Admission Essays

Admission Essays :

Adam Bayne Hopkins – Dallas – Texas

“I’d like to be the absolute best in one range of study,” says Adam. And he identifies that area as physics. At Greenhill School, he was awarded the Bausch and Lomb Fellowship for being the best science student in his school and the Physics/Pre-Calculus Student Award. Adam was also captain of the varsity soccer team and participated in weights, boxing and lacrosse. In this essay, he answers Princeton’s Hodge-Podge question, providing brief but insightful answers about what he likes outside of physics as well.

Hodge-Podge - Princeton University

Favorite book: King Rat (James Clavell)

Favorite recording: Sunburn (Fuel)

Favorite movie: Cruel Intentions

Favorite TV program: Star Trek, The Next Generation

Favorite source of news: New York Times, Dallas Morning News

Favorite way to relax: Play soccer/juggle soccer ball, play the piano

Favorite time of the year: Winter

Favorite food: Cheese fries

Favorite place to get away from it all: My car

Two adjectives your friends would use to describe you : Intense, devoted

A pet peeve of yours: Sometimes people just don’t stop talking The best advice you’ve ever received : “Always do your best and work your hardest.” (My dad)

Why This Essay Succeeded

As you can tell, this was a short answer question, which allowed Adam to be creative by using a list instead of an essay. (Adam did write a more traditional essay for the longer questions that Princeton asked.) This is an excellent example of how the quality of thinking, rather than the writing, is what makes an essay successful. Each of Adam’s answers appears both genuine and descriptive of who he is. For example, Adam’s responses suggest that he is a science fiction fan who is intense but has room for creative outlets. He has selected favorite things that really show different sides of his personality, making him an interesting person to the admission officers. Like many of the essays in this book, it took Adam a lot longer to conceive this essay than to actually write it.

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