College Application Essays accepted by Harvard University

Harvard University

"I was born on the banks of the Amazon River. Well, Brazilian birthplaces are limited to that, a soccer field, or a Carnival celebration, you know? What was my mom doing nine months pregnant on the banks of the Amazon? Well, she was seven...

Harvard University

Why do most diets fail? As a veteran dieter with nearly eight years' experience, I have acquired enough knowledge to answer this question. Those who readily jump into new diets are looking to realize possible goals through impossible...

Harvard University

"Kai houtos manthano."* To most, they are meaningless words, incomprehensible and bizarre. But to me, their meaning is legion: secrecy, silence, concealment. They are Greek, and they mean subversive. I am a subversive, of the Greek...

Harvard University

If one were to ask me to relate a story of what had most troubled me throughout my high school experience, I would likely tell of my trials and tribulations as an ambitious writer in the hands of my English teachers. I, like sculptor's clay,...

Harvard University

"The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance they find their own order - the continuous thread of revelation." Eudora Welty

What happened to our family was a bringing together, a meshing, a melting of...

Harvard University

This past summer, like many previous summers, I spent in Russia, or what my friends jokingly refer to as "the motherland." To the surprise of the most sheltered of my acquaintances, I returned neither Communist nor raped, but enriched...

Harvard University

When I was a little kid I used to carry around notebooks which I filled with hundreds of stories ranging in length from a single, whimsical sentence to pages and pages of fantasy. Every hour of the day, there were countless images and ideas...

Harvard University

"For God's sake, please stop the aid!" This prominently placed quote in a magazine I was reading immediately caught my attention. It reminded me of an article written by Milton Friedman on the null or negative impact of foreign aid....

Harvard University

"Cassius Clay," my father declared, "KO'ed Moore in four. I was there. Ringside." Annoyed at hearing the thousandth incarnation of this story, I rolled my eyes. My father loved telling stories. If you let him, he would...

Harvard University

I sometimes wonder whether I've ever made any personal decisions. I think my parents have shaped my life to their liking: I attended Exeter in the footsteps of my father, and now I find myself in Rennes, where he studied thirty years ago. I...

Harvard University

Approximately sixty years ago, during World War II, Japan invaded and occupied parts of China, committing many atrocities. I learned something of these events in middle school, but didn't give them special thought at the time; WWII seemed...

Harvard University

The day was bitterly cold for April in Athens, Georgia. I stopped watching the music on-stage to count the number of people on the field. A sizeable crowd had turned up to the first annual Battle Against Poverty Concert, which I had spent months...

Harvard University

Nevin peeled off a sticker from his binder and posted it to my forehead. "MADE IN CHINA," it said. I faked a nonchalant laugh, but my blushing face betrayed my feeling of defeat. All that I had strived for seemed to have been futile....

Harvard University

There are no real hills in Davis, aside for a few overpasses, and so it's easy to forget the dangers of heights and slopes. One sunny afternoon, in pursuit of some thrills, I managed to find a "hill" to ride down on my longboard. The...

Harvard University

In Norton Juster's novel, The Phantom Tollbooth, the protagonist, Milo, undertakes a journey much like the one many high school seniors find themselves facing today. He isn't sure of where he is going, and like many of us, he is carried by...

Harvard University

My old poncho is an absurdly bright shade of blue. It has the uncanny ability to turn anyone who wears it into a baggy, rather ridiculous-looking blob. This poncho holds a special place in my heart.

When my mom first gave it to me as I was...

Harvard University

I love crap. I love bad novels and cheap clothes. I love dirty shoelaces and melted candles, junk earrings and instant coffee. It's about finding the beauty in everything. I find it in palms and tea leaves. I sense Pablo Neruda's sonnets...

Harvard University

Last summer when I was sulking in the banal tedium of the suburbs, I challenged my friends to visiting the ten top-ranked coffee houses in Denver. With my proximity to the city, I take every chance I can to experience the movement on the streets...

Harvard University

After five or six efforts at creating a framework and collection of words that can piece together what is me, I have found that no single experience or sole person can represent all that I am. I can only describe the variety of particulars that...

Harvard University

Leaping over crooked crevices in the sidewalk, my childhood self hopped a few yards ahead of my grandfather. As I paused to scrutinize a colorful candy wrapper, the smell of melting sugar drifted from a small blue cart where an old woman flipped...

Harvard University

I like to play with guns and knives.

It’s not what you think: I’m in color guard. Although events like the Virginia Tech incident have worsened the reputation of weaponry, color guard attempts to transform the traditional connotations of...

Harvard University

“Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes.”

~ Carl Sandburg

It is impossible to convey the art of words with more words. Case in point: try to find another word for “salty.” It isn’t bitter; it isn’t sour; it’s salty. Likewise, the terms “...