University of Vermont

I have experienced two nights that I would consider the best of my life. One, which I like to call Green Light Night, involved a rained out marching band competition, belting “The Ants Go Marching” while dancing through the pouring rain, listening...

Emerson College

Christopher Robin is the best movie in the world. Despite the poor acting and the animation that made the animals look sad and dreary, a movie is impressive if it can make the viewer feel an emotion, and Christopher Robin exceeds in that realm....

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

It is no secret that northern New Jersey is home to one of the most vibrant Italian-American communities in the country. Although The Sopranos might have taken their portrayal of us a bit too far, it is definitely true that our culture is defined...

Brown University

As a 3-year old boy, I recall with clarity my fear of joining other children lined up at the edge of the pool. I remember looking down at a painted black line at the bottom of the pool as if it were challenging me to jump in. I stood alone arms...

Bowdoin College

I've gone 21 days without showering, swum across frigid lakes, climbed over mountains, and eaten the seemingly inedible. I believe any task can be accomplished with the right attitude, no challenge is too great, and no peak too perilous. I apply...

Bowdoin College

It's 2:45 on a Friday afternoon. I’m sitting in my Honors Humanities class, discussing the “Weltanschauung” of the Ancient Greeks. In a few weeks we’ll have moved on to exegesis analysis of the story of Job. When the bell rings, signaling the...

Tulane University

Long blonde hair, deep blue eyes, tall, tan, beautiful; I sit at cheer practice with my best friend Avery. Everything about her is amazing: her hair, her smile, her laugh. We were best friends, and we were inseparable. She was how I knew. I didn’t...

University of California - Davis

"That's art?" my seating neighbor exclaimed in the crisp air of our busy art classroom.

I had to admit, staring at Russian modernist Kazimir Malevich's Black Square painting, I didn't particularly see the esthetic appeal or even the intellectual...

Baylor University

I had only taken a couple of steps when I heard the barking and growling and could see two, massive dogs sprinting towards me. I am a survivor, so I ran as fast as my little legs could go. The seven meters of cement ahead of me, stretched and...

University of California - Davis

At my first karate class, unimaginably intimated, I picked up my big black burly uniform and my inflexible white belt and attempted unsuccessfully to put it on myself. An older girl graciously helped me. I stood in the very back of the class, and...

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

A loud boom echoes throughout the auditorium as a steel bullet pierces my heart. I fall to my knees, blood rushing from the open wound. The world fades out around me as I see the life drain from my best friend’s eyes beside me. The lights dim as...

Columbia University

The first thing I noticed about Columbia University was the cherry blossoms, strewn across the ground, plucked from their branches by a rainstorm that left the streets of New York damp and glistening. In Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize ephemera—...

Hamilton College

I confess, at the age of eight, I did not know how to spell my name. I confess, at the age of twelve, I did not know how to comb my hair. I confess, at the age of sixteen, I was not ready to lead three hundred people.

A couple of weeks ago, on a...

Columbia University

There’s a wall near my grandparents’ home in Kolkata that’s stood for decades. Spray-painted on it, in carmine-colored dye, is an enormous hammer and sickle, a reminder of the Communist Party’s stranglehold over the area’s regional politics for...

Georgetown University

Trenton isn’t really one city—it’s two. The first Trenton runs between North Broad Street and West Hanover Street, and there’s a government building on every block: gleaming façades, Grecian columns, security checkpoints every few feet. The second...

Columbia University

I have to speak up and say something. No, I don’t.

These were the thoughts that battled in my mind as I sat still in my chair. The spacious classroom seemed suddenly like a restrictive cage. For two days in homeroom, the entire school was...

Pepperdine University

When I was about the age of six, my parents introduced me to the technological toy-marvel of the 90s, the original Nintendo Gameboy, which I came to both cherish and dissect. I would move on to owning my first computer at around age 8, an HP...

Texas A&M

Opening the door to the Cat Assessment room was like entering a world with a myriad of lessons, some delightful and others difficult. This program, Kitten Garten, was brought to my attention by volunteer services at Pasadena Humane Society &...

Brown University

In the corner of my room sits my grandfather’s diary: soft, well-worn, and cracked. The first entry, written in English, is dated “June 1st, 1970,” in the halting, elaborate script of a man accustomed to Bengali. The last entry, dated “November...

Georgetown University

Unlike most people I know, I’ve never been disappointed by a meal at a restaurant. It’s hard to believe, but if there’s anything I’ve got a knack for, it’s picking food off of a menu. Here, for the first time ever, I intend to share my most...

Washington and Lee University

Around the age of four, my mother became my first teacher. In the summer, she would spend her days exposing my brother and me to various topics we seemed interested in, covering subjects ranging from ancient Egyptian history to cooking. Each...

Appalachian State University

Surrounded by 800 other kids chanting, “Let us in! Let us in!”, we wait outside the chapel as the sun goes down the mountain. When the doors are open, we all rush into the sanctuary to find the work crew member waving a poster with our church’s...

Polytechnic Institute of NYU

Right now mothers across India are leafing frantically through the US News Rankings, trying to advise their children on where to enroll. Mine chooses to place her faith in a more traditional approach- the family tarot card reader!

I was resistant...