College Admission Essays to Duke University

College Admission Essays to Duke University :

Svati Singla

Svati says that she has never let society’s perception of age stop her. This was one of the factors that led her to publish an abstract in the American Journal of Hypertension after years of research - at the age of 11. Throughout junior high and high school, she continued her research at East Carolina University on fetal alcohol syndrome and won accolades from the U.S. Navy and Army. A graduate of J.H. Rose High School, Svati won an extraordinary $1 million in scholarships including the Discover Card Gold Tribute Award, Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Scholarship, Boy Scouts of America National Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship. After graduating, she plans to attend medical school.

Carpe Diem - Duke University

As humans, we constantly search for a truer and deeper understanding of life’s many mysteries. Often, valuable life lessons come to us in the form of a sudden revelation, which then leads to motivation or inspiration.

When reading Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, I encountered a revelation about human life that has led me to a greater understanding of the complex world around me. In this novel, Heller tactfully brings each of his characters to life through detailed descriptions and humorous anecdotes. However, just as the reader begins to form a slight attachment with the character, that lifelike individual suddenly disappears - either through death or some other mystery. As this pattern of life and death is constantly repeated throughout the novel, Heller carries a very important message to his readers - a lesson about the extreme fragility of human life.

Only after reading this novel did I realize how every day is a priceless opportunity. I realized how each day of life is truly a gift from above - a gift that must be cherished and utilized to its fullest extent. I was struck by the precarious nature of human life and by the inevitable prospect of human mortality; however, this inevitable future has given me great motivation and inspiration. Indeed, while absorbing Heller’s message, the ancient Roman adage Carpe Diem (seize the day) rang through my mind. Realizing the impermanence of my life has encouraged me to make a difference in the lives of others. For only through a profound infl uence will my actions live on forever.

Why This Essay Succeeded

Svati demonstrates that in a short amount of space (about 250 words), it’s possible to write a meaningful essay about yourself. But to do so you can’t retell the story of the book. In fact, we learn very little about Catch-22. But we do learn about Svati. We learn what she found so compelling about Heller’s novel and what it taught her about life. One of the biggest mistakes that students make is not drawing connections between the book and themselves. By making this connection, the admission offi cers learn more about who you are and what’s important to you.

You will also notice that Svati does not actually analyze the plot of the book as much as its structure in the way Heller introduces and then suddenly removes characters. She is analyzing the story between the lines and then drawing conclusions about what Heller was attempting to say. And she does all of this is just a few sentences! The rest of her essay focuses on how this recognition of Heller’s message has had an impact on her.

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