University of California - San Diego

It's 2:00 AM on Christmas Day: My fourth grade self tumbled out of the warmth of my comforter, stumbling to the closet where I had hoarded gifts for the last seven months. Buried beneath faded bedsheets, I pulled them out: a jar of cookie butter,...

Villanova University

I flick the light switch, grab a key off the rack and walk over to open the falcon door of my electric masterpiece. The garage door opens and I roll out an eight hundred horsepower beast, capable of going from zero to sixty in two seconds flat....

American University

I have never loved math—in fact, it’s always been my least favorite subject. I spent years attempting to keep up with even basic math that most of the kids in my class found simple. Despite my struggles, I had no motivation to actually learn or...

New York University

I am sitting inside a carrot.

Burnt orange walls surround me. Rough brush strokes of this rusty shade streak the back of the door. Paint is hastily dripped in visible spots on the concrete floor. The room is about three feet by three feet and...

University of Texas - Austin

My childhood memories were mixed by hand. Hunched over Formica countertops my grandmother formed my earliest ephemera between her palms. Side by side we rolled the hours away perfecting the one dish that continues to define me even now. Roll,...

University of Virginia

As I reach into the back of my closet for my go-to tee and gently tug it off its hanger, its hem brushes against a yellow tote bag that hasn’t left its spot on the bottom shelf for months. Without opening or even peering down into it, I can...

University of Maine

We packed the U-haul truck and grabbed the last boxes. My step-father put the cardboard box labeled Kitchen Stuff in the back of the truck. My stomach felt uneasy. That was the last time I would stand in that backyard filled with uncut grass and...

University of Virginia

Every year as the air turns frigid and wreaths start to adorn front doors, you’re bound to hear cheery, classical music from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Not only is it an internationally popular ballet, but also a ballet representative of...

New York University

Fifteen minutes before the deadline, I hit “submit.” Only forty-eight hours earlier, my game wasn’t even a concept. The entire process was rushed, with compromises at every step to meet the impending deadline. I wasn’t satisfied with the end...

University of California - San Diego

“I’ve got a pass for Griffin Young. Principal’s office ASAP.”

I packed my stuff amid playful “oooh”’s and headed to the office, unsure of what to expect. I took a seat across from the principal. “Griffin, you changed addresses this year, right?” I...

University of California - San Diego

I wrote my first speech in elementary school. Awed by the power of the spoken word the fictional president Thomas Whitmore employed in the movie Independence Day, I pulled a Public Speaking for Dummies book off my parents’ shelf and penned what...

Pennsylvania State University

Akim, Jerusalem. That is where I was sent for the summer by my parents, after they heard that a school for the mentally disabled was in need of volunteers. I appreciated the idea of helping children in need, but was not thrilled about it being in...

SUNY Binghamton University

My confidence is always tested within the first few seconds of revealing that I'm a feminist. Misconceptions of feminism usually surface to repudiate the validity of my stance, and since feminism isn't a common attribute within my age group, I...

Brandeis University

The soft reminder of warm light, the neat rows of novels and biographies and volumes of poetry against mahogany shelves back to back in a literary continuum… I walk further into Barnes and Noble. Swim in circles around the small brown tables in...

McGill University

I waited patiently by the bench in what all Jomo Kenyatta University chemistry majors call the "Super Lab," staring for what seemed to be hours at a small flask bubbling with something that looked like a cross between Pepto-Bismol and whipped...

Grinnell College

In September 2015, I found myself in what was, for me, an unprecedented situation: the boys in my Computer Science class outnumbered the girls. The difference was not a significant one – six boys to four girls – but consider this. Of the 180...

Emerson College

When I first got into film, I was bombarded with the classics, the “must-sees”, the cult films. I remember watching a Clockwork Orange for the first time and wondering how was it possible that I had missed this type of film for so long. The same...

Princeton University

Scrolling through the lines of G-code iterations, I rubbed my eyes as my cursor hovered over the “Run” button onthe monitor. The image of the Arc de Triomphe taunted me. My finger rested on the mouse in anticipation, but thehigh stakes furthered...

University of California - San Diego

The physician didn't have to say a word for me to understand that foreboding news was to come. I had seen that expression before: unseeing eyes, unmoving lips.

“Your uncle has been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.”

Images of patients...

Colorado State University

If I were a time traveler, I would go to what is now the southwestern area of the United States during the 1100’s. I would go there because I have always been fascinated with Native Americans. I am particularly interested in the Anasazi, “Ancient...

Stanford University

As I sat there, a wave of apprehension rolled over me. I don't have to do this. Nobody is forcing me to. In fact, there would be a score of people happy to see me give up. I drew a heavy sigh as I crumpled the paper in front of me and tossed it,...

University of California - San Diego

I rushed home, moving as fast as my gangly 12-year-old legs could take me. After an obligatory “Hi Mom!”, I set about gathering materials to fuel my latest experiment: loose sheets of paper and paper clips. Today, my music teacher had presented...

Barnard College

The thick aroma of yellowed pages wafting in and out the small library room, I sit on the small stool, knees hunched together nervously, my back bent over in a style that would render Rodin pleased. In the first glimpse of the tip of the large...