Common Application Essay
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
Please write an essay (250-650 words) on the topic selected. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source.
During my sophomore and junior years of high school, I took all four levels of the Latin language and Ancient Roman culture class that were offered. I learned more about my own native language of English by taking this class, and I also developed a close mentor-mentee relationship with my teacher. I looked forward to watching other students after me enjoy the class just as much as I did. As fate would have it, things did not go as planned.
Last May, our school system was found to have some serious financial deficits. It could notcontinue operating the way it had been since I was in first grade without going bankrupt. The entire county was outraged by some big changes, including the closure of an elementary school and complicated rezoning. However, the topic that bothered me was the fact that the school board wanted to cut the Latin program. The class that I always looked forward to and encouraged underclassmen to sign up for was being discontinued, with my teacher becoming unemployed.
A few days after I heard the news, I began preparing a speech that would be read at the next board meeting during public participation time. Unfortunately, time ran out at the meeting, and my speaking slot was taken off of the agenda. I didn’t lose heart. Instead, I began contacting school board members directly and asking for time at the next meeting. I wrote up a cover letter and began getting signatures from students, parents, and taxpayers around town to form an unofficial petition to keep the Latin program.
By the time the next meeting came, my speech had been perfected, and I gave it to a full auditorium of concerned citizens. Although I tried my absolute hardest, nothing became of all of my efforts. The Latin program was removed from Stephens County High School indefinitely, leaving students with Spanish as their only option for a foreign language credit.
Despite what seems like a failure, I would go through all of it again. This experience taught me that I can stand up for what I believe in and rally almost an entire county to support me. Perhaps one day when a similar situation arises, I can be successful in leading a campaign to change the minds of high-ranking officials.
Why does Yale appeal to you? (100 words or less)
One of the main factors that makes Yale my first choice is the way that the residential colleges become such an integral part of campus life. I love the idea of entering my freshman year not knowing anyone and graduating with people whom I have lived and leaned with for four years. I also know that Yale employs and teaches the kind of people that I want to associate with: motivated, progressive thinkers that are eternally devoted to the pursuit of knowledge.
Words entered: 82
Please respond in just a few words (no more than 50 characters) to each of the questions below:
The two qualities I most admire in other people are: ambition and ability to support others.
I am most proud of: my academic and extracurricular record.
I couldn’t live without: the Internet.
Who or what inspires you? People who have the life I want, by making me work harder.
What do you wish you were better at being or doing? I wish I could stop being so quick to judge people.
Most Yale freshmen live in suites of four to six students. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite? A sense of urgency, dry humor, brutal honesty
Please reflect on something you would like us to know about you that we might not learn from the rest of your application, or on something about which you would like to say more. You may write about anything—from personal experiences or goals to interests or intellectual pursuits. (Please answer in 500 words or fewer). We encourage you to visit http://admissions.yale.edu/essay, where you will find helpful advice.
I came to be during the tail end of the second millennium. During the first few months of my existence, I crawled and ate and talked and did all of the normal baby things. It didn’t stay that way for long. To put my accelerated maturity into perspective, a stranger in a grocery store line once asked my mother if I had dwarfism because I was carrying on full-sentence conversations by the time I was two years old. I can’t explain why this happened, but I’m glad that it did. Comprehending complex phrases and concepts earlier than the average child enabled me to begin my quest for knowledge at a young age.
When elementary school rolled around, it was just a new adventure for me. Admittedly, it took some getting used to having to wait for the teachers to get used to me. My sheltered mind expected everyone there to shower me with praise and bend to my every whim. That didn’t happen…right away. Not everyone at my new school knew what I was capable of yet. I had to prove myself, and did I ever! Some of my classmates were still shaky on the order of the alphabet, and here I was reading fluently, four grade levels above me. Spelling out words with refrigerator magnets on my great-grandmother’s couch really paid off.
After first grade, my parents divorced, and it was ugly, to say the least. They just couldn’t live with each other anymore. It became unbearable for them to be in the same room. My mom and I moved in with my grandparents, and I spent my evenings that summer eating ice cream and watching Tom & Jerry with my papa while my mom went for a walk with my nana. After we got our own apartment and computer, I took to the Internet to learn more about the world. I would sit in front of the screen for hours on end reading random facts about random topics that I decided I wanted to drink in knowledge about. My mom always encouraged me to expand my horizons and try to new things to see what I was interested in, and that led me to enjoying learning about life and the natural processes of the world, which I am passionate about to this day.
Now that I am in high school, I’ve tried to take the most challenging courses possible because I know that they will prepare me for a rigorous college course load, which I hope to have very soon. My medical dreams have only gotten stronger and more specific through the passing years. Being a drum major for the marching band and an officer in multiple clubs has shown me how to be a leader, which is what I dream of being. I don’t want to stop the endless string of accomplishments after I graduate. I only hope for them to become greater.
Standardized Test Scores:
- ACT Composite: 34
- SAT Composite: 2090
- SAT Subject Tests:
- World History: 800
- U.S. History: 800
- English: 790
AP Test Scores:
- Chemistry: 2
- Biology: 4
- Psychology: 4
School Record and Class Ranking:
- Cumulative Rank: Not provided/unranked
- Cumulative GPA: 4.0
- Honors Literature Award, 9th
- Civics Award; 9th
- Academic Letter Award; 10th-12th
- Graduation Honor Marshal, 11th
- Georgia Certificate of Merit, 11th
- STAR Student, 12th
- Top Five Percent, 12th
Extracurriculars and Volunteering:
- Volunteering cleaning up football stadium
- Read to kids at elementary schools and dressed in character costumes
- Volunteered at soup kitchen
- Coordinated two benefit 5ks/canned food drives
- Marching Band (Drum Major, 12th)
- Toccoa-Stephens County Youth Leadership
- Interact Club (Secretary, 12th)
- Key Club (Secretary, 12th)
- Beta Club
- National Honor Society