Colgate University

My favorite place in the world is behind the lens of a camera. When I was fourteen, I saved every penny I made babysitting and washing dishes for a Canon t2i, and the satisfaction that came with the overpowering smell of lens cleaner and the...

New York University

Having explored the myths from ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, my curiosity was piqued in eighth grade by a simple legend from Japanese lore. If you fold one thousand paper cranes, the gods will grant you one wish. I took it as a challenge. My...

Cornell University

Four years of Latin have taught me several truths: the great Julius Caesar’s writings are unexpectedly boring; almost all novels derive from The Aeneid; and most people see no value in a ‘dead’ language. Despite these apparent drawbacks, Latin has...

University of Virginia

When I think of food, the first thing I think of is happiness: memories of my family and friends eating, chatting, and laughing together flash through my head. In particular, I am drawn back to a birthday dinner for my dad. I can almost taste all...

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Bok Choy and mushrooms. Pig tongue and beef liver. Dishes like these grace our dinner table every day. These unusual, even exotic animal parts and vegetables may turn away the average diner, but my family welcomes this cuisine with gleaming eyes.

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James Madison University

It is 7:00 on Saturday morning and I walk into the Chick-fil-a kitchen. Attempting to prepare my mind for work, I enter my daydream of war to get through the upcoming seemingly endless morning. My ingredients suddenly turn into weapons and armor;...

Dartmouth College

I looked down at the robot before me. I had spent weeks and weeks programming and building it, putting in countless hours of concentration. Then I looked up at my robotics teacher, excitedly, as he tested it himself — and it worked perfectly. The...

University of Virginia

A novel with a body eating itself from the inside is sure to generate some deep thinking, especially when, while fictional, it presents real scientific possibilities. The Cobra Event, a bone-chilling novel by Richard Preston, does just that. A...

University of Southern California

Paper plates. It was always the favorite medium for my five friends every Saturday morning. Through connections with a certified neurologist, Kyung Il Park, I helped to develop an art therapy program for children and adults with special needs....

University of Southern California

I am always interested in making something radically new out of an ordinary idea. As I explored different styles and media at the Orange County School of the Arts, I became an artistic nomad, seeking for something new each and every step in my...

University of Wisconsin - Madison

In my life I find myself practicing a certain sort of attitude that is subtle but impactful in its own way. While I do tend to look at life with positivity and a sense of adventure, I would be lying if I said I was always chipper---or even always...

University of Chicago

I speak Czech with an accent. Even as a young child, I noticed a distinct difference between my choppy pronunciation and the smooth, oblong consonants of native-born speakers. While the speech of my extended family is peppered with idioms, slang,...

University of Chicago

After seven straight hours of headache-inducing, nail-biting delay, Flight 2237’s touchdown into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was met with an exhausted yet raucous cheer from every passenger on board. As we disembarked, my...

Southern Methodist University

An enchanted ticket, speckled with the paints of artists past and present, allows me to enter any museum at any time to study, engage, and feel the mastery of the artists' paint brushes in an effort to expand the use of my own. I set my plan of...

Colorado College

After months of planning and excitement we said our goodbyes, packed our packs, loaded our canoes, and took the first paddle strokes in remote northern Saskatchewan. We spent the next 30 days paddling over 375 miles through untouched Canadian...

University of Wisconsin - Madison

The first time I truly appreciated the sunset was when I was 11 years old. My family decided to take a day trip to Devil’s Lake State Park where we spent the day swimming, hiking and lazing in the sun. Towards the end of the day my mom and I snuck...

University of South Carolina

I nervously sat down to the computer and started typing. Creating an Evite wouldn’t seem like a big deal to most people, but it was to me. Always having been too shy to reach out to my teammates from soccer, I had never been included in their...

Southern Methodist University

Music can be best described as a skeleton key, opening the locks in your mind. Whether it's changing a mood, de-stressing, or adding excitement, music transcends generations and cultures. Throughout my existence, music has been a constant reminder...

University of California - San Diego

At 16, I was on a train to San Diego and deep in my biology notes when alarms began to sound and we were evacuated. Armed police urged us to run; as a fellow passenger told me, there was a gunman on the train who was threatening to shoot. Within...

Lewis and Clark College

I believe in hiking boots. Stiff, clunky and unapologetically dorky, preferably made of waterproof leather. Neat rows of hiking boots line the back wall of REI. An employee who calls himself a “shoe expert” lists the pros and cons of each pair. “I...