College Application Essays accepted by Northwestern University

Northwestern 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 persuasion,...

Northwestern University

I laugh when people say that they wonder about the meaning of life. I ask them, what will you do with it once you find it? I then tell them, find a purpose behind your own life before seeking to explain all human existence.

My friend was astonished...

Northwestern University

He wore a black collared shirt with the logo of American royalty, a purple horse, embroidered over the left breast. His hair was glossed and spiked with an expensive gel that smelled like an overripe kiwi. My attention, however, was focused on...

Northwestern University

At Brown, the Carrie Tower chimes, class beckons, and I walk in barefoot.

Barefoot like my abuela, who at the age of seventeen chased down the thief who snatched her purse. Armed with only indignation and pride, her feet pounded the soft earth of...

Northwestern University

“The world is flat.” When I was little, I never believed this line. I would always show off in class, proudly proclaiming: “The earth is a sphere!” But now, I see the line again, on the title of a book by Thomas Friedman—and, this time, I have no...

Northwestern University

Describe an aspect of your childhood/upbringing that shaped the person you are today.

In a navy blue Volvo station wagon my entire childhood evolved. Inside, memories rested alongside the hardened French fries and squashed fruit snacks that lined...

Northwestern University

The two party system of American politics is obsolete. Politicians need to recognize the futility of polarization and instead realize that it is moderation and increased openmindedness that better serves the interests of the public. Instead of...

Northwestern University

This summer, while attending a camp designed for the best high school policy debate students in the country, I noticed that only one-fourth of the participants in this camp were female. In the three and a half years I have committed to policy...

Northwestern University

I stood on my tiptoes, clapping furiously, my mouth open in a joyous scream. The White Sox, my favorite baseball team, had won a critical game while I was in the audience. As the furor of victorious shouts died down, I noticed my friends’ faces;...

Northwestern University

Like every other year, a spectrum of color surrounds me on the first day of 2009. My January 1st mornings have always been shared with Grandma, a 91-year-old woman who still manages to scurry through the kitchen preparing the brunch that stares at...

Northwestern University

Waving our banner wildly, we counted down the seconds, not at the homecoming game, but rather the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff. With only six weeks to build, wire, and program a 120-pound machine, my team jumped headfirst into...

Northwestern University

I am a traveler, continually guided and inspired by the Homeric hero Odysseus while leading a life marked by departures and subsequent beginnings. The first journey began on November 9th, 2000, when my family and I left China in pursuit of...

Northwestern University

Stellar academics. A gorgeous campus. Endless opportunities. Northwestern University is the epitome of these three qualities. I do not know whether it was the top-ranked academics or the luscious campus which attracted me to this university;...

Northwestern University

“No student ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him: it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required, that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.” –Charles Kendall Adams

I will not...

Northwestern University

Most people are surprised to find out that I am dyslexic. Of course, most people don’t know. It’s not that I am ashamed of it, just that I don’t like to tell people about my problems. It is hard to hide, however, when a teacher asks me to read...

Northwestern University

My grandfather’s hands hardly appeared photogenic. They were red, cracked, and rough, and they often bore cuts and scratches from whatever mechanical object he had last worked on. I knew those hands from an early age. They used to slap my back as...

Northwestern University

I could feel the tears coming. My brother’s words pierced me like bullets, one by one, slowly overpowering my determination. I turned to face him and cleared my mind. After receiving the ball, I noticed him hesitate slightly and on instinct I...

Northwestern University

I have not always been a talkative person. Though the idea of a quiet John Cowgill is quite amusing to the teachers, friends, and family who know me best, I was indeed at one point in my life an introverted individual. In fact, I once went two...

Northwestern University

One of my greatest joys in the world is the feeling of ice crunching under my skates. I love playing ice hockey. It has been a major part of my life since I was seven years old. I started out figure skating, then one day I noticed the kids my age...

Northwestern University

My childhood dreams were built beside a bookshelf. Sitting cross-legged on the library floor immersed in science fiction, I dreamt of time-traveling tesseracts, of machines intelligent enough to raise families, of lunar colonies equipped with...

Northwestern University

I wish I could do it all but I’m no superwoman; I’m just an ordinary girl with 24 hours a day. Deciding to write and direct for DramaFest, an intra-school Drama competition, meant sacrificing other clashing commitments including leading in...

Northwestern University

It happened out of sheer stubbornness. Seemingly overnight, I went from being a cross country runner to the girl on crutches. I thought it was just a cramp. All runners have them from time to time, no big deal, right? I stopped running, stretched...

Northwestern University

“If I were you, I’d take the white ones. They’d look nice with your purple trucks.”

Chris, the sales assistant at the skate shop, was helping me choose some wheels for my new skateboard. As he set to work assembling it, I plopped down next to my...