Let Your Life Speak
Looking for examples of past college essays that worked? These are some admissions essays that our officers through were most successful from last year.
Evana Wilson, '19
After a long day of school, a strenuous practice, and a long ride home on SEPTA, I walk into a noisy house. Balls flying, TV loud, dogs barking, food cooking. A two-bedroom house with seven occupants. My mother in the kitchen cooking; the dining room table cluttered with paper. The living room is filled with animals and a few humans. I go upstairs and the bathroom is occupied while the children play in the bedroom I am designated to sleep in. My younger brother runs in and out of my mom's room sneakily playing the Playstation, although no one is patrolling. Where in this two story house can I do my homework? The basement? I like to have spider web-free hair. The bathroom? Occupied. My bedroom? Occupied. My mom's room? Inconsistently occupied. The closet? The closet!
On roughly a 6-foot by 4-foot shelf I sit with my books and papers spread out in front of me. Garments hanging from above and footwear resting below. Trying to ignore the clamor around me, I indulge in my homework. The most peaceful place in the house, although it is quite uncomfortable. No one notices I'm gone so they don't bother to look for me-except for the cat. I successfully avoid all humans, but when the cat prances in and finds me he stops at the doorway and stares. I stole his hiding place.
Looking for more insider tips on the admissions process? We can help! The admissions officers blog about every aspect of applying to college here!
Ray Parker '19
All my life I have been surrounded by science, filled with science, covered in science. I grew up with an electron microscope in the house, a holography lab and darkroom in the basement, and a cleanroom next door. While my friends were playing in sandboxes I was playing with dry ice in the sink. It is not impossible that I may have been influenced by this. I grew up with an interesting mix of science and art, which comes from my parents. My mother is a photographer and holographer, as well as an optical engineer; my father is an entrepreneur and the creator of the plasma ball light sculpture. They embrace both science and art and have taught me to embrace both as well. When I was young my mother taught me how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and at about the same time my father introduced me to BASIC programming. This laid the seeds for nearly everything that has come after. I kept much of my childlike creativity, and infused it with technology. Nearly all of my school projects have had an extra element that made them much more interesting; a book project on Cities in Flight was a magnetically levitating model of a city, a tectonic map project became a Blender animation, an English class final project was a trio of holograms.
My family has taught me to do interesting things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, and fun.
James Quinn '19
Competition was a constant with my older brother, Thomas. We battled like gladiators over everything from the number of spicy wings eaten in one minute to the best pumpkin carver, but the competition was never as fierce as our driveway basketball games. Countless hours of our childhood were spent playing on the hoop (and its broken predecessors) that stands between the garage doors. Summer days were spent sweating off bug spray onto the blacktop, and winter mornings were spent shoveling and salting the ice of the “court.” A call from the house demanding showers before dinner was always met with a barrage of pleas for one more game. Being two years older, a couple of inches taller, and much more skilled, Thomas was almost always victorious over me, but when we weren't playing a game, I was out in the driveway working on my jump shot from behind our imaginary three point line or trying to perfect my post moves. Over time, the loss margin shrunk, and my marks in the win column slowly increased. Although my official basketball career ended after eighth grade, those days spent in the driveway taught me the value of hard work but more importantly healthy competition. Most games were spent giving each other pointers and constructive criticism. These are the lessons I use when I'm demonstrating the solution to a math problem while studying with friends or teaching a freshman how to kick step for a pass block during football practice.
Want to hear more from current students? Jumbo Talk has blogs from current students talking about every aspect of life at Tufts here!
Alice Tattevin '19
I definitely was not raised the same way as my fellow Parisian schoolmates. Instead of carefully scheduled weekends in the city parks, museums and piano lessons, I have spent mine covered head to toe in dirt and animal grime.
For the last fifteen years, weekends have been filled with innumerable “Projects” and happy chaos. The Projects involved devising, undoing, abandoning, starting over, and ultimately completing the always sweaty, do-it yourself activities at the farm in order to deal with the ever growing population of animals and the ancient outbuildings that housed them.
The chaos was often the result of my family's motto: “How hard can it be?” which on more than one occasion led to devising an urgent plan to get the pig out of the living room before my father walked in, or finding the ponies who escaped before the village police yet again rounded them up with their patrol cars. Other times, learning how to barricade myself in seconds against charging turkeys or steadying a suddenly unruly colt filled my weekends with the joy and laughter of dealing with the unexpected.
My Chemistry teacher once called me an “odd mixture of compounds.” How could I be anything else?
Jesus Hernandez '19
Santa Ana, CA
My philosophy is that life is meant to be explored. We are free to make mistakes and make many in order to learn from them and become someone better. Still, having spent my seventeen years of living in a heavily oriented Latino community and having never really traveled far, it has been a bit difficult to follow my ideals. But with the chance of going off to college, I see an opportunity to follow my beliefs and live my life, making one mistake after another.
The Latino culture is big on family, and I am no exception of it. As a first generation student, your family is either in Mexico or no farther than fifteen minutes away by car. And while my culture tends to follow the traditional gender roles, with my upbringing of the strong women in my family I have decided to pursue my curiosity in this. Women's studies.
With my endeavor to follow my philosophy I go against what is my culture. Exploring means leaving home, being on one's own. While I have always made mistakes, it is when you are on your own that you truly value every decision and just possibly learn more from the consequences. Although it can be difficult to travel, difficult to be on your own, it is what makes you independent. And I want to be free.
Angel Xiong '19
Dongguan City, China
Standing in a crowded Chinese Christian Church, I started to panic. It was the first time I visited a church. The congregation confessed with eyes closed; the choir sang chants that sound like a spell; the priest poured water to baptize a person. I come from China, and was brought up as an atheist, allied to no religions. In my community, while most old people claim to be Buddhists, young people are educated to have faith in science. Now you know why I felt uncertain in a church. However, my developing understanding of religions challenges what my community has taught me, and this discrepancy compels me to learn about religion instead of absorbing other people's opinions. I found that a religious faith can lead its believers to a more optimistic life. It is beneficial to society, acting as a bond, connecting people to do mercy, kindness, and love.
Gradually, I came to know that right and wrong is just the difference among perspectives, of genders, times and ideologies. The beauty of thoughts lies in the relativity of superstition and rationality. I want to be a cultural explorer, with an established open mind, to expose myself to a hodgepodge of ideas, to study the Western politics, religions and history; then to be a messenger, telling the East about, for example, the spirit of the “selfish” individualism, and the West about a brand new notion of Communism. We need to replace clashes and conflicts with sharing, tolerance and peace.