My attempt at an American university personal essay

So first thing you need to understand is that I’m British, not American. I am also not part of the US Sutton Trust charity or rich enough to have a tutor; in other words, I was entirely on my own for writing this. I have applied to 5 US unis, but also 6 UK unis, all of which are Russel Group. But anyways, I read a couple samples online and managed to bring together this piece of art. And don’t even think that that’s a vain thing for me to say: I never said my art was good.

(Also if anyone for some weird fucking reason steals this I ain’t even gonna be mad lol)

‘The earlier years of my life were spent living in books, video-games, movies; in the worlds made up by another’s intellect. I was entirely oblivious to everybody and anything else; it was serene, and it was foolish. I had friends, but they were nothing more than accessories to ensure I didn’t look like a loner; an excuse to leave the house before my accusing grandparents began asking questions. But in reality I was living in a dream, saving false worlds, having adventures and being more than just an anonymous and unimportant face. I was aware of my delusion, but I couldn’t figure out why I cared little of the real world; why I couldn’t get away from the ecstasy that was fiction. I never pressed too much on this however, as it worked for me. I got good grades, had enough fun to satisfy me, and lived contentedly.

Subsequently, something changed. I said yes to a boy but I never expected much from it. I wasn’t so naive as to think it would last, but I figured I would enjoy myself. The intricate details of the relationship are irrelevant, but you must know it was of great significance to my life as a first.

I had changed from being out of sight, out of mind, to somebody who was constantly put in the spotlight, and this went a little to my head, to then be taken away again. So then my new little world disintegrated around me, and, since during this time I had lost my flare for fiction, I was left with the real one.

I was left looking at the reflection of myself that I had allowed to blossom; all I saw was disappointment. I saw somebody who had achieved nothing, somebody who had real potential but was only doing enough to just get by. I finally saw a whole world of things. A world of people, cultures, feelings and experiences, a world of curiosity, complex machines and expeditions. And thus, an epiphany.

I finally discovered why I lived in all of those novels. My real world was not the same as I see it now. It was my town and its people, who withered away in bars, working at jobs they hated and living with spouses they despised. My real world was a calamity, so why would I ever want to face that? I had been too young before to see beyond those confines, so I turned to other worlds which showed promise. But now I could witness it all.

Firstly and slowly I changed friendship group, yet things became entirely different instantly. I couldn’t find it within myself to be sad around them. The school saw us as total losers but I saw them as the lights of my life, which is what mattered most. I began to analyse and break down the world logically, which caused me to become vegetarian, and to begin practising Buddhism. Although I faced obstacles I noticed the lift of my heart when my hard work paid off. I took every opportunity, as a lower-class citizen, that I could grasp. I joined clubs, took university summer courses, did an internship, taught struggling students and reached my second epiphany.

I had lived in books because I wanted to be more than a face in the crowd, but the real world appeared to be a dark and desolate place that never allowed flowers to grow above the shade. But then I noticed other people, people who used to be like me, who had hugely impacted my life and had achieved things I’d never found in fictional works. So I don’t think it’s about changing the world. If I live my life and change at least the lives of the people I’ve grown to care about, then that will be enough for me. Because I don’t have to change the whole world- just theirs.’

Basically I determined that my essay should be personal and unique, to really show colleges who I am. I wrote and sent this all off ages ago so constructive criticism isn’t really helpful; but feel free. To satisfy anyone’s curiosity, I applied to Brown, USC, Emory, Trinity and Lafayette. I was deferred from Brown after I’d applied ED, but to be honest that came as a pleasant surprise as I was expecting to be outright rejected. I am not too fussed if studying in the states doesn’t work out for me, as I already have all 5 UK offers and am applying to Oxford. So I reckon wherever I end up, I’ll be happy. 🙂


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