Word Counts and Me

We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors caused you to grow?

My fingers peck across the keyboard in swift and decisive strokes as they complete the final sentence to my paper. When my hands resign from my desk, I scan their impeccably crafted prose. I wince as the moment of truth approaches. In a bout of cautious optimism, I push the dreaded keys: Control-Shift-C. Alas, the ill-fated battle ensues.

One thousand, four hundred and seventy two words. I remember my English teacher’s maxim, “Brevity is next to godliness”. I think back to the greats: George Orwell and his long-winded essay about writing concisely. It seems my dependence on detail clashes with my teachers' time constraints. Once again, I face the arduous struggle between elaboration and succinctness; the latter claims inevitable victory.

As a child, my thoroughness was something of a personal brand. During the excruciating car seat-bound road trips I endured with my parents sitting in the front seats, my only soothing came from firing questions in rapid succession from the back. I asked them how big the sun was and why leaves were green, and I demanded to know where babies really came from. Displeased with my parents’ insufficient responses, I quickly began searching for a more seasoned source of knowledge. Space camp was...

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