College Admission Essays :
Jason Garber – Hutchinson - Kansas
A natural entrepreneur and computer whiz, Jason combined the two to
start a computer-related business at the age of 14. Through his business,
he has sold and serviced computer hardware and software, developed
and hosted websites and provided computer training. At Hutchinson
High School, Jason was also involved in the choir, band and as president
of the National Honor Society. In writing his essay Jason went through
many drafts. “I just kept tweaking, revising and having others read it
for quality, content and clarity,” he says.
More Than a Tutor - Eastern Mennonite University
Being known as a computer tutor for the elderly hasn’t won me many
dates—at least not with women under 60. It has, however, brought me in
contact with a generation of people who have a lifetime of wisdom and
experience to share.
I enjoy tutoring a great deal because it allows me to interact with individuals
more personally than one managing his own business is typically able.
Through it, I gain a window into their lives and the things that have shaped
their personalities. One of my favorite examples of this is an 81-year-old
widow who has determinately used her computer to enrich others’ lives,
despite the barriers her health puts forth.
Nearly every Saturday, at 10 o’clock, I arrive at her home. She welcomes
me in, immediately beginning to tell me about the triumphs and tribulations
of her week. On Monday, she went to the dentist, and now she can’t
seem to suck her milkshake through a straw. Then, on Wednesday, her
dishwasher of 15 years went out and made a terrible mess all over the
floor... Quite often, we can spend a half hour or more discussing the events
of our respective lives.
After some time, our conversation segues into my excuse for visiting: tutoring
her on the computer. She takes out a list of questions and tells me the things that she wants special help with as I sit down on the wicker bench
beside her. We address each item—making greeting cards for sick friends,
sending e-mail to her son, chatting with her sister in Wisconsin, searching
for recipes on the Internet—but frequently digress whenever we want to
share something amusing.
When she has absorbed as much as she cares to, she glances up at the
clock and echoes the advice I gave to her after our fi rst meeting. “Well, I’ll
play with it,” she says, intending to spend some time in the next week trying
out her newfound abilities.
Before I leave, she often needs a jar opened, a top shelf reached or a
melon cut. As we progress toward the door, we continue talking, neither
of us wanting to end our reunion. At last, I must tear myself away, and my
grandma of sorts watches from the window as I drive away, already beginning
to miss my company.
On my way home, I’m filled with thoughts of what her life was like when
season Packers tickets cost $12, when she stood before the class and
recited her arithmetic and when her late husband, the judge, found homes
for orphans and did widows’ taxes for a dollar. As I turn into my garage, I
recognize with a smile that through our relationship, I’ve given her comfort
and company and received a little more wisdom and understanding to
tackle the challenges of the week ahead.
Why This Essay Succeeded
There’s something heartwarming and memorable about Jason’s essay,
the way he takes the time to converse with, assist and perhaps most
importantly, appreciate, this senior citizen widow. This essay helps Jason
to set himself apart from other applicants by showing this detailed
level of respect and compassion. On top of that, Jason has the maturity
to appreciate and really take to heart what the senior shares with him.
The admission officers can tell that he is the type of person who is very
insightful and self-reflective. In any essay you want to present a few of
your best personal qualities.
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