21 Accepted Michigan Essays for 2019

Example Common App Essays and Supplements
Home Essay Database University of Michigan
Last updated on March 5, 2019
Michigan

Introduction

Ryan Chiang
By Ryan

The University of Michigan is a large public research university with over 46,000 students and is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. UMich is Michigan state's oldest university and was founded in 1817. Since then, Michigan has grown to be considered one of the premier research universities in the country. Along with its reputation and academic rigor, Michigan also has competitive athletics.

As a top public school in the country, admission to Michigan is increasingly difficult. In 2018, over 65,000 students applied to Michigan and only about 15,000 were admitted, giving Michigan an acceptance rate of 23.5%. As acceptance rates continue to lower, it is vital that your essays help you stand out among the tens of thousands of other applicants.

Below are some accepted Common App essays and Michigan-specific supplements that were written by real students who were accepted by the University of Michigan. Without any further introduction, let's get to the essays!

Please note: all names, cities, and other personal information in the essays and supplements have been replaced to keep the authors' privacy.

EssaysThatWorked does not condone nor tolerate plagiarism. Do not copy, reuse, repost, or modify any part of the written works posted on this site without express written consent.

University of Michigan Essays

Table of Contents

Common App Essays (6)


Common App Essay #12

Written by Anonymous Student

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
(650 words max)

The judge called “the prosecution may begin to question the defendant.” I shuddered quietly to myself as I smoothed my skirt and rose slowly from the chair. As I began to speak, I gained my confidence. My statement rolled off my tongue, as I projected my voice throughout the courtroom.

“Would you please provide a rendition of events during this incident?” I asked. But, the testimony given was not in compliance with the pre-court interview notes from the previous weeks. This defendant was sent to Ontario County Youth Court for consuming acid in school. I continued to question cautiously, but finally caught the defendant in a blatant lie. I calmly stated, “You are under oath and by lying, you are committing a federal offense of perjury. I would please ask you to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so the jury can reach an appropriate sentence.” I could see the defendant squirm during this confrontation. But, I was holding the upper hand, and lying could not undermine my self-assurance. The case progressed with a sense of caution, for the power of prosecution can dampen the mood.

I have always been a searcher; for new opportunities, new friends, and a true passion. I have taken dance classes for fifteen years because I enjoy the creativity of movement, exercise, and my friendships with other dancers. But, dance is not my calling in life or deepest passion. I have taken tennis, golf, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sailing, sailboarding, scuba diving, and even sewing lessons. But these are also merely hobbies or interests. Freshman year, after fourteen years of searching, I finally discovered my true passion and calling in life: a career in law.

I live on a dirt road and attend a small, rural school. There is not a single traffic light in the entire school district. But, these factors of seclusion have never hindered my appetite for exploration. One day, I saw a poster hanging in the atrium of my school about an information night regarding Ontario County Youth Court. On a whim, I decided to attend. I have always been an advocate for trying new activities, or else passions can never be unleashed and discovered. Without leaving one’s comfort zone and broadening one’s horizons, we can never grow as people. That evening, I sat in a room with fifteen other strangers and learned about restorative justice principles and careers in law. I was hooked. At that moment, I realized this my calling.

After completing a 20-hour training process, being inducted as a full member of youth court, and religiously attending youth court cases each month, my thirst was still unquenched. Therefore, I became involved in court evaluating. Local court officials are assessed by volunteers to ensure they are fulfilling their duties to the community. Watching judges mandate reprimands for speeding tickets might be dull for some, but I find it fascinating. The legal system has such a vast array of powers and professions. I have continued to expand my knowledge by attending local, district, and circuit courts, along with touring a jail.

While I was first motivated to join Ontario County Youth Court for the sake of self-exploration and serving my community, I discovered my passion for law. By interacting with a vast array of youth offenders, I have had the opportunity to see the world others live in. Now, I have the ability to understand other people’s circumstances and social pressures. Most importantly, I have fully encompassed the value of prioritizing the common good above individual success.


Common App Essay #16

Written by Kathleen Carroll @kathleencarroll

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
(650 words max)

His eyes stared back at me with contentment. Neither he nor I, the baby girl on his lap, are smiling, but there is a sense of peace, of quiet happiness about us. I hold his wrist in one hand, my other grasping a bottle of ketchup. He holds my tiny leg and my waist, propping me up. His wedding band gleams in the midafternoon sunlight.

That same ring catches the light in my bedroom, the bedroom he painted yellow when I was still the baby in the photo. My mother gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday, and it flashes purple when I move my hand. Staring at my reflection in the ring’s surface, I can still see the baby girl in the photo. I have the same round face, the same brown, almond-shaped eyes. For the first time, I have something tangible to remind me of him -- something more substantial than our shared love of puns or 16-year-old photographs that curl at the corners.

That picture has stayed the same for 16 years. My dad passed away before I took my first steps. I have no conscious memories of him. My mother did her best to make my childhood as normal as possible, but my dad’s loss still hurts. It is a strange feeling not to know what my own father’s favorite color was or what foods he liked.

I was most fascinated by my mother’s stories of his career. Driven by a desire to emulate him, I decided I wanted to prosecute corporate tax fraud for the IRS, as he had done. If I was unable to know him, choosing his career path felt like the most substantial connection I had to him. I wanted to make him proud to be my father.

For much of my life, my dad’s most discernible presence came through Social Security survivor benefits or checks from his pension fund, supporting our family and compensating for my mom’s sporadic employment. My health insurance was provided through Medicaid. These programs leveled the socioeconomic playing field so that my family had one less thing to worry about. So we could afford to focus our limited finances on things like extracurricular activities or saving money to further my education.

Slowly, my desire to become an attorney became less about becoming my father. The older I have grown, the more I have realized the necessity of programs like Medicaid and Social Security, how changes in entitlement programs affect the everyday lives of Americans dependent on them: if Medicaid suffered cuts or my pediatrician’s accepted forms of insurance changed, I went months at a time unable to see a doctor. Through this experience, I discovered a passion for civil rights law. I want to aid others in danger of losing the same programs that have been instrumental to my success — to help those that need additional advantages to gain the same opportunities as their peers.

Even many of my close friends do not ask why I wear the same ring every day; I keep the story personal. Writing about my dad is difficult. I rarely talk about him with anyone, even my family. I prefer my ring to be a silent symbol of our relationship. Our connection is intimate, and sharing the ways that I feel his presence in my day-to-day life makes me feel exposed. I have never written in this much depth about the ways losing my dad has affected me.

Addressing my greatest vulnerability has forced me to think about the example my dad set for me, despite being unable to play the role in my life he deserved. His legacy helped me form my greatest aspirations. Embodied in my story is the story of someone I barely remember, yet has inspired me more than anyone, someone who has given me so many traits that have made me the person I am today.


Common App Essay #20

Written by Anonymous Student

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
(650 words max)

Step 1: Collect the ingredients

On the Saturday before Chinese New Year, the kitchen counter is cleared of its usual cluttering of letters, cups, flowers, and brochures and replaced with flour, soy sauce, meat, celery, and spices. These are the telltale signs of dumpling making.

Step 2: Marinate the meat

The filling of the dumpling includes a mixture of different ingredients. I learned the importance of balance when I was in 7th grade. I had just transferred from a sixteen person private school to an 800 person public one, going from a school that was about 50% Asian to about 1%. I struggled with my identity, hiding my Chinese culture under a mask of normality. However, in my world history class, we started learning how each culture brings a particular perspective to the world. As I studied numerous different cultures, I slowly learned how to live as a daughter of Chinese immigrants and as an American citizen. I used my unique perspective, living at the edge of both cultures, to share my Chinese heritage with my peers. I opened myself to leading a balanced life—neither fully Chinese or American, but a little bit of both. Like the filling of a dumpling, balance is important in a fruitful life.

Step 3: Wrap the dumplings

The wrapper of the dumpling is the part that the world sees, but it is also the way a person sees the world. I have been privileged enough to travel around the globe, meeting people and learning about their cultures. I also have seen death and pain, and I recognize that they plague this world. When I traveled to New Mexico, I got to work with the Navajo and learn about their stories. I had the opportunity to talk to a lady in her late sixties. She had lost her son to a heart attack and her nephew to suicide a few months prior. Despite her struggles, she looked for the small blessings in life and remained hopeful. Her attitude encouraged me to do the same and look to the bright side of situations. Travel and knowledge have fueled a desire to help others around me. The wrapper of the dumpling is like the lenses someone wears when observing his surroundings. I have chosen to see others in a positive light.

Step 4: Boil or pan-fry?

Dumplings, like many Asian dishes, can be served different ways. The heated water necessary for boiling and the searing oil needed for frying represent the many different trials a person passes through. During my freshman year of high school, one of my closest friends started to shun me. I would pass every hurtful comment off as her response to puberty. I struggled alone for a long time, too ashamed of my weakness to cry for help. Cutting ties with her was hard; we had shared so many happy memories. The ordeal left me guarded. However, through taekwondo, I found my voice in teaching others, training them to respect and mentoring them through emotional trials that I could relate to. I also found strength in sharing my struggles, learning that weakness can be catalyzed into strength. Every trial and every triumph leave marks just like oil leaves a brownish burn on the dumplings and water leaves wrinkles.

Step 5: Share and enjoy!

Every dumpling is unique and so is every person. I am a dumpling that is still in the making. My experiences have added to my filling, fostering a heart for service and a mind open to new possibilities. They have shaped my wrapper, adjusting the lenses through which I see the world. My journey continues as I look down a new road, one that forks and turns with every decision. While the unknown may lead to fear, my previous struggles with balance and transition have taught me to embrace new challenges and allow them to shape me into a better, more flavorful dumpling.


Common App Essay #22

Written by Anonymous Student

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
(650 words max)

Holton is my best friend. He may be a bit worn down, but he is an old soul with a story to tell. With him, I have enjoyed Russian folklore, romantic escapades, and renowned classics. With him, I have succeeded and failed. At times, we have had arguments, but when I look back on our time together, it’s the magical moments that resound. When I moved schools, I lost contact with many of my old friends, but I never lost Holton.

At first, I was a bit hesitant about our relationship, but my teacher advised me that Holton and I would grow into great friends if we just gave each other a chance. How could I say no? Since then, I have never looked back. We have taken trips to New York City every weekend, with each passing day bringing a new adventure. Eventually, people began to express worry that all the time we spent together would hinder my academics and hold me back from other pursuits; I didn’t care. Nothing could break our bond.

Sometimes I reminisce about the day I first met Holton. The old adage goes, gold is first and silver is second. With Holton, this notion was turned upside down. When I walked into the shop, it was all gold. It was as if King Midas had touched everything in the store. However, something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. Was that a silver among the golds? He is not your standard image of perfection without that golden shine. However, I knew not to judge anything at face value but rather by the story that it tells; it was this silver horn that possessed the hauntingly golden sound.

Holton is my french horn. Not a shiny new one, but one that has travelled far and experienced much. He has been with me ?under the bright lights of Lincoln Center and Peter Jay Sharp Theater, and has always given my right arm a good workout as I carry him from class to class, rehearsal to rehearsal, performance to performance.

Through Holton, I have experienced failure. My failed New Jersey Youth Symphony audition as a sixth grader fueled my motivation to practice harder. I still remember my dried lips, cracked notes, and missed entrances. Such failures invariably led to success.

Acceptance into the Juilliard Pre-College program will always be one of my happiest memories. However, no success comes without sacrifice. In my early childhood, I participated in every activity that I liked. Basketball, choir, piano...if I enjoyed it, I did it. Mandatory all-day attendance every Saturday at Juilliard with my friend Holton in company, meant I had to give up some other things that I loved. I could no longer be a part of the New Jersey Y?outh Chorus, the beloved choir in which I had sung for seven years. I would not be able to try out for freshman basketball, one of my high school goals. I would not be able to participate on the debate team in earnest, something that I fell in love in my freshman year. ?But Holton has been worth these sacrifices and more. The journey I am experiencing with him more than makes up for anything else I had to give up, and I cannot wait to continue our journey in my college years.

Soon, my high school experience will be over, and as I bid adieu to the friendly walls of Delbarton, I will hit the road to wherever this application process takes me. Among all the suitcases in the trunk will be a black, worn-down horn case; inside will be Holton, ready for more adventures. Many college-bound seniors wish for good roommates. I know that in Holton I will have, at the very least, one great one. He will always hold a special place in my life and in my heart as my first prize silver.


Common App Essay #28

Written by Anonymous Student

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
(650 words max)

The initial sound of a distant ambulance didn’t cause my grandmother any worry as she relaxed and looked out over Eagle Lake in Acadia State Park. She only started to take notice when the third ambulance urgently made its way into the mountains behind them, causing her and her best friend to sit up from their beach chairs. They had been enjoying the afternoon on the beach while my grandfather and his best friend had gone hiking on the popular yet daunting Beehive Loop Trail. Both men were in excellent shape and often found themselves hiking alongside one another.

My grandmother’s concern faded rather quickly as sirens fell distant and time passed.

After about 30 minutes, my grandfather’s friend ran toward the beach. My grandfather was not next to him. He was not there at all. At that moment, my grandma knew.

“Burt...he was with me...he slipped...he fell...I ran down the side of the mountain, off the trail, but I couldn’t find him. The park rangers are looking...” She stopped listening. She could see his lips moving, yet she heard nothing.

My grandfather died that day. As he was only about 5 minutes from the top of the mountain, he lost his balance on a particularly difficult section of the trail and fell over 100 feet. A freak accident. One that could never have been imagined or anticipated. A horrific event which brutalized a man and a family which had been nothing but good to the world.

I never knew my grandfather. He died only 80 days before I was born. But I know the man he was. I know him well. I know that he was a school psychologist, a life he chose so that he could help children who could not help themselves. I know he spent countless hours in the garden so that he could give my grandmother flowers every morning. I know that he spent years with a young boy, the son of a drug addicted mother, taking him to baseball games, bringing him home to dinner, and simply teaching him how to live, despite the poor hand this boy had been dealt. Most importantly, I know that I did not get to know a man that would have made my life better in every way. I never got to go to baseball games with him. He never was able to cheer for me on the soccer field or basketball court. I know that this great man certainly should have been able to live well past 57, yet he was given an abrupt end. An end that he deserved less than anyone in the world became his reality.

This story has made me question what so many people around me believe is an undeniable truth. Is God real?

I was not raised with religion in my life, despite living in a primarily Christian area. When my friends went to church on Sunday, I watched the Wiggles. I went to many First Communions, cheering on my peers without knowing what I was really celebrating. I have listened to countless prayers and promises made to Jesus, while I sat awkwardly alongside. Sometimes I would feel jealous that I did not have God to look after me, despite not knowing what God was. I never believed or didn’t believe in God, I just never knew.

The story of my Grandfather’s death is what sparked my curiosity in this matter. I’ve always wondered why people believe in God, or what has proven to them the reality of God. I’ve asked myself questions like, “Why, if God is all-powerful, would he end a great man like my grandfather’s life?” “Why wouldn’t he cause this pain to a murderer or rapist?”

My questions are still unanswered, and I’m not educated enough at this point to determine an answer for myself. Maybe as I grow and learn, I can find an answer.


Common App Essay #178

Written by Anonymous Student

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
(650 words max)

First impressions are everything—even in kindergarten.

I was born with Nonsyndromic Aplasia Cutis Congenita. Basically, I have had a scar on my head since birth, and hair couldn't always grow over it. Up until fourth grade, when I underwent two hair transplants that would allow me to slowly grow hair over my scar, it was definitely noticeable.

What I remember vividly about kindergarten is my new peers glaring at my shiny head with a puzzled look. I learned about my classmates through their lunchbox covers and backpack designs; they saw me as the boy with the scar. It had a nice ring to it, but I wasn’t a fan. Unfortunately, that’s what I imagined everyone saw first, and first impressions stick.

In elementary school, it was still my defining characteristic—what separated me from a sea of collared t-shirts and cargo shorts. As I began first grade, the questions started. In retrospect, they were harmless, but they made me feel alienated. I would try to shrug them off, but the benign inquisitions furthered the self-created idea that I was different than my classmates because of something I couldn’t fix.

The idea of my peers seeing only my bare scalp when they looked at me, whether true or not, was a nightmare I couldn’t shake. It was my most distinct feature, but I didn’t want it to be defining. So, I applied myself to my activities. No matter what it was, I always tried to stand out so I wouldn’t be seen as the boy with the scar anymore. My hair wasn’t something I could control, but my personality was. I wanted to build an identity on my interests and attributes, not have one automatically assigned because of a birth mark.

From art to sports to being one of the only first graders on elementary student council, my desire to distract my peers from my scar was the reason I pushed myself to try new things and work at them, even if it wasn’t for the best reason.

As I grew up with it and found hobbies that I genuinely enjoyed doing and talking about, I slowly became more comfortable with the attention that I once shied away from. I found a way, through my activities and interests, to feel comfortable in my skin, whether there was hair on it or not.

I remember walking out of the operating room after my second surgery with a new sense of self, ready to be a different person with a re-created identity and a full head of hair. That didn’t happen. I went back to school as the same person I was before, and that was exactly what I wanted—I just didn’t know it then. For so long I felt restricted by my scar. It wasn’t until hair started growing when I realized I never really was.

I didn’t have a sudden epiphany about my scar after the surgery, nor did I feel like a new person. By that point in my life, I had figuratively grown into my scar just as I grew into my brother’s hand-me-downs. I found and focused on my interests, and from them I developed an identity that I was proud of, well before I went under the knife.

A caveat of my surgery was that the hair would grow, then one-third would fall off. My scar will never be completely gone, but I no longer feel defined by it like I did in elementary school.

Neither the surgeries or my search for a more redeeming quality completely changed my life, but both experiences made me more confident in my self-perception. I can be whatever I want to be; a scar can’t change that. It just took two surgeries and years of nail biting and pushing myself at my activities, some of which I still partake in and am passionate about today, to realize it.

Supplemental Essays (15)


Supplemental Essay #13

Written by Anonymous Student

If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your application, which one would you keep doing? Why?
(150 words max)

With my aspirations to pursue a career in law, I would continue with youth court. Restorative justice is a concept that repairs damages and restores harmony. Instead of merely correcting illegal actions, an offender is integrated back into the community as a productive member of society. As a member, this is the greatest sense of satisfaction. Allowing someone the chance to change truly displays why I have remained devoted to the program for years.

At the University of Michigan, I would continue my restorative justice journey by involving myself in the Office of Student Conflict Resolution. I understand people have faults, which lead to disputes. With my vast experience with a variety of cases, I can assist others in making amends. Therefore, I am hopeful that I would be selected as a Student Resolution Panelist to be further educated on methods and approaches using restorative justice.


Supplemental Essay #14

Written by Anonymous Student

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
(300 words max)

A defining factor of my interests and character is membership to Ontario County Youth Court. Not only have I enjoyed the career exploration, new opportunities, and service aspects of the program, but also the people within it. Youth court provides as alternative path legal path for youth offenders. But also serves the community of members who conduct the trials. This has allowed me to gain an understanding of other people’s situations and circumstances.

After four years of dedicated membership, I have assumed leadership positions within the program. This includes acting as lead prosecutor, along with the elected chair of the Ontario County Youth Court Steering Committee. As chair, I have planned successful member outreach events such as a Halloween party and a career exploration event. By acting as a mentor and providing guidance towards my fellow members, I have encouraged others to develop a passion for youth court and law. Without this community, I would have never discovered my true passion for law, or broadened my understanding of others.


Supplemental Essay #15

Written by Anonymous Student

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?
(550 words max)

The University of Michigan’s College of Engineering has a proactive approach to career path discovery and job search. While I do hope to aspire to a corporate attorney, an engineering degree from the University of Michigan would provide me the advantage of readiness.

U.S News and World Report published an article about challenges law school applicants with STEM degrees face. Number one was the lack of research skills. Michigan Undergraduate Engineering has research opportunities for all undergraduate students. I hope to even take advantage of The College of Engineering (CoE) International Internship Program. The chance to see the world and contribute to the world-class studies conducted by Michigan Engineering students is a unique quality. The article also reported that STEM applicants often lack job experience. Michigan Engineering hosts internship fairs, which even freshman can participate in. By utilizing the opportunity to work in a professional setting, I will be more adapt to presenting myself in a mature and respectable manor in a corporate setting.

Many people are puzzled by my aspirations to become a corporate lawyer with an engineering degree. While I enjoy learning about many areas of study, math and science have always peaked my interest. Like my attraction to law, I am drawn to the definitiveness of engineering specifically. While there is a right and wrong in methods and procedures, there is a chance to be creative; for the end goal is functionality. Law requires critical thinking, problem solving, and the questioning of presented facts and figures. These skills are also encompassed in Michigan Engineering. With a technical understanding of industry and engineering, I will be able to more accurately represent a corporation. Like the professors at Michigan Engineering, I hope to be an expert in my field. At Michigan Engineering, I will be educated by the best of the best. Professors that have been exposed to their fields in every aspect; allowing them to provide the best guidance to students. Instead of just presenting facts and figures in a courtroom, I will be able to understand and explain them.


Supplemental Essay #17

Written by Kathleen Carroll @kathleencarroll

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?
(550 words max)

In my junior year microeconomics class, my teacher extensively explored the ways in which people from different socioeconomic classes were affected by our economic system. I was frustrated by the ways our country forces those living in poverty to spend the little money they have on taxable goods. I began to empathize with them. How can people pull themselves out of poverty if their government seems to be working against them? More than anything, I was frustrated that I felt powerless to help them in any way.

Those lessons inspired and motivated me. I had always looked at economics as nothing more than an analysis of business models and resource allocation. I began to see it as a way to fix fundamental problems in our society, from examining the effects of healthcare expansion on crime and poverty rates to studying how shifts in our political climate affect how our country’s financial process will change. I now see economics as a way to help those in need in my country and throughout the world.

I volunteered after school for Representative Dingell and had the opportunity to attend numerous events hosted by the Ford School. Again and again, I was impressed by the extent of the Ford School’s student involvement in critical issues. Through my work with the Congresswoman, I was able to gain a greater understanding of how different groups of people were affected by shifts in political and economic priorities. My goal is to become a civil rights attorney or study economics as a way to promote sustainable growth in developing nations.

I want to begin my studies at the University of Michigan in LSA to gain a foundation in economics and political science-related courses. After my first year, I hope to gain admission to the Ford School. The connections that LSA and Ford have to Poverty Solutions solidified by interest in the University of Michigan. If I attended these schools as an undergraduate student, I would be able to assist with research on the causes and ramifications of poverty. Professor Michael Barr’s research on policy initiatives and our financial system is fascinating from the perspective of a prospective economics major. At the University of Michigan, I would be able to join teams of renowned researchers working toward the betterment of our society and our world. The range of schools working in connection with Poverty Solutions is evidence of the University’s devotion to civic engagement. I would be able to participate in groundbreaking research regarding issues I am interested in; I would have the ability to study poverty and ways to stunt or alleviate its effects in other countries. As someone hoping to pursue a career in public service, it is truly incredible to have the opportunity to join a research community specifically geared toward solving problems I am passionate about solving.

I want to join the University of Michigan’s legacy of innovators. I want to be part of the LSA community, studying economics and political science. I want to attend the Ford School and understand how policy in America and abroad has an effect on global poverty. I want to be involved with the Poverty Solutions Initiative, conducting groundbreaking research on the ways we can reform our financial system to better serve the lower and middle classes.


Supplemental Essay #18

Written by Kathleen Carroll @kathleencarroll

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
(300 words max)

As I prepared for my freshman year of high school, I was terrified I would never find my place at Grosse Pointe South. But when I started my first marching band camp a month before school began, I found the friends that would form my tightest-knit community for the next four years.

No matter how busy my schedule has become, the six hours I spend each week at marching band have remained a constant throughout high school. These friends have been the most unfailingly kind people I have met at South, and have provided me a place where I feel confident presenting myself authentically to the people around me.

As a section leader this year, I have gained experience as a supporter and motivator. My goal has been to help the underclassmen find the same community in marching band that I did.

This role has taught me a lot about collaboration. My fellow section leaders and I have shared responsibility for the quality of every performance we give and held meetings to discuss ways to improve rehearsal productivity. It has been incredible to see our hard work result in such enjoyable performances for our school and surrounding community.

The Grosse Pointe South Marching Band has become my second family throughout the last four years. I am incredibly grateful for the friends I will miss so much next year, and for the opportunity to provide underclassmen with the same kind and accepting environment that I was welcomed into four years ago.


Supplemental Essay #19

Written by Kathleen Carroll @kathleencarroll

If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your Common Application, which one would you keep doing? Why?
(150 words max)

Throughout middle school and my freshman year of high school, I was a mouse. I was terrified of making a spectacle of myself. The first time I walked into a DECA meeting -- one of only five girls in a group of 50, and the only freshman -- I nearly turned around and left. Since that day, I have earned three medals and been named a state finalist. That mousey freshman would never believe I could receive statewide recognition for a competition that required me to communicate my ideas to strangers. Walking into my first meeting was a huge step outside my comfort zone. Since then, my experiences in competitions have given me a breakthrough in self-confidence, and for that I am especially grateful. Not only has DECA enhanced my high school career, but it has helped me learn to take pride in myself and my ideas.


Supplemental Essay #21

Written by Anonymous Student

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
(300 words max)

As you walk onto my church grounds, you would be a little befuddled. What used to be a small one-story home now houses the Chinese Christian Church of Columbia--the former garage/carport is now the sanctuary, the swimming pool has been replaced with the education building, and the old house is now the kitchen and fellowship building. But the most glaring aspect is the separate services, divided by language not time. Our church walks between traditional Chinese culture and contemporary American beliefs. Many of the ABCs (American-born Chinese) and the few Americans join together for the English service, centered around more contemporary worship and disciple-building. The older immigrant population and the Chinese students from the surrounding universities gather for the Chinese service, featuring more conservative worship with hymns and focused on outreach.

Though we are divided by language and cultural barriers, we are joined together with a shared faith. While I call the English congregation home, I occasionally serve on the worship team for the Chinese service and as an interpreter for joint adult and youth events (when the Chinese and English service join together). While I serve in both congregations, my main focus is the children’s ministry where I am a Sunday school teacher and an activities coordinator. Every week, I love walking into the classroom, seeing the happy faces of curious children ready to learn new Bible stories despite their occasional rowdy and disobedient behavior. While the students learn, I share the same search for answers in my faith. With my church being a melting pot of cultures and language, we work to push aside those barriers to be joined together under one faith. Despite the challenges, the tight-knit community that has sprung up from our tiny house church has won my heart.


Supplemental Essay #23

Written by Anonymous Student

If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your Common Application, which one would you keep doing? Why?
(150 words max)

It started from scratch, in 4th grade band
Just me, my horn, and a small music stand
Not knowing where, one day, this horn would take me
Not knowing it would all be so grand.

I practiced for years, my range did expand
I kept working and listening to teacher’s commands
I’d keep on improving, as long as I practiced
Whenever I got some time on my hands.

Failures have been tough to fully withstand.
Each judge’s musical taste is hard to understand.
But under the bright lights of Juilliard and Lincoln Center
My journey could not have been better planned.

Looking back to where I began
I couldn’t have imagined where I would land
Only one activity? I’d keep playing my horn
You have to play it to truly understand.


Supplemental Essay #24

Written by Anonymous Student

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
(250 words max)

The bus took ten minutes to get home this time, not the usual thirty. This wasn’t my home, but it would essentially become just that.

The Morristown Neighborhood House is a center that provides a free and safe after-school environment for local children. While I had previously participated in various service programs, something was different about NH. Whether it was teaching long division or playing a game of chess, the bonds I established with the kids were real, human connections.

It was a privilege to be appointed service coordinator at the end of my junior year. But, I wanted to further immerse myself into “the Nabe.” While there were various summer options, I felt that there couldn’t be a better choice than signing up to be a camp counselor at the Nabe.

The kids became family; through sarcophagus art projects, writing practice, Xbox tournaments, implicit bias discussions, and trips to the park, they became the little siblings I never had. When I brought in ice cream for all of them on my birthday, I was showered with hugs. No foreign exchange trip could outdo that.

I am a member of many communities based on my geography, ethnicity, interests, and talents, but the most meaningful community is the one that I never thought I would be a part of. Bryan, Genesis, Justin, John, Christian, Jason, Jazarah, Jaeden, Steven, Angelique, Isabella... and Yajur.

On that first bus ride to the Nabe, I never saw it coming.


Supplemental Essay #25

Written by Anonymous Student

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?
(550 words max)

Throughout my college search, I had yet to come across the perfect undergraduate school for my interests. The safe pick was always the standard “College of Arts and Sciences” or its equivalent, with the most varied options for me to craft my experience. Something was different about Michigan. I didn’t need to craft my own academic experience at another university when the perfect one was already designed here: The School of Kinesiology’s Movement Science program.

In my house, we never eat scrambled eggs. We eat denatured albumin and yolk proteins served with a sprinkling of sodium chloride; cooking was chemistry, not just a chore. From a young age, my parents have cultivated a sense of curiosity in me. So when I injured my left wrist in the summer before freshman year, it was so much more than just an injury. I researched more into my growth plate dislocation and radial fracture. I got to see the details of the procedure, the recovery process, and the gradual reversion of my X-rays to a normal wrist image. This fascinating journey got me through an otherwise disappointing summer: no basketball and no french horn.

While the seeds were planted during my injury, they didn’t start blooming until I spent a week shadowing Dr. Kesavan Ramanujan in the Royal United Hospital, Bath, England. I realized that the field of orthopedics was a field where I could visually identify a problem, come up with a solution, implement the solution through operation, and help someone progress to full recovery. The gratification on the doctor’s faces when their recovered patients came back to visit them was infectious. While this trip was my first time staying abroad without my family, the biggest takeaway for me was that I had found a career I was truly interested in.

My volunteer work at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Physiotherapy Clinic has only strengthened this notion. While my work as a volunteer may be the more routine tasks: making schedules, doing paperwork, cleaning the beds and the gym, setting up hot packs, cold packs, and stimulation pads, I have learned so much about the subtle details of patient interaction through what I absorb from the physical therapists. Even if a PT is having a bad day, they have taught me how important it is to have a smile on your face for the next patient coming through the doors. They have also taught me how much of an intersection there is between teaching and medicine/therapy.

These experiences draw me to the School of Kinesiology, and specifically the Movement Science program. The opportunity to actively engage with skeletomuscular system studies as opposed to solely classroom learning appeals to me, as do the extensive research opportunities. The specialized IONM Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Program-- the only accredited IONM program in the world-- would give me the chance to engage in an exciting, interdisciplinary curriculum that cannot be found anywhere else.

From scrambled eggs to broken bones; from British adventures to lessons learned in the RWJ clinic. Discovering my passion for orthopedics and movement science has already been an exhilarating ride; yet, these have all been just the beginning steps of my journey. I cannot think of a better place to continue than the University of Michigan.


Supplemental Essay #29

Written by Anonymous Student

If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your Common Application, which one would you keep doing? Why?
(150 words max)

The activity which I am most passionate about and plan to continue is soccer. Soccer has taught me multiple skills applicable to all aspects of life. These include leadership, teamwork, and work ethic. As captain of the soccer team, I have taken away various lessons I can apply in life. For instance, I have improved not only giving constructive criticism, but also receiving it- something which I am still working toward. Similarly, I have learned to be a better teammate, as soccer is reliant on playing together. Most significantly, soccer has brought me a desire to work hard, as being great requires so much more than pure talent. The impact of soccer on my life has created a new challenge for my future. I would like to continue playing because I want to take what I have learned and expand on it, and ultimately teach these lessons to others.


Supplemental Essay #30

Written by Anonymous Student

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
(300 words max)

In my hometown, you can hear the cows moo and the tractors hum. The smell of manure might only be overtaken by the fumes of a Ford F-150. Farms line the sides of the roads I take to school. I have lived in rural Carroll County, Maryland my whole life. I have grown to love it. The people are friendly, neighborhoods are safe, and schools are good. However, there is one main issue. Everyone here is white.

While visiting the University of Michigan, I noticed the treelined campus. I pictured myself meeting peers in the dorms and classrooms. I was overwhelmed when I stepped into the Big House. But the thing that stood out the most was the diversity of Ann Arbor. Being in a place where a variety of ethnicities is so prevalent was a wake-up call to what I have been missing my whole life.

The diverse community of the University of Michigan is a place where I could see myself thrive. Being around and learning from people with unique backgrounds has been a rare commodity in my life. Around the age of thirteen, I realized what I had been missing within Carroll County, so I joined a soccer team in a more diverse neighboring county. This team gave me a taste of what life is like away from my rural hometown. In college I want to belong to a society of people all different from each other. I would be able to learn so many valuable life lessons. University of Michigan is a place where I could share my story, as well as take in the stories of many different people. In college, I want to join a community filled with variety and open mindedness, rather than remaining in my ethnically homogenous past.


Supplemental Essay #31

Written by Anonymous Student

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?
(550 words max)

Sweat drips down my face onto homework in front of me.

I just got home from a soccer game; I’m not stressed. This is until I realize I still have a plethora of edits to make on my lab report as well as emails to write for an upcoming NHS event. AND I have three tests the next day.

Fun.

Although stressful, I enjoy every minute of juggling a variety of academics and extracurriculars. I appreciate all the opportunities my high school offers to me and I take advantage of as many as I can handle. Thanks to my involved years of high school, I have received a great education as well as many experiences I would never trade away.

Entering my senior year and researching universities I may want to attend, there is one question which continuously presents itself. What do I want to major in when I get to college? It is a scary question and I have never known the answer. Despite participating in many extracurriculars such as National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, Math Honor Society, and Future Business Leaders of America, I still have no idea what I want to do with my life.

As a student at LSA, I would be able to use the abundance of resources to explore possibilities for life after college. Since I am one of the many college applicants who has not decided upon a major, a large, liberal arts college like LSA is the perfect place for me to discover more about myself, pursue interests, and find my purpose. I have considered medicine, business, economics, and law. The two courses I have enjoyed the most are biomedical sciences and US History. I am truly all over the map! With so much variety at LSA, I would be able to change majors or take a diverse group of classes so that I could find what I want to study. LSA is unique from its University of Michigan counterparts because it offers a broader range of departments, majors, and courses. The flexibility at LSA would help me discover what I want my life to be like while supporting me through my journey.

Additionally, LSA provides students with multiple opportunities not found anywhere else at University of Michigan. One program that caught my eye was Michigan Learning Communities. This program appeals to me because having the resources of this large university, yet finding a niche in the community to challenge myself and others, can help me grow as a student and a person. Similarly, the Opportunity Hub at LSA jumped out at me as I researched the University and toured the school. I would take full advantage of the great connections the Opportunity Hub provides, as it could help me find an internship or job offer when the perfect time comes. MLCs, the Opportunity Hub, and the many other programs which LSA offers are the main reasons why LSA would be the best college fit for me.

I was initially drawn to the University of Michigan by the beautiful campus, great athletics programs, unmatched prestige, and massive alumni network. However, as I dove deeper, I discovered LSA, a school that can help me realize my purpose and passions while providing a focused learning environment to lead me to a bright future.


Supplemental Essay #32

Written by Anonymous Student

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
(300 words max)

I grew up with big glass doors in my living room, bold doors that opened to a garden on one side and a living room on the other. When you walked outside, you entered an untamed mosaic of bamboo, peonies, lavender, hummingbirds, bees and the occasional free-spirited cat. Grey stepping stones guided you through the mystical garden in a seemingly random fashion. The other side of the doors open up to a different type of community, a community where shoes and dirt weren’t allowed, corners were sharp, and the main odor was all-purpose cleaning spray. These two worlds were separated by a mere panel of transparent doors. I believe that I am the product of both of them. These two spaces, along with my mother, formed the person that I am today. From the garden community, I learned to be pure and kind, while the indoor community warned me to also stay guarded. I’m reserved, but with a touch of confidence; forgiving but not ignorant; and perseverent yet flexible. Things used to seem binary; I was either the garden or the room. However, I now believe that I am the living, breathing evidence that maybe life isn’t so one-sided. Maybe some us will realize that one side calls to us, while others will become the glass doors and, instead of standing on either side, experience multiple worlds.


Supplemental Essay #33

Written by Anonymous Student

If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your Common Application, which one would you keep doing? Why?
(150 words max)

Working as a nanny has taught me much more than any club or organization could. Growing up with a single mom, I wasn’t always the primary focus: I had to learn how to take care of myself and carve my own path. Now, being a nanny enables me to be a role model and guide for kids whose parents might not have the time or ability to do so. And as the child of a working parent, I’m also aware of the constant stress parents are under. Not only does being a nanny teach me how to handle the responsibilities of caring for a child, it also allows me to reminisce on my childhood. Whether I’m helping David with his Spanish homework, teaching Edward how to say hi, or finding Leprechaun footprints with William, I can feel the unique impact I’m making on their lives, an impact which is irreplaceable.


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Welcome to EssaysThatWorked! The goal here is pretty simple: to help students all around the world write better college admissions essays and improve their chance of getting accepted to top schools. We provide accepted essays written by real students who got into the most selective schools.

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