I have remained the naïve American who saw Castro as some distant enemy of my country, accepting this as fact because this seemed to be the accepted wisdom.I soon became intrigued, however, with this supposed plague to my freedom, my culture, and everything good and decent. What’s so bad about Castro and Cuba—and I hear they have good coffee.I must simply find ways to understand others, to seek in them what is common to us all and perhaps someday find unity in our common human bond.
We’ve compiled various sample essays from people who have recently completed the college application process.
These essays were chosen for their clarity, originality, voice, and style.
I judged her to be a heartless, soulless, two-dimensional figure: she was a representation of my loneliness and pain.
I left whenever she entered a room, I slammed car doors in her face.
These were all tourist experiences that I, at first, found spellbinding.
My truths were the truths of the tourist brochures: beautiful hotels, beaches, and cities. I did not appreciate how being held hostage by the beauty of the surface—the beaches and cities—blinded me to the absence of Puerto Rican natives on the streets of San Juan; I did not understand how the prevalence and familiarity of English conspired to veil the beauty of the Spanish language beneath volumes of English translations.
I saw no giant golden arch enticing hungry Cubans with beef-laced fries; I did see billboards of Che Guevara and signposts exhorting unity and love. Perhaps my experience is my truth and the more truths I hear from everyone else, the closer I will get to harmonization.
I realized, however, that much of the uniqueness that I relished here might be gone if the trade blockades in Cuba were ever lifted. I was stepping out of an American political cave that shrouded the beauty of Cuba and stepping into another, one built on patriotic socialism, one where truths were just as ideological as, yet very different from, mine. The journeys I have taken have been colored by my prior experiences and by what my feelings were in those moments. Maybe there is no harmony, and I must go through life challenging and being challenged, perhaps finding perspectives from which I can extract—but never call—truth.
I’m glad I have a lot of time left, because I definitely have a lot of chances left to give, a lot of people left to love. Existentialist me leans against my door, eyebrows raised. you’re writing that philosophy book, which should do well. He’s composing music, making beautiful art; why don’t we see where we can get with that? First of all, you failed to mention fascinations with neurology and psychology, which are potential majors at every university. I am looking forward to living on my own—away from our overprotective, over-scrutinizing family. Lighthearted: Existential: There’s really no reason to be stressed about anything.
Stressed me, Independent me, and Artistic me are also present. Is this “Captain Planet,” where all the characters join fists and out bursts the superhero? Not to mention the endless possibilities if Lighthearted aims for I mean, let’s be realistic: if we go to college, eventually we’ll be required to declare a major. Furthermore, opportunities to study comedy, music, and art are available at all colleges too; we just have to go after them. Artistic: Yeah—imagine how much better I’d be at writing music if I took a music-composition course. And what about our other educational goals such as becoming fluent in Japanese, learning the use of every TI-89 calculator button . If you think about how trivial—how meaningless—all this worry is, it’s kind of pathetic that your anxiety is about to get us all stuck with a pimple.