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Despite the high speed of the bullet train, my mind is perfectly still – trapped between the narrative of the book and the narrative of my own life. I read the last page and close the book, staring out the window at the shining fish ponds and peaceful rice paddies.
In Berkeley, I learned the value of originality: Those who celebrate their individuality are not only unique but strong.
It takes great strength to defy the definitions of others, and because of that strength, those who create their own paths discover a different world than those who travel the same worn road. My appearance was certainly different – red streaks in my hair and a newfound fondness for tutus certainly made me stand out.
Phrases like “oh, bummer” or well-intentioned but half-hearted “well, good for you” circle the recipient, creating a cyclone of regret from which the “winner” will never recover. Originality is celebrated there – not in the half-hearted “good for you” way, but in the full-throated “GOOD FOR YOU! One of the first of my fellow students to befriend me wore corset tops and tutus and carried a parasol with which she punctuated her every utterance.
Okay, maybe I’m overreacting – but I cannot for the life of me understand that award. Her best friend was a boy with purple hair who once wore a shirt with built in LED lights for Christmas.
America owns my childhood, filled with pine trees, blockbuster movies, and Lake Tahoe snow; China holds my adolescence, accompanied by industrial smog, expeditious mobility, and fast-paced social scenes. My reverie isn’t at an end, but I have the answer to my question.
Home is neither arrival nor departure, neither America nor China.
Through this skillfully crafted essay, we learn that the student has led a very international life, the student has a way with words, the student loves literature, the student is bilingual, and the student is excited by change.
The essay is a joy to read, sharing a detailed glimpse of the student’s personality without feeling like it’s trying to list positive personal qualities.
Check out these college essay examples for inspiration!
With moments to spare, I catch a glimpse of the boarding platform for my train. Like a compass with a broken magnetic strip, I can’t decide my true North.