitress if there were peanuts in it, because when I was two we found out that I am deathly allergic to them.

When the waitress replied no, I went for it. Suddenly I started scratching my neck, feeling the hives that had started to form. 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. All I knew was that I felt sick, and I was waiting for my mom to give me something to make it better.

I thought my parents were superheroes; surely they would be able to make well again. But I became scared when I heard the fear in their voices as they rushed me to the ER. After that incident, I began to fear. 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. Even though I was probably only ten at the time, I wanted to find a way to help kids like me. I wanted to find a solution so that nobody would have to feel the way I did; nobody deserved to feel that pain, fear, and resentment. This past summer, I took a month-long course on human immunology at Stanford University. I learned about the different mechanisms and cells that our bodies use in order to fight off pathogens.

My desire to major in biology in college has been stimulated by my fascination with the human body, its processes, and the desire to find a way to help people with allergies. To find out if your essay passes the Great College Essay Test like this one did, go here. This essay could work for prompts 1, 2, 5 and 7 for the Common App. Watkins was the coordinator of the foreign exchange student program I was enrolled in.

She had a nine year old son named Cody. I would babysit Cody every day after school for at least two to three hours. He would talk a lot about his friends and school life, and I would listen to him and ask him the meanings of certain words. He was my first friend in the New World.

She had recently delivered a baby, so she was still in the hospital when I moved into their house. The Martinez family did almost everything together. We made pizza together, watched Shrek on their cozy couch together, and went fishing on Sunday together. On rainy days, Michael, Jen and I would sit on the porch and listen to the rain, talking about our dreams and thoughts.

Within two months I was calling them mom and dad. After I finished the exchange student program, I had the option of returning to Korea but I decided to stay in America. I wanted to see new places and meet different people.

After a few days of thorough investigation, I found the Struiksma family in California. They were a unique group. The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted. The kids always had something warm to eat, and were always on their best behavior at home and in school. In the living room were six or seven huge amplifiers and a gigantic chandelier hung from the high ceiling.

The kitchen had a bar. At first, the non-stop visits from strangers made me nervous, but soon I got used to them. I remember one night, a couple barged into my room while I was sleeping. It was awkward. In the nicest way possible, I told them I had to leave. They understood. The Ortiz family was my fourth family. Kimberly, the host mom, treated me the same way she treated her own son. She made me do chores: I fixed dinner, fed their two dogs Sassy and Lady, and once a week I cleaned the bathroom.

I also had to follow some rules: No food in my room, no using the family computer, no lights on after midnight, and no ride unless it was an emergency. The first couple of months were really hard to get used to, but eventually I adjusted. I lived with the Ortiz family for seven months like a monk in the deep forest. It was unexpected and I only had a week to find a new host family.

I asked my friend Danielle if I could live with her until I found a new home. The Dirksen family had three kids. They were all different. Danielle liked bitter black coffee, Christian liked energy drinks, and Becca liked sweet lemon tea. After dinner, we would all play Wii Sports together. I was the king of bowling, and Dawn was the queen of tennis. Afterward, we would gather in the living room and Danielle would play the piano while the rest of us sang hymns.

Of course, those 28 months were too short to fully understand all five families, but I learned from and was shaped by each of them. By teaching me English, nine year-old Cody taught me the importance of being able to learn from anyone; the Martinez family showed me the value of spending time together as a family; the Struiksma family taught me to reserve judgment about divorced women and adopted children; Mrs.

In short:. He buries a series of essence images in his first paragraphs one per family. When he reveals each lesson at the end, one after the other, we sense how all these seemingly random events are connected.

We realize this writer has been carefully constructing this piece all along; we see the underlying structure. Each of the first five paragraphs works to SHOW. See how distinct each family is? He does this through specific images and objects. Q: Why did he just show us all these details? A: To demonstrate what each family has taught him.

He also goes one step further. Q: So what am I going to do with all these lessons? Identify your single greatest strength in this case, it was his ability to adapt to whatever life gave him. Ask: how did I learn this? Show 1: "By teaching me English, nine year-old Cody taught me the importance of being able to learn from anyone.

Show 2: "the Martinez family showed me the value of spending time together as a family" implication: he doesn't have this with his own family. Show 3: "the Struiksma family taught me to reserve judgment about divorced women and adopted children. Show 4: "Mrs. Ortiz taught me the value of discipline. For years, processed snack foods ruled the kitchen kingdom of my household and animal products outnumbered plant-based offerings.

I fully embraced this new eating philosophy to show my support. I became entranced by the world of nutritional science and how certain foods could help prevent cancer or boost metabolism. Each new food I discovered gave me an education on the role diet plays on health. I learned that, by eating sweet potatoes and brown rice, you could cure acne and heart disease. I discovered eating leafy greens with citrus fruits could boost iron absorption rates. I loved pairing my foods to create the perfect macronutrient balance.

Did you know beans and rice make a complete protein? Food has also turned me into a sustainability nut. Living plant-based also saves the planet from the impact of animal agriculture. For the same amount of land space, a farmer can produce kilograms of soybeans versus 16 kilograms of beef. I do my part to have as small of an ecological footprint as I can. I stopped using plastic snack bags and instead turned to reusable beeswax wraps. My favorite reusable appliance is my foldable straw.

We are currently working on a restaurant campaign to encourage local eateries to create a plant-based, oil-free menu option and become PlantPure certified. After discovering how many restaurants use oil in their cooking, I decided I needed to open a plant-based oil free cafe to make up for this gap. This allows me to educate people about nutritional science through the stomach.

Finally, I am a strong proponent of hands-on experience for learning what good food looks and tastes like, so cooking is one of my favorite ways to teach the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Our society has taught us that delicious food has to make us feel guilty, when that is simply not the case. The best feeling in the world is falling in love with a dish and then learning all the health benefits that it provides the body.

While my classmates complain about being tired, I have more energy because my body is finally getting the right macros, vitamins, and minerals it needs. But the foods I am particular about have changed. Rather than a carboholic, I choose to call myself a vegeholic. Its instructions are simple: Open the Google Sheet, enter a number between 1 and 20 that best represents my level of happiness, and write a short comment describing the day.

But the practical aspect of the spreadsheet is only a piece of what it has represented in my life. What had started as a farcical proposition of mine transformed into a playground where high school classmates and I convene every two weeks to prepare a savory afternoon snack for ourselves. Hard-fought days of mixing cement and transporting supplies had paid off for the affectionate community we had immediately come to love.

If happiness paves the roads of my life, my family is the city intertwined by those roads — each member a distinct neighborhood, a distinct story. In times of stress, whether it be studying for an upcoming derivatives test or presenting my research at an international conference, I dash to my father for help. Coming from the dusty, people-packed backstreets of Thiruvananthapuram, India, he guides me in looking past the chaos and noticing the hidden accomplishments that lie in the corners.

When in need of confidence, I find my mother, who taps her experiences living in her tranquil and sturdy tatami-covered home in Hiroshima, Japan, helping me prepare for my first high school dance or my final match in a tennis tournament. The Happiness Spreadsheet is also a battery monitor for enthusiasm.

Other times, the battery is depleted, and I am frustrated by writer's block, when not a single melody, chord, or musical construct crosses my mind. The Happiness Spreadsheet can be a hall of fame, but it can likewise be a catalog of mistakes, burdens, and grueling challenges. The idea was born spontaneously at lunch, and I asked two of my friends if they were interested in pursuing this exercise with me.

To this day, I ponder its full importance in my life. With every new number I enter, I recognize that each entry is not what defines me; rather, it is the ever-growing line connecting all the data points that reflects who I am today. Where will the Happiness Spreadsheet take me next? I was a left-handed kid who wrote from right to left, which made my writing comprehensible only to myself. Only after years of practice did I become an ambidextrous writer who could translate my incomprehensible writing.

As I look back on my life, I realized that this was my first act of translation. As I deciphered complex codes into comprehensible languages like rate of change and speed of an object, I gained the ability to solve even more complicated and fascinating problems. Now, I volunteer to tutor others: as a Korean tutor for friends who love Korean culture and a golf tutor for new team members. Tutoring is how I integrate and strengthen new concepts for myself.

I often put myself into their situation and ask, "What emotional support would I want or need if I was in this situation? However, my translation can't accurately account for the experiences I have yet to go through. After realizing the limitations of my experience, I created a bucket list full of activities out of my comfort zone, which includes traveling abroad by myself, publishing my own book, and giving a lecture in front of a crowd.

Although it is a mere list written on the front page of my diary, I found myself vividly planning and picturing myself accomplishing those moments. My knack for translating has led me to become a real-life Korean language translator. As an English to Korean letter translator in a non-profit organization, Compassion , I serve as a communication bridge between benefactors and children in developing countries, who communicate through monthly letters.

This experience has motivated me to learn languages like Spanish and Mandarin. As I get to know more about myself through different languages, I grew more confident to meet new people and build new friendships. While translating has been a huge part of my life, a professional translator is not my dream job.

I want to be an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist who manages the medication of patients with chronic diseases. In fact, translating is a huge part of the job of a clinical pharmacist. In one form or another, I've always been and will be a translator. I sit, cradled by the two largest branches of the Newton Pippin Tree, watching the ether. The Green Mountains of Vermont stretch out indefinitely, and from my elevated vantage point, I feel as though we are peers, motionless in solidarity.

But a few months ago, I would have considered this an utter waste of time. Prior to attending Mountain School, my paradigm was substantially limited; opinions, prejudices, and ideas shaped by the testosterone-rich environment of Landon School. I was herded by result-oriented, fast-paced, technologically-reliant parameters towards psychology and neuroscience the NIH, a mere 2. Subconsciously I knew this was not who I wanted to be and seized the chance to apply to the Mountain School.

Upon my arrival, though, I immediately felt I did not belong. I found the general atmosphere of hunky-dory acceptance foreign and incredibly unnerving. So, rather than engage, I retreated to what was most comfortable: sports and work. In the second week, the perfect aggregate of the two, a Broomball tournament, was set to occur.

Though I had never played before, I had a distinct vision for it, so decided to organize it. That night, the glow-in-the-dark ball skittered across the ice. My opponent and I, brooms in hand, charged forward. We collided and I banana-peeled, my head taking the brunt of the impact. Stubborn as I was, even with a concussion, I wanted to remain in class and do everything my peers did, but my healing brain protested.

I began wandering around campus with no company except my thoughts. Throughout those days, I created a new-found sense of home in my head. I am most enamored by ideas that cultivate ingenious and practical enrichments for humanity.

I enjoy picking some conundrum, large or small, and puzzling out a solution. Returning from a cross country meet recently, my friend and I, serendipitously, designed a socially responsible disposable water bottle completely on accident. Now we hope to create it. I am still interested in psychology and neuroscience, but also desire to incorporate contemplative thought into this work, analyzing enigmas from many different perspectives.

My internships at the NIH and the National Hospital for Neuroscience and Neurosurgery in London have offered me valuable exposure to research and medicine. But I have come to realize that neither of my previous intended professions allow me to expand consciousness in the way I would prefer. After much soul-searching, I have landed on behavioral economics as the perfect synergy of the fields I love.

All it took was a knock on the head. Suddenly, a miniature gathering of the European Commission glares straight at me. I feel the pressure of picking one option over the other. What do I choose? Like the various nations of the European Union, the individual proponents of these culinary varieties are lobbying their interests to me, a miniature Jean-Claude Junker.

Now, you may be asking yourselves: why would I be so pensive over a meal choice? Every year, that same family gathers together in New York City to celebrate Christmas. These exact conversations drove me to learn more about what my parents, grandparents, and other relatives were debating with a polite and considerate passion. In turn, participating in debate has expanded my knowledge regarding matters ranging from civil rights reparations to American redeployment in Iraq, while enriching my capacities to thoughtfully express my views on those and other issues, both during P.

This awareness incited a passion for statecraft within me — the very art of balancing different perspectives - and therefore a desire to actively engage in government. With my experiences in mind, I felt there was no better place to start than my own neighborhood of Bay Ridge. Most importantly, my family has taught me an integral life lesson. As our Christmas Dinner squabbles suggest, seemingly insurmountable impasses can be resolved through respect and dialogue, even producing delicious results!

On a grander scale, it has elucidated that truly inclusive discourse and toleration of diverse perspectives render tribalism, sectarianism, and the divisive aspects of identity politics powerless over our cohesion.

I fundamentally value cultural, political, and theological variety; my own microcosm reflecting our global society at large has inspired me to strive to solve the many conflicts of bitterness and sectionalism in our world today.

This vocation may come in the form of political leadership that truly respects all perspectives and philosophies, or perhaps as diplomacy facilitating unity between the various nations of the world. Before I came to America, I drank Puer Tea with my father every morning in my bedroom, sitting cross-legged on Suzhou-silk mats beside a view of the Lakeside reservoir. Beside a dark end table, we picked up teacups as the mild aroma greeted our noses. As we faced the French window, my father would share the news he read in China Daily : the Syrian civil war, climate change, and gender equality in Hollywood.

Most of the time, I only listened. With each piece of news, my curiosity piqued. Secretly, I made a decision that I wanted to be the one to discuss the news with him from my perspective. So, I decided to study in America to learn more about the world. But, my new room lacked stories and cups of tea.

Fortunately, I found Blue House Cafe on my walk home from church, and started studying there. With white walls, comfortable sofas, and high stools, Blue House is spacious and bright. Similarly, as president of the International Students Club, I invited my teammates to have meetings with me at the cafe.

Coordinating the schedule with other members in Blue House has become a frequent event. Consuming several cups of coffee, my team and I have planned Lunar New Year events, field trip to the Golden Gate Bridge, and Chinese lunch in school to help international students feel more at home. Straightening my back and bracing my shoulders, I stood up behind the conference table and expressed my creative ideas passionately.

After each meeting, we shared buttermilk coffee-cake. In my spot next to the window, I also witnessed different kinds of people. I viewed visitors dragging their luggage, women carrying shopping bags, and people wandering in tattered clothes --the diversity of San Francisco. Two years ago I saw volunteers wearing City Impact shirts offering sandwiches and hot chocolate to homeless people outside of the cafe.

I investigated more about City Impact and eventually signed up to volunteer. No longer was I a bystander. At holiday outreach events, I prepared and delivered food to homeless people. While sharing my coffee, I listened to a story from an older Chinese man who told me, in Mandarin, how he had been abandoned by his children and felt lonely. Last summer, I returned to Xiamen, China, and taught my father how to drink coffee.

Now, a Chemex and teapot are both on the end table. Instead of simply listening, I shared my experiences as a club president, a community leader, and a volunteer. I showed him my business plan and prototypes. I am so proud of you. Together, we emptied our cups while the smell of coffee lingered. I add the critically measured sugary tea mixture to the gallon jar containing the slimy, white, disc-shaped layers of the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

I place it on my kitchen counter, periodically checking it to relieve the built-up CO2. Finally, after an additional seventy-two hours, the time comes to try it. I crack the seal on the bottle, leaning over to smell what I assume will be a tangy, fruity, delicious pomegranate solution. The insufferable stench fills my nostrils and crushes my confidence. I'm momentarily taken aback, unable to understand how I went wrong when I followed the recipe perfectly.

My issue wasn't misreading the recipe or failing to follow a rule, it was bypassing my creative instincts and forgetting the unpredictable nature of fermentation. I needed to trust the creative side of kombucha— the side that takes people's perfectionist energy and explodes it into a puddle of rotten egg smelling 'booch my preferred name for the drink- not "fermented, effervescent liquid from a symbiotic culture of acetic acid bacteria and yeast".

I was too caught up in the side that requires extreme preciseness to notice when the balance between perfectionism and imperfectionism was being thrown off. The key, I have learned, is knowing when to prioritize following the recipe and when to let myself be creative.

Sure, there are scientific variables such as proximity to heat sources and how many grams of sugar to add. But, there's also person-dependent variables like how long I decide to ferment it, what fruits I decide will be a fun combination, and which friend I got my first SCOBY from taking "symbiotic" to a new level. I often find myself feeling pressured to choose one side or the other, one extreme over the alternative.

I've been told that I can either be a meticulous scientist or a messy artist, but to be both is an unacceptable contradiction. However, I choose a grey area; a place where I can channel my creativity into the sciences, as well as channel my precision into my photography. I still have the first photo I ever took on the first camera I ever had. Or rather, the first camera I ever made.

Making that pinhole camera was truly a painstaking process: take a cardboard box, tap it shut, and poke a hole in it. Okay, maybe it wasn't that hard. But learning the exact process of taking and developing a photo in its simplest form, the science of it, is what drove me to pursue photography. I remember being so unhappy with the photo I took; it was faded, underexposed, and imperfect.

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