As you are all preparing for your college application nowadays, it is a great time to share the essay that got a high-school senior into 5 major Ivy League colleges including Stanford. It is worth mentioning here that Stanford is among the most selective institutes in the world with an acceptance rate of only 4.69%. Notable alumni from Stanford include Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Evan Spiegel, John F. Kennedy among others.
So how did a high-school senior manage to get into such competitive schools? Well, the USP (unique selling point) in her application was her essay. Most US schools give special importance to the essay in the application because it shows who the applicant really is. According to the admission committees of some of the major schools in US, an essay can account for up to 30% of the total weight of the application. So reading the essay below will not only help you understand how Brittany Stinson managed convince admission committees of Ivy Leagues, but it will also give you some clues as to how you should write your own essays.
So here’s the essay of Brittany Stinson which she graciously agreed to share with us:
Managing to break free from my motherís grasp, I charged. With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious two≠ year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning. My motherís eyes widened in horror as I jettisoned my churro; the cinnamon≠sugar rocket gracefully sliced its way through the air while I continued my spree. I sprinted through the aisles, looking up in awe at the massive bulk products that towered over me. Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrial≠sized freezers, to explore every crevice. I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples. Before inevitably being whisked away into a shopping cart, I scaled a mountain of plush toys and surveyed the expanse that lay before me: the kingdom of Costco.
Notorious for its oversized portions and dollar≠fifty hot dog combo, Costco is the apex of consumerism. From the days spent being toted around in a shopping cart to when I was finally tall enough to reach lofty sample trays, Costco has endured a steady presence throughout my life. As a veteran Costco shopper, I navigate the aisles of foodstuffs, thrusting the majority of my weight upon a generously filled shopping cart whose enormity juxtaposes my small frame. Over time, Iíve developed a habit of observing fellow patrons tote their carts piled with frozen burritos, cheese puffs, tubs of ice cream, and weight≠loss supplements. Perusing the aisles gave me time to ponder. Who needs three pounds of sour cream? Was cultured yogurt any more well≠mannered than its uncultured counterpart? Costco gave birth to my unfettered curiosity.
While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the ëall beefí goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty≠three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia’s workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52î plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jacksonís controversiality. There was no questioning Old Hickoryís dedication; he was steadfast in his beliefs and pursuits ñ qualities I am compelled to admire, yet his morals were crooked. We both found the ham to be more likeableñand tender.
I adopted my exploratory skills, fine tuned by Costco, towards my intellectual endeavors. Just as I sampled buffalo≠chicken dip or chocolate truffles, I probed the realms of history, dance and biology, all in pursuit of the ideal cartñone overflowing with theoretical situations and notions both silly and serious. I sampled calculus, cross≠country running, scientific research, all of which are now household favorites. With cart in hand, I do what scares me; I absorb the warehouse that is the world. Whether it be through attempting aerial yoga, learning how to chart blackbody radiation using astronomical software, or dancing in front of hundreds of people, I am compelled to try any activity that interests me in the slightest.
My intense desire to know, to explore beyond the bounds of rational thought; this is what defines me. Costco fuels my insatiability and cultivates curiosity within me at a cellular level. Encoded to immerse myself in the unknown, I find it difficult to complacently accept the ìwhatî; I want to hunt for the ìwhysî and dissect the ìhowsî. In essence, I subsist on discovery.