University of Colorado (Boulder) “Accomplishment” Essay
Prompt: Help us get to know you beyond what’s in your résumé and transcript. Tell us about one or more instance when you felt a sense of accomplishment and discuss how or why it was significant. You may include examples from any aspect of your life such as academic, extra-curricular, community service, family, or work.
I stay up late watching the lively embers of a dead fire: they glow like souls with so much potential, yearning for the nourishment to burn brightly again. Like a captivating sunset, the ashes are forever changing, each cinder unique. They need only to be fed with the violent poke of my stick for the flames to rise again from the luminous ash. Just as the coals need to be stirred to reignite, we too need stimulation to kindle the fire within us – the inspiration to become what we are meant to be. We are continuously changing based on what we experience in the world around us.
I choose experiences that enrich me, that push me out of my comfort zone, such as my month long excursion to Costa Rica. There I ate a shiny beetle while trekking through untamed jungles. After breaking my shoe on a hike, I continued to trudge the slippery path . . . barefoot. Had I turned around, I would not have the memory of showering underneath a waterfall, using the nectar from a honeycomb flower as shampoo. I also chose to volunteer in a small dairy town high in the mountains there, to help a boy who cannot walk. Confined to his wheelchair, Aron now rolls along on a hand-built sidewalk that goes from his small pink house to the school a few blocks away. Without it, there would only be a muddy dirt road littered with rocks, cow feces, and unavoidable puddles; there would not be any grateful smiles and treasured memories, rewarding fifteen-hour work days.
Using my mind as a filing cabinet, I find other ways to use my experience, whether it be for a painting or an idea. I analyze everything around me, unremittingly, cultivating my mind with all that I observe. Laying in bed, waiting for sleep, it all comes together . . . elegantly, effortlessly . . . uniting like oxygen and carbon to make fire. There’s a notebook in the drawer next to me filled with my theories, which I never neglect to research. Some are already conceived by others, such as cellular evolution by way of viruses. Never discouraged though, I keep writing down my thoughts.
No label can define me, nor can any one word describe me. I live a balanced life focusing on my studies, health, and artistic creativity. My life experiences and fervor for knowledge have molded me, allowing me to thrive. I know who I am, who I want to be . . . and I will make a difference in this world. An exceptional education is my next endeavor. I know that I have limitless potential and talent and I will excel in college, as I have thus far, through diligence and hard work. My passion for learning will bring me to unimaginable places, as I hope to study and specialize in neuroscience. Gaining an outstanding education is just one step in fulfilling my aspirations and igniting the fire within me.
University of Colorado (Boulder) Sample Essay
Prompt: The University of Colorado Boulder’s Flagship 2030 strategic plan promotes exceptional teaching, research, scholarship, creative works, and service distinguishing us as a premier university. We strive to foster a diverse and inclusive community for all that engages each member in opportunities for academic excellence, leadership, and a deeper understanding of the world in which we live. Given the statement above, how do you think you could enrich our diverse and inclusive community, and what are your hopes for your college experience?
My high school serves two towns that are considered affluent suburbs of Chicago. It would be easy to assume that the student body is homogeneous. But in reality, the student body is racially and culturally diverse, with only about half of the student body being white, contradicting the stereotypes connected to these communities. The same assumption could occur if someone thought they could measure a whole person by looks alone — he or she would miss most of the defining features of that person. To many, I might look like a typical white male, with many of the stereotypes connected to white people tacked on subconsciously. But, if such a surveyor delved deeper, they would find uniqueness behind an ordinary appearance – I am much more than meets the eye.
I pride myself in being a creative and intelligent individual. I make a habit of stepping back and assessing any situation before making or editing potential choices. I think this ability to see the big picture would enrich a diverse and inclusive community, in that it would incorporate an uncommon method of problem-solving and decision-making.
Another of my characteristics that is important to me is my open mind. My high-school English teacher encouraged me to develop a broader acceptance of people of any background, ethnicity, and mindset. With his help, I have put judgment of others as secondary in favor of understanding and communicating with people on an equitable and humane level. I think that in a large and unpredictable location like a university, it would be very unwise to limit the chances to make new friends. The opportunities offered by higher education today allow college students to take chances and meet new people in distinct and new settings.
My hope for a college experience is to leave the familiar environment of the Midwest and explore a new social and geographic climate. I am looking for a strong academic and extracurricular focus in a university, and I believe I have found that mix at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I hope to see the value of my classes as they contribute to the whole of my degree, and to appreciate the lessons taught in every subject I study, required or not. I think that through the pursuit of academic success, I can find my niche in my degree of study and in the university’s social landscape. I want to impact the university and make it a better place, and my belief is that it will more than return the favor.