Skip Nav

How to Write a Winning Ivy League Essay

Sample Ivy League Essays

❶But the best part of Emandal is the food. I could now see that though.




Well, only at Emandal can I husk corn at 5 p. Nowhere else do year-old boys agree to square dance with their mothers or take the time to realize the solitude in knitting.

At Emandal there are no social boundaries, no class distinctions. If fried chicken remains from dinner last night, you can count on it mysteriously resurfacing as Chicken Curry at lunch.

When my mother threatened to give away my baby clothes, I cut them up and made my sister a quilt for her birthday. But the best part of Emandal is the food. We exchange CDs with Joel the carrot guy and the Japanese greens lady saves us the last bag of cucumbers.

In my 13th year, when I had reached the stage where crucifixion was preferable to being seen with my parents, they asked whether I still wanted to go to Emandal. Thank goodness something inside of me was still smart enough to say yes.

B to the back, b to the back. They chop that l off, so b-eau-ti-ful. When everyone did realize what was going on and why it was that I got Cs in spelling, I was packed off to resource room i. Special Ed to learn how to write pretty. At first I liked it. Resource room gave me an excuse not to do well in spelling, and it let me spend class time doing silly spelling exercises. It let me avoid my problem and at the same time pretend I was doing something to correct it, but in all honesty it was just a waste of time.

It made things seem a bit better, but it did nothing to fix the problem. When I came to terms with this I convinced my mother to take me out of resource room and that I could take responsibility for my own problem, and that is exactly what I did, and have done ever since. I was freed from resource room on the condition that I get A's on every other spelling test that year, which I did. Since then I have realized that I can never allow myself to live life in a metaphorical resource room.

I must take accountability and responsibility for myself, and not accept special treatment where there is anyway I can avoid it. This philosophy was tested last year when I was signing up for the SAT. My mother was handing over her credit card when she asked me if I thought extra time would be useful on the SAT. My mother offered no resistance to my stance and I typed in her AmEx number while I reflected on the implications of my denial.

I have spent a lot of time agonizing over how to spell the simplest words, and I doubt anyone has quite attained my level of red underlines in a word document, but that just means checking the dictionary and an age spent poring over SpellCheck. I have never taken extra time or other benefits on standardized tests and I never will, because that is not how I want to succeed.

I want to sink or swim on my own and not use water wings to get through the world. Life is complex all the way down to the atomic level. Organ systems comprised of bits of tissue, formed by cells, made up of organelles, formed by carbon compounds.

Throughout high school, I have been fascinated by the complexity of life. The relationships between micro organism and macro organism, and how nature, by trial and error, has created structures that allow us to hear, feel, and see. My freshman biology teacher inspired me to think of the human body not simply as a single structure, but rather the mesh of different systems, working together to produce life.

The human body, I realized, is beautiful in its complexity and cohesiveness. An organism was no longer just an animal, it was a complex machine comprised of millions of parts.

I saw vivid pictures of organ systems neatly packed into organisms to meet their function. I pursued my passion for science outside of textbooks. I shadowed the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, standing next to him as he performed a triple bypass. The machine is infinitely larger than the actual organs, giving me a greater appreciation for how much each organ is expected to do.

During my first summer, a pathologist showed me a seemingly empty petri dish, swabbed it with a QTip and made a slide and put it under the microscope. The images I saw were amazing—thousands of microscopic organisms, moving together in large colonies. I realized that life could be as simple and small as a bacterium or as large and complex as a human being.

The famous quote by Erza Cornell best describes the opportunities that Cornell provides. Cornell University has a long academic tradition of teaching the young and hopeful minds of a new generation the beauty of education.

Cornell graduates question, they analyze, they comprehend. Cornell for me is something more than just a university or an opportunity to further my understanding of Biology. Cornell is an opportunity to realize truths about the world, and about every field of learning. I see Cornell as a chance to expand the horizons of my thought, to think about the world as a bigger place, to think about its problems in a logical way, and see life as an opportunity to understand the world around us.

A Cornell education provides a basis in many things, the ability to draw conclusions from Locke, Kant, or Smith, and use these ideas in conjunction with an in depth knowledge of one topic to excel in a field. Cornell will provide me the opportunity to understand Biology in an uncommon way. Cornell is a place to discover a new way of thinking, and also a place to find passion for a study. I want to learn about Biology beyond a textbook.

I want to make those discoveries at Cornell. I breathed deeply and began again. When I was 6 years old, I had a slight speech impediment that made me far too shy to read aloud in front of my peers.

My father immediately decided the only way for me to overcome my fear would be to practice reading out loud. Every day, my father and I sat together, and I read to him. I was incredibly grateful to him for not only helping me to overcome my fear of public reading but also for instilling in me a love of reading and words. The more I learned to appreciate the beauty in a beginning, middle, and end of a story, the more I felt a desire to create my own.

I like to play with words. I love knowing that everyone is listening to my story. I want my stories to demonstrate imperfection, because I believe it makes my writing more realistic. When I read words with a similarly imperfect tone, I feel comforted, knowing that someone else has felt the same way I have. In my writing, I strive to infuse another kind of comfort as well—the reassuring feeling that comes when someone overhears what you are saying and agrees with you.

I was once in a hotel elevator in France, complaining to my sister about how I had gotten lost earlier that day, and recounting wandering aimlessly in Paris and not speaking the native language. I know the feeling. I strive to capture that feeling—the soothing sense of comfort that the stranger gave me—in my writing. I still sit and read aloud to my father. We sit on the same burgundy velvet sofa, my father on the left, and I as close to him as possible.

This past summer I was poised to jump. I had convinced not only myself, but everyone around me that I was done. Come end of summer, I would pack away hundreds of pointe shoes in dejected cardboard boxes and they would instantly transform into unwanted memorabilia, identified only by a careless scrawl of Sharpie.

My sweat and dedication were to be laid aside. I was through with pain, through with foot surgeries and obsessions and disappointments, and saying goodbye to a lifelong pursuit of ballet would be no exception.

After the usual last six weeks of intensive summer training, my adieus were to be quick and painless; I would make sure of it. Having made up my mind, I loyally warded off anything that might jeopardize my decision.

My usual passion and enthusiastic spark were gone, replaced by a deep longing to understand why exactly I had ever fallen in love with this painful profession and an intense need for stability when my world was moving out from beneath my sore feet.

Serenade took the remains of me, a frustrated and tired dancer whose only instinct was to fight, and gently illuminated the silver lining in my painful disaster. My first exposure to the piece came from the splintery wood cabinet in the corner of the studio.

I never liked using the sound system. Growing up in an intensely musical family who preferred to sing the nightly prayer, recordings frustrated me. Tonight the ribbons on my pointe shoes were as frayed as my sanity, and I was trying desperately to get motivated. Ballet had taught me from an early age that pain is only in the mind, and motivation is only a matter of psychological tricks.

This ideology was working well for me, until I heard it. My sense of stoicism was instantly shattered. I had witnessed my fair share of beautiful music and never cried. The music was weeping and soaring and tired and energetic and everything, everything I was feeling.

And that made all the difference. Then I started dancing. George Balanchine somehow has captured the ephemeral, tragic side of beauty that Serenade sang of and transformed it into living art, and for a few weeks, I was his medium.

For the first time I could remember I was looking forward to rehearsal at the end of eight-hour days; to those first few measures of music in which 17 girls simply stood, each hand raised to heaven, eyes searching through divine stratosphere, their light blue tulle—angelic.

These were flimsy, unfinished, temporary exercises…and yet, I ended up with a few memorable images: Seeing these works laid out on the floor alongside those of twenty other kids made me question my perspective. Through critiques, artist talks, and trips to conceptual art galleries I started to formulate more and more questions about this world of art that seemed to be blossoming before my eyes. Must art have some aesthetically pleasing quality, or can it just be a visual representation of an idea?

How much information should be included when artwork is presented, and is that information itself an aspect of the work of art? My final project combined aspects of my old thinking about literal representation and my new considerations about art. My subjects were rappers who seem to lose their own identity in the brands they wear, transformed into walking billboards.

I used watercolor to paint portraits of them, but replaced their heads with an upside down boot in one case, and a toaster in the other. A man with a boot on his head, given no other context, meant nothing to me intellectually but it had visceral appeal. History the year before. I found myself integrating my new thoughts about art and my interest in history and pop culture into my artwork.

This past summer, my narrow view regarding the scope of art was busted open and a vast and beautiful world was revealed to me. Clearly, much still remains for me to explore, and to explore more deeply.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Ivy League is notoriously hard to get into, as the hundreds of thousands of other applicants to the eight elite schools are well aware. At Harvard, % of the nearly 40, applicants — about 2, — were accepted this year.

Privacy FAQs

I’m a former Harvard University admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate, and as a top college admission consultant, my firm: Ivy League Essay / College Ivy League specializes in working with the strongest and most competitive high school students in the U.S. and around the world.

About Our Ads

2 50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays piece that is half-baked, or you can spend a little time on the essay and turn in one that can set you apart from the competition. The truth is that you don’t have to be a good writer to create a successful admissions essay. nor do you need to have survived a life changing event or won a noble Prize. How to Write a Winning Ivy League Essay. With early application deadlines upon us, guidance counselors, professors, and admissions consultants slipped Kathleen Kingsbury seven essays that helped get kids into top schools last year—and she examines exactly what they did right.

Cookie Info

2 50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays piece that is half-baked, or you can spend a little time on the essay and turn in one that can set you apart from the competition. Sample Ivy League Essays College Admissions, College Application Essays. Here is a collection of college application essays that students successfully used to earn admission to the eight Ivy League Universities. Read them to see what students did to set themselves apart in their college applications.