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Far from seeming unfinished or unedited, the somewhat stream-of-consciousness style establishes a humorous and self-deprecating tone that makes the reader instantly like the applicant.More than anything else, it is this writing style that elevates what could have been a fairly superficial statement of personal growth into a truly informative story that showcases the author’s personality.His words somehow become my words, his memories become my memories.
Like a captain frantically seeking port in a storm, I haul myself through the turbulent ocean of people, trying to avoid being stranded – or trampled – in the dustiest city in the world: Beijing, capital of both China and smog. It is the summer of 2012, and Shanghai isn’t to be home for much longer. Unsettled, I turn to my ever-present book for comfort.– and showed the reader a lot about who he is as a person.Through this skillfully crafted essay, we learn that the student has led a very international life, the student has a way with words, the student loves literature, the student is bilingual, and the student is excited by change.In our College Essay Clichés to Avoid post, we advised students against writing about moving to America from a foreign country.Too often, such essays are formulaic and uninspiring – after all, while it’s certainly a challenge to learn a new language and culture, millions of people do it every day, so it simply isn’t something that sets a student apart.In my hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, where normality was…well, the norm, I tried to be a typical student – absolutely, perfectly normal. Our peers recognized them as being unique, but instead of ostracizing them or pitying them, the students in Berkeley celebrated them.In Berkeley, I learned the value of originality: Those who celebrate their individuality are not only unique but strong.Writing the college application essay is a daunting task.One great way to get started is to read examples of successful essays.If this sounds like you, then please share your story. You can’t be the best, or the prettiest, so you have to be “original.” I’ve won the “Most Original” award a fair number of times.I won “Most Original” pumpkin at a Halloween party years ago. I was even named “Most Original” at a basketball awards banquet. How can anybody be “Most Original” when she’s playing basketball?