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GradeSaver provides access to 768 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 5112 literature essays, 1554 sample college application essays, 195 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.Motivation Ashley Rogers a.) Why you want to pursue the study of law? b.) What educational, employment, or family experiences would be relevant to this application? Why? c.) What unique factors in your background would enrich the classroom experience?
Every child is asked the inevitable question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My response as far back as I can remember had always been, “Well, I want to be a lawyer”. I always received some strange looks from adults for my unusually mature answer, but I was always fascinated by the law. I looked up to my uncle, a lawyer practicing in Boston, whom I constantly barraged with questions about his latest case. I even became the resident lawyer of the 6th grade. At recess I would settle disputes between my arguing peers. Ever the professional, I carried around my purple unicorn-adorned binder full of signed contracts between the conflicting parties. Play time with friends often revolved around my mock court cases, and I loved every minute of it.
Always a quiet child, I became even more introverted during my teenage years. The more my family and other adults labeled me as shy, the more anxious I became over public speaking. I was always a bright student, but gaining the courage to raise my hand in the classroom was a daunting task. I began questioning my early career goal. How could someone who suffers from such bashfulness ever become a lawyer? After this realization, I immediately began exploring other options, none of.Join Now to View Premium Content
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Recently in the New York Times, Amy Wrzesniewski and Barry Schwartz described a study of motivation at West Point. It turns out that intrinsic motivation (doing things for your own reasons) is much more powerful than instrumental motivation (doing things for external rewards).
Here’s the college admissions takeaway for parents as well as students: approaching college admissions as a reward system—you are applying to college “get into…” name the place—is much less likely to succeed than taking on the college process (and of course college) to achieve something bigger: to “learn” or “grow” or “make a difference in the world.”
This study supports the core commitment of Story2: working with students to find stories that reveal their character and to shape them into honest and genuine college admission essays.
Wherever you go to college, whatever courses you take, and whomever you meet, what drives you as a human being? What gets you out of bed in the morning thinking, “I am making a difference today. It’s my purpose in life to do this work today.”
Purpose is not the same as passion. Being “passionate” is, in comparison with having purpose, very small stuff. “Passionate” happens inside you. Purpose takes passion and turns it into something permanent and meaningful for others. Are you “passionate” because “colleges are looking for students who are passionate?” Or are you engaged in life to make a difference?
You may not have thought about this. When I was 16 and a junior in high school, I hadn’t thought about it either. And, frankly, I wish to this day that I could have hung out with my friends and not been forced to find my purpose. But my adolescent complacency died the first week of February 1975 when my father asked his doctors to “turn off the chemo and make me stable.” He spent one long week at home.
When I came home from school and went into the living room to prop up his pillows and give him his medicines, he was waiting. He wanted to talk. “Here’s the thing I’ve learned from cancer,” he began, taking my breath away. “You need to live every day as if it’s your last and also your first. Live every day with purpose, Carol.” And then he drifted off to sleep.
Your purpose does not need to be some big, world-changing issue (but if you’re looking for that type of purpose, I strongly recommend High Noon. a brilliant book by the former head of the World Bank in Europe). Your purpose can be as simple as “I pick up trash when I see it on the ground” or “I don’t drink at parties so I can make sure others get home safely” or “I am honest with my friends.” To win the college game, you need to find your purpose for applying to college. “Why do you want to go to college?” Not a specific college, but college? What will you gain? What will you give? What will college allow you to do?
You may, like many students, feel like you could do so many different things—isn’t the point of college to explore them? Yes: college changes everything, and it may alter your purpose. But every student brings something to the table, whether or not they’ve located it within themselves. So, take on the college process to discover and share your unique purpose and it honestly won’t matter where you go to college, because your purpose is much bigger than which college you attend. And when your purpose is palpable—when what you do matches what you say you believe—you are the kind of person colleges want: the kind of person our ailing planet needs for healing and building our shared future.
Your purpose comes through in your application essays, and that’s why they matter so much. But you can’t just say “my purpose is to pick up trash in my neighborhood.” You don’t have to write a fancy essay, but you do need to show your purpose in action —maybe how it evolved over time, or one day when your purpose shifted or was tested, or a time when you failed to keep your commitments to yourself and other people. All of those stories make great college application essays. Your purpose is why your essays matter—because it’s why you matter, every single day.
Written by Carol Barash, PhD
Author of Write Out Loud, CEO of Story2, Carol Barash, PhD is revolutionizing writing through storytelling. Forbes named Story2 one of “10 EdTech Companies You Need to Know About.” A professor at Princeton, Michigan, and Rutgers, where she served in admissions, Carol graduated from Yale (BA), UVa (MA) Princeton (PhD).
College Application Essay
We all have a motivation to go to college and succeed. Well my motivation is my son. With him I learn to be responsible in many ways. Being a mom and a Student is hard, but I learned to manage my time for school and for my son. He’s my biggest reason to go to college and put all my effort on it. My baby is my biggest motivation to succeed in college.
We all have been raised with responsibility, and this is what has made us a better person in life. I learned more about responsibility when I had my son being me a teenager. As a mom I have to be responsible with all I do and with my baby. Now that I have a son I had to learn to take responsible decisions for me and my son. Now I can tell responsibility has made me a better person.
Discipline plays a big role in our life. We all had been raised with discipline because we have it everywhere. My parents didn’t give me all the discipline I needed and maybe that’s why I did that mistake, even though my son is not a mistake. Raising my baby has showed me that discipline is very important and it will help me succeed. We have discipline everywhere; school, home, work etc. Discipline is essential in our lives.
Time management skill help us organize our life’s. Before I had my son all I worried about was school and I had a lot of time to have fun. Now that I have my son I had to learn to manage school and taking care of him. First I was about to drop out of school because I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but if I wanted to give my son a better future I have to study and succeed. I learn how to manage my time and turn works on time and also having time for my son.
As you can see after my son I learn more about discipline, responsibility, and time management skills. It has been hard for me but by putting all my effort I did it. I learn the hard way, but this is what keeps me up to go to college and succeed. If I have the opportunity to go to.
Here it is. The part of the application where you can sing in your own voice.Your application essay is your chance to:
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The Formula for the Best Essay
Made You Look! There isn’t one. Like life, success here comes in many forms.
But, also like life, what you say has to be relevant. Your essay readers have seen four years of grades, pored over your test scores, decoded the clichés in your letters of recommendation and a lucky few have interview reports. The essay gives you a chance to (a) insert some color to the black and white case for your admission; and(b) give the reader some new information about the context of your life. Your essay has to deepen what the admissions office knows about you as an individual and what besides Mandarin or molecular motion you bring to the table.
They’re human; they know what risks feel like. Often, they can admit a B student who can persuade them of their passions with more confidence than an insipid valedictorian.
So, you have two jobs. Give your readers more insight into your motivations and make those motivations feel compelling.
First, tell them the formative experiences that shine a light into you as a person. They don’t have to be happy ones. They have to be vivid, they have to be concrete and they have to be true. If you’re relating the facts and, most important, telling them what it continues to mean for you, you’ve done the first job.
Second, address what you will bring to that campus. Not any campus, theirs. If you’ll be an outlier there, celebrate it. Point out how your other qualities will enrich their campus. Your readers will read 20 to 40 essays that day. Don’t make them guess where you fit in. They might guess you don't.