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Six brilliant student essays on the power of food to spark social change.

Read winning essays from our fall 2018 “Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolutions,” student writing contest.


For the Fall 2018 student writing competition, “Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolutions,” we invited students to read the YES! Magazine article, “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,”   by Korsha Wilson and respond to this writing prompt: If you were to host a potluck or dinner to discuss a challenge facing your community or country, what food would you cook? Whom would you invite? On what issue would you deliberate? 

The Winners

From the hundreds of essays written, these six—on anti-Semitism, cultural identity, death row prisoners, coming out as transgender, climate change, and addiction—were chosen as essay winners.  Be sure to read the literary gems and catchy titles that caught our eye.

Middle School Winner: India Brown High School Winner: Grace Williams University Winner: Lillia Borodkin Powerful Voice Winner: Paisley Regester Powerful Voice Winner: Emma Lingo Powerful Voice Winner: Hayden Wilson

Literary Gems Clever Titles

Middle School Winner: India Brown  

A Feast for the Future

Close your eyes and imagine the not too distant future: The Statue of Liberty is up to her knees in water, the streets of lower Manhattan resemble the canals of Venice, and hurricanes arrive in the fall and stay until summer. Now, open your eyes and see the beautiful planet that we will destroy if we do not do something. Now is the time for change. Our future is in our control if we take actions, ranging from small steps, such as not using plastic straws, to large ones, such as reducing fossil fuel consumption and electing leaders who take the problem seriously.

 Hosting a dinner party is an extraordinary way to publicize what is at stake. At my potluck, I would serve linguini with clams. The clams would be sautéed in white wine sauce. The pasta tossed with a light coat of butter and topped with freshly shredded parmesan. I choose this meal because it cannot be made if global warming’s patterns persist. Soon enough, the ocean will be too warm to cultivate clams, vineyards will be too sweltering to grow grapes, and wheat fields will dry out, leaving us without pasta.

I think that giving my guests a delicious meal and then breaking the news to them that its ingredients would be unattainable if Earth continues to get hotter is a creative strategy to initiate action. Plus, on the off chance the conversation gets drastically tense, pasta is a relatively difficult food to throw.

In YES! Magazine’s article, “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” Korsha Wilson says “…beyond the narrow definition of what cooking is, you can see that cooking is and has always been an act of resistance.” I hope that my dish inspires people to be aware of what’s at stake with increasing greenhouse gas emissions and work toward creating a clean energy future.

 My guest list for the potluck would include two groups of people: local farmers, who are directly and personally affected by rising temperatures, increased carbon dioxide, drought, and flooding, and people who either do not believe in human-caused climate change or don’t think it affects anyone. I would invite the farmers or farm owners because their jobs and crops are dependent on the weather. I hope that after hearing a farmer’s perspective, climate-deniers would be awakened by the truth and more receptive to the effort to reverse these catastrophic trends.

Earth is a beautiful planet that provides everything we’ll ever need, but because of our pattern of living—wasteful consumption, fossil fuel burning, and greenhouse gas emissions— our habitat is rapidly deteriorating. Whether you are a farmer, a long-shower-taking teenager, a worker in a pollution-producing factory, or a climate-denier, the future of humankind is in our hands. The choices we make and the actions we take will forever affect planet Earth.

 India Brown is an eighth grader who lives in New York City with her parents and older brother. She enjoys spending time with her friends, walking her dog, Morty, playing volleyball and lacrosse, and swimming.

High School Winner: Grace Williams

college essay comparing yourself to food

Apple Pie Embrace

It’s 1:47 a.m. Thanksgiving smells fill the kitchen. The sweet aroma of sugar-covered apples and buttery dough swirls into my nostrils. Fragrant orange and rosemary permeate the room and every corner smells like a stroll past the open door of a French bakery. My eleven-year-old eyes water, red with drowsiness, and refocus on the oven timer counting down. Behind me, my mom and aunt chat to no end, fueled by the seemingly self-replenishable coffee pot stashed in the corner. Their hands work fast, mashing potatoes, crumbling cornbread, and covering finished dishes in a thin layer of plastic wrap. The most my tired body can do is sit slouched on the backless wooden footstool. I bask in the heat escaping under the oven door.

 As a child, I enjoyed Thanksgiving and the preparations that came with it, but it seemed like more of a bridge between my birthday and Christmas than an actual holiday. Now, it’s a time of year I look forward to, dedicated to family, memories, and, most importantly, food. What I realized as I grew older was that my homemade Thanksgiving apple pie was more than its flaky crust and soft-fruit center. This American food symbolized a rite of passage, my Iraqi family’s ticket to assimilation. 

 Some argue that by adopting American customs like the apple pie, we lose our culture. I would argue that while American culture influences what my family eats and celebrates, it doesn’t define our character. In my family, we eat Iraqi dishes like mesta and tahini, but we also eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. This doesn’t mean we favor one culture over the other; instead, we create a beautiful blend of the two, adapting traditions to make them our own.

 That said, my family has always been more than the “mashed potatoes and turkey” type.

My mom’s family immigrated to the United States in 1976. Upon their arrival, they encountered a deeply divided America. Racism thrived, even after the significant freedoms gained from the Civil Rights Movement a few years before. Here, my family was thrust into a completely unknown world: they didn’t speak the language, they didn’t dress normally, and dinners like riza maraka seemed strange in comparison to the Pop Tarts and Oreos lining grocery store shelves.

 If I were to host a dinner party, it would be like Thanksgiving with my Chaldean family. The guests, my extended family, are a diverse people, distinct ingredients in a sweet potato casserole, coming together to create a delicious dish.

In her article “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” Korsha Wilson writes, “each ingredient that we use, every technique, every spice tells a story about our access, our privilege, our heritage, and our culture.” Voices around the room will echo off the walls into the late hours of the night while the hot apple pie steams at the table’s center.

We will play concan on the blanketed floor and I’ll try to understand my Toto, who, after forty years, still speaks broken English. I’ll listen to my elders as they tell stories about growing up in Unionville, Michigan, a predominately white town where they always felt like outsiders, stories of racism that I have the privilege not to experience. While snacking on sunflower seeds and salted pistachios, we’ll talk about the news- how thousands of people across the country are protesting for justice among immigrants. No one protested to give my family a voice.

Our Thanksgiving food is more than just sustenance, it is a physical representation of my family ’s blended and ever-changing culture, even after 40 years in the United States. No matter how the food on our plates changes, it will always symbolize our sense of family—immediate and extended—and our unbreakable bond.

Grace Williams, a student at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri, enjoys playing tennis, baking, and spending time with her family. Grace also enjoys her time as a writing editor for her school’s yearbook, the Pioneer. In the future, Grace hopes to continue her travels abroad, as well as live near extended family along the sunny beaches of La Jolla, California.

University Winner: Lillia Borodkin

college essay comparing yourself to food

Nourishing Change After Tragedy Strikes

In the Jewish community, food is paramount. We often spend our holidays gathered around a table, sharing a meal and reveling in our people’s story. On other sacred days, we fast, focusing instead on reflection, atonement, and forgiveness.

As a child, I delighted in the comfort of matzo ball soup, the sweetness of hamantaschen, and the beauty of braided challah. But as I grew older and more knowledgeable about my faith, I learned that the origins of these foods are not rooted in joy, but in sacrifice.

The matzo of matzo balls was a necessity as the Jewish people did not have time for their bread to rise as they fled slavery in Egypt. The hamantaschen was an homage to the hat of Haman, the villain of the Purim story who plotted the Jewish people’s destruction. The unbaked portion of braided challah was tithed by commandment to the kohen  or priests. Our food is an expression of our history, commemorating both our struggles and our triumphs.

As I write this, only days have passed since eleven Jews were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. These people, intending only to pray and celebrate the Sabbath with their community, were murdered simply for being Jewish. This brutal event, in a temple and city much like my own, is a reminder that anti-Semitism still exists in this country. A reminder that hatred of Jews, of me, my family, and my community, is alive and flourishing in America today. The thought that a difference in religion would make some believe that others do not have the right to exist is frightening and sickening.  

 This is why, if given the chance, I would sit down the entire Jewish American community at one giant Shabbat table. I’d serve matzo ball soup, pass around loaves of challah, and do my best to offer comfort. We would take time to remember the beautiful souls lost to anti-Semitism this October and the countless others who have been victims of such hatred in the past. I would then ask that we channel all we are feeling—all the fear, confusion, and anger —into the fight.

As suggested in Korsha Wilson’s “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” I would urge my guests to direct our passion for justice and the comfort and care provided by the food we are eating into resisting anti-Semitism and hatred of all kinds.

We must use the courage this sustenance provides to create change and honor our people’s suffering and strength. We must remind our neighbors, both Jewish and non-Jewish, that anti-Semitism is alive and well today. We must shout and scream and vote until our elected leaders take this threat to our community seriously. And, we must stand with, support, and listen to other communities that are subjected to vengeful hate today in the same way that many of these groups have supported us in the wake of this tragedy.

This terrible shooting is not the first of its kind, and if conflict and loathing are permitted to grow, I fear it will not be the last. While political change may help, the best way to target this hate is through smaller-scale actions in our own communities.

It is critical that we as a Jewish people take time to congregate and heal together, but it is equally necessary to include those outside the Jewish community to build a powerful crusade against hatred and bigotry. While convening with these individuals, we will work to end the dangerous “otherizing” that plagues our society and seek to understand that we share far more in common than we thought. As disagreements arise during our discussions, we will learn to respect and treat each other with the fairness we each desire. Together, we shall share the comfort, strength, and courage that traditional Jewish foods provide and use them to fuel our revolution. 

We are not alone in the fight despite what extremists and anti-semites might like us to believe.  So, like any Jew would do, I invite you to join me at the Shabbat table. First, we will eat. Then, we will get to work.  

Lillia Borodkin is a senior at Kent State University majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Child Psychology. She plans to attend graduate school and become a school psychologist while continuing to pursue her passion for reading and writing. Outside of class, Lillia is involved in research in the psychology department and volunteers at the Women’s Center on campus.   

Powerful Voice Winner: Paisley Regester

college essay comparing yourself to food

As a kid, I remember asking my friends jokingly, ”If you were stuck on a deserted island, what single item of food would you bring?” Some of my friends answered practically and said they’d bring water. Others answered comically and said they’d bring snacks like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or a banana. However, most of my friends answered sentimentally and listed the foods that made them happy. This seems like fun and games, but what happens if the hypothetical changes? Imagine being asked, on the eve of your death, to choose the final meal you will ever eat. What food would you pick? Something practical? Comical? Sentimental?  

This situation is the reality for the 2,747 American prisoners who are currently awaiting execution on death row. The grim ritual of “last meals,” when prisoners choose their final meal before execution, can reveal a lot about these individuals and what they valued throughout their lives.

It is difficult for us to imagine someone eating steak, lobster tail, apple pie, and vanilla ice cream one moment and being killed by state-approved lethal injection the next. The prisoner can only hope that the apple pie he requested tastes as good as his mom’s. Surprisingly, many people in prison decline the option to request a special last meal. We often think of food as something that keeps us alive, so is there really any point to eating if someone knows they are going to die?

“Controlling food is a means of controlling power,” said chef Sean Sherman in the YES! Magazine article “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” by Korsha Wilson. There are deeper stories that lie behind the final meals of individuals on death row.

I want to bring awareness to the complex and often controversial conditions of this country’s criminal justice system and change the common perception of prisoners as inhuman. To accomplish this, I would host a potluck where I would recreate the last meals of prisoners sentenced to death.

In front of each plate, there would be a place card with the prisoner’s full name, the date of execution, and the method of execution. These meals could range from a plate of fried chicken, peas with butter, apple pie, and a Dr. Pepper, reminiscent of a Sunday dinner at Grandma’s, to a single olive.

Seeing these meals up close, meals that many may eat at their own table or feed to their own kids, would force attendees to face the reality of the death penalty. It will urge my guests to look at these individuals not just as prisoners, assigned a number and a death date, but as people, capable of love and rehabilitation.  

This potluck is not only about realizing a prisoner’s humanity, but it is also about recognizing a flawed criminal justice system. Over the years, I have become skeptical of the American judicial system, especially when only seven states have judges who ethnically represent the people they serve. I was shocked when I found out that the officers who killed Michael Brown and Anthony Lamar Smith were exonerated for their actions. How could that be possible when so many teens and adults of color have spent years in prison, some even executed, for crimes they never committed?  

Lawmakers, police officers, city officials, and young constituents, along with former prisoners and their families, would be invited to my potluck to start an honest conversation about the role and application of inequality, dehumanization, and racism in the death penalty. Food served at the potluck would represent the humanity of prisoners and push people to acknowledge that many inmates are victims of a racist and corrupt judicial system.

Recognizing these injustices is only the first step towards a more equitable society. The second step would be acting on these injustices to ensure that every voice is heard, even ones separated from us by prison walls. Let’s leave that for the next potluck, where I plan to serve humble pie.

Paisley Regester is a high school senior and devotes her life to activism, the arts, and adventure. Inspired by her experiences traveling abroad to Nicaragua, Mexico, and Scotland, Paisley hopes to someday write about the diverse people and places she has encountered and share her stories with the rest of the world.

Powerful Voice Winner: Emma Lingo

college essay comparing yourself to food

The Empty Seat

“If you aren’t sober, then I don’t want to see you on Christmas.”

Harsh words for my father to hear from his daughter but words he needed to hear. Words I needed him to understand and words he seemed to consider as he fiddled with his wine glass at the head of the table. Our guests, my grandma, and her neighbors remained resolutely silent. They were not about to defend my drunken father–or Charles as I call him–from my anger or my ultimatum.

This was the first dinner we had had together in a year. The last meal we shared ended with Charles slopping his drink all over my birthday presents and my mother explaining heroin addiction to me. So, I wasn’t surprised when Charles threw down some liquid valor before dinner in anticipation of my anger. If he wanted to be welcomed on Christmas, he needed to be sober—or he needed to be gone.

Countless dinners, holidays, and birthdays taught me that my demands for sobriety would fall on deaf ears. But not this time. Charles gave me a gift—a one of a kind, limited edition, absolutely awkward treat. One that I didn’t know how to deal with at all. Charles went home that night, smacked a bright red bow on my father, and hand-delivered him to me on Christmas morning.

He arrived for breakfast freshly showered and looking flustered. He would remember this day for once only because his daughter had scolded him into sobriety. Dad teetered between happiness and shame. Grandma distracted us from Dad’s presence by bringing the piping hot bacon and biscuits from the kitchen to the table, theatrically announcing their arrival. Although these foods were the alleged focus of the meal, the real spotlight shined on the unopened liquor cabinet in my grandma’s kitchen—the cabinet I know Charles was begging Dad to open.

I’ve isolated myself from Charles. My family has too. It means we don’t see Dad, but it’s the best way to avoid confrontation and heartache. Sometimes I find myself wondering what it would be like if we talked with him more or if he still lived nearby. Would he be less inclined to use? If all families with an addict tried to hang on to a relationship with the user, would there be fewer addicts in the world? Christmas breakfast with Dad was followed by Charles whisking him away to Colorado where pot had just been legalized. I haven’t talked to Dad since that Christmas.

As Korsha Wilson stated in her YES! Magazine article, “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change,” “Sometimes what we don’t cook says more than what we do cook.” When it comes to addiction, what isn’t served is more important than what is. In quiet moments, I like to imagine a meal with my family–including Dad. He’d have a spot at the table in my little fantasy. No alcohol would push him out of his chair, the cigarettes would remain seated in his back pocket, and the stench of weed wouldn’t invade the dining room. Fruit salad and gumbo would fill the table—foods that Dad likes. We’d talk about trivial matters in life, like how school is going and what we watched last night on TV.

Dad would feel loved. We would connect. He would feel less alone. At the end of the night, he’d walk me to the door and promise to see me again soon. And I would believe him.

Emma Lingo spends her time working as an editor for her school paper, reading, and being vocal about social justice issues. Emma is active with many clubs such as Youth and Government, KHS Cares, and Peer Helpers. She hopes to be a journalist one day and to be able to continue helping out people by volunteering at local nonprofits.

Powerful Voice Winner: Hayden Wilson

college essay comparing yourself to food

Bittersweet Reunion

I close my eyes and envision a dinner of my wildest dreams. I would invite all of my relatives. Not just my sister who doesn’t ask how I am anymore. Not just my nephews who I’m told are too young to understand me. No, I would gather all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins to introduce them to the me they haven’t met.

For almost two years, I’ve gone by a different name that most of my family refuses to acknowledge. My aunt, a nun of 40 years, told me at a recent birthday dinner that she’d heard of my “nickname.” I didn’t want to start a fight, so I decided not to correct her. Even the ones who’ve adjusted to my name have yet to recognize the bigger issue.

Last year on Facebook, I announced to my friends and family that I am transgender. No one in my family has talked to me about it, but they have plenty to say to my parents. I feel as if this is about my parents more than me—that they’ve made some big parenting mistake. Maybe if I invited everyone to dinner and opened up a discussion, they would voice their concerns to me instead of my parents.

I would serve two different meals of comfort food to remind my family of our good times. For my dad’s family, I would cook heavily salted breakfast food, the kind my grandpa used to enjoy. He took all of his kids to IHOP every Sunday and ordered the least healthy option he could find, usually some combination of an overcooked omelet and a loaded Classic Burger. For my mom’s family, I would buy shakes and burgers from Hardee’s. In my grandma’s final weeks, she let aluminum tins of sympathy meals pile up on her dining table while she made my uncle take her to Hardee’s every day.

In her article on cooking and activism, food writer Korsha Wilson writes, “Everyone puts down their guard over a good meal, and in that space, change is possible.” Hopefully the same will apply to my guests.

When I first thought of this idea, my mind rushed to the endless negative possibilities. My nun-aunt and my two non-nun aunts who live like nuns would whip out their Bibles before I even finished my first sentence. My very liberal, state representative cousin would say how proud she is of the guy I’m becoming, but this would trigger my aunts to accuse her of corrupting my mind. My sister, who has never spoken to me about my genderidentity, would cover her children’s ears and rush them out of the house. My Great-Depression-raised grandparents would roll over in their graves, mumbling about how kids have it easy nowadays.

After mentally mapping out every imaginable terrible outcome this dinner could have, I realized a conversation is unavoidable if I want my family to accept who I am. I long to restore the deep connection I used to have with them. Though I often think these former relationships are out of reach, I won’t know until I try to repair them. For a year and a half, I’ve relied on Facebook and my parents to relay messages about my identity, but I need to tell my own story.

At first, I thought Korsha Wilson’s idea of a cooked meal leading the way to social change was too optimistic, but now I understand that I need to think more like her. Maybe, just maybe, my family could all gather around a table, enjoy some overpriced shakes, and be as close as we were when I was a little girl.

 Hayden Wilson is a 17-year-old high school junior from Missouri. He loves writing, making music, and painting. He’s a part of his school’s writing club, as well as the GSA and a few service clubs.

 Literary Gems

We received many outstanding essays for the Fall 2018 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we’d like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.

Thinking of the main staple of the dish—potatoes, the starchy vegetable that provides sustenance for people around the globe. The onion, the layers of sorrow and joy—a base for this dish served during the holidays.  The oil, symbolic of hope and perseverance. All of these elements come together to form this delicious oval pancake permeating with possibilities. I wonder about future possibilities as I flip the latkes.

—Nikki Markman, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California

The egg is a treasure. It is a fragile heart of gold that once broken, flows over the blemishless surface of the egg white in dandelion colored streams, like ribbon unraveling from its spool.

—Kaylin Ku, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Princeton Junction, New Jersey

If I were to bring one food to a potluck to create social change by addressing anti-Semitism, I would bring gefilte fish because it is different from other fish, just like the Jews are different from other people.  It looks more like a matzo ball than fish, smells extraordinarily fishy, and tastes like sweet brine with the consistency of a crab cake.

—Noah Glassman, Ethical Culture Fieldston School,  Bronx, New York

I would not only be serving them something to digest, I would serve them a one-of-a-kind taste of the past, a taste of fear that is felt in the souls of those whose home and land were taken away, a taste of ancestral power that still lives upon us, and a taste of the voices that want to be heard and that want the suffering of the Natives to end.

—Citlalic Anima Guevara, Wichita North High School, Wichita, Kansas

It’s the one thing that your parents make sure you have because they didn’t.  Food is what your mother gives you as she lies, telling you she already ate. It’s something not everybody is fortunate to have and it’s also what we throw away without hesitation.  Food is a blessing to me, but what is it to you?

—Mohamed Omar, Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri

Filleted and fried humphead wrasse, mangrove crab with coconut milk, pounded taro, a whole roast pig, and caramelized nuts—cuisines that will not be simplified to just “food.” Because what we eat is the diligence and pride of our people—a culture that has survived and continues to thrive.

—Mayumi Remengesau, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Some people automatically think I’m kosher or ask me to say prayers in Hebrew.  However, guess what? I don’t know many prayers and I eat bacon.

—Hannah Reing, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, The Bronx, New York

Everything was placed before me. Rolling up my sleeves I started cracking eggs, mixing flour, and sampling some chocolate chips, because you can never be too sure. Three separate bowls. All different sizes. Carefully, I tipped the smallest, and the medium-sized bowls into the biggest. Next, I plugged in my hand-held mixer and flicked on the switch. The beaters whirl to life. I lowered it into the bowl and witnessed the creation of something magnificent. Cookie dough.

—Cassandra Amaya, Owen Goodnight Middle School, San Marcos, Texas

Biscuits and bisexuality are both things that are in my life…My grandmother’s biscuits are the best: the good old classic Southern biscuits, crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Except it is mostly Southern people who don’t accept me.

—Jaden Huckaby, Arbor Montessori, Decatur, Georgia

We zest the bright yellow lemons and the peels of flavor fall lightly into the batter.  To make frosting, we keep adding more and more powdered sugar until it looks like fluffy clouds with raspberry seed rain.

—Jane Minus, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

Tamales for my grandma, I can still remember her skillfully spreading the perfect layer of masa on every corn husk, looking at me pitifully as my young hands fumbled with the corn wrapper, always too thick or too thin.

—Brenna Eliaz, San Marcos High School, San Marcos, Texas

Just like fry bread, MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) remind New Orleanians and others affected by disasters of the devastation throughout our city and the little amount of help we got afterward.

—Madeline Johnson, Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama

I would bring cream corn and buckeyes and have a big debate on whether marijuana should be illegal or not.

—Lillian Martinez, Miller Middle School, San Marcos, Texas

We would finish the meal off with a delicious apple strudel, topped with schlag, schlag, schlag, more schlag, and a cherry, and finally…more schlag (in case you were wondering, schlag is like whipped cream, but 10 times better because it is heavier and sweeter).

—Morgan Sheehan, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

Clever Titles

This year we decided to do something different. We were so impressed by the number of catchy titles that we decided to feature some of our favorites. 

“Eat Like a Baby: Why Shame Has No Place at a Baby’s Dinner Plate”

—Tate Miller, Wichita North High School, Wichita, Kansas 

“The Cheese in Between”

—Jedd Horowitz, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

“Harvey, Michael, Florence or Katrina? Invite Them All Because Now We Are Prepared”

—Molly Mendoza, Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama

“Neglecting Our Children: From Broccoli to Bullets”

—Kylie Rollings, Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri  

“The Lasagna of Life”

—Max Williams, Wichita North High School, Wichita, Kansas

“Yum, Yum, Carbon Dioxide In Our Lungs”

—Melanie Eickmeyer, Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri

“My Potluck, My Choice”

—Francesca Grossberg, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

“Trumping with Tacos”

—Maya Goncalves, Lincoln Middle School, Ypsilanti, Michigan

“Quiche and Climate Change”

—Bernie Waldman, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bronx, New York

“Biscuits and Bisexuality”


—Miles Oshan, San Marcos High School, San Marcos, Texas

“Bubula, Come Eat!”

—Jordan Fienberg, Ethical Culture Fieldston School,  Bronx, New York

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How An Essay About Food Landed Me at My Top College

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May 1st is fast approaching, and the time for the high school class of 2019 to make their final college decisions is dwindling. Choosing which college to go to is overwhelming, but the dozens of essays one has to write to merely apply is even more daunting. It also doesn't help when you apply to way too many schools (13 to be exact), nearly all of which want you to outline what makes their school stand out. It was all too easy to get trapped in the cycle of repetitive phrases and "smart-sounding language."

However, when it came to writing my actual college essay which was to be sent to every school, it seemed to just flow onto the paper. Despite not choosing a specific Common App prompt, I knew exactly what I was going to write about—food. 

Unlike fellow applicants, I did not have an incredible story to tell, nor an obstacle that I overcame worth a college admission officer's time. What I did have standing behind me was a passion for peanut butter and jelly , the best desserts in New Jersey , and outlandish food gadgets that probably no one needs .

I am a massive foodie. By definition, I am a person who really appreciates a good meal. It also makes me the person who makes dinner reservations for a vacation before the plane tickets and hotel rooms are booked, and one that celebrates a ten mile run with a slice of  Cheesecake Factory’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake . Is it the most healthy hobby? Probably not. But fun? Of course.

I am not sure what drew me to food, but maybe it is the fact that my earliest memories are of grabbing every sample possible at Sam’s Club, eating holiday dinners of kugel and brisket, and standing on the countertop making a batch of Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. I learned to read a nutrition label before I could read a book and I learned the basics of food before I could count to ten. From childhood until now, although my taste buds have changed, and I have grown a liking for broccoli and lasagna, my infatuation with food remains constant.

Or maybe it is because I love how food is a social event. My family makes a point to eat our dinners as a unit. You can even count on my dog joining us in the kitchen when dinner is served. Whether we are eating one of my mom’s extravagant home-cooked meals or scarfing down a delivery pizza before we have to run out of the house, my family congregates at the table to catch up with each other.

Fridays are our nights out to dinner to celebrate the fact that we made it through another week. The choice of restaurant depends on whoever’s turn it is. My brother, not at all a food fanatic, always says anywhere. My dad loves to joke that Anywhere is too far or too expensive or whatever excuse he could make to get a chuckle out of me. To this day, I can always count on Friday night plans, even if it means eating dinner out with my parents. After dinner, you might discover my sister and I binge-watching the latest documentary about the juice cleanse (we’ve seen all three) while munching on a bag of Chex Mix.

This communion continues with my friends. You can find me on any given Saturday night chatting about the latest gossip and sharing our opinions on last night’s Bachelor in Paradise episode. This conversation isn’t complete unless we are chowing down on a smorgasbord of chicken chow mein , mozzarella sticks, and Pringles. Our way of celebrating our gratefulness towards one another is by hosting a Friendsgiving. Our annual feast boasts piles of our favorite foods. Luckily, when you are with friends, calories do not count.

I adore food. Not in the way where I don’t have a limit, but in the way that food just so happens to be a vital part of so many happy moments. I’m not a glutton, I just really like to smile. I cannot remember a time when food did not in one way or another make me or someone else happy. Even during the saddest or most stressful of situations, spending some quality time with Ben and Jerry can make it all better. Food is one of the most basic human needs, but it has grown into an integral aspect of our society where people look to it for comfort. When you are surrounded by foods and people who care for you, you don’t need much more. Although, extra dessert never hurts.

Where the Essay Led Me

After a few rejections, long college road-trips, and some delicious college cookies as seen in the photo above, I have officially committed to Northeastern University. I am so excited to start the next journey of my education as a Husky. Although my time at Spoon High School comes to a close, Spoon Northeastern awaits. 

So no one told you Thanksgiving was gonna be this way.

I'm lovin' it., adventurous, no time to wine. buff it out with your ro-say cheeks..

Dr. Jennifer B. Bernstein

Dr. Jennifer B. Bernstein

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“Yale University loved her Papa John’s Pizza college application essay.”  Carolina Williams’ supplemental essay for Yale has gone viral thanks to headlines like this one.

Now let’s get some perspective on the situation , understand what really matters about this application essay, analyze how it can help you come up with compelling angles in your own narratives , and map out how this essay connects to other Yale supplemental essay topics .


Let’s face an essential fact.

Saying that an essay on pizza got Carolina into Yale is a bit of an exaggeration.

Take a look at the handwritten letter from Yale:

“I absolutely loved reading your application. Your essay on reading 100 books in a year was so passionate, fun, and likable , and, as a fellow lover of pizza, I laughed out loud (then ordered pizza) after reading your application.”

Her regional admissions officer wrote to say:

“I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read your application. As someone who kept trying to read books for fun on top of thousands of applications this winter, I really loved reading your essay on reading 100 books in a year and I laughed so hard on your pizza essay. I kept thinking that you are the kind of person that I would love to be best friends with. I want you to know that every part of your application stood out in our process and we are thrilled to be able to offer you a spot at Yale.”

Hmmmm. . . .

Interesting, isn’t it?

The first essay both admissions officers commented on was the one on reading, but. . . .

The media  is  only picking up and promoting the pizza essay .

Stories about essays on books just aren’t very likely to go viral.

That’s sad but true.

However, what’s also true is that the Yale team felt that every single part of her application stood out.

Trust me, no admissions officer or committee is going to say, “Wow. . .this one essay on pizza is so clever. . .it made me laugh so hard. . .we have to let her in.”


On the surface, it might seem that Carolina’s pizza essay is just some sort of gimmicky hook, but it’s not.

Let’s consider her perspective:

“When I read the prompt, `Write about what do you love to do,’  ordering pizza was literally the first thing that came to my mind . So I just ran with it. I thought that even if I wanted to change it I would just start writing and see how it went. And it flowed so well , and I loved it so much and I didn’t want to change it and I was so proud of it. It was so reflective of my personality that if they wanted me they would really know what they are getting. So I decided to submit it.”

So many students stress out about being super serious and trying to impress admissions officers by telling them what they think they want to hear .

Guess what?

That often backfires .

Carolina’s essay works so well precisely because it’s so real and relatable. It isn’t pretentious. There are no veiled brag alerts.

She’s simply describing something she loves:

“The sound of my doorbell starts off high, then the pitch mellows out, and the whole effect mimics an instrumental interpretation of rain finally finding a steady pace at which to fall. I have spent several minutes analyzing its tone because I have had many opportunities to do so, as one thing I love to do is order pizza and have it delivered to my house. When the delivery person rings my doorbell, I instantly morph into one of Pavlov’s dogs, salivating to the sound that signals the arrival of the cheesy, circular glory. It smells like celebration, as I love to rejoice a happy occasion by calling Papa John’s for my favorite food. It tastes like comfort, since having pizza delivered to my quiet home is a way for me to unwind. It looks like self-sufficiency, because when I was young, ordering pizza made me feel grown-up, and it still provides that satisfaction for my child at heart. Accepting those warm cardboard boxes is second nature to me, but I will always love ordering pizza because of the way eight slices of something so ordinary are able to evoke feelings of independence, consolation, and joy .”

Her essay is refreshingly simple and straightforward, but also humorous and serious.


Admissions officers are genuinely curious about what you love to do.

That’s why Yale gives you the option of writing a 200-word supplemental essay to share “something that you love to do.”

That’s also why MIT has a similar 100-word essay: “We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it .”

One of my students who recently graduated from Yale wrote his MIT essay on glowsticking. It was awesome.

(Obviously, that’s not a video of my student.)


As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to keep in mind that the pizza essay was one of a few additional essays that Yale requires.

Yale asks you “choose two of the following topics and respond to each in 200 words or fewer”:

1. What is a community to which you belong? Reflect on the footprint that you have left. (You may define community and footprint in any way you like.)

2. Reflect on a time in the last few years when you felt genuine excitement learning about something.

3. Write about something that you love to do.

There’s also a very short (100 words or less) “Why Yale?” essay:

Why does Yale appeal to you?

1. Who or what is a source of inspiration for you?

2. If you could live for a day as another person, past or present, who would it be? Why?

3. You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called?

4. Most Yale freshmen live in suites of four to six students. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite?

If you’re applying to computer science or engineering, you’re asked to write another essay: 

“Please tell us more about what has led you to an interest in this field of study, what experiences (if any) you have had in computer science or engineering, and what it is about Yale’s program in this area that appeals to you.(Please answer in 500 words or fewer).”

CLICK HERE to read my article on how to successfully apply to engineering programs .

CLICK HERE to read my article on Yale’s evaluative alumni interviews .


I’m not sure if Carolina’s essay would have worked so well if it were expanded into a longer 650-word essay like the one you have to write for the Common Application .

My sense is that it packed a nice punch precisely because it was short and part of multiple short narratives .

You should think about how each of your essays –long or short– offer additional insight into who you are.

Are you coming across as one-dimensional? Is everything in your application very serious? Then, you need to consider how you can show more range .

Are you coming across as totally scattered? Will admissions officers walk away not having a clear sense of who you are? Then, you need to consider how you can tactfully and subtly tweak your narratives so there’s more unity .


Click here to learn how to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Bernstein.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Bernstein’s ongoing private college preparation and college admissions support .

Click here to learn about the online Get Yourself Into College® program .

Blog post image used: ©Nirzar Pangarkar/unsplash.com

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Search form, resources for, how tofu got me into college: my common app essay.

December 17, 2010

Eli Goldberg ’12

Today is an exciting day for me, for two reasons. Not only is it the last day of term here in London -- which means all of my papers, exams, and lab reports are due, what fun -- but it's also my third getting-into-Oberlin-versary!

Luckily for you, the former has prevented me from writing a long, sappy post about the latter. (I guess I've already done that before , anyway.) To mark the occasion, I figured I'd throw out something a little more entertaining: my Common App essay -- completely unedited, in all its original glory. I don't remember what the prompt was, but man, did I have fun writing it.

So, if you applied Early Decision for the class of 2015, here's a small distraction from the long, painful wait by the mailbox! And if you're working frenetically on your Regular Decision essays, hopefully this will serve as inspiration ... or maybe a model of what not to do ...

Tofu robots on display

Since becoming a vegetarian seven years ago, I've come out many times and faced an almost universal reaction. People hesitate, subtly eye me as though searching for missed tip-offs ("Birkenstocks! How could I have been so blind?") and then venture, "Well . . . but you don't eat tofu, right?!"

Yes. Let the record show, once and for all, horrifying as the truth may be: I eat tofu. I recognize that this may shatter my good social standing and destroy any chance of college admission, but please! - let me explain.

According to my father, tofu was my first solid food (allowing for a generous definition of "solid food"). A vegetarian himself, he found that cubes of raw tofu were a highly effective means of quieting a wailing, toothless infant. This somewhat unorthodox diet brought me to the wonderful world of food politics at a young age. As a precocious if confused three-year-old, I declared my intention to become a vegetarian - the kind of vegetarian that ate chicken. Seven years later, morals met willpower, and I gave up meat for good. Since then, tofu has been my constant companion.

Blocks of tofu with smiley faces float in a bowl

But a diet of Tofurkey sandwiches, stir-fried tofu and vegetables, and tofu tetrazzini has awoken me to the vast injustices that tofu faces in our society. Why tofu, of all things? What about this simple coagulated soybean product inspires such passionate disgust?

I believe that tofu holds countless lessons for America. Consider, for example, its texture. An old proverb advises us that it is wiser to bend like the willow than to break like the oak. Better to aspire toward tofu's gentle malleability - its squishiness, if you will - than the unyielding, fibrous firmness of its culinary comrades such as the apple or the carrot. Tofu inspires us to greet life with flexibility and remain open to new experiences that can transform our lives. (Food processors, for example.)

A beanbag pillow looks like tofu with a face and limbs.

Those who remain skeptical will wish to consider tofu's versatility. By itself, tofu is admittedly bland and unappetizing, yet it combines with any other spice, sauce, or flavor to create a delicious and nutritious recipe. It is eminently suited to all types of cuisine. Imagine if, just as tofu fuses with its fellow ingredients to create a delicious and nutritious whole, the whole spectrum of humanity could unite to make the world a better place. Clearly tofu is a model of global harmony.

I have dedicated myself to combating tofu's social stigma because I believe it embodies the values that will guide us into a shining future. Make no mistake - tofu-eaters will be the leaders of the 21st century.

Tofu character plush toys stacked in a pyramid

  • Tag: Applying To Oberlin

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663 Interesting Food Essay Topics, Examples, and Ideas

Food essays are an excellent way to demonstrate your awareness of current nutrition and health issues. Obesity is a significant concern that is present in many people throughout the world and can lead to a variety of deadly conditions.

Obesity is often associated with eating junk food or food made with unhealthy ingredients and emphasizing taste or longevity over safety. Its opposite, healthy food, is a combination of many factors, which include food consumption patterns and monitoring your calorie intake.

As such, many ideas for innovative diets that circumvent some of the complexities have emerged, but most of them are flawed due to oversights. This article will provide you with topics about food and some tips for your essay writing process.

🏆 Best Food Topics & Essay Examples

👍 good essay topics about food, 🎓 popular nutrition and food topics to talk about, 🥇 most interesting food essay examples, 💡 simple topics related to food, 📌 good research food and nutrition topics, ❓ research questions about food.

Nutritionists generally agree on a single definition of healthy eating patterns, one that is supported by a vast body of research. They involve controlling your nutrient and calorie intake by adjusting your meat and plant intake balance as well as the portion size. You should also avoid preserved foods, as their preparation processes tend to ruin the nutrients present in the ingredients while introducing a variety of unhealthy substances.

For optimal effects, you should understand various fats and their influences on the human body as well as your need for each type and the foods that can supply it. The topic about food offers many different avenues of investigation.

However, not all people have the willpower and willingness to learn and use the knowledge to change their food patterns. As such, new fad diets, which try to circumvent some of the ideas and offer a more convenient way to lose weight, keep emerging every year.

These approaches may sometimes work for their intended purpose, but they do not contribute to health. While the person may lose weight because of new eating habits, they may become malnourished as a result. People will then have to take supplements and still risk developing issues before the imbalance is discovered and addressed. You may address the approaches described above when selecting argumentative essay topics about food.

He or she will then have to take supplements and still risk developing issues before the imbalance is discovered and addressed, something you can address in your food essay titles.

Here are some additional tips for the essay:

  • Discuss how not all natural food is equal, with different examples of vegetables or meat displaying varying nutrient amounts. Healthy eating involves choosing food that is good for your health and balancing it appropriately.
  • Follow general essay guidelines, which include using a proper structure, writing in an academic style, and separating topics with informative titles. Nutrition is a scholarly topic with a significant body of research contributing to its findings.
  • Make sure to cite recent scholarly research or statistics when stating facts about nutrition and eating patterns. The body of research is constantly expanding and discovering new information, which may show past facts or findings in a new light.
  • You should talk about the reasons why junk food is unhealthy, as it extends beyond poor nutritional values. Research shows that people are compelled to eat more when consuming unhealthy foods, regardless of their diet awareness.
  • Discuss the alternate ways of losing weight in detail and identify their advantages and flaws. With proper precautions, they can be as effective and safe as traditional healthy eating patterns, but they will require the same effort or more as a result.

Visit IvyPanda to get many different food essay examples and other useful samples!

  • Genetically Modified Food Essay In spite of the perceived benefits of genetic engineering technology in the agricultural sector, the production and use of genetically modified foods has triggered a number of issues pertaining to safety and consequences of consumption.
  • Junk Food in Schools: Good or Bad for Children? One of the main advantages of junk food is that it is simple to cook and it satiates hunger. As for the main advantage of availability of junk food and its simplicity to be cooked […]
  • Fast Food vs. Home Cooking: Lifestyle and Traditions The good thing with this business is that the food was from natural products hence healthy, a fact that has since changed Many people are very busy for the better part of the day and […]
  • Fast Food Industry: Arguments for and Against For instance, those who believe that fast food industry is beneficial to them and other members of the society will expect the findings of this research to be in support of their beliefs.
  • Food and Beverage Management The mission of the department is to provide food and beverage that meets highest standards so that they can keep a competitive edge in the hotel industry.
  • Food Habits and Culture: Factors Influence The food habits of a group of people/community can be described as the reasons for eating, the methods used while eating, the types of food eaten, and the mode of storage.
  • Filipino Food Essay However, because of the Spanish and American influence, meat, especially pork and chicken, are also served. So, Philippines is a country of festivals and a diversity of traditional dishes and beverages.
  • The Future of Food The evolution and advancement of technology have influenced the methods of how people grow and consume food. The changes that people have made to nature are very traceable and their inability to predict the outcome […]
  • Fast Food in Campus: Advantages and Disadvantages On the other hand, a classmate mentions that fast foods lead to obesity among university students who eat from fast-food restaurants.
  • Was Food Healthier 100 Years Ago? The widespread organic farming in the twentieth century led to the production of healthy and highly nutritional foods. Some critics believe that modern-day food is much safer and healthier compared to the food consumed in […]
  • Food Insecurity and What We Can Do to Help Attention Material/Credibility Material: Imagine a day when you have little strength and energy – you feel weakness and soreness – the feelings are rather unpleasant. Now imagine that you feel this discomfort and lack of […]
  • Food Security Crisis Resolution To ensure the situation does not run out of hand, the global body Food and Agricultural Organization has been at the forefront since time immemorial to cater for issues related to this basic human need. […]
  • Junk Food and Drinks: Ban on Advertising The reason youngsters are attracted to junk food is that they do not get the actual flavors at their home and then they are less attracted to original and healthy food as compared to junk […]
  • Designing a shopping centre food court outlet The design itself The food court outlet will specialize with the sale of fried potatoes, a fast food which is immensely purchased by the customers from the area.
  • Representation of Food in the Importance of Being Earnest In a large extent, food is also used as a sign of respect and hospitality to visitors and also as a form of socializing.
  • Hospitality Management: Food & Beverage Service The art of catering goes beyond providing food and beverages and extends to the ambience of the eating place and the quality of service received.
  • Globalization and Food Culture Essay The interviewee gave the examples of France, America, and China in her description of how food can affect the culture of a place and vice versa.
  • Food Production and The Environment So all aspects of production – the cultivation and collection of plants, the maintenance of animals, the processing of products, their packaging, and transportation, affect the environment.
  • The Food and Beverage Industry Role in the Tourism The essay begins by looking at the food and beverage industry in general, and then proceeds to look at the main sectors of the industry.
  • Determinants of Food Supply and Demand Due to high demand for vegetables and fruits, producers increase production and supply in order to fulfill the needs of consumers.
  • Quality and Value of Food Preparation of food of good quality means use of ingredients of good quality thus food production by farmers affects directly the quality and value of food.
  • Global Food Crisis: Political Economy Perspective In effect, the loss of power to international institutions, decentralization of resources and privatization of powers are political economic factors that have worsened political and economic stability of developing countries making them more vulnerable to […]
  • The Impact of Food Habits on the Environment The topic of this research is based on the issue of human-induced pollution or another environmental impact that affect the Earth and dietary approaches that can improve the situation.
  • Fast Food Effects on Human Health The phenomenon results in the ideological perspectives of increased obesity and the emergence of lifestyle diseases. The popularity and consumption rate of fast-food restaurants is one of the trending issues in cities and towns.
  • The Disadvantages of Canned Food From this perspective, canned food is considered to be harmful to health as the added sugar and trans fats in it can lead to the appearance of serious medical problems.
  • Chocolate Ice-Cream: Food Product Case In the case of Chocolate ice-cream, the flavouring added is normally chocolate. Chocolate ice cream is the second most common type of ice cream in the world after vanilla.
  • Food Critiques for the Three Dishes: Integral Part of French Cuisine One of the most notable things about this dish is serving the legs with a celery puree, or sauteed chestnuts or chestnut puree. This chef is regarded as one of the most notable innovators in […]
  • Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk Teach Every Child About Food In his TED talk, Jamie Oliver addresses the problem of obesity and unhealthy food options offered to children at schools.
  • Food Waste Recycling Benefits Through the analysis of Gupta and Gangopadhyay, it was noted that food waste was one of the leading preventable contributors towards the sheer amount of trash that winds up in many of the today’s landfills.
  • The Organizational Structure in Kraft Foods Group It is imperative to note that the organization structure is the one that influences communication within the organization. One of the secrets to the organization’s success is the depth and quality of its employees.
  • Health Effects of Junk Food Intake Notably, the consumption of junk food has become one of the major health issues that destabilize the health of individuals and groups in contemporary societies.
  • Food Contamination and Adulteration: Environmental Problems, Food Habits, Way of Cultivation The purpose of this essay is to explain reasons for different kinds of food contamination and adulteration, harmful contaminants and adulterants and the diseases caused by the usage of those substances, prevention of food contamination […]
  • Small Mobile Food & Drinks Shop: Business Project Time constraints are often decisive in the world of business, which is a good point for healthy shops to switch to a mobile food service offering delivery as an option.
  • Multinational Food Corporations & Eating Patterns in New Zealand In this report, the connection between eating patterns in New Zealand and the performance of multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s will be investigated and disclosed.
  • Chipotle Company’s Food Crisis After the food poisoning occurrence, the local and federal authorities tried to ascertain the reason for the outbreak, but the tests they conducted could not confirm the ingredient that caused the illness.
  • Pros and Cons of Food Dyes: Experiments With Food Ramesh and Muthuraman argue that there is a certain association between the increased use of food colorants and the elevated rates of ADHD in children.
  • Geography of Food. Restaurant Review Carino’s Italian grill was located in Doral at the center of Miami making it accessible to most people. The food was of moderate quality.
  • Chinese New Year Foods: Chinese Culture and Traditions This piece of work will give an in depth discussion of Chinese culture with the central focus being on the Chinese New Year Foods and its relationship with the changes that have been experienced in […]
  • Food Service System: Overview Through the system, quality control is achieved through the quality of components, menus, and recipes chosen by the director. The rationale for ready-prepared system involves mass-generation and freezing of food items which might lower labor […]
  • Food & Beverage Choices and Health Impacts This written report presents the analysis of my Meal Summary Report, Nutrients Report, and Food Groups and Calories Report to reveal the factors affecting my food and beverage choices, compare the latter with SuperTracker’s Recommended […]
  • Food Safety and Its Application The realization that low temperatures slow down the growth of microbes and the process of food spoilage led to the invention of refrigeration.
  • Why Junk Food Should Cost More Than Healthy Food In order to persuade the audience that a solution to this problem is the change of prices to make healthy food more affordable, a problem-cause-solution approach will be used. According to Elementum, to understand the […]
  • Food Security and Growing Population Thus, nations have to address the problem of feeding the increasing global population amid the challenges of the production of adequate food.
  • Dubai’s Food, Dress Code and Culture Religion is an important in aspect in Dubai because it influences the lifestyle of the people and forms the foundation of their culture.
  • Food Security: The Main Challenges The attainment of food security is a key challenge faced in the contemporary world; it is caused by industrialized agriculture, which affects the climate, problematic balancing between agriculture and the environment, and the inability of […]
  • Food Analysis and Its Methods in Practice Food analysis is the field that handles the use of diagnostic processes to characterize food substances and their components. The purpose of this experiment was to conduct a food analysis of an unknown sample and […]
  • The Fast Food Industry Lots of people claim that the growth of the rate of obese people correlates with the growth of fast food chains in the region.
  • Food Industry: Organic Restaurant The restaurant will capture the social environment and provide the necessary menu for this field. In the cultural environment, the chefs employed in this restaurant have been highly trained to produce several ethnic dishes to […]
  • What Role Does Food Play in Cultural Identity? From the point of view of cultural studies, such a model of nutrition speaks more about the absence of global roots, the absence of deep moral guidelines, and not about the convenience of the process.
  • “Food Colombusing” and Cultural Appropriation Authenticity in cuisine defies efforts to create an all-inclusive and integrated world in which one is allowed to enjoy and feel the attributes of a culture that is not theirs.
  • The Negative Consequences of Employing High School Students in Fast Food Restaurants In addition, high school students should be advised that education and their careers are more important as compared to working at fast food restaurants.
  • New Food Product Development In most cases the food may be free of pathogens but if the environment of preparation is full of normal flora, the possibility of gross contamination of food may take place and this is the […]
  • Food: How Technology Has Changed the Way We Eat? These foods could cause harm to the consumers, who in most cases are not sure of the ingredients used to prepare them, and that may pose a health risk.
  • Major Reasons for Food Prices Increase Admittedly, one of the major reasons for food prices increase is the use of corns for fuel production. The increase of fuel prices created a great temptation for farmers to produce ethanol instead of corn […]
  • Analysis and Significance of Food Moisture Content Fish food had the least moisture content and the lowest water activity of 0. The meat had the highest moisture content and a high level of water activity of 0.
  • Using Food Preservatives Ethical At present, the use of chemical food preservatives have gained prevalent use as many people have become tailored to the convenience of buying food that is already prepared, instead of preparing and preserving their food.
  • Classification of Healthy Food: Healthy Eating Habits Vegetables are good for the body since they contain minerals and vitamins. They also help keep the bloodstream clear and they are very healthy foods.
  • Impact of Food on Human Health and the Content of Diet People who are living in cities never get the chance to taste catfish so they even say that catfish is used by the people of low status.
  • Chemicals in Foods: Natural Components and Their Toxic Properties In order to ensure the safety and health of the consumer upon the consumption of foods, it is important to establish procedures that are in a position to assess the types of health risks that […]
  • The Egyptian Diet: Sociology of Food and Nutrition This paper compares and contrasts the concept of food and the culinary practices of the Indian and Egyptian cultures and their effect on the health outcomes of the people.
  • Nanotechnology in the Food Industry The presence of PEG in the copolymer makes the surface charge less negative, thus enhancing the interaction of the nanoparticles with food compounds in the process of coating the food or the food ingredients.
  • Indian Culture, Food, Temples, and Clothing Key Terms: Traditional dresses, Indian fashion, saree, headgear Claim: Despite the inevitable impact of globalization and westernization, India is a country that could preserve its culture by wearing traditional clothes. It is normal to see […]
  • Investigation of a Food Poisoning Incident This paper proposes a Departmental Policy Document in a bid to detail the accountability of the department in the investigation of a Salmonella food poisoning outbreak.
  • Food Preferences and Nutrition Culture I gave my mother the recipe and nowadays, each time I visit her, she makes me a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
  • The Impact of Climate Change on Food Security Currently, the world is beginning to encounter the effects of the continuous warming of the Earth. Some of the heat must be reflected in space to ensure that there is a temperature balance in the […]
  • Rice: Food Ingredient as a Currency Asia is considered to be the homeland of Rice: in Asia, and to be exact, in the north of modern Thailand and Vietnam, has started to cultivate rice for the first time.
  • Food Products: Tomatoes and Juice Preservation This Unico package only states that tomatoes are from the Mediterranean, which reflects on such food consumption trends as gourmet convenience and cleaner labels.
  • Quality Management in Food Industry: PDCA and Six Sigma This cycle, which is widely used in food industry, represents the essence of realization – the so-called “general functions of management”.
  • Eco-Friendly Food Product Production and Marketing The innovation of the airfryier has not only been a benefit to the health of the people but it also helps in the conservation of the environment.
  • Food Hygiene Inspection of a Food Premises and the Intervention Strategies The need to conduct this inspection was necessitated by the complaints that were received from the customers about the food served at this store.
  • Influencing Consumer Behavior: the changing image of ‘fast food’ Some of the factors that consumers may be influenced with include the cost, what their friends and family members say, where the restaurant is located, the duration the meal takes, and by how the consumers […]
  • Healthy Fast Food Restaurant The project committee has ensured that this project has a number of strengths as it is introduced in this competitive market.
  • The Food Preservation Techniques Convenience food became the go-to as America got preoccupied with vehicles and the freedom to travel around their cities and neighborhoods and as postwar America worked. Processing the ingredients and sending them to the eateries […]
  • Food and Nutrient Security Situation in Pakistan In this respect, Pakistan needs to deepen its understanding of the scales of the food insecurity problem, highlight future problems, and define agricultural policies and food security programs that could reduce the vulnerability of rural […]
  • Brazil Food Culture and Dietary Patterns The Brazilian food culture is made up of a variety of mostly traditional dishes that have their background from the history and culture of the country.
  • Checkers and Rally’s Fast-Food Chain Analysis This paper includes a brief analysis of Checkers & Rally’s, one of the leading fast-food chains in the USA. It is necessary to note that the threat of entry is quite serious as many entrepreneurs, […]
  • Improvements of Supply Chain Processes in the Fast Food Industry: Subway The purposes of the research are to analyze the service delivery stage of the internal supply chain process typical of the Subway restaurants located in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates; identify drawbacks in these areas […]
  • Motivational Issues in the Fast Food Sector Fast food refers to a type of cuisine produced in mass and marketed by some eateries, presentation stands, and service establishments for fast and effective production and delivery.
  • Analysis of a Look at the Fast-Food Industry by Eric Schlosser For the presentation of various arguments, the use of statistics involved in the employees and the increased amount of production due to division and specialization of labor and the production process improved the validity of […]
  • Food, Eating Behavior, and Culture in Chinese Society The majority of the food and the cookies were not an actual part of the Chinese cuisine. The issue of the origin of the fortune cookies demonstrates the global intersections.
  • Global Challenges Faced By Fast Food Companies For instance the price strategy is usually determined by a number of factors such as the number of competitors in the market, the availability and costs of raw materials and the existent product substitutes in […]
  • The Junk Food’s Risks Junk food has high content of fat and cholesterol that leads to clogging of the heart arteries. The content of many junk foods is unhealthy and it may expose the brain to premature aging and […]
  • The Consequences of Fast Food The most evident effect of fast food is obesity among others and these effects are what will be considered as the basis of discouraging the intake of fast food while encouraging other healthier options.
  • Food Web and Impact of Environmental Degradation In the course of this paper, ‘conservation’ refers to the preservation of natural resources that are, in any way, involved in the functioning of the food web.
  • Diabetic Diet and Food Restrictions Diabetes is a disease caused by the inability of the body to control blood sugar because of the lack or inadequate production of insulin by the B cells of the pancreas.
  • Chemicals Used for Microbial Preservation of Food Usually, this chemical is used in the preservation of meat. It is common in the form of powder and white in color.
  • American Food, Its History and Global Distribution The adoption of the different styles of cooking and foods and the fusion of these foods has made them American. Some of the animals they hunted included the buffalo, wild turkey, and the bear.
  • Ethos, Logos, Pathos in the Food, Inc. Documentary In the documentary, there are many instances of its makers providing viewers with the factual information, as to the discussed subject matter, which is supposed to convince the latter in the full legitimacy of people’s […]
  • McDonald’s New Strategy Toward Healthy Food The identification of current challenges faced by McDonald’s reveals that the future strategy needs to address the problem of healthy food, help to improve the public image of the company and renovate the franchising system […]
  • The Governmental Role in Food Safety The government has the mandate to supervise the overall procedures that are undertaken for food to be made from the farms to the shelves.
  • Saudi Food Industry’s Overview and Market Size Although state-owned companies play a big role in the economic development of the KSA, it is mostly the independent consumer food service that has been affecting the development of the KSA food industry.
  • Food Industry: The Problems Caused by the Corona Crisis The food and beverage sector has been significantly affected by the Corona crisis, and the issue should be addressed to alleviate the collapse of the industry, especially in the most affected regions.
  • The Importance of Food Safety in Live The food control system is an internationally recognized system that details various elements that are involved in food handling and to ensure safety and fitness for human consumption.
  • Food Security and Sustainable Local Food Systems The lessons will be tailored to ensure that the community can be in a position to influence policies related to food security and sustainable food systems in the area.
  • Food Culture in Mexican Cuisine It is bordered on the north by the United States, on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean, and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
  • Food Ethics Pojman notes that the government has enough resources and manpower to monitor operations of various food processors and determine the health conditions of the food they present to the public.
  • Organic Food Is Not a Cure for Environmental and Health Issues For instance, the same group of scientists claims that the moderate use of pesticides in organic agriculture is particularly important to consider while purchasing food.
  • Future of Genetic Engineering and the Concept of “Franken-Foods” This is not limited to cows alone but extends to pigs, sheep, and poultry, the justification for the development of genetically modified food is based on the need to feed an ever growing population which […]
  • Local Food Production in Malaysia According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the main challenge facing the agricultural sector is the lack of self-sufficiency in the production of food crops and over-reliance on food imports.
  • Fast Foods More Harm Than Good The rest of the life of such a child is upsetting as the child is ridiculed in and out of school, through his/her adolescence, and even in college.
  • Main Reasons for Establishing Food Banks The main reason for establishing food banks is to have platforms where people with more food can donate to people with less food. Food banks should also invest in teaching people the need to help […]
  • Dietary Record of Seven Days of Food Intake This paper aims to analyze the record of seven days of food intake, with regards to the quality and quantity of the intake, the time of the day, the size and distribution of the foods […]
  • Food Security: Sustainable Development While reading this part of the chapter, I realized that the majority of the land is used to produce meat products.
  • Food Diary: Nutrition Opportunities and Challenges I need to improve the amount of protein and dietary fiber I consume by adding peas, lentils, chickpeas, and beans to my diet.
  • Food Hygiene Legislation in the UK For comprehension purposes, the applicable food laws and powers of authorized officers who conducted the inspection are presented briefly in the first section of the report.
  • Food and Grades of Students at School The paper conducts a literature review to determine how nutrition and healthy food helps to improve the academic performance of students.
  • Investigation of Orange as a Food Commodity Oranges are considered to be world’s most popular fruits because of their presence in most of the country and the extent of their production across the world.
  • Problem-Solution on Convenience Food in Singapore The overconsumption of convenience food and ready-to-eat meals is an acknowledged problem for many countries that endangers the population’s health and lifespan.
  • The Food Served in Venice: World Famous Italian Foods Venice is located in Northern Region of Veneto is home to Italian food customs and food here is different in taste from other regions of Italy. There are some food customs which are common and […]
  • Fast Foods Popularity: Causes and Effects The extensive opening of kiosks in high schools that sell exclusively fast foods has led to the expansion of the fast-food industry as many students have been accustomed to the daily consumption of these foods.
  • Food and Culture Links Many publications have tried to convince people that the food they eat is a product of their culture and that culture defines the different tastes they have for foods.
  • Do-Do Online Fresh Food Supply LLC’s Business Plan The “Do-Do Online Fresh Food Supply LLC” would be registered as a limited liability company with two owners who are the student of Long Island University at post-graduation level in the same discipline and they […]
  • Food Scarcity Factor in French Revolution Many writings and works devoted to the investigation of European history in the 18th century have captured the chronicles of a long-term hunger that was spread across France on the eve of the Revolution.
  • Eco-Friendly Packaging for Food and Beverage Industry This product was chosen because of the direct impact of the quality of food products on the health of ordinary people regardless of the region of living of country of origin.
  • The World’s Food Problems’ Solving When the population of a country increases, there are some associated problems that will automatically arise such as increase in the level of unemployment which leads to food problems in the developing countries.
  • Organic Farming for Sustainable Food Production The article is titled “Will Organic Agriculture Feed the World,” and it provides its readers with an overview of the statistics that apply to the sustainability of organic farming.
  • Service Marketing: Food Market The restaurant promised to solve the problem within the shortest period of time, but I was too hungry to wait for a new order, therefore, I agreed to eat what I was brought.
  • Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant The design has the potential to elaborate on the cause of failures inherent in the establishment and possess the capacity to make recommendations on combating the challenges.
  • McDonald’s Corporation: Analyzing Fast Food Industry A glance of the profit margins of the major players in the US industry will provide a more clear perception of the fast food industry’s success in 2009 in global perspective: Key Competitors Profits 2009 […]
  • Food Truck Business Presentation The overall cost is $29, but most of the ingredients are sold in packages, so the expenses and the number of servings will be higher.
  • Healthy Eating Plan by Food Pyramid When it comes to the social aspect of obesity I am well aware that it can sometimes cause low self-esteem, especially on campus, in the office, as well as in the community.
  • The Reasons Behind the Popularity of Fast Food in the Context of the Lebanese Market Nowadays, in Beirut, the variety of traditional dishes which can be prepared quickly and served as fast food is amazing, from the kebab, to the falafel; most dishes are represented.
  • Writing on Preservation and Distribution of Food To address the several different methods used in food preservation in the food essay and the effects of preservation on food appearance, taste and its quality.
  • Food and Taste Process Issues It is now accepted that certain areas of the tongue have a higher ability to taste those tastes, but they are also able to sense all the other flavors.
  • Poverty and Global Food Crisis: Food and Agriculture Model Her innovative approach to the issue was to measure food shortages in calories as opposed to the traditional method of measuring in pounds and stones.
  • Impacts of Fast Food on Childhood Eating Habits The author’s claim that lack of nutritional information on fast food packaging is a major cause of obesity among children and teenagers is not true.
  • Food Choices in the United States Food choices in the US are influenced by factors such as the food environment and food companies interests. Food environment and the most accessible food options are the basis of food choice.
  • Analysis of Push and Pull Factors in Food Travel Motivation The implementation of the pull strategy is aimed at providing a powerful and long-term information impact through the media on the end consumer of the product.
  • The Role of Food for Sustainability in the Built Environment Sustainability refers to a movement that attempts to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the capability of the subsequent generations to meet the needs of the future.
  • The Aspects of Food in the Hindu Religion According to Hinduism, the right kind of food has to be eaten; this is because of the role that food plays in a person. Food among the Hindus is respected and taken with a lot […]
  • A Sociology of Food and Nutrition: Unity of Traditions and Culture In Buddhism, there is also a reminder about the preferences in food and in terms of how and when to eat it, in particular.
  • Disguised Observation: Students Food and Drink Preferences As the aim of the research is to food and drink preferences of students and the peak hours, disguised observation will be used.
  • The Science of Why You Crave Comfort Food To support and strengthen this claim, the author refers to scientific findings that indicate a connection between preferences in comfort food types and the meaning of specific foods for each individual.
  • Takeaway Food in Saudi Arabia: Business Plan The Saudi government has diversified its economy to the private sector involvement especially in the food production. The main drivers of the food sector in Saudi Arabia are its huge population and the increased growth […]
  • Globalization and Food in Japan We have the McDonalds in the developed countries and it has influenced food market in Japan, so continued globalization will affect cultures in all countries in the world, including developing countries.
  • Food Production Workshop Instructional Plan Workshop participants will have an incentive to start participating in the process of making policies related to food security. Workshop participants will have an incentive to increase cohesiveness in the community.
  • Nutrition Process: Eating Healthy Foods The purpose of this paper is to encourage people to stay healthy by eating healthy foods. The paper intends to explain to people some of the critical areas of nutrition they need to be aware […]
  • Hotpot Concept and Cultural Value The history of the Chinese hotpot goes back to the past 1000 years even though the roots of the delicacy are in Mongolia.
  • Food and Beverage Development This paper focuses on how food production and food consumption has affected the eating habits and led to the introduction of junk foods because of the production and consumption factors.
  • Survey of Food Allergies in the UAE The purpose of this research paper is to create a survey about food allergies in the UAE with the aim of establishing the seriousness of the situation within the region.
  • Environmental and Industrial Analysis of UK Food Manufacturing Companies Technological Analysis The technological analysis has affected the Tasty Bake Company positively in that the global transport infrastructure has greatly improved in the recent past and this has enabled it to market its products widely.
  • The Fast-Food Industry and Legal Accountability for Obesity The principle of least harm in ethics is closely associated with the fast food industry; this is mainly because of the basic fact that fast food increases chances of obesity to its consumers.
  • Rice: Thailand Native Foods Thus, rice is the staple food of the Thai people and especially the jasmine variety of rice which makes up the largest portion of the Thai cuisine.
  • Inventory Control in the Food Industry To formulate a mathematical model to optimize cost in inventory control, it is critical to consider different aspects of inventory control that significantly contribute to the formulation of the model and the reorder policies.
  • The Application of Arginine Pyroglutamate as a Food Additive To substantiate the claim made by Senomyx in that the compound Arginine Pyroglutamate may act as a savory flavor enhancer, it is important to note that the Pyroglutamate component delivered by this compound may be […]
  • Making Healthy Foods Available to the Poor People Instead of giving artificially prepared and canned food, the donors should raise funds and buy whole grains in bulk to be given to the poor who in turn prepare the food in a healthy way.
  • Causes and Effects of Fast Food: Reputation for Unhealthy Eating By setting this price to a low value, fast food companies can exclude traditional restaurants from the selection, improve throughput, and increase their brand equity.
  • Livestock Food Production Issues The failure to address animal welfare, health, and environmental concerns, as well as the intensification of livestock farming, contributes to the exasperation of challenges associated with livestock food production.
  • Food Industry’s Quality Function Improvement The Taipei Spring Vegetarian Restaurant is the object of the research, and the intention of the investigation is to find ways of improving service quality in the vegetarian industry [2].
  • Ethical Behavior as to Returned Food and Beverages One of the biggest problems is that the liberalization of the policies related to the return of the food and beverages led to the abundance of the products that should be returned.
  • Large-Scale Organic Farming and Food Supply The issue of environmental sustainability comes up due to the emerging ways of farming like the great shift of the farmers to the use of organic methods of farming.
  • The Food Impact on Health In the UK, for instance, many of the edible products sold in the supermarkets are contaminated thus affecting the health of the people and most products, especially pastry products, have a lot of sugar, fat […]
  • Should All Genetically Modified Foods Be Labeled? According to this scholar, members of the public are always comfortable with the idea of not labeling the genetically modified food.
  • The Culture of Fast Food Consumption Thesis Statement: The purchase of fast food is largely driven by the convenience of purchase, enjoyment of taste, and pricing. However, it is worth sorting out the reasons for consuming fast food and the main […]
  • American Food Industry: Panera’s Value Chain One of its main weaknesses is that bread and bakery are the primary brands of Panera, and these products are simple carbs that are not healthy for people.
  • Sea Foods in the Environment Protection Context Further, the purpose of the website is to give information that seeks to reward the efforts of people who protect and safeguard the ocean and seafood supplies such as lobsters.
  • Food Insecurity in Maryland State As a result, it is crucial to assess the aspects that maintain the interdependent relationship between adequate food provision and the adoption of better feeding habits.
  • You Are What You Eat: How Does Food Become an Addiction One of the most important problems that arouse the interest of researchers is the influence of advertising on the formation of models of food behavior and, above all, its involvement in the formation of food […]
  • Molecular Gastronomy Trend: Gastronomy and Food Science The use of science and other disciplines in restaurants and home cooking is therefore having a beneficial influence in a highly public area, lending credibility to the topic as a whole. The popularity of this […]
  • Foodways: Cultural Norms and Attitudes Toward Food The nomads’ society in Yakutia focuses on horses, reindeer, and cow herding because venison is the standard component of their nutrition. Compared to Americans, Yakutia’s nomads are more traditional in the gender division of labor […]
  • The Canine Health: Food, Vaccination, and Hygiene
  • Impacts of Climatic Changes on Food Insecurity
  • Food Insecurity in the US: The New Face of Hunger
  • Food Safety Policy for a Music Festival
  • Food Work in the Family and Gender Aspects of Food Choice
  • Sociology of Food and Nutrition
  • Nutrition: Chemical Composition of the Food
  • Organic Foods: the Best Solution or Not?
  • Introducing Infants to Semi-Solid Food
  • Food Texture in Packaging of Cakes, Pastries and Sweets
  • Foods Crises in Uganda Issue Analysis
  • Food & Drug Administration: Federal Health Agency
  • Casa Vasca Restaurant’s Food Safety and Sanitation
  • Food Inspection Procedures in Saudi Arabia
  • Food Business and Government Regulation in the US
  • East Asian Food and Its Identifying Factors
  • Imbalance in Food Supply and Growing Demand
  • The Concept of Food as a Leisure Experience
  • The Fancy Street Foods in Japan: The Major Street Dishes and Traditions
  • Food Labels and Food Security
  • Optimizing Production in the Food Industry
  • Expanding the Australian Food Processing Industry into the United States
  • World Food Program
  • Food and Wine Tourism
  • An Analysis of Marketing Strategies of Local vs. International Brands in the Fast Food Sector
  • Food additives: Artificial sweeteners
  • The economical aspects and different perspectives for fast food industry in Canada
  • The Food and Beverage Sector
  • HRM in the Fast Food Industry: US, Germany, and Australia
  • Human Services: Technological Equipment in the Food-Processing Sector
  • UK Food Retailing Industry
  • Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture by Marvin Harris
  • Food Retailing Industry in Turkey: Self-Sufficient Economics
  • Food Processing and Farming Methods
  • Zero Hunger and Food Production in Abu Dhabi
  • Food, Customers, and Culture in the Grocery Store
  • “How to Solve the Food Waste Problem” by Chavich
  • Impact of Food Waste on Climate Change
  • The Pleasures of Eating: Food and Consumer Culture
  • Food and Farming: Urban Farming Benefits the Local Economy
  • Food Insecurity: Key Principles
  • American Fast Food in Foreign Countries
  • Food Is Dangerous: Nutrition Transition
  • The Study of the Anthropology of Food
  • Food and Water Shortage: The Negative Effects
  • World Civilization History: Food Preservation Using Conventional and Modern Methods
  • Nurses’ Food Security Policy Advocacy
  • Food Security Policy Problem Analysis
  • Pathophysiology of Stress, Processed Foods, and Risky Alcohol Consumption
  • How Food Tank Solves Issue of Food Insecurities
  • Food and Beverage Brands’ Expansion and Site Selection
  • Food Waste Management: Impact on Sustainability and Climate Change
  • The “In Defense of Food” Book by Michael Pollan
  • Poor Food Security Rates in Guatemala
  • Pandemic Effect on Texas Food Supplies
  • Can the Human Race Survive Without Genetically Modified Food?
  • An Argentinean Food Product Launch in Uruguay
  • Fast Food: What We Eat by Eric Schlosser
  • Implications of the Russia–Ukraine War for Global Food Security
  • The Entrepreneurial Journey of Foods Future Global
  • The Heinz Food Processing Company’s Information
  • Hunger Crisis and Food Security: Research
  • Food Security, Improved Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture
  • The Truth About Food Addiction in Society
  • Care for Real: Racism and Food Insecurity
  • On-Campus Food Services: Part-Time and Full-Time Students
  • An Automation Business Plan in the Food Industry
  • The McDonald’s Food Sustainability Model
  • The Actuality of Issue of Food Safety
  • Food Supply Issues During Warfare
  • Safety of Food: Weaning Management Practices
  • Food Purchase Behaviors in Australia: Impact of Marketing and Ethnicity
  • The Electronic Food Processor Project Management
  • Coalition in Solving the Lack of Food Resources
  • Sustainable Development and Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Sweden
  • The Effects of Fast Food Consumption on Obesity
  • The Fast Food Mass Production Problem
  • The Junk Food Issue in Australia
  • Work Experience at PH Food Inc.
  • Food Macromolecules – Lipids, Carbohydrates, and Proteins
  • The Gourmet Food Retail Store’s Business Plan
  • Factors Involved in Creating a Food Business
  • Food Deserts and Their Negative Effects
  • COVID-19 Vaccines: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • The Food Tax in Oklahoma Articles
  • The Problem of Obesity: The US Food Policies
  • Prerequisites for Reforms in the Local Food Movement
  • One Aspect of the Modern World That Bothers Me Most: Food Scarcity
  • Aspects of Food and Nutrition Myths
  • JBS S.A. Food Business in Brazil
  • Fast Food Restaurant: Emergency Procedure
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Food Production
  • The Asian Food Industry After the COVID-19 Outbreak
  • Food Banks Board Members and Cycle of Poverty
  • Trends in Food Sources and Diet Quality Among US Children and Adults
  • The ‘Food Desert’ Times in the United States
  • Sustainable Business of Food and Beverage Delivery
  • Casa Mono: A Multi-Sensory Experience as a Food Critic
  • Food Waste in American Hospitals
  • Operations to Ensure Food Safety
  • The Peking Duck Food System’s Sustainability
  • Food Preservation Methods and Their Classification
  • Food Safety Modernization Act and Its Importance
  • Relation Between Food Policy and Politics
  • Salmonellosis and Food-Borne Poisoning
  • Drive-Thru Dreams and Fast Food Nation by Adam Chandler
  • Impact of Food on Health of Kids and Adults
  • A Food Truck Business: Project Summary
  • Organizing a Food Waste Awareness Campaign
  • Healthy Nutrition: Affordable Food
  • If Slow Is Good for Food, Why Not Medicine?
  • The Impact of Food Security of a Country on Its Political and Cultural Aspects
  • Multicultural Food Marketing Techniques
  • Food as Ritual Video by Crittenden
  • Slow and Fast Food Values by Alice Waters
  • Immigrants’ Employment in Agriculture and Food Processing
  • The Impact of the Food Industry on the Environment
  • The Necessity of Chemical Food Additives
  • Food Scarcity During Pandemic in Montgomery County
  • Data Driven in Food Production Companies
  • Blame It on Fast-Moving Food Industries or Personal Irresponsibility
  • Importance of Accession to Healthy Fresh Food Regularly
  • Preserving Food Hygiene and Safety
  • Food Banks in Canada and Their Relevance
  • Impact of Fast Food on Human Body
  • Overpopulation and Food Production Problem
  • Food Advertising and Its Effects on Children
  • Food in The Book of the Dead. The Food History
  • How Fried Foods Affect Nutrition for Young Adults
  • Nutrients: Food and Nutrients in Disease Management
  • Food Safety and Organic Growing in the USA
  • Farm-to-Table Food: Dissemination Portfolio
  • The Community Mobile Food Truck for Children in Macomb County
  • Employee Retention & Staff Turnover in Fast Food Industry
  • Inadequate Food Choices for Americans in Low-Income Neighborhoods
  • Fritter’s Fast Food Restaurants: Overview
  • Food Manufacturing: Term Definition
  • Pasteurization: Processing Food Substances
  • Healthier School Lunches Without Processed Foods
  • E-Commerce as a Fast-Growing Trend in the Industry of Food
  • Food Insecurity in Philadelphia, PA: Literature Review
  • The Truth About Fat: Fast Foods and Obesity
  • Primary Scales for Quinoa-Based Organic Foods
  • Reducing Food Waste Problem by Creating a Platform to Sell Expiring Food
  • Food Security Under Hot Climate in Saudi Arabia
  • Food Insecurity in the US: Feeding the Richest Country
  • Research and Experiments: Molecules in Food, Photosynthesis
  • Ethical Ramifications of Eating Specific Food
  • Sustainable Development in the Food Industry
  • Genetically Modified Food: Health Risks
  • American Agricultural and Food System
  • Food Insecurity in the Gulf Region
  • The Environment of Fast Food Chains
  • Whole Foods Market in 2008: Vision, Core Values and Strategy
  • Loving Organic Foods by Diligent Consulting Group
  • Customer Loyalty in Fast Food Industry Under Current Economic Crisis
  • TED Talk “Teach Every Child About Food”
  • Consumers’ Behavioral Intentions as to Organic Food Products
  • Promoting Fast Food Ingredient Awareness
  • Global Population Growth and Increased Demand for Food
  • Wildlife Conservation and Food Safety for Human
  • The Role of the Flavor Industry in Processed Food
  • Food Desert Investigation and Analysis
  • Polysaccharides in Foods
  • Effects of Food Challenges to Health
  • The Fast Food Restaurant Market of Canada
  • The Food Justice Social Movement
  • The Impact of Food Demand Upon Areas of Outstanding Beauty
  • Dog Food by Subscription: Service Design Project
  • Organoleptic Properties in Foods: Substance Density Value
  • Strategic Planning of Whole Foods Market
  • Food Processing and Preservation Methods
  • Ideology of Fast Food Industry Development
  • Canada Food Guide Overview
  • Food Safety and Information Bulletin
  • COVID-19: Supply Chain Management Challenges of Food Industry
  • Food Safety in the Modern World
  • Distinguish Unpleasant Tastes From Food Reactions
  • Food, Music and Verbal Communication in China
  • Impacts of H7N9 Virus and Food Contamination at Maleic Acid on Inbound Tourism for Elderly to Taiwan
  • Changing the Food Journal After Every Month
  • The Chemical Composition of Food
  • The Sunshine Wok: Food Hygiene Inspection
  • The Intervention Plan For a Food Poisoning Incident
  • Food Provision at the Annisburgh District Music Festival
  • Biodiversity and Food Production
  • The Fast Food Culture in Saudi Arabia
  • Consumptions of Fast Foods Among Youth in Saudi Arabia
  • Fast Food and Gender: Is There a Relation?
  • Genetically Modified Food: Analysis and Implications
  • Julia Food Booth: Business Decision Analysis
  • The Routine Food Hygiene Inspection
  • Food Borne Diseases Associated With Chilled Ready to Eat Food
  • Facing Food Insecurity: Causes & Current Programs
  • Nutrition: Preventing Food Born Diseases
  • Safe Food Handling for Optimum Nutrition
  • Obesity Prevalence and Fast Food Restaurant Prevalence
  • Regulation of the Fast Food Industry: Review
  • Nutrients and Food Guide Pyramid Recommendation
  • Brand: An Exceptional Food Experience
  • Food Stamp: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Personal Reflection of the Book “In Defense of Food”
  • The Food Industry as a Threat to Public Health and Food Safety
  • Food Security: Limiting the Use of Antibiotics to Reduce or Slow the Antibiotic Resistance
  • Food Product Trends Related to Consumer Demands
  • Fast Food: What Is Really in It?
  • Are Packaged Foods Fat-Free Products?
  • Public Service Bulletin: Food Safety Issues
  • Fast-Food and Tobacco Industry Regulation
  • Recommendations for Food Security
  • Raising Awareness on Food Poisoning Among Children Riyadh
  • Food Security and Macroeconomics Discussion
  • 21st Century Guiding Principles for the Location of Foods In a Supermarket: Maximizing Profit or Maximizing Health
  • Nutrition. 3-Day Food Intake
  • Magnesium in Food and Dietary Allowance
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction-Based Diagnostics for Pathogens in Food
  • Food Diary Project: Dietary Recommended Intakes (DRI)
  • “The Bitter Truth About Fast Food” by Schlosser
  • Sugar Is Back on Food Labels as a Selling Point
  • Overnutrition, Obesity, and Food Insecurities as the Global Concerns
  • Keeping a Food Diary: Control of Calorie Intake
  • Entrepreneur Ayesha Khan and Her Food for Employees
  • Biotechnology and Animal Welfare: How Genetically Modified Chicken Serves the Demand in Fast Food Chains
  • The Food of Easter Holidays: The Roots of the Easter Tradition
  • Healthy Food With Proper Rationing and Balanced Meal
  • European Union Health Law and Food Law
  • Rhetorical Analysis on Healthy Food and Labeling Problem
  • Food Costs Reduction in a Food Establishment
  • Food Safety Policy and Inspection Services
  • Independent Food Safety Inspections in US Restaurants
  • The Problem of Food Safety and the Spread of Various Diseases
  • Protecting Americans From Food-Related Illnesses
  • The Supply and Demand for Energy Foods and Beverages
  • Home Isolation Survival Kit: Food Kits for Emergencies
  • Quality System Implementation in Greek Food Sector
  • New Food Movements: The Raw Foodism
  • Festive Food in Chinese-Vietnamese Fests by Nir Avieli
  • Food Addiction and Obesity in Children and Teens
  • Food Security and Environmental Designers
  • Agriculture and Environment: Organic Foods
  • Adverse Impacts of Food on Human Health: Toxicity, Nutritional Deficiency, and Allergenicity
  • Fast-Food and Restaurant Strategic Marketing
  • Is Genetic Engineering an Environmentally Sound Way to Increase Food Production?
  • Kudler Fine Foods Analysis and Promotional Strategies
  • Flavours of Chittering Food & Wine Festival: Analysis
  • Organic Food as a Viable Option for Consumers
  • The Demand for Food in South Africa
  • Agro-Food Geographies: Food, Nature, Farmers and Agency
  • Safety and Quality: Food Contaminants and Adulteration
  • Americans` Unique Dietary Patterns and Food Preferences
  • Appropriateness of a Food Production and Service
  • The Specificity of Chinese Culture in Terms of Food and Music
  • Functional Food: Definition, Types, Benefits
  • Beef Industry: Nutrition and Food Safety Analysis
  • Science Nutrition: Controversies in Food and Nutrition
  • 3D Printed Food and Utensils Safety
  • Meatpacking and Fast-Food Industry: Making a Better Tomorrow
  • Meat and Fast-Food Industry: What Are We Eating?
  • Fast Food Epidemic: The Dark Side of American Meal
  • Texture Description of Food for Preschool Children
  • Water Efficiency in Food Production: Food Security, and Quality of Life
  • The Analysis of the Annual Amount Spent on Organic Food Using Multiple Linear Regression
  • The Opportunity for School Food to Influence a Child’s Dietary Intake
  • Food Distribution and Water Pollution
  • Extending Existing Knowledge in the Area of Schools Foods and Their Influence on Children’s Diets
  • How Architecture Is Being Used to Meet the Challenge of Food Provision
  • Oxidative Rancidity in Lipids and Food Storing
  • Organic Food: Eco-Friendly Attitudes and Behavior
  • Understanding Genetically Modified Foods by Howard et al.
  • Food Choices and Dietary Habits: An Interview With a Mexican Immigrant
  • Food and Drug Administration Importance
  • Menu Foods Tainted Pet Food Crisis, 2007
  • Dough Pizza Company in the Food Truck Industry
  • Genetically Modified Foods: Pros or Cons
  • Food Security Solutions for Kenya
  • Science and Grow Food Sustainability
  • Processed Food Industry
  • Processed Foods and High Fructose Corn Syrup Effects
  • Acid Effects on Starch Gels in Food Preparation
  • Food Recommender Systems and Their Types
  • Emily Baumgaertner: Crop Viruses and Food Security
  • Environmental Issues and Food Efficiency
  • The Food Company New Product Development Group
  • Advanced Food Bioanalysis
  • Conventional Food System: Justice and Security
  • Food and Beverage Server’s Duties and Dependencies
  • Hong Kong Street Food in Ethnographic Studies
  • Food Anthropology and Its Research Methods
  • Low-Calorie Frozen and Microwavable Food Industry
  • Fast Food Restaurants and Buyers’ Responsibility
  • Changes in Food Preferences
  • Fast Food, Fat Profits: Obesity in America
  • Food Choices: Diets and Diseases
  • Gender Relationship: Food and Culture
  • Healthy Foods: Behavior Change Analysis
  • International Food and Beverage Business in Africa
  • Food Poisoning and Hygiene Awareness in Saudi Arabia
  • Food Safety and Health Violation at Workplace
  • Genetically Modified Foods and Pesticides for Health
  • Best Food Superstores’ Customer Service Policy
  • Food Insecurity and Depression in Poor Families
  • Dog Food: Pedigree Company’s Case
  • Snack Food Company’s Product Marketing Research
  • The 38th Winter Fancy Food Shows in San Francisco
  • Genetically Engineered Food Against World Hunger
  • Problem of Food Overconsumption
  • Demographic Transition Model and Food Security
  • Food Texture and Health Outcomes Association
  • The Impact of Supply Chain Efficiency on Food Losses
  • Chemical Contaminants in Food: Endocrine Disruptors Study
  • Farmers Views: Should Organic Food Be Promoted From?
  • Scientists Views: Should Organic Food Be Promoted?
  • Should Organic Food Be Promoted?
  • The Organic Food Benefits
  • Globalization, Food, and Ethnic Identity in Literature
  • What Is “Organic” Food?
  • Food Safety at Introducing of New Meal
  • Food Security: Opportunities in Asia
  • Food Product Risk Assessment
  • ELISA and PCR Techniques: Food Quality
  • The Effect of Food Texture on Health Outcomes
  • Chicago Food and Beverage Company: Human Resources
  • Childhood Obesity and Food Culture in Schools
  • Food Texture Research for Healthcare
  • Food Delivery Industry Drivers in the United Kingdom
  • Food Safety: Washing Contact Surfaces and Cooking
  • Common Food Preparation Methods and Their Effects
  • Technology and Communications in the Global Food Industry
  • Balogne Food Company’s Operations Management
  • Kuwaiti Food Industry and Its Development
  • The Food Angel Visiting Project
  • Visual Cameras and Inspection in Fast Food Restaurant
  • Agri-Food Supply Chains Stakeholders
  • Food Allergies Management
  • Carlo’s Food Company: Information Misunderstanding
  • Genetically Modified Foods: Pros and Cons
  • Healthy Food Truck: Management Project
  • Oil-For-Food Program: International Law Issues
  • Janesville School District Food Services Leadership
  • Food Nexus Models in Abu Dhabi
  • Family Food and Meals Traditions in Dubai History
  • Schneiders Food Company and Tyson Foods Inc.
  • Food Corporations’ Damaging Influence
  • Unhealthy Food Access and Choice Ethics
  • The Best Food for Consumption and Six Nutrients
  • Genetically Modified Foods: Scientific Resources
  • New York City Low Food Affordability Areas
  • Healthy You: Diets and Food
  • Organic Foods Consumption and Cancer Prevention
  • Genetic Engineering in Food: Development and Risks
  • Sustainability Strategies in the Food Industry
  • Food and Water Quality Testing Device
  • Popular Food as a Part of Contemporary Culture
  • American Food Industry in “Food, Inc.” Documentary
  • Food Production and Animals Suffering
  • Black Families’ Issues in the “Soul Food” Series
  • Fresh Food Provision for Low-Income Families
  • UAE Food & Clothes Retail and Restaurant Business
  • Kasih Food Company’s Export Strategy
  • Pet Food Industry in the United States
  • Healthy Food: Lesson Plan
  • Swordfish Restaurant and Store in Food Services
  • US Food and Drug Administration Approval System
  • Aspen Hills Inc.’s Food Safety and Quality Issues
  • Long-Term Investment Decisions in Food Industry
  • US Pet Food Delivery: Industrial Marketing
  • Cultural Studies: Aesthetics of Food and Wine
  • Australia New Zealand Food Authority Business Plan
  • Sous Vide Food Production System
  • McDonald’s Digital Campaign “Our Food. Your Questions”
  • Food Shortages in the Republic of Malawi
  • Food and Water Waste Disposal in NYC
  • Tamwal Mobile Food Trucks Business Plan
  • Fast Food Consumption in New Jersey (United States)
  • Mexican Cuisine’s Transition to Comfort Food
  • Food and Drug Administration’s Strategies
  • Employee Turnover in Fast-Food Restaurants
  • Food and Stress Relationship: Psychological Factor
  • Gluten-Free Products in the US Food Market
  • Low-Calorie Frozen Food Company’s Market Structure
  • Kokubu Food Company’s Trends and Information System
  • Depressive Food Intake Disorder
  • Organic Food as a Solution of Global Food Problem
  • Glass vs. Paper/Cardboard in Food Packaging
  • The “Waist Banned” Article – Taxes on Junk Food
  • Food Business and Government Role in Saudi Arabia
  • Factors Contributing to Fast Food Consumption in UAE
  • Future of Food: Effects on the Planet
  • The Fast Food Danger Awareness Among the Young People
  • Food Nexus Tools and Results
  • Supply and Demand Influences on Food in the Recent Years
  • Halal Food and Terrorist Organizations in Australia
  • Food Sovereignty in United States
  • Malaysia National Agri-Food Policy: Local Food Promotion
  • Sliders Mobile Food Truck Marketing Plan
  • Food Security in the United States: The Major Lapses of the Conventional Food Systems
  • Blue Springs Fast Food Store vs. Blue Gardens Restaurant Analysis
  • Spoilage Device: Forget Expiration Dates
  • The Mass Production of Food: Food Safety Issue
  • Animal Production and Food Availability
  • Froma Harrop Views on Genetically Modified Food
  • Carbon Dynamics and Food Chains in Coastal Environments
  • Temperature Impacts on Food
  • Special Food Shop for Pregnant Women
  • Traditional Medicine or Food Customs in a Chinese Culture
  • Healthy Consequences of Fast Foods
  • Food Production, Sharing, and Consumption
  • Fast Food War in Singapore: The Stiff Competition and Fight for Customers
  • Recent and Promising Food Allergy Treatments
  • Feeding Baby: How to Avoid Food Allergies
  • Traditional Food Culture in the Indian Religion
  • Nitrogen from Food Waste
  • Role of Food in Cultural Studies: Globalization and Exchange of Food
  • Food’ Role in International Students Interaction
  • Hinduism Religion: Food and Asceticism
  • Food as a Means of Cross-Cultural Interaction
  • Nutrition: Is Genetically Modified Food Bad or Good?
  • Should Fast Food Qualify As “Food”?
  • Global Food Trade’s Benefits
  • Fast Food Industry and Its Impacts
  • The Practice of Fast Food in the United States
  • Food Role on Social Events
  • Genetically Modified Foods: Should They Be Consumed?
  • Corn is Our Every Day Food
  • Analysis of the Documentary Fast Food, Fat Profits
  • Good Food That Does not Grow on Trees: Analyzing the Key Supply Chain Issues
  • Organic Foods in Australia and the USA
  • Determinants of Success in the Swedish Food and Drink Industry
  • The Economic Effect of Issuing Food Stamps to Those in Poverty
  • Obesity and Fast Food
  • Liability in Food Illness Cases
  • Wegmans Food Markets v. Camden Property Trust
  • Food Security in Sydney
  • Threats to Global Food Supplies
  • Whole Foods Market Strategic Analysis
  • Food Borne Diseases of Intoxicants on MSG
  • Increasing the Consumption of Healthy Food Products
  • Operations Decisions for Krafts Foods Inc. and Manute Foods Company
  • Kraft Foods’ Diverse Brand Portfolio
  • Monaghan’s Conributions to Society Foodservice Management
  • Analysis of Whole Foods Market’s feedback loops
  • Analysis of Whole Foods Market using Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model
  • Analysis of Whole Foods Market’s inputs
  • Organizational diagnosis for Whole Foods Market
  • Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning at the Whole Foods Market
  • RFID in Food Industry and Global Trading Patterns
  • Kudler Fine Foods: Incorporating Strategic Thinking
  • Fast Food Industry in the US
  • Organic Food Marketing Prospects
  • Business and economics: The organic food sector
  • Consumer Decision-Making Process on Buying Organic Foods
  • Food and Drug Administration in United States of America
  • Literature Review on Organic Food and Healthy Diet
  • Foods That Effect Children With ADHD/ ADD
  • Why Food Services Are the Most Commonly Outsourced Function in the Business Community
  • A Typology for foodservice menu development
  • Food for the Hungry – Non-profit Organization
  • Effects of Food Advertising in Australian Television on Children Aged 5-12 Years
  • Sustainable Development in the Food Area
  • Company Research: Whole Foods
  • Evaluate Human Resource Issues in Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
  • Expansion of Large Food Retailer into Emerging Markets
  • Diet Food Center at the University of California
  • Utley Food Markets: Pay-for-Performance Model Establishment
  • The Problems in Food Ethics in Modern World
  • The Contribution of Biofuels in the Food Crisis in 2011
  • Food and Culture: Food Habits in Cape Breton
  • Food Motif in Bartleby the Scrivener
  • Food Security in Detroit – Michigan
  • Challenges Inherent in Repositioning a Fast Food Chain
  • Whole Foods Company Analysis
  • Sub-Optimization of The Canadian Food Production System
  • The Food Movement in America
  • Critical Review: “Food’s Footprint: Agriculture and Climate Change” by Jennifer Burney
  • The Effect of Genetically Modified Food on Society and Environment
  • Careers in Lodging and Food and Beverage Industries
  • South East Queensland Food and Wine Festivals
  • Proposition 37 and Genetically Engineered Foods
  • Genetically Modified Food of Monsanto Company
  • Are Government Bio Fuel Incentives Raising Food Prices?
  • Jamie Oliver and Leadership in the Food Industry
  • The Fast-food Industry in Russia
  • Driving Forces behind a Surge of Demand for Food in the Developing Economies by 2020
  • Could Biotechnology Solve Food Shortage Problem?
  • Does Circadian Rhythm Affect Consumer Evaluation for Food Products?
  • Are China’s Grain Trade Policies Effective in the Stabilization of Domestic Food Prices?
  • Can Better Governance Improve Food Security?
  • Does Corporate Social Responsibility Matter in the Food Industry?
  • Are Female-Headed Households More Food Insecure?
  • Can Drought-Tolerant Varieties Produce More Food With Less Water?
  • What Factors Determine/Influence the Food Choice People Make?
  • Why Are Restricted Food Items Still Sold After the Implementation of the School Store Policy?
  • Are Food Safety Standards Different From Other Food Standards?
  • Can Food Monitoring and Accessible Healthy Food Help Combat Child Obesity?
  • Are Food Stamps Income or Food Supplementation?
  • Can Government-Allocated Land Contribute to Food Security?
  • Is Genetically Modified Food Safe for Consumption?
  • Can Insects Increase Food Security in Developing Countries?
  • Are Input Policies Effective to Enhance Food Security in Kenya?
  • Can Non-wood Forest Products Be Used in Promoting Household Food Security?
  • What Are Most Serious Negative Effects of Eating Fast Food?
  • Who Does Regulate Food Safety for the United States?
  • Should the Government Regulate Food More?
  • Vegetarianism Essay Ideas
  • Chocolate Topics
  • Eating Disorders Questions
  • Vitamins Research Topics
  • Dietary Supplements Questions
  • Meat Research Ideas
  • Poisoning Essay Ideas
  • Grocery Store Essay Topics
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2024, February 25). 663 Interesting Food Essay Topics, Examples, and Ideas. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/food-essay-examples/

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Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 177 college essay examples for 11 schools + expert analysis.

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College Admissions , College Essays


The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 11 different schools. Finally, I'll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 177 full essays and essay excerpts , this article is a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

Even though in many ways these sample college essays are very different from one other, they do share some traits you should try to emulate as you write your own essay.

Visible Signs of Planning

Building out from a narrow, concrete focus. You'll see a similar structure in many of the essays. The author starts with a very detailed story of an event or description of a person or place. After this sense-heavy imagery, the essay expands out to make a broader point about the author, and connects this very memorable experience to the author's present situation, state of mind, newfound understanding, or maturity level.

Knowing how to tell a story. Some of the experiences in these essays are one-of-a-kind. But most deal with the stuff of everyday life. What sets them apart is the way the author approaches the topic: analyzing it for drama and humor, for its moving qualities, for what it says about the author's world, and for how it connects to the author's emotional life.

Stellar Execution

A killer first sentence. You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again: you have to suck the reader in, and the best place to do that is the first sentence. Great first sentences are punchy. They are like cliffhangers, setting up an exciting scene or an unusual situation with an unclear conclusion, in order to make the reader want to know more. Don't take my word for it—check out these 22 first sentences from Stanford applicants and tell me you don't want to read the rest of those essays to find out what happens!

A lively, individual voice. Writing is for readers. In this case, your reader is an admissions officer who has read thousands of essays before yours and will read thousands after. Your goal? Don't bore your reader. Use interesting descriptions, stay away from clichés, include your own offbeat observations—anything that makes this essay sounds like you and not like anyone else.


Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus—each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly. If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice. Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it.

And if you need more guidance, connect with PrepScholar's expert admissions consultants . These expert writers know exactly what college admissions committees look for in an admissions essay and chan help you craft an essay that boosts your chances of getting into your dream school.

Check out PrepScholar's Essay Editing and Coaching progra m for more details!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Links to Full College Essay Examples

Some colleges publish a selection of their favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over 100 of these.

Common App Essay Samples

Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:

1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? 4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you? 5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. 6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

7. 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.

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of 177 college essay examples responding to current and past Common App essay prompts. 

Connecticut college.

  • 12 Common Application essays from the classes of 2022-2025

Hamilton College

  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2026
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 7 Common Application essays from the class of 2018
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2012
  • 8 Common Application essays from the class of 2007

Johns Hopkins

These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Coalition Application (which Johns Hopkins used to accept).

  • 1 Common Application or Coalition Application essay from the class of 2026
  • 6 Common Application or Coalition Application essays from the class of 2025
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2024
  • 6 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2023
  • 7 Common Application of Universal Application essays from the class of 2022
  • 5 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2021
  • 7 Common Application or Universal Application essays from the class of 2020

Essay Examples Published by Other Websites

  • 2 Common Application essays ( 1st essay , 2nd essay ) from applicants admitted to Columbia

Other Sample College Essays

Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific.

Babson College

  • 4 essays (and 1 video response) on "Why Babson" from the class of 2020

Emory University

  • 5 essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) from the class of 2020 along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on why the essays were exceptional
  • 5 more recent essay examples ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ) along with analysis from Emory admissions staff on what made these essays stand out

University of Georgia

  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2019
  • 1 “strong essay” sample from 2018
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2023
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2022
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2021
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2020
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2019
  • 10 Harvard essays from 2018
  • 6 essays from admitted MIT students

Smith College

  • 6 "best gift" essays from the class of 2018


Books of College Essays

If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers.

College Essays That Made a Difference —This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays by the Staff of the Harvard Crimson—A must for anyone aspiring to Harvard .

50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays and 50 Successful Stanford Application Essays by Gen and Kelly Tanabe—For essays from other top schools, check out this venerated series, which is regularly updated with new essays.

Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson—This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay.


Analyzing Great Common App Essays That Worked

I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work. Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them.

Example 1: "Breaking Into Cars," by Stephen, Johns Hopkins Class of '19 (Common App Essay, 636 words long)

I had never broken into a car before.

We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.

Someone picked a coat hanger out of the dumpster, handed it to me, and took a few steps back.

"Can you do that thing with a coat hanger to unlock it?"

"Why me?" I thought.

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed. "The water's on fire! Clear a hole!" he shouted, tossing me in the lake without warning. While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much of life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns.

Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.

But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder. Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt.

Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The question caught me off guard, much like the question posed to me in Laredo. Then, I realized I knew the answer. I knew why the coat hanger had been handed to me.

Growing up as the middle child in my family, I was a vital participant in a thing I did not govern, in the company of people I did not choose. It's family. It's society. And often, it's chaos. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. My family experience taught me to face a serendipitous world with confidence.

What Makes This Essay Tick?

It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. Stephen's essay is very effective. Let's find out why!

An Opening Line That Draws You In

In just eight words, we get: scene-setting (he is standing next to a car about to break in), the idea of crossing a boundary (he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time), and a cliffhanger (we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Is he headed for a life of crime? Is he about to be scared straight?).

Great, Detailed Opening Story

More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.

It's the details that really make this small experience come alive. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The volunteers aren't going to get food or dinner; they're going for "Texas BBQ." The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." Stephen doesn't just move the coat hanger—he "jiggles" it.

Details also help us visualize the emotions of the people in the scene. The person who hands Stephen the coat hanger isn't just uncomfortable or nervous; he "takes a few steps back"—a description of movement that conveys feelings. Finally, the detail of actual speech makes the scene pop. Instead of writing that the other guy asked him to unlock the van, Stephen has the guy actually say his own words in a way that sounds like a teenager talking.


Turning a Specific Incident Into a Deeper Insight

Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. (I actually succeeded in springing it.) The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.

Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click."

Using Concrete Examples When Making Abstract Claims

My upbringing has numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing—all meant my house was functioning normally.

"Unpredictability and chaos" are very abstract, not easily visualized concepts. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. By instantly following up with highly finite and unambiguous illustrations like "family of seven" and "siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing," Stephen grounds the abstraction in something that is easy to picture: a large, noisy family.

Using Small Bits of Humor and Casual Word Choice

My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water. My Dad considered this a critical life skill—you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.

Obviously, knowing how to clean burning oil is not high on the list of things every 9-year-old needs to know. To emphasize this, Stephen uses sarcasm by bringing up a situation that is clearly over-the-top: "in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed."

The humor also feels relaxed. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. This helps keep the tone meaningful and serious rather than flippant.


An Ending That Stretches the Insight Into the Future

But one day this fall, Dr. Hicks, our Head of School, asked me a question that he hoped all seniors would reflect on throughout the year: "How can I participate in a thing I do not govern, in the company of people I did not choose?"

The ending of the essay reveals that Stephen's life has been one long preparation for the future. He has emerged from chaos and his dad's approach to parenting as a person who can thrive in a world that he can't control.

This connection of past experience to current maturity and self-knowledge is a key element in all successful personal essays. Colleges are very much looking for mature, self-aware applicants. These are the qualities of successful college students, who will be able to navigate the independence college classes require and the responsibility and quasi-adulthood of college life.

What Could This Essay Do Even Better?

Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due." So what would we tweak in this essay if we could?

Replace some of the clichéd language. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring.

Use another example from recent life. Stephen's first example (breaking into the van in Laredo) is a great illustration of being resourceful in an unexpected situation. But his essay also emphasizes that he "learned to adapt" by being "different things to different people." It would be great to see how this plays out outside his family, either in the situation in Laredo or another context.

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Example 2: By Renner Kwittken, Tufts Class of '23 (Common App Essay, 645 words long)

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver. I saw it in my favorite book, Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go," and for some reason, I was absolutely obsessed with the idea of driving a giant pickle. Much to the discontent of my younger sister, I insisted that my parents read us that book as many nights as possible so we could find goldbug, a small little golden bug, on every page. I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Then I discovered a real goldbug: gold nanoparticles that can reprogram macrophages to assist in killing tumors, produce clear images of them without sacrificing the subject, and heat them to obliteration.

Suddenly the destination of my pickle was clear.

I quickly became enveloped by the world of nanomedicine; I scoured articles about liposomes, polymeric micelles, dendrimers, targeting ligands, and self-assembling nanoparticles, all conquering cancer in some exotic way. Completely absorbed, I set out to find a mentor to dive even deeper into these topics. After several rejections, I was immensely grateful to receive an invitation to work alongside Dr. Sangeeta Ray at Johns Hopkins.

In the lab, Dr. Ray encouraged a great amount of autonomy to design and implement my own procedures. I chose to attack a problem that affects the entire field of nanomedicine: nanoparticles consistently fail to translate from animal studies into clinical trials. Jumping off recent literature, I set out to see if a pre-dose of a common chemotherapeutic could enhance nanoparticle delivery in aggressive prostate cancer, creating three novel constructs based on three different linear polymers, each using fluorescent dye (although no gold, sorry goldbug!). Though using radioactive isotopes like Gallium and Yttrium would have been incredible, as a 17-year-old, I unfortunately wasn't allowed in the same room as these radioactive materials (even though I took a Geiger counter to a pair of shoes and found them to be slightly dangerous).

I hadn't expected my hypothesis to work, as the research project would have ideally been led across two full years. Yet while there are still many optimizations and revisions to be done, I was thrilled to find -- with completely new nanoparticles that may one day mean future trials will use particles with the initials "RK-1" -- thatcyclophosphamide did indeed increase nanoparticle delivery to the tumor in a statistically significant way.

A secondary, unexpected research project was living alone in Baltimore, a new city to me, surrounded by people much older than I. Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research. Whether in a presentation or in a casual conversation, making others interested in science is perhaps more exciting to me than the research itself. This solidified a new pursuit to angle my love for writing towards illuminating science in ways people can understand, adding value to a society that can certainly benefit from more scientific literacy.

It seems fitting that my goals are still transforming: in Scarry's book, there is not just one goldbug, there is one on every page. With each new experience, I'm learning that it isn't the goldbug itself, but rather the act of searching for the goldbugs that will encourage, shape, and refine my ever-evolving passions. Regardless of the goldbug I seek -- I know my pickle truck has just begun its journey.

Renner takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but their essay is just as detailed and engaging. Let's go through some of the strengths of this essay.

One Clear Governing Metaphor

This essay is ultimately about two things: Renner’s dreams and future career goals, and Renner’s philosophy on goal-setting and achieving one’s dreams.

But instead of listing off all the amazing things they’ve done to pursue their dream of working in nanomedicine, Renner tells a powerful, unique story instead. To set up the narrative, Renner opens the essay by connecting their experiences with goal-setting and dream-chasing all the way back to a memorable childhood experience:

This lighthearted–but relevant!--story about the moment when Renner first developed a passion for a specific career (“finding the goldbug”) provides an anchor point for the rest of the essay. As Renner pivots to describing their current dreams and goals–working in nanomedicine–the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” is reflected in Renner’s experiments, rejections, and new discoveries.

Though Renner tells multiple stories about their quest to “find the goldbug,” or, in other words, pursue their passion, each story is connected by a unifying theme; namely, that as we search and grow over time, our goals will transform…and that’s okay! By the end of the essay, Renner uses the metaphor of “finding the goldbug” to reiterate the relevance of the opening story:

While the earlier parts of the essay convey Renner’s core message by showing, the final, concluding paragraph sums up Renner’s insights by telling. By briefly and clearly stating the relevance of the goldbug metaphor to their own philosophy on goals and dreams, Renner demonstrates their creativity, insight, and eagerness to grow and evolve as the journey continues into college.


An Engaging, Individual Voice

This essay uses many techniques that make Renner sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know them.

Technique #1: humor. Notice Renner's gentle and relaxed humor that lightly mocks their younger self's grand ambitions (this is different from the more sarcastic kind of humor used by Stephen in the first essay—you could never mistake one writer for the other).

My first dream job was to be a pickle truck driver.

I would imagine the wonderful life I would have: being a pig driving a giant pickle truck across the country, chasing and finding goldbug. I then moved on to wanting to be a Lego Master. Then an architect. Then a surgeon.

Renner gives a great example of how to use humor to your advantage in college essays. You don’t want to come off as too self-deprecating or sarcastic, but telling a lightheartedly humorous story about your younger self that also showcases how you’ve grown and changed over time can set the right tone for your entire essay.

Technique #2: intentional, eye-catching structure. The second technique is the way Renner uses a unique structure to bolster the tone and themes of their essay . The structure of your essay can have a major impact on how your ideas come across…so it’s important to give it just as much thought as the content of your essay!

For instance, Renner does a great job of using one-line paragraphs to create dramatic emphasis and to make clear transitions from one phase of the story to the next:

Suddenly the destination of my pickle car was clear.

Not only does the one-liner above signal that Renner is moving into a new phase of the narrative (their nanoparticle research experiences), it also tells the reader that this is a big moment in Renner’s story. It’s clear that Renner made a major discovery that changed the course of their goal pursuit and dream-chasing. Through structure, Renner conveys excitement and entices the reader to keep pushing forward to the next part of the story.

Technique #3: playing with syntax. The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. Most of the essay's written in standard English and uses grammatically correct sentences. However, at key moments, Renner emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences.

Even with moving frequently between hotels, AirBnB's, and students' apartments, I strangely reveled in the freedom I had to enjoy my surroundings and form new friendships with graduate school students from the lab. We explored The Inner Harbor at night, attended a concert together one weekend, and even got to watch the Orioles lose (to nobody's surprise). Ironically, it's through these new friendships I discovered something unexpected: what I truly love is sharing research.

In the examples above, Renner switches adeptly between long, flowing sentences and quippy, telegraphic ones. At the same time, Renner uses these different sentence lengths intentionally. As they describe their experiences in new places, they use longer sentences to immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of those experiences. And when it’s time to get a big, key idea across, Renner switches to a short, punchy sentence to stop the reader in their tracks.

The varying syntax and sentence lengths pull the reader into the narrative and set up crucial “aha” moments when it’s most important…which is a surefire way to make any college essay stand out.


Renner's essay is very strong, but there are still a few little things that could be improved.

Connecting the research experiences to the theme of “finding the goldbug.”  The essay begins and ends with Renner’s connection to the idea of “finding the goldbug.” And while this metaphor is deftly tied into the essay’s intro and conclusion, it isn’t entirely clear what Renner’s big findings were during the research experiences that are described in the middle of the essay. It would be great to add a sentence or two stating what Renner’s big takeaways (or “goldbugs”) were from these experiences, which add more cohesion to the essay as a whole.

Give more details about discovering the world of nanomedicine. It makes sense that Renner wants to get into the details of their big research experiences as quickly as possible. After all, these are the details that show Renner’s dedication to nanomedicine! But a smoother transition from the opening pickle car/goldbug story to Renner’s “real goldbug” of nanoparticles would help the reader understand why nanoparticles became Renner’s goldbug. Finding out why Renner is so motivated to study nanomedicine–and perhaps what put them on to this field of study–would help readers fully understand why Renner chose this path in the first place.

4 Essential Tips for Writing Your Own Essay

How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.

#1: Get Help From the Experts

Getting your college applications together takes a lot of work and can be pretty intimidatin g. Essays are even more important than ever now that admissions processes are changing and schools are going test-optional and removing diversity standards thanks to new Supreme Court rulings .  If you want certified expert help that really makes a difference, get started with  PrepScholar’s Essay Editing and Coaching program. Our program can help you put together an incredible essay from idea to completion so that your application stands out from the crowd. We've helped students get into the best colleges in the United States, including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.  If you're ready to take the next step and boost your odds of getting into your dream school, connect with our experts today .

#2: Read Other Essays to Get Ideas for Your Own

As you go through the essays we've compiled for you above, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you explain to yourself (or someone else!) why the opening sentence works well?
  • Look for the essay's detailed personal anecdote. What senses is the author describing? Can you easily picture the scene in your mind's eye?
  • Find the place where this anecdote bridges into a larger insight about the author. How does the essay connect the two? How does the anecdote work as an example of the author's characteristic, trait, or skill?
  • Check out the essay's tone. If it's funny, can you find the places where the humor comes from? If it's sad and moving, can you find the imagery and description of feelings that make you moved? If it's serious, can you see how word choice adds to this tone?

Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it . Is it funny? Does it help you really get to know the writer? Does it show what makes the writer unique? Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay.


#3: Find Your "A-Ha!" Moment

All of these essays rely on connecting with the reader through a heartfelt, highly descriptive scene from the author's life. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) or it can be completely mundane (did you finally beat your dad at Scrabble?). Either way, it should be personal and revealing about you, your personality, and the way you are now that you are entering the adult world.

Check out essays by authors like John Jeremiah Sullivan , Leslie Jamison , Hanif Abdurraqib , and Esmé Weijun Wang to get more examples of how to craft a compelling personal narrative.

#4: Start Early, Revise Often

Let me level with you: the best writing isn't writing at all. It's rewriting. And in order to have time to rewrite, you have to start way before the application deadline. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due.

Let it sit for a few days untouched. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and think critically about what you've written. What's extra? What's missing? What is in the wrong place? What doesn't make sense? Don't be afraid to take it apart and rearrange sections. Do this several times over, and your essay will be much better for it!

For more editing tips, check out a style guide like Dreyer's English or Eats, Shoots & Leaves .


What's Next?

Still not sure which colleges you want to apply to? Our experts will show you how to make a college list that will help you choose a college that's right for you.

Interested in learning more about college essays? Check out our detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application , some suggestions on what to avoid when writing your essay , and our guide to writing about your extracurricular activities .

Working on the rest of your application? Read what admissions officers wish applicants knew before applying .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

The recommendations in this post are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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15 College Essays That Worked

College essay examples: 15 that worked.

Bonus Material: PrepMaven’s 35 College Essay Examples

In this regularly updated post, we share the college essays that helped students get into their dream schools — including Ivy League colleges like Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and others.

But this isn’t simply a collection of college essay examples.

We also provide a link to in-depth profiles of the authors who wrote the essays, providing you with the most comprehensive picture available of the nation’s most successful applicants.

While you should always craft the best essay you are capable of, please remember that the essay is one component of the application process!  The essays you’ll read below are all of varying quality, but each one of these students gained admission to the most selective schools in the country.

You can download our collection of 35 successful College Essays below!

Download PrepMaven’s 35 College Essay Examples

Here’s what we cover in this post:

What is the College Essay? Our Expert Definition

  • College Essay Example #1 – “It takes more than wishing upon a star”
  • College Essay Example #2 – “I am an aspiring hot sauce sommelier”
  • College Essay Example #3 – “You know nothing, Jon Snow”
  • College Essay Example #4 – “I’m still questioning”
  • College Essay Example #5 – “My place of inner peace”
  • College Essay Example #6 – “So this is what compassion is all about”
  • College Essay Example #7 – “I believe that every person is molded by their experiences”
  • College Essay Example #8 – The California Cadet Corps
  • College Essay Example #9 – “I never want to lose what we had in that corner”
  • College Essay Example #10 – “It is the effort that counts, not the result”
  • College Essay Example #11 – “The problem of social integration”
  • College Essay Example #12 – “Improv”
  • College Essay Example #13 – “ The Sound of Music”
  • College Essay Example #14 – “Translation”
  • College Essay Example #15 – “ The Yoka Times”

What These College Essay Examples Have in Common

  • How to Write an Essay Like These Examples
  • Bonus: 35 College Essay Examples

Most students will use the Common App to apply to U.S. colleges and universities. A smaller number of colleges require students to submit applications through Coalition .

Regardless, both platforms require students to submit a personal statement or essay response as part of their application. Students choose to respond to one of the following prompts in 650 words or fewer .

College Essay Prompts 2023-2024

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?What interests or excites you? How does it shape who you are now or who you might become in the future?
Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?Describe a time when you had a positive impact on others. What were the challenges? What were the rewards?
Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?Has there been a time when an idea or belief of yours was questioned? How did you respond? What did you learn?
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.What success have you achieved or obstacle have you faced? What advice would you give a sibling or friend going through a similar experience?
Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?Submit an essay on the topic of your choice.
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. 

What do these questions all have in common? They all require answers that are introspective, reflective, and personal.

Take a look at some of these buzzwords from these prompts to see what we mean:

  • Understanding
  • Belief / Idea
  • Contribution

These are big words attached to big, personal concepts. That’s the point!

But because that’s the case, that means the college essay is not an academic essay. It’s not something you write in five paragraphs for English class. Nor is it a formal statement, an outline of a resume, or a list of accomplishments.

It’s something else entirely.

The college essay is a personal essay that tells an engaging story in 650 words or fewer. It is comparable to memoir or creative nonfiction writing, which relate the author’s personal experiences.

The college essay is fundamentally personal and creative. It is rich with introspection, reflection, and statements of self-awareness. It can have elements of academic writing in it, such as logical organization, thesis statements, and transition words. But it is not an academic essay that fits comfortably into five paragraphs.

Your task with the college essay is to become a storyteller–and, in the process, provide admissions officers with a valuable glimpse into your world, perspective, and/or experiences.

One of the easiest ways to understand what the personal statement is all about is to read through some college essay examples — essays that exemplify the 7 qualities of a successful college essay .

The 15 college essay examples below do just that!

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #1 – It Takes More Than Wishing Upon a Star

Author: Erica Class Year: Princeton University 2020 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Princeton University, Harvard University, Williams College, Duke University, College of William & Mary, Davidson College, Boston College, Johns Hopkins University, Texas Christian University

college essay comparing yourself to food

At eleven years old, I wrote the New York Times best-selling novel, The Chosen, the first installation in a trilogy that would become the newest sensation of the fantasy genre, and grow to be even more popular than the Harry Potter series. At least, that what I originally imagined as I feverishly typed the opening words of my manuscript. I had just received a call from my parents, who were on a business trip in London. While touring the city, they heard about an amateur novel writing contest open to all ages, and thought that I, as an amateur writer, would be interested. All I had to do was compose an original manuscript of merely 80,000 words and submit it to an office in London, and I could win $20,000 in addition to a publishing deal.

I hung up the phone with a smile plastered on my face. Never mind that I was barely eleven, that my portfolio consisted of a few half-page poems from elementary school, or that the contest was taking place on another continent, I was determined to write the most extraordinary fantasy novel ever created. For months afterward the sight of me was accompanied by the tap, tap, tap of my fingers flying across the keyboard, and the sharp glint of obsession in my eyes. The contest in London closed, a winner was chosen. I didn’t care. I kept writing. After a year I had stretched my writing project into a three hundred page novel. I scraped together a few dollars of allowance money, slapped it in my mom’s hand, and asked her to have Staples print a bound copy of the manuscript.

She handed me my magnum opus when I got home from school that day. I ran my fingers across the shiny laminate over the cover page, caressed the paper as if it were some sacred tome. After more than fourteen months fleshing out characters and cultivating mythologies, I was ready to publish. With the copy in hand I ran to my dad. “Read it and tell me what you think!” I said, imagining the line of publishing companies that would soon be knocking down my door.

Within two weeks my father handed it back to me, the pages now scrawled over in bright red ink. “You’ve got a lot of work to do,” he told me, with his typical soul-wrenching brusque.

I stared at him for a moment, jaw locked tight, eyes nearly brimming with tears. He proceeded to list for me all the things I needed to revise for my next draft. Less colloquial dialogue, vivid descriptions, more complex subplots, the list went on and on.

“A serious author doesn’t get offended by constructive criticism,” he said, “whether you take my advice or not will prove whether or not you are one.”

My dreams fell like the Berlin wall. What was the point of slaving over a novel if I had to start from scratch again? My father’s advice would force me to rewrite the entire novel. What sort of writer was I, that my work warranted such substantial alteration?

As I soon learned—a normal one.

Today, six years, 10 drafts, and 450 pages later, I am finally close to finishing. Sometimes, when I’m feeling insecure about my ability as a novelist I open up my first draft again, turn to a random chapter, and read it aloud. Publishing that first draft would have been a horrible embarrassment that would have haunted me for the rest of my life. Over the past half-decade, I’ve been able to explore my own literary voice, and develop a truly original work that I will be proud to display. This experience taught me that “following your dreams” requires more than just wishing upon a star. It takes sacrifice, persistence, and grueling work to turn fantasy into reality.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out Erica’s story here ]

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #2 – I am an aspiring hot sauce sommelier

Author: Elizabeth Class Year: Princeton University 2021 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Princeton University, Duke University, Northwestern University, Cornell University, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of California Berkeley, University of Michigan

I am an aspiring hot sauce sommelier. Ever since I was a child, I have been in search for all that is spicy. I began by dabbling in peppers of the jarred variety. Pepperoncini, giardiniera, sports peppers, and jalapeños became not only toppings, but appetizers, complete entrées, and desserts. As my palate matured, I delved into a more aggressive assortment of spicy fare. I’m not referring to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the crunchy snack devoured by dilettantes. No, it was bottles of infernal magma that came next in my tasting curriculum.

Despite the current lack of certification offered for the profession which I am seeking, I am unquestionably qualified. I can tell you that a cayenne pepper sauce infused with hints of lime and passion fruit is the perfect pairing to bring out the subtle earthy undertones of your microwave ramen. I can also tell you that a drizzle of full-bodied Louisiana habanero on my homemade vanilla bean ice cream serves as an appetizing complement. For the truly brave connoisseur, I suggest sprinkling a few generous drops of Bhut Jolokia sauce atop a bowl of chili. Be warned, though; one drop too many and you might find yourself like I did, crying over a heaping bowl of kidney beans at the dining room table.

Although I consistently attempt to cultivate the rarest and most expertly crafted bottles of molten spice, like an oenophile who occasionally sips on five dollar bottles of wine, I am neither fussy nor finicky. I have no qualms about dousing my omelets with Cholula, dipping my tofu in pools of Sriracha, or soaking my vegetarian chicken nuggets in the Frank’s Red Hot that my mom bought from the dollar store. No matter the quality or cost, when gently swirled, wafted, and swished; the sauces excite my senses. Each initial taste, both surprising yet subtly familiar, has taught me the joy of the unknown and the possibility contained within the unexpected.

My ceaseless quest for piquancy has inspired many journeys, both gustatory and otherwise. It has dragged me into the depths of the souks of Marrakech, where I purchased tin cans filled with Harissa. Although the chili sauce certainly augmented the robust aroma of my tagine, my food was not the only thing enriched by this excursion. My conquest has also brought me south, to the valleys of Chile, where I dined among the Mapuche and flavored my empanadas with a smoky seasoning of Merkén. Perhaps the ultimate test of my sensory strength occurred in Kolkata, India. After making the fatal mistake of revealing my penchant for spicy food to my friend’s grandmother, I spent the night with a raw tongue and cold sweats. I have learned that spice isn’t always easy to digest. It is the distilled essence of a culture, burning with rich history. It is a universal language that communicates passion, pain, and renewal. Like an artfully concocted hot sauce, my being contains alternating layers of sweetness and daring which surround a core that is constantly being molded by my experiences and adventures.

I’m not sure what it is about spiciness that intrigues me. Maybe my fungiform papillae are mapped out in a geography uniquely designed to appreciate bold seasonings. Maybe these taste buds are especially receptive to the intricacies of the savors and zests that they observe. Or maybe it’s simply my burning sense of curiosity. My desire to challenge myself, to stimulate my mind, to experience the fullness of life in all of its varieties and flavors.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out Elizabeth’s story here ]

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #3 – “You know nothing, Jon Snow”

Author: Shanaz Class Year: Princeton University 2021 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Princeton University, Duke University, Williams College, Boston College, Brandeis University, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Stony Brook

“You know nothing, Jon Snow”

Being an avid Game of Thrones fanatic, I fancy every character, scene, and line. However,Ygritte’s famous line proves to be just slightly more relatable than the incest, corruption, and sorcery that characterizes Westeros.

Numerous theories explore the true meaning of these five words, but I prefer to think they criticize seventeen-year-old Jon’s lack of life experience. Growing up in a lord’s castle, he has seen little about the real world; thus, he struggles to see the bigger picture until he evaluates all angles.

Being in a relatively privileged community myself, I can affirm the lack of diverse perspectives —and even more, the scarcity of real-world problems. Instead, my life has been horrifically plagued by first world problems. I’ve written a eulogy and held a funeral for my phone charger.

I’ve thrown tantrums when my knitted sweaters shrunk in the dryer. And yes, I actually have cried over spilled (organic) milk.

Well, shouldn’t I be happy with the trivial “problems” I’ve faced? Shouldn’t I appreciate the opportunities and the people around me?

Past the “feminism v. menimism” and “memes” of the internet, are heartbreaking stories and photos of life outside my metaphorical “Bethpage Bubble.” How can I be content when I am utterly oblivious to the perspectives of others? Like Jon Snow, I’ve never lived a day in another person’s shoes.

Fewer than three meals a day. No extra blanket during record-breaking winter cold. No clean water. I may be parched after an intense practice, but I know nothing of poverty.

Losing a loved one overseas. Being forced to leave your home. Coups d’état and dictatorial governments. I battle with my peers during class discussions, but I know nothing of war.

Denial of education. Denial of religion. Denial of speech. I have an endless list of freedoms, and I know nothing of oppression.

Malaria. Cholera. Cancer. I watch how Alzheimer’s progresses in my grandmother, but I know nothing of disease.

Living under a strict caste system. Being stereotyped because of one’s race. Unwarranted prejudice. I may be in a minority group, yet I know nothing of discrimination.

Flappers, speakeasies, and jazz. Two world wars. Pagers, hippies, and disco. I’m barely a 90’s kid who relishes SpongeBob episodes, and I know nothing of prior generations.

Royal weddings, tribal ceremonies, and Chinese New Years. I fast during Ramadan, but I know nothing of other cultures.

Hostile political parties. Progressive versus retrospective. Right and wrong. I am seventeen, and I know nothing of politics.

Is ignorance really bliss?

Beyond my community and lifetime exists myriad events I’ll never witness, people I’ll never meet, and beliefs I’ll never understand. Being unexposed to the culture and perspectives that comprise this world, I know I can never fully understand anyone or anything. Yet, irony is beautiful.

Embarking on any career requires making decisions on behalf of a community, whether that be a group of students, or a patient, or the solar system.

I am pleased to admit like Jon Snow, I know nothing, but that will change in college.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out Shanaz’s story here ]

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #4 – “I’m still questioning”

Author: Aja Class Year: Princeton University 2020 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement – Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again? School Acceptances: Princeton University, MIT, University of Maryland, Stern College for Women, Queens College and City College

I walked down the pale pink stone pathway, up a ramp, past the library building, and towards the Student Activities Center of the college campus, carrying a large brown cardboard box. People might’ve taken note of the load I was carrying, and particularly the other high school students with whom I ate my dinner. Out of the box I grabbed my meal, which was wrapped in two separate plastic airplane meal style trays; one container for the side and one for the main. I tried not to call attention to myself as I unwrapped the tight double wrapping of plastic around both trays.

My actions and practices were the same, but for the first time I stood out. While I was eating my meals, in the lab, or during the lectures, I began to ask myself some questions.

Was it worth continuing to strictly observe my customs in such an environment?  I thought.

Could I afford to take time away from the lab to walk to the kosher restaurant to pick up lunch? Was continuing to dress in a long skirt, on hot summer days and with additional lab dress codes, worth the discomfort? Was it worth standing out from most other people?

The science experiment that I performed that summer in a way mirrored the experiment that I “performed” to test my practices. My lab partner and I researched the current issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria strains, which left certain bacterial infections without an effective cure; this was our observation. We then hypothesized that an alternative mechanism of destruction, by physically slicing the bacterial membrane, would be more efficient. Similarly, I hypothesized that an alternative life path without my religious practices might be an “effective” life path for me, as it had been for the students that I met, with the added social benefits of fitting in. I hypothesized that perhaps my own life would be “effective” or fulfilling without these practices, as it was for the students whom I had met. Wearing our purple nitrite gloves, our safety goggles pressing against our faces, my partner and I began to prepare our tiny metal chips, containing a thin coating of polymer blends, which would prick the membranes of the bacteria cells.

In my personal experiment, the “testing” stage became tricky. I didn’t put on my lab coat, and start spin casting my solutions or pipetting liquids onto surfaces. I didn’t even try eating some food that was not kosher, or actively violate my practices. My experiment eventually went beyond the scientific approach, as I questioned in my thoughts. I had to determine what my beliefs meant to me, to find my own answer. I could not simply interpret results of an experiment, but needed to find my own interpretations.

I found from my experiment and questioning within my mind that my practices distinguished me from others, thereby allowing me to form relationships on the basis of common interest or personality, rather than cultural similarities, that summer. I valued the relationships more, and formed a deep connection with my lab partner, whom I had found was similar to me in many ways. We talked about our very different lives, genuinely interested in one another’s.

I’m still questioning, and I think the process does not end, which is part of what makes my religious practice important to me – it urges me to constantly reflect on my values and the moral quality of my actions. I’m not sure if I’ll ever finish that “experiment,” but by experiencing and valuing the practices and lifestyles of other people, I also got to reflect on my own. That summer showed me that the questions themselves proved my practices were valuable to me, and left me with a stronger commitment to my religious faith than I had before.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out Aja’s story here ]

You can read our collection of 35 essays that earned students acceptance into top-tier colleges. Grab these for free below!

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #5 – My place of inner peace

Author: Jim Class Year: Princeton University 2019 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Princeton University

Simply put, my place of inner peace is the seat of that 50 foot sliver of carbon and kevlar called a rowing shell, cutting through the water in the middle of a race. This is the one situation in which I find myself to be completely comfortable; the one environment in which I feel most empowered, at home, and content, despite it being quite at odds with the conventional definition of the word “comfortable”. There is something special about a rowing race; that 6 minute, 2000 meter tour de force that many who have truly experienced one (and all who have emerged victorious) will describe as the most painful, and yet the most thrilling activity they have ever been a part of.

The pain of rowing 2000 meters is like nothing else I have ever experienced. It is a short enough distance so that there is no pacing (it’s all out, everything you’ve got, from start to finish), but at the same time it’s long enough to require every ounce of strength and will power to reach the finish. By the end, the lungs scream out for oxygen, and the legs, chest, and arms all burn as if boiling water has been injected into every pore. The mental toughness required to drag oneself through this ordeal, from the moment it starts to hurt 30 seconds in to the moment you cross the finish line, is immense. The psychological state that is entered into during a race is one of unparalleled focus, drive, and will to win.

The race begins with six boats lined up side by side, tensed and ready to pounce. The umpire then makes the call, “Attention. Row” in a tone that seems entirely too casual for the occasion, and the bows spring forward. What was moments before an atmosphere of complete silence is transformed into a world of noise. Here is a short list of things one hears at the start of a rowing race: the authoritative yell of the coxswains, the rhythmic click of the oars, the fluid swish of the water under the boat, the roar of the officials’ launches falling in behind the boats. I always find it funny though, that while the tense silence of the pre-race moments dissolves so quickly into noise from every direction, a rower can only actually hear any of it for a surprisingly short period of time. This is because at about two minutes into a race, a rower begins to lose his senses. Scent disappears completely, touch is negligible, hearing dissolves into nothing but the calls of the cox, and sight reduces itself to a portrait of the back of the rower in front of you. It is in this bizzare state of mind and body that I am truly in my “comfort zone”.

The pain is intense, yes, but I have felt it before. I feel it quite regularly, actually. The training a rower goes through to prepare for a race begins months in advance and consists of pushing oneself to the limit; repeatedly putting oneself in positions of pain and discomfort so that when crunch time comes, a rower is truly without fear of what lies ahead of him. This is how I feel when the going gets tough at around two minutes in: fearless. In these moments I feel invincible; I feel like I was born to do exactly what I am doing right then and there. In these moments I am completely and totally content.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out James’ story here ]

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #6 – So this is what compassion is all about

Author: Amanda Class Year: Princeton University 2019 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Princeton University, Rutgers University

So this is what compassion is all about? Piece of cake.

Joey was a sweet, ten-year-old boy who could derive pleasure even in the most prosaic of activities: catching a balloon, listening to music, watching other children run, jump, and play. But Joey himself was confined to a wheelchair – he would never be able to participate in the same way that his friends without physical disabilities could.

Joey was the first child assigned to me when I began volunteering for the Friendship Circle, an organization that pairs teenage volunteers with special-needs children. Right from the start, I was grateful for being matched up with this sweet, easy-going child; I felt immense relief at how effortless my volunteering commitment with Joey could be. Simply by wheeling my friend through tiled halls and breezy gardens, I simultaneously entertained him and inspired others with my acts of kindness.

Piece of cake.

Truthfully, though, during my time with Joey, I felt more than a little virtuous and pleased with myself. There I was, able to impress everyone with my dedication to Joey, with only minimal effort on my part. My experience with Joey led me to mistakenly believe that I had, by the age of thirteen, attained a complete understanding of what a word like “empathy” really meant. I was complacent in my comfort zone, confident that I understood what compassion was all about.

Then I met Robyn, and I realized how wrong I was.

Prone to anger, aggressive, sometimes violent (I have the scar to prove it). Every Sunday with Robyn was a challenge. Yoga, dancing, cooking, art, tennis – none of these activities held her interest for long before she would inevitably throw a tantrum or stalk over to a corner to sulk or fight with the other children. She alternated between wrapping her arms around my neck, declaring to anyone who passed by that she loved me, and clawing at my arms, screaming at me to leave her alone.

One day, after an unsuccessful attempt to break up a brawl between Robyn and another girl, I found myself taking dazed steps towards the administrator’s office. I was near my breaking point, ready to quit. In that moment, though, I vividly recall looking up and seeing Robyn’s parents walking down the hall coming to pick her up. Tired eyes. Weary, but appreciative smiles. A realization then struck me: I was only with Robyn for one day a week. During the rest of the week, Robyn was the sole responsibility of her parents. The same parents who once confided in me that Robyn behaved no differently at home than she did at the Friendship Circle with me.

Robyn’s parents undeniably loved her. There were even moments when Robyn transformed into one of the sweetest children I had ever met. But she was no Joey. Sweet, easygoing Joey. Joey who I thought had taught me true empathy. If I was such a saint, how could I give back to Joey’s parents, but not to Robyn’s? How could I not provide them a brief respite every week, from the labors of caring for her? Was I sincerely an empathetic person if I could only be so when it was easy? Was I truly compassionate because others thought I was? Complacency does not equate with compassion; true empathy is not an ephemeral trait that one possesses only when it suits him or her – when it doesn’t require him or her to try.

Progress exists in steps. The first steps were the ones I took with Joey, my earliest experience in volunteering. But the steps I took away from the administrator’s office, the steps I took back toward Robyn, were the steps of a different person, I like to think.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out Amanda’s story here ]

You can read all 35 of our “College Essays that Worked” below!

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #7 – I believe that every person is molded by their experiences

Author: Martin Class Year: Princeton University 2021 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances:  Princeton University, University of California Berkeley, University of California Davis, University of California Santa Cruz, CSU Sonoma, CSU Long Beach, CSU San Jose, CSU Chico, New York University

I believe every person is molded by their experiences whether they be positive or negative. I have been impacted by many events and challenges, both personally and socially, that have made me who I am today.

I was born in Concepcion de Buenos Aires in Jalisco, Mexico. My dad did not always live with us and worked doing manual labor in the United States every three months to provide income for us transitioning between the United States and Mexico when he could. When I was six, my Spanish-speaking family immigrated to the United States. Once here in the United States, I found English difficult to learn at school since it was brand new to me. English-speaking students always had to translate for me which motivated me to become fluently proficient by third grade.

In addition to the language barrier at school, my family would constantly move due to apartment rent increase, so I never grew accustomed to a group of friends.  Because of this, I had social difficulties in elementary school.  I remember hardly speaking in class and not playing any recess games unless invited. I recall playing tetherball mostly by myself and observing the children with longing eyes. In the sixth grade, my social life began to change; I met my best friend, Luz. We fostered a tight-knit bond immediately, and my confidence developed little by little each day. As each year passed, I acquired more confidence to become more sociable, but my awkwardness did not completely go away.

My earlier language barrier, my soft-hearted and quiet personality, and my social self-consciousness found me drawn to playing with girls and not sports with the other boys. I soon began to feel excluded by boys asking me why I played with girls; it made me feel small and different from the rest. Looking back, I have never been the “masculine boy” as society says my role to be. I have always thought I do not fit the social definition of a male as one who is “manly” and “sporty” and this alienating feeling of being different still persists today at times. However, I also have become more comfortable with myself, and I see my growth firsthand throughout high school.

In my freshman year I began to come out of my shell and develop self-confidence, largely due to my participation in choir and drama class. In these classes I could be myself and found my real voice. Here I felt a connection to a family not connected by blood but by a unifying passion in the creative arts.  That connection allowed me to confide in my friend Luz my struggle with my personal identity. One day I messaged her: “I have something to tell you… I think I might be bisexual.” My heart pounded as I waited anxiously for her reply. She responded: “How long have you been thinking of this?”  In her response I felt reassured that the she would not reject me.  From that moment my best friend thanked me and said our friendship was now stronger as a result. I felt so relieved to get that secret off my chest; it was a cathartic moment in my life and a significant turning point!

Throughout high school, I have become more open about who I am, and my confidence and acceptance in myself has grown tremendously. Although I still have not told my parents about my sexuality, I will when I am ready.  I am who I am today as a result of these experiences and personal challenges. In my short life so far, I have developed my soft-hearted and quiet personality to become more open, creative, and self-assured while preserving my identity. I know more challenges lie ahead, but I am open to those opportunities.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out Martin’s story here ]

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #8 – The California Cadet Corps

Author: Justin Class Year: Princeton University 2021 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Princeton University, Harvard University, Stanford University, UCLA, UCSD

During my freshman year at Cajon High School, I enlisted in the California Cadet Corps (CACC). The CACC is essentially a JROTC program based on a state level. Every summer, the CACC holds a summer encampment at Camp San Luis Obispo. A myriad of leadership schools are offered: Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) School, Officer-Candidate School (OCS), etc. I participated in OCS my freshman year, Survival my sophomore year, and Marksmanship last summer. Of those three, Survival was definitely my biggest challenge and marked my transition from childhood to adulthood.

Within the CACC, there’s an honor so admirable that those who receive it are inducted into an order of elites: the Red Beret. It signifies completion of survival training, the most rigorous and difficult training course within the CACC. With a heart mixed with excitement and fear, I stepped onto the bus headed for Camp San Luis Obispo in June of 2015.

After basic instruction, we were transported to arid Camp Roberts to begin field training. Upon arrival, we were separated into groups of four with one leader each (I was designated as team leader). We then emptied our canteens, received minimal tools, and set off. Our immediate priority was finding areas to build our shelter and latrine. Then, we needed to locate a clean source of water. After, we had to find food. It was truly a situation that required making everything from scratch. As the day drew to a close and night advanced, I felt seclusion and apprehension envelop me.

As the days drew on, constant stress and heat along with lack of food took a toll on my sanity and drove me almost to my breaking-point. At one moment, I remembered a handwritten phrase that had been on my desk: “Your biggest enemy is yourself.” At this moment, it hit me: I wasn’t going to quit. I was going to overcome this challenge and show myself that I have what it takes to survive for five days using nothing but my wits.

On the morning of the sixth day, my team and I reported to headquarters to complete training. With pride, I received the honor of wearing that glorious Red Beret on my head.

Through Survival, I learned many things about myself and the way I approach the world. I realized that I take for granted innumerable small privileges and conveniences and that I undervalue what I do have. Now that I had experienced true and sustained hunger, I felt regret for times when I threw away food and behaved with unconscious waste. Additionally, being isolated from mass civilization and relying heavily on my companions gave me an appreciation for my friends and for the absolute necessity of teamwork. Being the leader of my team meant that they all looked to me for motivation, inspiration, and a will to survive; I got first-hand experience on how important a leader can be in a situation of literal life and death. Most importantly, however, I gained priceless insight into the amount of effort and work my parents put in for me every day.

As demonstrated, survival training taught me essential lessons to survive successfully as an adult. Looking back, it’s absolutely unbelievable how one week affected me so profoundly. Even today, I remember the phrase that motivated me that day: “Your biggest enemy is yourself.” Thinking of that, I go to school and say to myself, “Justin, you truly are an amazing young man!”

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out Justin’s story here ]

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COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #9 – I never want to lose what we had in that corner

Author: Jonah Class Year: Princeton University 2019 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement – Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? School Acceptances: Princeton University, Swarthmore College

The squeaks of whiteboard markers have now replaced the scritch-scratch of chalk, but the hubbub of voices is always the same. For millennia, the great thinkers of their day would gather and discuss. In ancient Greece, it was Socrates debating about philosophy; centuries later it was Newton lecturing at Cambridge on fluxions and physics. This summer Paul Steinhardt and his eminent colleagues sat down for a panel about inflationary theory at the World Science festival- though there was neither chalk nor markers there. Though we make no claim to be the greatest thinkers of our day and our school in no way resembles the hallowed edifices of science, my friends and I have staked out a corner of our AP Calculus room where we can have our own discussions. We even have a whiteboard.

It started small: just myself, Avery, and Sam and a problem set that didn’t take us long enough. Appropriately enough, we were working on one of Newton’s problems: differential equations describing cooling curves. His solution is fairly simple, perhaps overly simple, which prompted me to ask Avery what he thought. We had both taken Chemistry the year before, and Newton’s equation didn’t take into account thermal equilibrium; (to be fair to Newton, adding thermal equilibrium doesn’t appreciably change the solution at normal conditions). Since we were slightly bored and faced with an empty hour ahead of us, we started to modify the equation. We had learned in Chemistry that both the surroundings and the actual cooling object both change temperature, which Newton had ignored. We wrote up a first attempt on the infamous whiteboard, paused a second, and then started laughing as we realized that our inchoate equation meant a hot cup of coffee could plummet Earth into another Ice Age. This disturbance in an otherwise fairly quiet classroom drew the attention of Sam. He too was amused with our attempt and together we began to fix the poor thing. Huddled around the back of the classroom, we all pondered. It wasn’t an important problem, it wasn’t due the next day, it wasn’t even particularly interesting. But we loved it.

The three of us had been friends since middle school, which in many ways seems astounding. Avery, a track runner, Sam, a Morris dancer, and myself, a fencer. Our interests could not be more diverse. Avery was an avid programmer while Sam was fascinated by the evolution of language. I always had a soft spot for physics. Luckily for us, we had found each other early on in middle school and our discussions started soon after. As we learned more math, read more books, and culled more esoteric facts from our varied experiences, the quality of our rebuttals has dramatically improved. The laughter is immutable.

In the back of algebra class in eighth grade, Avery taught me how to program calculators in TIBasic while I traded theories with him about the Big Bang. From Sam I learned the phonetic alphabet and more recently the physics of bell ringing. Since then our dynamic has always stayed playful no matter how heated the discussion; only our arguments have changed. I may have learned as much in the back of classes with my friends as I learned from my teachers. Joseph Joubert wrote, “To teach is to learn twice,” and I could not agree more. In the myriad hours Avery, Sam, and I spent together, the neuron-firing was palpable, the exuberance impossible to miss.

But not only did I learn linguistics, Python, and philosophy with Avery and Sam, I learned a little more about myself. I never want to lose what we had in that corner. Our interplay of guessing and discovering and laughing seemed like paradise to me. I looked for other opportunities in my life to meet brilliant and vivacious people, to learn from them, and to teach them what I loved. I co-founded a tutoring program, participated in original research, and taught lessons in Physics and Chemistry as a substitute.

I expected to be nervous, I expected to embarrass myself. Yet on every occasion, whether I’m facing the board or with my back to it, whether I’m in the ranks of my peers or addressing my teachers, I feel the same elation. In my friends I see Socrates, Newton, and Steinhardt. There’s no place I would rather be than in their company.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out Jonah’s story here ]

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #10 – It is the effort that counts, not the result

Author: John Class Year: Princeton University 2021 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement – The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? School Acceptances: Princeton University

For as long as I can remember, wrestling has been an important part of my life. I can recall playing dodgeball after wrestling practice, summer wrestling camps, hard practices with my older brother, and hundreds of wrestling tournaments as cornerstones of my childhood. From a young age I was determined to be the best; and quickly concluded that meant winning a PIAA state championship. When I entered Junior High, I discovered that only ten wrestlers in the history of Pennsylvania had won a state championship each year of their high school careers – and becoming the eleventh became my personal ambition.

Entering high school, I centered my life around the goal of winning a state title my freshman year. I became disciplined in every aspect of my life: from how many hours of sleep I got, to what exact foods I ate. I was obsessed with my intensive training regimen, and fell asleep each night to the dream of my hand being raised in the circle of the main mat on the Giant Center floor.

As the season progressed, I experienced success. My state ranking climbed steadily and by the time the state tournament began, I was projected to finish third. I wrestled well throughout the tournament, advancing to the semifinals where I defeated the favorite 11-0. At last: I was to wrestle in the final match for the state championship. I prepared for my opponent, whom I defeated the week before. However, when the match began, I wrestled nervously, was unable to fully recover, and ended up on the short end of a 3-1 decision.

In just a few short minutes, my dream was shattered. For me, it felt like the end of the world. I had based my whole identity and lifestyle on the dream of winning four state titles. It felt as though the sport I loved most had ripped out my heart,  and on live television, in front of thousands of people. I was upset after the match.  I was depressed and felt worthless, devoid of my passion for and love of wrestling.

After a month or perhaps more of introspection, and some in depth conversations with the people closest to me, I began to realize that one lost wrestling match, at age fifteen, was not the end of the world. The more I reflected on my wrestling journey, the more gratitude I developed for all of my opportunities.   I realized that wrestling had helped forge some of the most important relationships of my life, including an irreplaceable fraternity with my older brother, teammates, and coaches. My setback in the state finals also helped me to understand all of the lessons learned through wrestling, and that there was much more I could still accomplish. Wrestling helped me learn the value of hard work, discipline, and mental toughness. But most important, I learned that no matter how much we try, we cannot control everything, including the outcome of a wrestling match. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control our reaction, attitude, actions, and effort. In the words of my father, “it is the effort that counts, not the result.”

Hence, through my experience of failure I learned an invaluable lesson applicable to every walk of life. In retrospect, I am grateful for the opportunity to compete, to represent myself and my school, and to lay all my hard work on the line. The process of striving to become a state champion taught me more than achieving this title ever could, and my failure in the state finals was a blessing in disguise.

[ Want to learn more about the author of this essay? Check out John’s story here ]

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #11 – The problem of social integration

Author: Harry Class Year: Princeton University 2020 Type of Essay: Universal Common Application Personal Statement – How do we establish common values to promote harmony in an increasingly diverse society? School Acceptances: Princeton University

Establishing a cohesive society where common values are shared is increasingly difficult in multi-faith, globalised societies such as the one I’m part of in the UK. My studies in politics and philosophy have made me more sensitive to this problem and as I have a much larger number of friends from different ethnic backgrounds than my parents and the previous generation, I realise that the friction created by the presence of different ethnic and social groups is not going to disappear anytime soon.

Admittedly, the problem of social integration is one I feel can be widely overstated – for example, when I was looking into some research for a similar topic a couple of years ago, I found numerous surveys indicating that ethnic minorities (especially Islam) identify much more closely with Britain than do the population at large. Still though, I, like many others, find myself constantly troubled by the prospect of the war from within that seems to be developing. This fear is fuelled by events such as the brutal killing of the soldier Lee Rigby at the hands of two British Muslims a couple of years ago.

This cold blooded murder provides a clear example of what can happen when people lose their human connection to the society that they’re a part of and instead pursue hate and violence on a pretence to a higher purpose (killing in the name of religion). I think suggestible minds are undoubtedly most prone to this, and the two British men who killed Rigby, previously Christians, are examples of how minds devoid of any instilled social values are fertile ground for the fomentation of harmful ideas.

What I find particularly worrying is the distinct danger of allowing a largely atomised society to develop, where conflicts such as this one begin to characterise the interaction between the different parts. It’s imperative that we avoid this situation and work towards social unity, and so I think a long-term and complex solution to social integration must be found. Given the upward trends in multiculturalism and globalisation, it is going to be paramount that my generation takes on the problems of integration and cultural diversity to create a harmonious society.

The solution will no doubt be an ongoing process, involving years of detailed and thoroughly considered legislation, but I think that in working towards it, we should focus on certain things.

With regard to the role of religion, I think its relationship with the state needs to be clarified and communicated to everyone. As the case of Lee Rigby quite bluntly reveals, where religion triumphs over civic duty, there’s a potentially dangerous situation, especially when put into the context of radical fundamentalism. By the same token however, it’s neither desirable nor feasible to have a society where politics trumps religion, so I think that when addressing the issue of social cohesion there must be an overarching commitment to other people within society that’s established – humanity must transcend any form of politics or ideology, and bind the two camps so their incompatibility does not become entrenched.

I think that this has to be done primarily through education: both within the formal curriculum which all citizens of a democratic nation state should be compelled to follow until at least the age of 16, and in the wider sense through more promotion of cultural programmes nationally that encourage the nation’s population to participate in the continuing discussion and examination of our core, shared values. We have to work at this constantly since identity is itself always in a state of flux and accept that this continuing ‘conversation’ will always require us to confront some very difficult questions about freedom and responsibility. People need to understand these ideas not simply as abstract questions, but also as issues of practical, pragmatic relevance, deconstructing them into how we actually treat each other, the true test of how civilised and tolerant we are.


Author : Thomas Class Year : Princeton University 2025 Type of Essay : Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances : Princeton University

I scarf down my mom’s squash casserole as fast as humanly possible with only one thought in mind: “Will I miss it?” Leaving my almost-clean plate in the dust, I reach the sofa just in time to hear Drew Carrey announce, “and welcome back to Whose Line Is it Anyway”. I bow to the applause coming from the speakers and take my seat between my siblings, breathing a sigh of relief. Finally paying the screen my full attention, I’d rather be nowhere else; The quick-witted interactions between Colin, Ryan, Wayne, and Greg never fail to make our family nights perfect.

At the time, I was oblivious to the mastery required for the skits on-screen—every impromptu joke had to land, or else the performers would be subjected to the doom of humiliation and awkward silence, perils I would soon experience the hard way.

I first entered the world of improv listening to “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman in the car with my brother. He told me offhandedly that the majority of the song had been made up on the spot. I was shocked. I could hardly give a speech at the head of the classroom with five pages of prepared notes and two hours of rehearsal. How could someone just “make up” something so enjoyable? My enlightenment came in the form of music. In playing the trombone, I fell in love with the difficult yet rewarding task of jazz improvisation; the combination of intense musical focus with unbridled creative expression brought about not only a new appreciation for my childhood “Whose Line” idols but also a burning desire to reach their level of prowess in terms of music.

My newfound fascination led me to the school jazz band, where the practice of on-the-spot originality became a harsh reality. When the jazz teacher suddenly pointed at me to noodle in the key of B-flat, I froze. Performance anxiety and a lack of experience manifested themselves in the form of a few pitiful flubs out of my trombone; the silence afterward was deafening. Despite my blunders, I was unfazed in my desire to attain Benny Goodman’s level of improv mastery. At home, I approached my dream through rigorous practice of jazz fundamentals, guided partly by the work of other jazz legends like J. J. Johnson and Charles Mingus. Practice turned into improvement, and, before I knew it, performance anxiety began to fade.

It wasn’t until my stone-faced jazz teacher referred to one of my improvised melodies as “hot” that my playing confidence truly took shape. I found my musical voice just like Wayne Brady found his comedic timing. In my free time, I would spend hours exploring musical worlds of my own—and they were my own! Not even Duke Ellington had combined rhythms and melodies in the exact way that I had! With a vast expanse of unique sounds and emotions stretching out before me, I felt liberated from my past musical stutters.

In my newfound confidence, I found unexpected advantages of improv in my engineering endeavors. As a Science Olympiad member, improvisation benefits materialized in structure and circuit creation. Hours that I had spent formulating spontaneous musical ideas mirrored the creativity required for fruitful brainstorming sessions. Designs transformed into wooden structures just as thoughts turned into jazz melodies. The confidence gleaned from improv impacted my circuit-building events as well; my experience improvising in front of large crowds dwarfed any prior nervousness associated with timed circuit prompts.

Whether I am solving urgent engineering problems or performing my heart out on-stage, my love for improv always shines through. Benny Goodman, my deadpan jazz teacher, and countless others inspire me to push the boundaries of this love, however, my ultimate inspiration lies in my childhood “Whose Line” idols. At heart, the only thing that separates me from the fascinated eight-year-old staring at the television is how I have approached my fascination: I’ve improved.

COLLEGE ESSAY EXAMPLE #13 – The Sound of Music

Author : Alyssa Class Year : Brown University 2026 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Brown University

Tucked inside the small blue box that sits on my dresser is a folded-up Market Basket receipt from November 3rd, 2010. If you flipped over the order, you’d find—written in neat and lilting handwriting—the lyrics to “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music.

On November 3rd, 2010, I was six going on seven, watching the Sound of Music with my grandparents for the first time, nestled between them on their old brown leather couch. The themes of the film were far beyond my understanding, but I could not get the lyrics of “My Favorite Things” out of my head. I begged my grandmother to transcribe them for me to keep. The message of the song, which lists images dear to Maria—from “raindrops on roses” to “silver white winters that melt into springs”—is that by drawing upon moments of joy, we can cope with any misfortune.

Now, it becomes clear why I found the lyrics important enough to write down and keep for eleven years: I tend to find the best in everything. Even when I feel lost, I am in constant search of small flickers of brightness, elusive moments of clarity. Like Maria, I think that my favorite things are my most inexhaustible sources of strength.

On January 1st, 2020, I downloaded an app called “One Second Every Day.” Essentially, I would film one second of my life each day, and the app would compile these clips into a movie at the end of every year. I began the project simply to document my life, to keep my memories fresh.

Soon, my project became much more than a documentary. Rather than capturing the most significant one-second of my day, as I had initially intended, I found myself filming moments that made me smile—moments that reminded me to stay hopeful.

On my mom’s first day of chemotherapy, I filmed the blue January sky and captioned the clip succinctly: “fresh air > everything else.” On the day that her hair fell out, I captured the serenity of a nearby lake, where I go to collect my thoughts. On the first anniversary of my grandfather’s death, I filmed my friends and me at a fencing tournament; on the second, a stunning sunset. Throughout quarantine, clips included flowers, Easter cookies, Zooms with my friends, and efforts to learn guitar.

I hadn’t realized it then, but like Maria, I was steadily compiling a list of my favorite things to make me feel better “when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad”—a huge database of happiness in spite of pain. In that way, I grew stronger, more optimistic, better able to connect with myself and be there for my mother as she battled cancer amid the pandemic. My circumstances did not have to define my outlook on life. Sometimes, I look back on my clips and can’t help but grin, knowing what comes next—like the clip of myself playing field hockey, filmed shortly before my mother received a call from her doctor, telling her that she was finally cancer-free.

I wish I could whisper to myself in the “before” moments like that one, “You’ll never believe what’s about to happen. Everything is going to be okay.” For now, I settle for the knowledge that we grow in the small moments, not only in the big ones. We push ourselves through obstacles and come out on the other side; we gear up for the decisions that will change our lives; we are strengthened and empowered and made brave. Back in 2010, I may not have known what “schnitzel with noodles” was, but I did know that “My Favorite Things” matter, whether I’m six-going-on-seven or sixteen-going-on-seventeen or simply just trying to forge ahead. Whenever I rediscover that Market Basket receipt, I smile, and look forward to all the favorite things that I have yet to discover.


Author: Cecile Class Year: Princeton University 2026 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Princeton University

I first thought seriously about human trafficking while sitting on a public toilet. The right place, the right time, and an uncanny sign can turn a banal act into a mission. For me, the venue was a bathroom stall in the Atlanta airport, the time was early morning, and the sign was a generic poster that warned viewers: “human trafficking is in our community.” The graffiti hearts on the stall door took the poster’s credibility down a notch, but I was intrigued. Ambiguous yet alarming, this message ultimately inspired me to learn a language that, although foreign, was spoken within earshot. As I later found out, a human trafficking ring took place blocks from my house in Austin, Texas. I would not have made this discovery without approaching my research with the attitude of a translator—from Austin’s East side to conversations with an ex-convict on my porch, from Spanish to English, from inside the bathroom stall to the whole wide world. 

To translate, dictionaries can only do so much. When I lived in Spain during the Summer of 2019, my host sister Carmen proved to be a better translator than my pocket dictionary. Through words, phrases, and theatrical charades, Carmen filled gaps in my understanding, offering me a much more grounded (and entertaining) explanation of a word than a conventional Spanish-English dictionary ever could. This lesson stuck, and it was not just about linguistics.

My time in Spain was an opportunity to discover meaning beyond words. To learn why “thank you” could be offensive, why my youngest host sister cursed like the word “joder” was going out of style, why everyone spoke as if on Novocain, I had to translate not just language, but culture. The challenge of understanding the cultural subtleties that language reveals taught me to see ambiguity—say, of a false cognate or a mysterious warning sign—as a green light for immersion. So, when it came to that poster on the bathroom wall, I hit the academic search engines and devoured a trove of research. 

Case studies dispelled myths, anthropologists offered context, and scholars everywhere, it seemed, were engaging in some form of translation. As I read, a world inaccessible even to data scientists—that of human sex trafficking—began to seem slightly more lucid. The scholarship, while brilliant, had its limits. Yes, I learned about the interactions of survivors with police officers; I discovered surprising arguments for legalizing prostitution; I noticed gaps between NGO advocacy and what empirical data suggest. Still, translating these discoveries into a language I understood remained as elusive to me as the Spanish subjunctive once seemed. As with linguistic translation, a deeper understanding would require deeper questions. Should the response to a human rights abuse change if the perceived victims do not agree that they are being abused? How can personal agency and external support coexist? What makes a kid a kid? I approached my new inquiries with the same attitude it took to discuss Mediterranean migration patterns with my host dad: shameless curiosity. I had another language to learn, and only human conversation, as nuanced and enthralling as my host sister made it, could lead me to fluency. 

I interviewed—in person and on Zoom—dozens of global experts, witnesses, and survivors of human trafficking. I created a website—which I called RISE (Recording Interviews and Stories of Exploitation)—to house my interviews and connect with those eager to explore questions further. My conversations, although in English, were no less of a translation than my experience rendering an English thought into a Spanish sentence. I was equally immersed, this time not in another language but in a new field. As with learning a new language, I found clarity through human connection. I have yet to reach the whole wide world with my research, but with RISE, I am just beginning to make discoveries that only true immersion rewards.


Author: Allie Class Year: Cornell University 2023 Type of Essay: Common Application Personal Statement School Acceptances: Cornell University

It was already 6 PM, and I walked across the classroom, wary of the many fingers tapping away at their keyboards, their mouse clicks, their resizing and editing articles, photos, and captions. It was the day before the newspaper production deadline, and my team of middle schoolers had worked tirelessly on their articles and layouts. Just before we hit send, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of pride.

Student Newspaper in Every Middle School project began as an impossible dream. The ubiquity of fake news is undermining our democracy and our First Amendment right. I believe that my project can undermine the spread of fake news by educating young students to become better consumers of news. Determined, I began my journey to achieve my dream.

I was naive to think that merely sending “email presentation” to local middle school principals will be sufficient to convince them to start a newspaper with me. I was dead wrong. Out of 43 emails sent, I received exactly “0” interest. Out of desperation, I started calling schools one by one.

Another valuable lesson learned – principals don’t answer phone calls. Six schools picked up my call, but only Principal Lauer of Young Oak Kim Academy (YOKA), a Los Angeles Unified School District middle school, called me back. I implored the reluctant Principal for a chance to explain my plan, and was elated when he agreed to meet me. It was my only shot.

I felt like a person on a hopeless mission when I first walked the halls of YOKA. “What am I doing here? I don’t have to do this,” I kept mumbling to myself. A receptionist told me to wait as he had a meeting. Some twenty agonizing minutes passed before smiling Principal Lauer walked out to greet me. Remarkably, he read my presentation and told me that he had been trying to the same thing. Just like that, I became an advisor to YOKA’s student newspaper.

School bureaucracy quickly dampened my short-lived elation. As a minor, I couldn’t advise students on my own. So, the school had to assign a teacher. But, no one wanted the extra work, so I had to go around and convince teachers of the project’s merits one by one. I was overjoyed in tears when Ms. Ramos agreed to co-advise.

Problems never ended. I envisioned 30+ Energizer Bunnies to welcome me to first class. Instead, I got two bored students, wondering aloud “why they had to be there?” I was demoralized. But, I had expended too much effort and convinced too many people to quit. All dreams start small and humble, and I had to accept the fact that my dream was no exception.

I learned another undeniable truth – that getting an “idea” turned out to be the easiest step. In comparison, executing that “idea” was excruciatingly more difficult. Convincing conflicted individuals to work for a common goal was impossibly challenging. I needed to be resilient, but I was always prepared to fail as well.

I stumbled on to a “tipping point.” I told my staff that the feature article’s “star” will be them. The new “celebrity” status was enticing enough to get them enthusiastic. I took the cue from their metamorphosis and started promising “stardom” to other students. Encouraging narcissism through flattery worked as seven more students enthusiastically joined. Our goal was simple, “tell accurate stories about students, the ‘stars’ of our paper.” The “YOKA Times” was successfully launched last year and I am proud to be working with two more schools this year.

It was 6:30 PM, and we finally finished our first issue. “High five, we did it,” my students and I were overjoyed. I held the “YOKA Times” in my hands, smiling at the team who worked so hard to make this happen.

You’ve read through these 15 college essay examples. What do they all have in common? What’s the secret sauce that earned their writers Ivy League acceptance?

Remember: the college essay is only one part of the college application.

The admissions officers reading these essays thus were considering other aspects of the writers’ applications , including extracurricular distinction and academic achievement.

That being said, we’ve done the research and pinpointed the 7 qualities of successful college essays that all of these pieces exemplify.

  • Introspective and reflective
  • Full of a student’s voice
  • Descriptive and engaging
  • Unconventional and distinct
  • Well-written

How to Write an Essay Like These College Essay Examples

What can you do to write a personal statement in line with these stellar college essay examples?

First, let’s talk about how to actually read one of these college essay examples.

If you’re at this point in this post, you’ve likely read at least one of the examples in this post at least once. Now, return to that essay and read it a second time with a more critical eye.

Ask yourself questions like these:

  • What do you like? What do you not like?
  • How does the essay make you feel?
  • How is the essay structured?
  • How does the writer craft the introduction? The conclusion?
  • What’s unique about this college essay example?
  • What value(s) does the writer express? Key takeaways?
  • Is there anything unexpected or surprising?
  • Do any writing techniques stick out to you?

Pay attention to your answers to these questions, and reflect on the qualities that surface. Compare them to the 7 qualities of a successful college essay . What do you notice?

Complete this exercise for several other college essay examples — you can download  35 real college essays below!

This can help you understand exactly what it it takes to write a compelling college essay, including what impact a strong essay has on a reader.

It’s also a great first step to take in the college essay writing process, which we’ve boiled down to these 10 simple steps . 

Download 35 College Essay Examples

You can check out even more college essay examples by successful applicants! For 20 additional essays, download PrepMaven’s 35 College Essays That Worked .

With this document, you’ll get:

  • The essays included in this post
  • 20 additional full personal statements of applicants admitted to top-tier institutions

Need some additional help? Check out our college essay service and work with one of our Master Consultants .

At PrepMaven, our mission is not only to help your child increase their test scores and get into a great college but also to put them on the right track for long-term personal and professional success.

Greg Wong and Kevin Wong

Greg and Kevin are brothers and the co-founders of PrepMaven and Princeton Tutoring. They are Princeton engineering graduates with over 20 years of education experience. They apply their data and research-backed problem solving skills to the test prep and college preparation process. Their unique approach places a heavy emphasis on personal development, character, and service as key components of college admissions success.

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  • Qualities of a Successful College Essay
  • 11 College Essays That Worked
  • How to Answer the UC Personal Insight Questions
  • How Colleges Read your College Applications (A 4-Step Process)
  • How to Write the Princeton Supplemental Essays
  • The Diamond Strategy: How We Help Students Write College Essays that Get Them Into Princeton (And Other Ivy League Schools)
  • What is the College Essay? Your Complete Guide for 202 4
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  • How to Make Your College Essay Stand Out | Tips & Examples

How to Make Your College Essay Stand Out | Tips & Examples

Published on October 25, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on August 14, 2023.

While admissions officers are interested in hearing about your experiences , they’re also interested in how you present them. An exceptionally written essay will stand out from the crowd, meaning that admissions officers will spend more time reading it.

To write a standout essay, you can use literary devices to pull the reader in and catch their attention. Literary devices often complement each other and can be woven together to craft an original, vivid, and creative personal essay. However, don’t overdo it; focus on using just a few devices well, rather than trying to use as many as possible.

Table of contents

Essay structure devices, storytelling devices, imagery devices, tone devices, sentence-level devices, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

You can frame your essay with symbolism or extended metaphors, which both work well in a montage or narrative essay structure .

Symbolism is the use of tangible objects to represent ideas. In your college essay, you can use one major symbol that represents your essay’s theme. Throughout your essay, you can also intentionally place related minor symbols to communicate ideas without explicitly stating them. The key is to use original, meaningful symbols that are not cliché.

For example, if your essay’s theme is “family,” your symbol could be a well-worn beloved Lord of the Rings Monopoly game set. Rather than directly saying, “The Lord of the Rings Monopoly game has brought my family happiness,” share stories with this game to demonstrate your family’s closeness, joy, and loyalty.

Supporting symbols:

  • Story 1: Chipped and mismatching collectible Gandalf the Grey coffee mugs surround the Monopoly board during a lazy weekend
  • Story 2: A folding card table supports our family’s mobile Monopoly game while the family plays at a campsite
  • Story 3: An extended edition LOTR box set plays in the background during Thanksgiving feasts with extended family. We have a Monopoly competition after dinner.
  • Story 4: Matching Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry Halloween outfits are proudly worn by me and my family members. We always play a game of Monopoly the afternoon before going out together to our town’s annual Halloween carnival.

In the example below, a student depicts “The Monster,” an imaginary symbolic figure that represents the student’s jealousy.

Main idea: I have been on a quest to slay the Monster, the toxic envy that overtakes me when I compare myself to one of my friends.

Narrative: I remember first encountering the Monster in second grade when Laurel bobbed her hair. Everybody raved about how cute she looked. The Monster had plenty to say about how ugly, unpopular, and undesirable I was compared to Laurel. After that day, the Monster never seemed to leave my side.

Extended metaphor

A metaphor directly compares two unrelated objects, giving deeper meaning and multi-dimensional imagery. Since metaphors create a new reality between two objects, use them sparingly throughout your essay to avoid overwhelming the reader with too many comparisons.

You can also use an extended metaphor, which builds upon a simple metaphor throughout the essay with other literary devices and more in-depth descriptions.

To brainstorm your extended metaphor, you should first identify feelings or values associated with your story and then brainstorm images associated with these feelings.

Keep the following in mind when crafting your extended metaphor:

  • Keep the comparison simple.
  • Use a few other literary devices such as imagery or anecdotes to enrich your extended metaphor.
  • Avoid making cliché comparisons.
  • Don’t exaggerate or make an unrealistic comparison.

In the example below, a student uses the extended metaphor of a museum to explore the theme of identity. Each anecdote is framed as an “exhibit” that tells us something about her life.

  • The Sight Exhibit: Flashback illustrating how racial discrimination led to my identity as a writer
  • The Sound Exhibit: Snapshots of musical memories, identity as a musical theater lover
  • The Smell Exhibit: Scents of my family’s Thanksgiving meal, identity as a daughter, granddaughter, and member of the Arimoto family
  • The Touch Exhibit: Feel of warm water washing away academic and extracurricular worries while washing dishes, identity as a level-headed honors student
  • The Taste Exhibit: Taste of salty sweat while bike training with a friend, identity as an athlete

In the next example, a student uses the river as an extended metaphor for his educational journey. The different parts of the river’s course represent different challenges he has overcome.

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Here are the most effective literary devices to enrich your storytelling in college essays.

Into the midst of things, in medias res

In medias res , Latin for “into the midst of things,” is a device that involves starting in the middle of the action. Then, important details are added to fill in the story. Similar to the beginning of an action or thriller movie, in medias res immediately drops the reader into a scene, allowing them to discern the story through sensory imagery.

Unlike a linear chronological narrative, flashbacks can be used to transport your reader from the present moment to a key past event to give a clearer understanding of your current personality, values, and goals.

Dialogue is a conversation between two or more people. Using dialogue in your essay can sometimes create suspense, transport readers into a scene, or highlight an important message. However, it should be used sparingly and strategically to avoid an anti-climatic or redundant moment.

Famous quotes should be avoided since they are overused, but using quotes from important people in your life can be original, personal, and powerful. But make sure the quote adds value to your essay.

You can use both figurative and literal imagery throughout your essay to paint a clearer, richer image in your reader’s mind.

Similes , like metaphors, compare two unrelated objects but use the words “as” or “like.”

In a metaphor, the two objects are considered the same, but in a simile, the word “like” or “as” creates some distance between the objects.

Five senses

Illustrate your five senses with descriptive language to help your readers quickly imagine your story in a vivid, visceral way. Sensory language also helps to convey your interest and knowledge of a topic.


Personification uses human characteristics and behaviors to describe inanimate objects, animals, or ideas. This can help show your emotional connection to something in an original and poetic way.

Here are a few tone devices to help improve your essay’s authenticity and voice .


While most slang is too informal for college essays, regional colloquialisms can sometimes improve your essay’s authenticity when used strategically, enhancing your ability to connect with admissions officers and adding a memorable element.

However, you should ensure that they don’t seem shoehorned in or otherwise affect the flow, clarity, or professionalism of your essay. If applying to schools outside your region of origin (or if you’re applying as an international student ), be sure the colloquialism is one that will be widely understood.

Hyperbole is dramatic exaggeration to express the intensity of your feelings about something. Use hyperbole sparingly to ensure the greatest impact and avoid sounding overly dramatic. Make sure to be original, avoiding overused comparisons.

Sentence-level devices are useful for dramatic effect or to highlight a point. But use them sparingly to avoid sounding robotic, redundant, or awkward.

To have the greatest impact, use these devices against the backdrop of varying sentence structures and at a critical or vulnerable moment in your essay, especially during reflection.

Alliteration The repetition of the first or middle consonants in two or more words throughout a sentence. As I kept refreshing my inbox, I waited with anticipation, anxiety, and agitation.
Anaphora The repetition of a specific word or phrase at the start of different clauses or sentences to highlight a particular feeling or concept. Why did my little brother always get the attention? Why did my parents always allow him, and not me, to break curfew?
Asyndeton The intentional omission of conjunctions to achieve faster flow. I faked left, and the goalie took the bait. I spun right, I kicked, I scored!
Polysyndeton The deliberate use of additional conjunctions to slow down the pace. I was wet and hungry and exhausted.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing


  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

A standout college essay has several key ingredients:

  • A unique, personally meaningful topic
  • A memorable introduction with vivid imagery or an intriguing hook
  • Specific stories and language that show instead of telling
  • Vulnerability that’s authentic but not aimed at soliciting sympathy
  • Clear writing in an appropriate style and tone
  • A conclusion that offers deep insight or a creative ending

Your college essay accounts for about 25% of your application’s weight. It may be the deciding factor in whether you’re accepted, especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurricular track records.

Though admissions officers are interested in hearing your story, they’re also interested in how you tell it. An exceptionally written essay will differentiate you from other applicants, meaning that admissions officers will spend more time reading it.

You can use literary devices to catch your reader’s attention and enrich your storytelling; however, focus on using just a few devices well, rather than trying to use as many as possible.

You can use humor in a college essay , but carefully consider its purpose and use it wisely. An effective use of humor involves unexpected, keen observations of the everyday, or speaks to a deeper theme. Humor shouldn’t be the main focus of the essay, but rather a tool to improve your storytelling.

Get a second opinion from a teacher, counselor, or essay coach on whether your essay’s humor is appropriate.

Avoid swearing in a college essay , since admissions officers’ opinions of profanity will vary. In some cases, it might be okay to use a vulgar word, such as in dialogue or quotes that make an important point in your essay. However, it’s safest to try to make the same point without swearing.

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Dianne Jacob, Will Write For Food

Useful Tips, Interviews, and Stories to Inspire Food Writers and Bloggers

November 22, 2011 by diannejacob 147 Comments

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You read the bios of food bloggers and food writers online, and feel envy about how much media attention they get, or whom they write for, or how clever they are. Or you spend hours on Facebook and Twitter, admiring how some writers craft a witty sentence, and seeing how many “Likes” and comments and RTs they get.

Then you try to comment but you find you don’t have anything brilliant to say. And then you get mad because you’re supposed to spend time in social media, building followers and having conversations and leaving comments, but you’re spending too much time on it and not getting any writing done.

And what does this get you?

Just in case you’re wondering, I compare too. I compare myself to other speakers, other teachers, other coaches, other writers. I read beautiful writing and I realize I am never going to be that talented. I doubt myself.

Comparing is evil. But it’s normal too. I try not to let it crush me. When it does I can’t write anything because I am too busy beating myself up.

Fortunately, the moment passes. I tell myself there is always someone doing better than me, but I am doing better than lots of other people. It’s still a comparison and it’s silly, but it calms me. Then I redirect myself to what matters: crafting the best possible book, blog or article I can, remembering that I love what I do, and that I am fortunate to even get to do it.

These thoughts came up when I read a provocative blog post from My Mezzaluna, sent to me by Arva from  I Live in a Frying Pan . I’ll leave you with passage from the blogger, Edwina Cottino, who wrote this in the comments:

“After falling apart for a while and questioning myself and all my abilities the one thing that brings sanity is to stay true to yourself and keep in mind why you are doing this in the first place. Many want to find fame and fortune through blogging and photography, and many do. Most don’t. My feeling is if you follow your passion it will pay off in some shape or form eventually. Perhaps only to give you pleasure. Just as digital photography has suddenly turned millions into photographers, so blogging has given many of us the opportunity to be published, even if our work is only seen by those who follow us.

To stay happy and content with ourselves we absolutely must never compare ourselves to others. We all have something different and unique and for me, being the square peg in the round hole, fits. The moment I begin trying to fit in with what everybody else is doing I start to stress. Thank you to all of you for confirming to me that doing something that has value is more important than being famous.”

Amen sister. We all go through this questioning from time to time. Just yesterday I just sent an email to a food blogger, a former client, who hasn’t posted for months, and asked what’s going on. “It’s complicated,” was the answer. It always is.

Reader Interactions

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November 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Thank you for this, Dianne. Comparing is such a natural thing – an instinct, maybe? It’s such a bad habit to fall prey to, and it leaves us feeling worthless, unproductive, and stagnant. I constantly remind myself to let it go and just do what I love to do, regardless of what everyone else is doing.

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November 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Exactly. It’s so easy to get caught up in it. Thanks Mary Jennifer. It always amazes me that overachiever types — like you, so accomplished — fall prey to this too. Kind of comforting, actually.

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November 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Great words of wisdom, Dianne!

November 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Thanks Kristen. I thought Edwina wrote a terrific blog post as well.

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November 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I know I am guilty of this. It can be hard not to compare when there is always some out there who seems to have it more together than you. However, if you get so caught up in the comparisons with others, you’ll never truly reach your full potential either. Wonderful post and a great reminder.

November 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Yes, we all are guilty of it, Shaina! Who knows if any of us will ever reach our full potential. We have so many barriers to get past, mostly in our own minds.

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November 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I think it is human nature to hold up our accomplishments against those of others to see how we stack up. There will always be someone better, more popular, or attaining the things you want before you. I used to fall into that trap when I first got serious about blogging, but I decided after one particularly ugly bout of the ‘I’m not good enough’s’ that I was doing nothing but setting myself up for failure. So what if I was not as followed as this blogger, as commented upon as that blogger? I am doing something I really love and as long as I am posting authentic work with integrity I will find my niche.

I firmly believe that if you love what you do success, in some form, will follow. The trick is to stick with it because good things don’t happen right away.

November 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Yes exactly! Many blogs die off because people don’t stick to it. Apparently they are the great majority.

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November 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Ah, I love this post. Thanks, Dianne! I was interviewing a friend for my blog a few years and asked for a favorite quote. Hers was dynamite:

Comparison is the killer of joy.

That’s stayed with me and whenever I start to compare (which happens more than I’d like and more often than I want to admit, even here among friends), I try to remember her words.

November 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Oh I love that. Your friend is very wise. As long as you don’t compare yourself to her, you’ll be okay. 😉

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November 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I.love.this. I think all bloggers – especially new bloggers – get caught up in the comparison trap. I believe that what it comes down to (in blogging and in life) is that we must love, love, love what we do. If you are so passionately crazy about your hobby/career/current occupation, it is hard to quench the passion with something else – even though it is natural to have jealous/envious feelings at times. I would write my blog if 1 person read it or if 1 billion people read it. I tried to remind myself of that every time those feelings pop up.

November 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Thanks, Jessica. You have a good attitude. And it’s not just new writers — I’ve been comparing for as long as I can remember. It’s something I always have to work on.

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November 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Oh, this is so true for me! I often get discouraged and then have to remind myself — I’m doing this because I love it, because I want to, not because I want 100 comments on each of my posts. I’m sticking to it, and having fun being creative in the kitchen, with the camera, and with writing. These are things that make me feel good when I nourish them — giving up isn’t necessary.

November 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

Giving up is the most extreme possible response. Not necessary at all, I agree.

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November 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I struggle with this on a regular basis. Of course, part of it is really digging deep to define what “success” will mean, for you. I see my blogging friends getting cookbook deals, and the truth is I won’t get one because I’m not even writing proposals. I have a demanding full-time (non blogging) career, a demanding full-time family, and a blog that, given these constraints, has achieved a lot of recognition and through which I’ve been able to learn things, express myself, develop a community and even help people. That’s pretty successful, when I think about it, even if I’m not writing a regular column for the Food Network (not that I have time to, anyway)

November 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Ha ha. A sense of humor will get you past many unhealthy thoughts. Good of you to bring that up. You sound pretty darned successful to me, Kate.

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November 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

This condition is not particular to bloggers, but all writers everywhere. I am taking an online personal essay writing class and this post echoes everything that my classmates have shared about the process of reading one another’s work: envy, self-doubt, insecurity. I think it builds, in part, because we all work in isolation–which makes communities like this (and writing groups, blogging buddies, classes and mentors) so invaluable.

November 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Hah. Yes. What you said reminds me of what happened at a conference I went to earlier this year. The audience wrote a recipe headnote, and after the first person stood up to read hers, no one else could find the courage. She was so good she zapped the confidence out of everyone else.

I’m not sure about the isolation part. It probably doesn’t help, but I was insecure long before I ever worked for myself!

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November 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

You can apply all that has been said to writers, I agree. The key word is PERSEVERANCE (plus timing and luck.)

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November 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Ah yes, it all comes down to our egos, doesn’t it? They are constantly wanting to be fed, petted, loved… it’s a terrible trap that I fall prey to frequently. First thing is just being aware of it, naming it, and letting it pass. Second, I remind myself that I blog to serve others. That usually helps. As a last resort, I have stopped following some people if the voice in my head blocks out any joy I get from reading their posts/updates. This is always about me, never about them, but I did find that I was following certain people because I felt like I “should” and I wasn’t enjoying it. So that helped me, too. Thanks for your honesty!

November 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Yes. Does that mean we should always say to ourselves, “You are awesome?” Actually I gave that exercise to a client recently, because she said so many self-sabotaging things to herself. I made her make a list of 10 good things to say about herself, print them out, and say them every day. She is now further along in her work!

That is an interesting coping strategy, to stop following people whose posts drive you crazy to read. I don’t know if I could do it. I’m afraid of missing something good.

And hey, it’s always about us. That part is completely normal.

November 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I think it depends on what your internal dialogue is at present. The old SNL skit about Stuart Smalley (I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me!) is actually really helpful for many people, if their inner critic never lets up. People make fun of that simply because it can seem like you’re an egotist. But most of us are really beating ourselves up on an ongoing basis, and being kind to oneself is the first step towards being effective in the world. So I think your homework was spot-on for your client. As to whether I’m missing anything good… of course I am. But I’m always missing a million things anyway, because we can’t possibly keep up. So it helped me to say, “Do I feel better after reading this?” If the answer is yes, then it stays in my Feedly. If the answer is no, then I let it go.

But enough about me. What do you think about me?

November 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Ha ha. This is all very sensible and practical, Stephanie. I am going to have to consider this from now on, when reading blogs. As for kindness, yes, we are good at being kind to others, but not so good at it for ourselves.

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This was AMAZING to read. And you’re so right. And dead on. Spot on. DEAD RINGER. Wait that doesn’t work…..

anyway, bravo!

November 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Ha. It struck a cord, did it? Great. That was my goal.

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It is always, for me, the chance to see where other minds are going. I can only go where I know to go – so reading what other people write shows me news doors (or windows) that I might be able to go through myself. I think if we look at what others do as a tool to help us free ourselves from ourselves, we can learn so much. When I see a beautiful picture on someone’s blog it inspires me even more to look at things I am seeing and try to bring their beauty or quirkiness into my picture. And it is fun when you consider what others do as a free ticket for your own imagination! Try it, you’ll like it!

November 23, 2011 at 10:11 am

Such a good attitude, Karen. I shall use it as my model.

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Great post! Thanks for the great insight!

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November 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Thank you for this post, Dianne. (I always read your blog and value the lessons you share here, but I don’t usually comment.) I also often compare myself to others in blogging and offline, or “in real life”. I started blogging because I wanted to do it, not for fame or fortune but I still managed to fall prey to those insecurities of “that person has more followers than me”, “that person has more comments than me” (especially perplexing when the number of comments is astronomical on a post for something incredibly simple like, say, tomato soup or something and I could have posted something similar and get less than half the number of comments), and on and on and on born out of continual comparisons of myself to others. Of course, I know I could have all these things, too, that I was comparing myself to.

But more often than not, when comparing ourselves to other people and what we think they have that we don’t, it’s based on a comparison of lack; we perceive that other person as having more while we think we have less, to all apparent appearances. It’s something that is not easily overcome but it can be. (And remember, while one is comparing himself to others – someone else is doing exactly the same comparing herself to oneself.)

For me, the easiest way to do that, and to ground myself, is to remember and remind myself why I started blogging in the first place: because I wanted to do it and now because I love doing it. When I started out, I wasn’t thinking about the number of comments I could get, blog traffic, or how many followers I had. Of course I wanted that, but that wasn’t the reason why I started blogging. All that came and fell into place later – and it’s still growing. There are still days when I may get bothered by so-and-so having more followers than me or someone else having more comments than me – actually, nowadays I wonder how so many people can leave that many comments on a given blog post and am content to be just confused by it all – but it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to or would have before. It’s all numbers. One of my favourite quotes, and I think it is fitting, is something that Remus Lupin said in the last Harry Potter movie: “It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.”

November 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Well, thank you so much for being brave enough to comment, Zoe. I hope you will do so again.

Your comment has similar convictions to what the blogger I quoted said, to try to just enjoy it and not compare so much. It’s very good that it doesn’t bother you as much as it used to. We can all drive ourselves crazy by looking at numbers.

I love the quote from the Harry Potter movie.

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November 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

What a calming effect this post had on me, thank you! I’ve been in sort of a slump the past few weeks without being able to pinpoint why. This is it! I’ve been comparing myself to other bloggers, their number of followers and how often others are able to produce great posts on their blogs. I’ve been comparing myself to established bloggers whom have all been doing this for years, while I just really started a few months ago. Thank you again for the words of wisdom. Oh and I love your book – recently bought a copy of it and am working my way thru the exercises.

November 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Aha! You have diagnosed your own condition, Camilla Fay. That is the first step. Don’t worry, we all go through it. You just have to learn to manage the green-eyed monster.

Thanks for the kind words about my book. I don’t think I addressed this whole comparison issue in there, so I’m glad to bring it up on my blog.

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November 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Thank you so much for this! I have been really thinking with this today, so this is incredibly timely for me!! While I know I can only be me, it is so hard to not compare!!

November 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm

What a coincidence, Jane. Listen, we are all guilty of comparing. It’s probably never going to go away. All that’s left is to manage it so we don’t drive ourselves crazy.

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November 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I’m so glad you wrote this. Many times I’ve thought of abandoning my blog because I have the rotten luck of not having enough natural light to take photos in, leaving me no choice but to use cheap artificial lighting that wipes out all the lovely details of my food – muddying it – dulling it..giving my food almost a ‘cartoon like’ look. Seeing all the other food blogs with gorgeous, detailed, filtered sunlit, photos – which I do appreciate and love to look at, occasionally brings out the Green Monster in me. sometimes one on steroids, who occasionally morphs into a pathetic and whiny ‘Why Me Monster’, as in – “Whyyyyy am I stuck without sunlight when it’s free of charge and everyone else has it!?!”.

Since photography is very key to successful food blogging – it left me with a choice, either move to a new place NOW, or continue on with my intense love for cooking, baking, and blogging until I can eventually relocate when everything is in place to do so. With an immeasurable amount of support from friends and loved ones, an assemblage of great readers, and a passion that trumps the sadness of ‘no sunshine’, I chose to motor on because I cherish it too much to let something like that stop me. I’ll continue to do the best I can with what I have, and simply enjoy the work of others without constantly wishing I had their brightly lit kitchens!

Thank you so much for this article, much needed!

November 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Wow, you were really hard on yourself, Lisa. I’m glad you’re past that now. And in case you haven’t read this post, there are solutions to brightly lit kitchens for food photography. Best of luck.

November 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Thank you so much for the link, Dianne! Just reading the first paragraph has been ‘illuminating’ – pun intended 🙂

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November 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

The subject of your post was so compelling, I not only hung on every word, I searched for more! (You should have seen me looking for a page 3) I am appreciative of you handling this subject and would love to hear more coping strategies. I was surprised to see so many feel the same insecurity, I thought I was alone. Sometimes I feel like I’m back in high school and not a cool kid. It’s so painful I’ve come close to giving up blogging because I’m pretty sure I’m just talking to myself. But this helped, thank you Dianne and fellow bloggers

November 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I hope you saw the whole thing. The “continue” link was messed up and I just fixed it.

Oh yes, you’re not alone. Maybe not everyone admits it, but it’s there. As I always say, we writers are sensitive folks. Speaking of high school and cool kids, did you see this post?

Re coping strategies, the best thing is not to be so hard on yourself. As I suggested to my client, every time you hear yourself think something negative, replace it with a positive thought. Since she had printed out that list of 10 awesome things about herself, she had lots to choose from.

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November 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

great post! i learned the hard way about the comparison trap in terms of the acting industry – it led me down a dark spiral of eating disorders and years of struggling. but the lesson was invaluable, and has come in handy not only with blogging, but every day life. comparing ourselves to others – even past versions of ourselves – is NOT productive.

November 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Wow. Past versions of ourselves. You mean when I look in the mirror and I remember how much younger I looked? Yeah, definitely not productive. When I look at earlier writing samples, most of the time I’m pleasantly surprised. Shows where my values are, eh? Thanks Lynn.

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November 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

So many bloggers seem to quiet their jealousy by reminding themselves of why they began to blog in the first instance. I wonder why that never works for me. If anything works to snap me out of it, it’s to ‘come clean’ about it to my husband. Then he has a laugh at my expense, and the absurdity of it all, and I snap out of it. For me, these days, the hardest part of blogging is that I have to do it. My agent and editor tell me so, and I know they’re right. And that fact makes the jealousy smart more. Food blogging is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. Who knew?

Thank you for talking about this, Dianne. It helps. This time, it wasn’t my husband who helped. It was you. 🙂

November 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Aw thanks Nicole. I hope you will get past “having” to blog and you will actually enjoy it. Your readers certainly appreciate your posts. I can tell that you put a lot of time into them.

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November 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

What a timely post for me. I’m relatively new to food photography but have been blogging for a few years as a portrait photographer. The same issues exist in that industry (as in wedding photography) but I’d have to say I’ve never felt the pressure to be more active in social media as I do now. While the food blogging scene is exciting to be a part of, it can be extremely draining too. Most everything you mentioned resonates with me, and I can certainly relate to some of the readers who’ve commented here.

I used to be bothered quite a bit when I didn’t get comments on my blog, and I even emailed a fellow blogger to ask how she manages to consistently get 50-100+ comments per post. She said she regularly leaves comments on other sites and submits to food sites such as TS and FG. She seems to have developed a great online relationship with many other bloggers and that’s wonderful. I tried those same “methods” for a while and sure, my site traffic went up when a photo of mine was published and perhaps I got a few more comments than usual, but my readership never really grew. At this point I have about 4-5 faithful blog readers and truthfully I’m ok with that. I’ve realized that I blog because I love to share my photography (not necessarily my writing because I’m terrible at it!) and I view blogging as a platform to share and build my portfolio; I’m not looking to become popular or get a book deal, though acknowledgement and recognition of my work is definitely a bonus. Ironically, I’ve started a Facebook page as well as become more active on Twitter but this is probably because I came out of my funk and stopped feeling sorry for myself. Not to say it’s an on-going battle because yes, I still compare (hard not to). I’ve just managed not to let it crush me either 🙂

November 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm

That’s good. I don’t know if comparing is about having a pity party. At least I’d like to think not. It’s more about insecurity. Regardless, it sure can drive you crazy. I’m glad you’ve come to terms with what you want out of your blog. If you just want to share photos, there’s always Flickr. You can do a lot on Facebook as well.

November 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I agree, it’s about insecurity… I certainly have that, too. Thinking on it more, I guess I haven’t given myself a chance, being newer to food blogging. Guess I just need to have patience. I’ve tried Flickr and do post on Facebook but like the feeling of putting related photos into a single post. Sometimes I write, most often I don’t — that freedom is the beauty of having your own blog.

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November 22, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Sure, it’s a bit discouraging to see that other people have more comments, more followers, more subscribers etc. But I can’t compare myself to them, because I’m not trying to be *like* them. I’m trying to do the best that I can at being *me*. I’m doing what I want, and if other people like it or not, that’s up to them.

November 23, 2011 at 8:47 am

Such a rational answer, Nathan. I do try to take that approach most of the time. Just not all the time.

You are the first man to comment — maybe you’ll be the only one! I am sorry to stereotype, but I knew that the answers from guys would be different. The last time I wrote a post like this , most of the male bloggers wrote some kind of “why all the fuss?” kind of response. Fascinating!

November 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm

What’s different about my answer?

I wonder if the abundance of female commenters just reflects the fact that the overwhelming majority of food bloggers are female. It can’t be that men don’t suffer from insecurity or inferiority complexes. Maybe we just hide it more?

November 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

Your answer is similar to others, but with less emotion. Maybe that’s the difference. Also most of my commenters are female, and I’m sure you are right that most food bloggers are female. So thanks again for being one of the few guys to comment!

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November 22, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Dianne I am speechless. Thank you for the mention and having such positive things to say about my post. What is comforting is that someone as accomplished as you, feels the same way as all the rest of us. Thanks for your bravery and honesty.

November 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

Hah. Nice to meet you, Edwina. I loved your post. And it caused me to write this, which has hit a chord in people, so thank YOU.

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November 23, 2011 at 1:22 am

Beautiful, unforgettable post!

November 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

Thank you Leticia, for saying so. It surprises me that a gorgeous accomplished person like yourself might relate to this post, but I suppose not. We all have these thoughts to one degree or another.

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November 23, 2011 at 3:49 am

Thank you for this. Brilliant and comforting words. It has been nagging me too – comparing and feeling inferior and yet, still read and browse in awe at all the great foodies out there. Its so reassuring to know that great writers like you sometimes feel the same way. The post and the comments are all so lifting and inspiring!

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November 23, 2011 at 3:59 am

A sincere & positive approach to reminding all to stay true to ourselves. Over the last few years, I’ve adapted the idea to look at others and all that they have to offer as ‘knowledge donors’. We don’t have to change ourselves but with every person that we meet in life, there is something that you can take away. Maybe you’ll do something with that information when the time is right or pass it along to another in need. So the next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others, just say ‘Thank You. I’ve learned something new today.’

November 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

Very rational, Dawn. It is possible to retrain a response away from jealousy or envy and into something more positive.

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November 23, 2011 at 4:17 am

Dianne, seems every time I leave a comment on one of your posts, it invariably begins “A brilliant post, Dianne” and this one won’t be any different. And this post is so timely. I very often compare myself to others and find myself always coming up short in one way or another. But when I step back and think about it, I always end up feeling a little better. One thing I always tell people (it is always easier to give advice then convince ourselves) is that it is always important to understand our own goals. And the way we work. I will never have as many blog followers as those bloggers who only have their blog: they have all their time to produce content for the blog, promote the blog, etc while I, for example, have many activities that clamor for and divide my attention and time; I am constantly producing content for many different publications as well as the workshop. So my time is split between Life’s a Feast, Plate to Page, Huffington Post as well as writing pieces for submissions and presentations. I also must network for and promote each of my separate activities. And the next thought is for goal: as much as I would love millions of hits daily on my blog, this is not my goal. I want to be a writer and be published, and when I take a step back and count each time I have been noticed by, read by or contacted by a professional – writer, editor, publisher – my less-than-massive stats seems that much less important. I know my priorities when it comes to my own goals. And lastly, quality. I try very hard to be as objective as possible when it comes to my writing and others’ writing and I hope that I am honest with myself – not only negative but positive as well – about the work I produce. We need to be our own toughest critic but at the same time we should be able to pat ourselves on the back as well. Ha! I am indeed a square peg and will never fit in that round hole, but I am perfectly happy that way! Brilliant post, Dianne.

November 23, 2011 at 8:18 am

Jamie, I was really struck by what you said, particularly the bit about how you’d love millions of hits daily on your blog, even though it’s not your goal. I struggle with something similar (although I’m not nearly as accomplished as you are – I clicked through to your blog — lots of accolades!), since I have written a cookbook, and it has done well (knock wood). That was my goal all along, and I’m thrilled. I’m writing another cookbook, and am quite focused on that since it’s deliverable in a few months. So why would I still love millions of hits on my blog? It was never the goal.

November 24, 2011 at 12:40 am

Thanks, Nicole, but I have to laugh! For all of my accolades and achievements you have something I want (and am jealous of?) – a published book! Ha! See how this all works? The grass is always greener…..and all that! And we all still want to have it all and be the best at everything!

November 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Funny, Jamie. And by “funny” I mean, “it sucks.” 😉 And, of course, I completely discount the published book thing, since I just lucked into it. I hit a nerve at the right time, and it got noticed. It’s not really that I got noticed. My idea got noticed. Meanwhile, I think it’s more about that than about anything else – striking the right, previously silent, chord. The advice that most seem to give — to just keep at it, to work harder than anyone else — rings hollow for me. And I think it leads to broken hearts. I’m convinced that it’s more a mix of conniving and serendipity than anything else. But of course, even then, the grass is always greener, and we’re back where we started. 🙂 Nicole

November 23, 2011 at 10:17 am

Hah. Thank you. There is lots to digest in this comment. One thing I am thinking, from reading the comments, that there is no reason we can’t be successful and insecure simultaneously. We don’t have to say we’re just doing it for love, and comments and stats don’t matter, because they do. I don’t believe anyone who says they don’t. The important thing is not to drag ourselves down about them, but just keep going, trying different things. And you are doing so well with that.

November 24, 2011 at 12:38 am

I so agree with you, Dianne! As everyone here has said, we are all insecure, it is only a matter of knowing how to use that insecurity as an inspiration, as motivation – an instigator – to work harder, hone our skills and push harder towards our goals. This, I find, is often difficult when all we want to do is go to bed (with a plate of brownies) and bury our head under the blankets…. but it is the only way we can achieve our goals.

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November 23, 2011 at 4:50 am

What a timely post! As we come closer to the New Year, I always take time to regroup, evaluate, and adjust goals and expectations. Yes, I am guilty of comparing….but without some sort of reference point how does one know what is achievable? How does one set realistic goals without comparing? I have asked for the last ten months how to set traffic goals, how to gauge what is a successful social media campaign, and how to refine and improve. Most bloggers are mum on the subjects…..it is a competive world. My philosophy is be true to my objectives…but be open to possibilities not even yet considered by looking to bloggers much more successful than myself. I am a work in progress.

November 23, 2011 at 8:54 am

I love that. I suppose we are all a work in progress. It is one thing to do research and another to put yourself down when you see how others are doing. Re setting traffic goals, I think most bloggers do not set them. We are too busy just enjoying ourselves. Yet there are ways to do it. Maybe that is an upcoming blog post.

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November 23, 2011 at 5:26 am

It feels like kismet that I read this post today – thank you!

November 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

Oh my, Leah. This jealousy thing does affect everyone. While some commenters are surprised that I feel this way, I am surprised that some of the commenters also feel this way!

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November 23, 2011 at 5:46 am

Oh Diane, first, let me say how wonderful it was to see you at IFBC in Santa Monica and to steal away some time with you and Liz in the evening. This post could have been written directly to me. I struggle with this almost on a daily basis. Not necessarily on my blog (just give me time, it is still new), but with my business. It is all so subjective, one person loves the flavor of a product, another one thinks it is “alright”. One thinks it is too “sweet”, another thinks it is perfect. The sale for a company hinges on the buyer’s palate, I never know what the response will be! When I receive a rejection from a large company that I would love to have stocking my products, I am devastated. I know this is not personal, but my emotions go into hyperdrive. Is it my packaging, is it my branding, is it my social media, is it my flavor sections, why is so-and-so successful, why can’t I just get my lucky break already, I drive myself MAD. I am chasing this “illusion” of financial security and success–even though I know that is not real. The security lies within me. believing lies within me, I am already succesful, it is all here already, why can’t I keep this thought front and center??? Thank you for this post and the reminder. I wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving with you and yours 🙂

November 23, 2011 at 8:59 am

Thank you Wendy. I enjoyed hanging with you at IFBC, and your jams are fabulous. People were so excited when you handed some out in New Orleans earlier this year. You just have to tell yourself, every day, that you are making progress. Inch by inch.

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November 23, 2011 at 5:49 am

Your posts have a knack of coming into my inbox at a time when I need them the most. Self doubts ravage me from time to time but talking to sane people like my hubby and my mother, get me back on track. There was a point when I was so addicted to blog surfing and updating my own blog that I couldn’t rest at all. My back gave away and I felt angry all the time. All because I was constantly comparing. But after almost 2 years of blogging on my side, two things have happened – 1. Because of constant comparisons my photography has improved and i try to learn a bit about food styling etc through the other better blogs 2. I am addiction free. I update when I want. When I go away on breaks, I do not ask any guest bloggers to fill my space fearing I might have nobody visiting me after a month’s break. I can happily say, that I could leaving blogging and all it’s glory the day I feel I have had enough and walk away from it. But just until then, I am enjoying the ride.

November 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

Brava, Anita. You have tethered the beast, and learned how to evaluate other blogs for your own advantage, rather than feel diminished by them.

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November 23, 2011 at 6:00 am

Great post that has clearly struck a cord with many of us! I have absolutely succumbed to this, but I always try to turn it into a learning experience to improve myself (which is harder at some times than others). If I am envious of another blogger’s success, then I try to look at the various things they have done to become successful and see if I can implement any of those tactics. More often, however, I am envious of my favorite writers’ style – the ease with which they are seemingly able to craft perfectly intelligent, witty, edgy sentences, articles, books. When I get too far in that hole (am I talented enough to be a “real” writer?) I try to do something to better myself rather than wallow. I often mourn the fact that I am not edgy or quirky enough, so I read a book about writing called Spunk and Bite. I’ve looked into writing classes, and took a food photography class over the summer. Every little bit helps.

In response to what Edwina wrote and some of the comments, it’s all well and good to say that we write and/or blog because we love it (of course that must be true, otherwise why do it?) but along with that comes a natural desire for readers. We write in part because we feel compelled to put words on paper (or, er, screen) but the other aspect is wanting people to read it. When that happens it’s immensely validating and satisfying on a number of levels. And in this day and age that does mean employing a number of tactics through social media and otherwise to get people to your blog. I remember when I first started and realized that it’s not like in Julie and Julia when people suddenly found her. You have to put yourself out there. But I have found this to be an incredibly fulfilling aspect of blogging in a way I never expected – it turns out that this is how communities and friendships are formed. I could go on, but that’s probably enough blabbing for now! Thanks again Diane for such a thought provoking piece.

November 23, 2011 at 9:11 am

You are the one who is thought provoking here, Katherine. Good points about how to improve yourself by comparing. Anita also mentioned that comparing can have an upside if done correctly.

I will have to look into that book . Actually now that I looked it up, I will have to order it and read it! Thank you.

Yes, we do need readers, for all the reasons you mention. If it was enough just to write, we could keep journals. And I agree, it has been delightful to reach out to people this way and to form friendships and associations built on the blog. That has been the best part, actually.

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November 23, 2011 at 6:03 am

What a very refreshing piece. You would be one of the writers I look up to Dianne and I always sigh heavily wishing to be as good or as successful as you some day. I think Twitter and FB can suck the life out of a writer on one hand and can provide the much needed encouragement (for an emerging author anyway) on the other. I have found, this year, that a fifty minute ‘work hour’ and a ten minute ‘social break’ works for my daily grind….My favourite part of seeing a new post on your site is the popping in and out over the next few days to read all the comments. They are always great and get such mixed responses!

November 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

Thank you, Mona. I love it when people tell me they come back to read more comments. They are the best part of the blog.

While I am flattered that you look up to me, you can see that I am as flawed as the next person! Maybe not every one admits it, but many have done so here, which I appreciate.

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November 23, 2011 at 6:08 am

Dianne, I guess your post (as usual, great) hit a nerve!! I am so glad you brought it up, since obviously I’m not the only one who struggles with this daily. My dad used to say ‘comparison is odious’ (he was big on vocabulary building). I still say that to myself, and sometimes it helps. My current strategy is to take some deep breaths and really, really step back. Waaaaay back. My life has never fit into a pattern, so why should it now? I think of times when I was younger when I envied people for certain things, and then later, their lives didn’t turn out so great. I realized how fruitless (and how human) that envy and comparison is. So I just try to get on with it and talk to myself as if I’m watching a character in a movie–who is that? Not me, really. It’s a form of insanity, but it seems normal because we all do it and it taps into our insecurities, which we all have. So, one foot in front of the other, trying to enjoy the process. I want to be excited about where it might lead, but stay a little detached from results and expectations. Even though I vowed to quit blogging after a bad experience, I bounced back. I am comforted by your words, thank you! And happy Thanksgiving–it is another opportunity to count our blessings and not look at what others have on their plates 🙂 p.s. in a recent meditation I pondered this issue–my answer (for me): jealousy is simply non-acceptance, or wanting myself (or a situation) to be other than what is. Better to embrace it.

November 23, 2011 at 9:34 am

Embrace jealousy? Wow. How do you do that, Sally? I would like to know. I’m with your dad that it is odious. Love that.

I used to meditate as well. One of the messages I got from Buddhism is the idea that suffering is optional. That would be a good reminder for this post.

November 23, 2011 at 11:16 am

Hmm, I didn’t articulate that very well. I agree that suffering IS optional.What I’m trying to say is that jealousy is a form of non-acceptance of self or a situation. So embrace self and accept the situation=less suffering. Jealousy can help us examine what we THINK we’d like to have happen–but sometimes, when we get right down to it, we don’t even truly want what our minds are busy envying. Does that make sense? In any case, it’s a bear!! A great discussion and I love hearing other’s experiences and coping mechanisms. Thanks.

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November 23, 2011 at 6:13 am

Such a wonderful reminder that we do what we do because it is who we are. There will always be those who write, photograph, bake, publish and are published more often than me…but they will never be me and I never will be them. Each of our voices is unique. In this holiday season, I am grateful to you and those who continue to inspire me to always learn, never to feel that I am less, and always ALWAYS to be my authentic self.

November 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

Kate, this is a mantra we should all repeat. We can only be our own unique selves, and we should celebrate that. And let’s be grateful for it too, while we’re at it. Thank you.

PS I enjoyed reading about your recent trip to France. Loved the exhilaration in your writing.

November 24, 2011 at 3:17 am

Thank you, Diane! I’m in England right now teaching at The School of Artisan Food at Welbeck. Then back to France in a few days for one more week. Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 23, 2011 at 6:51 am

This is so timely – and very important to newer bloggers – who may be having these comparison doubts for the first time! It’s good to acknowledge these feelings and good to know – they also pass. And especially important – because a lot of us will be re-evaluating our goals for the New Year – and giving it a good think as to what we want from blogging. And in the USA – it is Thanksgiving weekend. One of the things I am grateful for is the extraordinary generosity of bloggers. I hope bloggers remember that – you are appreciated and I greatly appreciate this posting.

November 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

Thank you, Claudia. Comparison doubts are not just for new writers, as I have admitted. But you’re right, they pass. Thank goodness!

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November 23, 2011 at 7:01 am

What a good post, thank you so much for sharing. I was just struggling with this the other night. Thankfully I have a wise and understanding husband who reminds me time and time again to not compare myself and that he loves and appreciates my blog just as it is. 🙂 Also, I NEVER want to be someone who is not happy for other people’s success. If I am focusing on my own feelings of inadequacy, how can I truly be happy for someone else? It also helps to remember that success does not exist in a finite amount. Just because someone else has succeeded, it doesn’t mean I can’t as well. I try to be grateful that at least they showed me some of the possibilities. 🙂

November 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

Yes, this is the theory of abundance, that there is lots of room for you to succeed as well. Very good to focus on that.

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November 23, 2011 at 7:12 am

Dianne, you picked a perfect time to bring up this subject –just as we are about to be inundated with all of the media’s “best” lists and roundups for the year. Talk about comparison! Thanks for reminding all of us who are in this crazy, competitive (but also wonderfully rewarding) line of work to keep things in perspective and believe in our own worth.

November 23, 2011 at 9:47 am

Oh man, I forgot that those are coming up, Domenica. Very stressful for all you accomplished cookbook writers who have a book out this year.

Your worth is well established. I’m sure you know that. But as you say, you have to provide your own self-worth or it is meaningless to get outside acclaim. I still have trouble taking compliments, don’t know about you.

I suppose our field is no less competitive than any other, so we all need to get a handle on how to behave in this new online world!

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Dianne – This piece is lovely. Your honest and thoughtful writing and willingness to share is a gift to all of us. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2011 at 9:48 am

Thank you Janet. Your comment created an immediate taste memory of your chocolates, and now I am salivating. I wish you a prosperous holiday season!

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November 23, 2011 at 7:13 am

Good article. Could I have written that? 50 some comments. Have I ever had that many comments? Me, compare? NEVER! 😉 Happy Thanksgiving.

November 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

Very funny, Elizabeth! It’s always my goal to generate a conversation. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. Just remember that half the comments are my own.

November 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

You must always count your own response. It totally helps with the self esteem and the feeling that I am getting thoughtful feedback on my post. LOL.

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November 23, 2011 at 7:31 am

Thank you for this post – it’s a typical Dianne -Post I think, nothing compares to you :). I like your way of thinking about important blogger- themes (I loved blogging your values on IFBC). Your words are healing and helping. Sometimes I’m so concerned not to get as much comments as I expected. Then I ask myself: Do I have a voice, something to say? Sometimes it’s ridiculous because there are more important things in the world than getting comments on your french onion soup. But then I remember the words of my beloved husband the time I started my own business as a psychologist few years ago. He said: it’s not important to have a business card at first, go out, do your work, be passionate and do it your own way, the special Sandy-way. I try to keep it closer to my thoughts, go into the kitchen and keep baking and cooking. Happy thanksgiving to you Dianne, take care of you. I would like to read more posts like that and books like Will write for food. With best greetings from germany, Sandy

November 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

Aha, so this is the reason it was an “international” food blogger conference, Sandy — you came all the way from Germany. I hope it was worthwhile.

Your special Sandy-way is the only way you can be. It can only come from you, so it must be nourished and protected.

While there are more important things than getting comments, we all want them. I remember when I first started my blog, I was so impatient and stressed when no one commented. I actually called people up and asked them to do so! My husband kept telling me to calm down.

Many commenters here have mentioned their husbands and parents as the voice of sanity. Here’s to them!

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November 23, 2011 at 8:17 am

Thanks Dianne. Straight to the point, not simplistic or lesson giving, and HONEST. That’s what I’m looking for when reading on the Net. I particularly appreciated that this post of yours arrived in my mails today because its subject has been on my mind lately. It’s too often tempting for me, and I know I’m not alone at all on that track, to doubt myself. But each time, I try to think that even if there were just one person who appreciated my post, (and even if that person were me, who appreciated writing it 🙂 ), well, that’s one person to whom I gave a little extra something, isn’t it?

Having less of this or that is not BEING less this or that.

Thanks again, Dianne. I love coming here. You make a difference.

November 23, 2011 at 9:58 am

Thank you Flo. I guess there’s not enough of saying what’s really on the minds of many. I don’t want to get too bogged down in it and have a pity party, but it is great to know that so many people feel the same way.

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Oh, Diane, Diane, how perfectly time and beautifully brilliantly expressed. How’d you know? I’d be sheepish but then I read your perspective and let out a big ol’ healing “Sigh..”, deep breath, smile. Thank you. And since it is TG time, I am thankful for your work, your words, your presence in the world as writer and as mentor/sage/colleague on this sweet road which your post reminds me I am so lucky to be traveling, as me, being me, doing me. May this weekend be a feast for you in all ways!

November 23, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thank you, Nancy. I just figure we all have this kind of insecurity to one extent or another, even famous people like you, hanging with Kim Severson. Yes I saw that tweet.

Being yourself is working for you. I wouldn’t change a thing.

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November 23, 2011 at 9:31 am

Excellent post, Dianne

Good to know what competition is doing and good to stay true to yourself and your passions. Write from your heart is what I like to do. So if life gets busy, return to your writing passion or blogging when you really have something to share with others. Quality not quantity is my belief. Recently I have been involved in a part-time position that pays money, I am so grateful to be able to use my blogging skills and social media experience for a very special non-profit for children. My time is not always given to my food blog now, but I try to give a quality post when I am able to. Hopefully my followers at my blog and at Twitter will appreciate a good post when they see it from me.

Thank you, Dianne, for inspiring me to follow my passions and learn from you how to engage others in blogging. Your comment numbers are amazing and I am not jealous, just inspired 🙂

November 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

Very sweet of you to comment. It is valuable to have this other work to divert you from thoughts about quality and comments. It sounds like you keep the green-eyed monster in check most of the time!

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November 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I am sorry to disagree on the “To stay happy and content with ourselves we absolutely must never compare ourselves to others.” We can’t avoid comparing, we do not lie in a cave anymore. The world is a big network and not comparing to other would mean live as an hermit. Our brain always compares, black isn’t such if you didn’t have white to compare it too. Comparing isn’t evil, is the way to see where you stand, what makes you different and the best way to realize what you absolutely do not stands in others (so you do better/different).

The absolute evil isn’t “Comparing” but “Copy-Catting”. If we let down our creative call to copy somebody’s else, what good do we do to ourselves? It dilutes the market (so to speak) and it doesn’t make us stand out from the crowd.

To conclude, knowing what the market offers and realizing our position in it (i.e. comparing) is definitely much better than picking the best seller and just reproducing them. Won’t you agree? 🙂

November 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

Okay, I see your point. Comparing is normal. But coming to negative conclusions about yourself, based on comparing, is evil. Comparing itself is not evil. Point taken.

Re copy catting, sometimes it’s a way to get started, but it is not sustainable.

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November 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Edwina Cottino’s comments should be incorporated into our nervous systems as a reminder that we’re human and fragile and that we all want to succeed in our blogging and writing, but that remaining true to who we are is a sacred gift. No one can take that away from us, and really, it’s the best thing we have.

November 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

It is, absolutely! Nice to have another male perspective. Thanks Greg.

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November 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Thank you so much for posting this Dianne. It’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life, always feeling like I need to be doing better. Something I find that really helps me when I feel myself getting too overwhelmed by the amazing talent of fellow bloggers, is to take a little peak at some of their earlier posts. Go for ones like Aran from cannelle et vanille or Helene from Tartlette who’s awe inspiring images and words mesmerize many of us. They too were once amateurs like the rest of us, finding their feet and learning all they could to get better. It’s a great reality check and confidence boost.

November 25, 2011 at 10:58 am

You are absolutely right, that even the big stars of food blogging had to start somewhere. If it makes you feel better to look at their earliest posts, more power to you!

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November 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Thank you Dianne. Once again you have unerringly put your finger on a point that is clearly very relevant to so many of us. We each approach blogging from a different perspective and for different reasons, yet many of us succumb to the urge to compare ourselves with others, to our own detriment. It’s fine to see what else is out there in the blogging world, but it does no-one any good to become so desperate for success that we try to ape others. When trying to work out why someone else is more successful and how we can adapt ourselves to follow suit we run the risk of losing our own individual voice and compromising our original motivations for blogging. Success will mean different things to each of us and we just need to hang on to the reasons we began this journey in the first place or risk becoming pale copies of others. Chasing the numbers and increasing the follows they get might make other bloggers happy. I’m happy when I know I just crafted a good piece of writing and I know that my readers – however many there are – have appreciated it.

November 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

Yes agreed that success means different things, whether a form of self-expression and sharing, a gateway to fame, or a chance to write.

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November 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Oh Dianne, this was so timely. Yes, we all compare, even though we know we should not and must stop ourselves. It’s human nature, but its destructive. I’ve been through a bout of this disease recently. We all go through it. We grow, yet find it hard to be satisfied with our progress. It never seems to be fast enough. Comparing will really get you down (as we all know). It can make you wonder if what you do, what you write, really has any value. Yet we can look at others and realize, they did it; why not me? We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start a new day with a fresh attitude. We are all unique and must remind ourselves of that uniqueness.

It has helped me (a little) to look back to just January and remind myself how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown. Where will I be in another year? Thanks for another great post.

November 25, 2011 at 11:02 am

You’re welcome Sally. You’ve made a lot of progress since starting your blog. But you have to believe it – it doesn’t matter what other people say. I bet most of the time, you do.

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November 24, 2011 at 3:08 am

Dianne, did someone tell you to write this? This is just where I’m at. I just got a book which seems to preempt everything I could ever possibly say about my subject (I blog about traditional Jewish food and the book is Gil Mark’s wonderful Encyclopedia of Jewish food) but I’m different than him, I have a different style, different approach and I’ll have to believe that the world is big enough to contain us both. thanks for the wonderful post

November 25, 2011 at 11:06 am

Hah. No, nobody told me. We’re all at this stage, sometimes. Thank God it isn’t all the time, or we’d never get anywhere.

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November 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I, too, am so guilty of this on a multitude of levels. And it frustrates me to no end! And it’s not just with work, it’s also with mothering, homemaking, exercise, you name it! Thanks so much for saying it in such a nice way!

November 25, 2011 at 11:08 am

Oh you’re welcome, Gayle. I get frustrated too. It’s human.

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November 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm

This is soo true. I wish I could stay out of the comparison thing as it frustrates me to no end whatsoever. I love what I do and that should be all that matters. Thanks for writing this!

You’re welcome. I suppose it would be good if we could just research and observe, rather than compare. I can always aspire!

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November 25, 2011 at 4:43 am

The old saying, “Things are rarely as they seem.” comes to mind here. I have to ask myself what is the truth about a situation that is giving me the “comparison” blues.

Take comments, for example. Many of the comments may be replies from the author (nothing wrong with that, by the way). On popular blogs, most comments are by other bloggers which could be an indication of how much time the author spends on social media or visiting other blogs (and that may not be how you choose to spend your time). Or perhaps it’s a blog that seems to be a good place to leave one’s calling card. I’ve done that in the past but not necessarily because I loved the blog.

This exercise brings me back to reality and inspires me to remember my own priorities regarding blogging.

And to you, Diane, your replies are a model of graciousness and thoughtful affirmation. I come here to learn from you as much as I enjoy reading your posts.

November 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

You are sweet. I’m just pointing out what we all do, but rarely talk about. Re comments, it’s hard for me to say because I write for bloggers and food writers, so I’m thrilled if they comment.

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November 26, 2011 at 10:45 am

Thank you for bringing up another thing that sets me back. I get so excited about a “brilliant” idea I’ve thought of but don’t follow through. When I see that someone has written or done something along that subject I chastise myself for not getting it out soon enough. Eventually I emerge from my den of disappointment to sit back, lick my wounds and remind myself that there are many approaches to write about a subject matter and that there is STILL room for my voice to be heard. I just NEED TO PUT IT OUT THERE! So that is going to be my mantra- written in BOLD letters- GET IT OUT THERE !

Thanks for creating a community where I can read about others experiencing the same questions, frustrations.

November 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Oh boy. I can relate to this one. But the thing is, everything seems to be a take on something that has already been done. If not, how would US magazines come up with yet another turkey cover for the November issue, or how could a cookbook justify yet another recipe for a chocolate chip cookie?

There’s always a new way to approach it. That’s the challenge.

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November 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

Thanks for your candor, Dianne. I too get sucked into comparing myself to others I hear and read about. I try to remind myself something I heard at Greenbriar, which is to just focus on putting out good content and not get caught up in the rest of it.

November 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Yes, that’s the point, isn’t it? Not getting all caught up in what everyone else is doing. Good advice.

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November 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

I finally had a chance to sit down and read this…it’s a wonderfully thoughtful reflection on Edwina’s post, and thank you for the mention. I’m so impressed with the level of honesty and self-reflection that your readers who’ve left you comments have engaged in. It’s just one of those things that anyone starting out with a food blog…or even long-time bloggers…should read and think about, because it’s so easy to let excessive comparing and competition snatch the fun out of something you’re so passionate about.

I hope blogging continues to be one of those things that I do just because I love it so, and if other things come along because of it, so be it. Your post and Edwina’s are ones I’ll come back to down the line, to remind myself of just that.

November 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Lovely to hear from you, and thanks again for sending the post from Edwina on to me. The comments here are awesome, I agree. It takes a lot to admit, in print, that we’re not perfect. Now we just have to get back to writing what we love, and keeping focused on that.

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November 27, 2011 at 11:47 pm

As always, thoughtful and insightful. Dianne, you never fail to deliver a quality product!

November 28, 2011 at 9:27 am

Oh thanks Jane. I wrote this one rather quickly because I had such an emotional response to Edwina’s post. That happens so rarely. You probably know exactly what I mean.

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November 28, 2011 at 6:26 am

Love this! And thank you for the post. I’m unfortunately close to a couple of “local to me” bloggers who thrive on one-ups-manship, bragging, in your face name dropping …. I think you get the picture. Does seem to get under my skin at times.

November 28, 2011 at 9:28 am

Yuck. None of that is conducive to having a good professional association with those folks. I hope you can ignore them often.

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November 28, 2011 at 11:16 am

My insecurity stems from low resolution pictures and sometimes I think I have no business having a blog, since I don’t have the fancy or high tech doodads, or even much of the “good life”. I have to wait for broad daylight to take pictures and I have to do it outside where our garden doesn’t always provide a good backdrop. allI know about editing pictures is by using microsoft picture editor – you know brightness and contrast and crop – that’s it! I’m just glad I have pageviews! I write for the people who click, I get embarrassed when I see my pageview go up which means people visited and I haven’t posted anything new. I enjoy writing though and I hope somebody gets something useful out of my long posts. I do wonder about comments, I don’t get many, but one friend said its because I wrote “be kind when you comment”. I wonder if it meant they can’t be, hahaha.

November 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I don’t think it’s because of that. To get comments you need to decide you’re going to have a certain kind of blog, one that involves your readers or causes them to respond. Certainly not all food blogs fall into this category. Common themes are “look what I made” or “look what I ate” which don’t necessarily elicit comments.

November 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Thanks Dianne! Like everyone else, I am happy to meet online such a generous and encouraging blogger : )

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November 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Dianne, Thank you for this wonderful “counseling” session. Oftentimes, the best way to be pulled out of a struggle is to realize you are not alone in it. I join in with my fellow commenters to thank you for being so real. And I am now going to tape the Edwina’s quote to my forehead. Grateful to you, Ginny

November 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Ha. Thanks Ginny. We all need these reminders from time to time — pretty much everyone, whether they’re willing to admit it or not.

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December 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

Thank you so much for writing this. I think the comparison trap is one of the reasons I sometimes wonder whether I should stop blogging. It is so easy to forget the original reasons you started and get caught up on what you haven’t accomplished and who seems to be doing better than you are. And even more irksome, there sometimes seems to be no good reason for their popularity vis a vis your own. It’s one of those things that no matter how big you are (and I certainly am not) there seem to be no shortage of ways to convince yourself you fall short.

Honestly, it’s no different than what most of us experience in other aspects of our life. Except, that while you might guess your neighbor makes more than you or colleague is climbing the latter more quickly, you don’t have as many data points publicly as you do with blogging. With blogging it’s far too easy to see those hard #’s you point to above.

December 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Yes, it is easy to get frustrated and wonder why you’re doing it. You just have to stop wondering why someone else is more popular/successful than you and concentrate on your own work. Or figure out how to get ahead: one blogger who hired me a while ago was advertising on Facebook and was up to 12,000 followers on her fan page!

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December 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

This is a wonderful post! I’ve been food blogging for almost a year and I find myself comparing myself to other blogs and websites all the time. The best I can do is take inspiration from other sites, and maybe make some contacts along the way, instead of just being envious of their talents.

December 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm

That’s the spirit! Definitely the best you can do. You can also compare in the sense of seeing what they are doing and whether there’s anything they can adapt for your own blog.

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December 8, 2011 at 10:46 pm

This is so great, thank you for these wonderful words. Learning to not compare ourselves to one another is a life long lesson and I need to be reminded of it a lot.

December 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Me too! Thanks for saying so, Caitlin.

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January 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Hi, Dianne, Just signed up for email updates of your blog because I can see from this post that yours is an honest voice of wisdom and I would do well to learn from you. Maybe I haven’t been blogging long enough to hit a dry patch, but, as a life-long writer, I have found that the way to get over writer’s block is just to keep writing. Stream-of-conciousness putting down of whatever comes to mind keeps the words flowing and then the ideas pop up like magic and I can take that one nugget, trash the rest and keep going!

Looking forward to reading more of your valuable nuggets! Thank you.

January 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Thanks for signing up, Stacy. I’m glad to read that you keep writing, no matter what. No writer’s block for you!

November 29, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Thanks for the link!

[…] 2. Ever compared yourself to someone over… anything? You must must read this post! […]

[…] making comparisons. it’s deadly. gets me every time. […]

[…] was commenting on Dianne Jacob’s blog, Will Write for Food, specifically on her post about comparing, an issue I often dealt with in my early, early days of food blogging and still do now and […]

[…] on the floor, with our hands. I had met Arva on email two years ago, when she alerted me to a popular post on comparing, so it was a delight to meet her in […]

[…] want to soak up their brilliance. I also know I will be a little envious. That’s okay. Reading them gives me ideas for my own […]

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Essay Samples on Food

The subject of food becomes even more important as the world is going through turbulent times and armed conflicts. Even when the times are relatively calm, there are complex aspects like logistics, supply chain management, and accessibility of food in remote areas. If you are not sure what essays on food might be about, do not hurry to focus on consumption and delivery because you can also turn to historical subjects or explore the culture of food as an option. To save yourself time and effort, consider checking our free food essay examples. These will provide you with an extensive list that you should check before you start writing. It’s always good to explore more than one paper as you compare the writing approach and determine what tone has been used. Some examples will include the culture of fast food and the use of various diets. It’s quite challenging unless you see how it has been narrowed down because it is easy to get lost in the myriad of subjects. Do not forget to provide statistical information and add a personal touch after each citation that you use! It will help you to support your arguments and avoid plagiarism risks.

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There are many people who enjoy drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a chemical substance which is considered an intoxicating agent found in distilled liquors. This substance is usually consisting of 95 percentage ethanol and 5 percentage water. Drinking alcohol can affect harmfully if consumers drink alcohol...

  • Alcohol Abuse

Natural Source of Caffeine and Its Role

Humans have been consuming caffeine since the Stone Age in which they found that through chewing the seeds, bark or leaves of certain plants enable them to reduce fatigue, increase alertness and elevating their mood. Only much later, they realized effects are more effective by...

  • Energy Drink

Why Teenagers Are Developing Eating Disorders

Nowaday, Teenager have feeling that their body isn’t perfect.It decreases their confidence and giving them an eating disorder this is called Teenage Anorexia . Even though this eating disorder is very dangerous but people continue doing it. It can harm themselves and may cause to...

  • Eating Disorders

Consume Carcinogens and Mutagens Such as Caffeine

Every day we are exposed to and even consume carcinogens and mutagens such as caffeine, UV radiation, industrial pollutants, pesticides, food additives, and natural substances such as tobacco. Caffeine is known to be mutagenic to bacteria and fungi and can be mutagenic to mammalian cells...

Breakfast Catering Service In Brunswick

Eat breakfast sort of a king, lunch sort of a prince, and dinner sort of a beggar. This old-age adage just shows how important it's to possess an enormous and hearty breakfast. It is your first meal for the day, and it'll provide you with...

If Caffeine Contains the Properties of a Mutagen

Many common products, like preserved foods, cleaning agents, and vehicle airbags, contain known mutagens that are hazardous to humans. Caffeine is present in coffee and energy drinks, beverages consumed on an everyday basis by many people. It is important to recognize how interactions with these...

Everyone’s Favourite Fast Food - the Hamburger

Craving fast food? Well, there’s nothing more appetizing than a juicy, cheesy hamburger to calm the rumbling in your stomach. Hamburgers have carved a special place in everyone’s hearts irrespective of their age. Teenagers and young adults were mesmerized by this delicacy-turned-fast food when they...

How to Switch to Healthy Food and Snacks

There are actually so many reasons why we should switch to healthy food that you will wonder why you have not yet done this already a long time ago. It all starts with the fact that being healthy should be everyone’s priority, which means that...

Non-dependent Parental Alcohol Misuse Impact

This study had limitations which may have affected the findings. Future research should take account of these limitations. Firstly, this study had a cross-sectional design, therefore causality between the significant associations such as parental alcohol misuse and MHS cannot be inferred, and a temporal relationship...

Mineral And Water Functions In Water Consumption

Some specialized doctors recommend consuming cold water, especially after physical exertion, because it regulates body temperature. There are other doctors who argue that cold water consumption forces the body to expend energy to warm itself, and that this results in the immediate loss of the...

  • Digestive System

Junk Food: Why The Government Shouldn’t Regulate A Person’s Intake Of Unhealthy Foods

Health is an important factor that influences our everyday lives. The way in which we care for our bodies affects how our future wellbeing can and will play out for the rest of our lives. For example, if someone is careful with what they eat...

Eat To Live Or Live To Eat: Incorporating Healthy Eating Habits

Incorporating a healthy lifestyle in my life by choosing to make better food choices and exercising consistently and whole heartedly can be a major factor in increasing my life span for the future. By choosing to live a healthier lifestyle I hope to live longer...

Considering If Genetically Modified Food Should Be Banned

Introduction Transgenic, or genetically modified (GMO) plants are plants who‘s DNA has been genetically modified using various methods. Original method used for adding or removing genes include gene guns, electroporation, agrobacterium and microinjections. Newer methods, such as CRISPR and TALEN are more precise and convenient,...

The Necessity Of Genetically Modified To Be Banned

What is a GMO? According to Stevie Shepard, the science writer for BBC Good Food, a GMO is “any living thing that’s had its DNA altered using genetic engineering”. He says that genetic alteration is used to give an organism a “desirable trait”. He gives...

Animal Eating: To Eat To Live Or Live To Eat

Eating is one way that can deepen relationships from friendships to romances and so much more. But eating can signal a devotion to a culture, religion or lifestyle choice based on what animals we eat (Thames, 2018). Many believe that animals should not be eaten...

  • Importance of Food

Underage Drinking And The Effects On The Body

Alcohol is a toxin that alters your brain's frontal lobe which is responsible for decision making and many more important tasks. Alcohol is also responsible for creating numerous health problems like heart disease, Liver disease, and an increased chance of getting Alzheimer's at an older...

  • Underage Drinking

Why War On Drugs Doesn't Make That Much Sence Nowadays

Drugs have been utilized for a tremendous number of years, and have been constrained for under 1% of that time. The present War on Drugs has effectively affected society financially and socially. The remedy anticipation endeavors have had little impact on the stockpile of unlawful...

  • Drug Addiction
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The Problem Of Underage Drinking Among Teenagers

Teenagers tend to be peer pressured into experimenting with drugs or alcohol because they want to seem “cool” or to “fit in”. Unfortunately, Teenagers don’t see the consequences that could occur because of drinking or doing any type of drug. The only issue students and...

Vegetarianism: Meat Eating Versus Nutrition

Vegetarianism may seem like a popular diet fad, but it has been advocated by many cultures around the world. Restaurants advertising “vegetarian options” on their menu is becoming customary. Vegetarianism is a dietary choice, to abstain from meat, that people adopt for many reasons. There...

  • Vegetarianism

Organic Vs. Conventional Food: Usage Of Fertilizers In Farming

Several years ago, people used organic fertilizers to cultivate fruits and vegetables in their environment, depending not on the size of the plant, but on its flavor and valuable qualities. Furthermore, the Industrial Revolution supplied farmers with viable means of pest management, development boosters, and...

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The Need To Change Eating Junk Food To Healthy Food

How often do you eat junk food? Do you know exactly what you’re eating? Most junk food companies use artificial ingredients in their snacks or foods, this can cause multiple health problems for people later on in their lives. This is just one of the...

Problem Solving Ability And Adjustment In Relation To Vegetarian And Non Vegetarian

Introduction Adolescence is considered as a nutritionally critical period of life for several reasons. Firstly, manifold increase in physical growth and development put greater pressure on the need for nutrients. Secondly, adolescence can be the second opportunity to catch up with growth, if nutrient intake...

The Pros Of Home Cooking As Compared To Fast Food

There is only so much time in the world, people are constantly busy and in a rush. Busy with work, school and other extra activities. Who has time to cook nowadays? Families are constantly going out to eat at restaurants and fast food places rather...

An Attempt To End Obesity With Junk And Healthy Food

In an article published by The Atlantic magazine David H Freedman poses the statement “How junk food can end obesity.” the article focuses on how the media, and Health Food enthusiasts have been demonizing industrialized, and processed foods. When I came across David’s article, the...

Vegetarianism And Practice Of Not Eating Meat

Why would anyone consider becoming a vegetarian? Is a vegetarian diet healthier, or are there too many risks? The article, “Vegetarian Diets: Health Benefits and Associated Risks” by Navneet Kumar Kaushik, Anup Aggarwal, Mohita Singh, Shelja Deswal, and Priyanka Kaushik discusses the popularity in recent...

The Values Of Organic Food Over Genetically Modified Conventional Food

First, organic food has more values for human bodies, as it’s play more important edge in lifestyle of sportive man. So, organic food makes your brain fresher healthier and it’s gone back in your brain function. In addition to that, it’s rechange the molecular of...

Organic Food Is Better Than Non Gmo Food

The distinctions between GMOs, non-GMOs and organic food labels are essential to understand. There are more agricultural products on the market as 'non-GMOs' and many of us may not even know the difference. You may have wonder why non-GMO foods are not the same as...

Home Cooked Meals Vs. Fast Food: Comparing Nutritious Benefits

Nowadays many people of all ages are becoming more obese simply because they choose to take the easier route when it comes to their appetite; however, the easier route may not be the one that’s healthiest. The vast majority are not cooking as much, which...

The Consumption Of Non Organic Food Versus Organic Food

Is consuming non-organic food worth your health or our pocket? Non-organic Food that fulfill your consumption and nutrition. With the increasing population of world, the demand for food is higher than ever. Non-organic is when synthetic chemicals are used on the crop or product to...

Organic Ginger Powder And Its Therapeutic Characteristics

Organic ginger powder is sourced from dried ginger roots (Zingiber officinale). The organic powder has multiple applications which range from health and wellness to culinary ones. The powder contains plenty of antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory compounds. The earliest use of the powder can be...

  • Herbal Medicine

Health Benefits Of Ginger Consumption

Ginger is almost one of the ordinary ingredient in most of the cooking and many other items and it is in it for good for welfare of ginger are almost countless in change of state as well as medically ginger has been used in medically...

Review Of Eric Schlosser Book Fast Food Nation: How Fast Food Chains Poison Us

Eric Schlosser builds his ethos by not only describing the various fast food chains that are involved in almost all aspects of society but by describing the effect that this has on the American people and the American economy as a whole. By delving into...

My Experience Of Savoring Traditional Guatemalan Breakfast During The Family Visit

The last Sunday morning before I came to MSU my family and I decided to get together for breakfast. Since it was one of the last days that I was going to be in Guatemala we decided to make the traditional Guatemalan breakfast, the “Desayuno...

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Analysis Of The Company Ethics Of Mcdonald's And How The Company Slowly Kills People

Obesity has been a global concern in the United States for quite some time now. However, there has been a significant amount of marketing and promoting the consumption of unhealthy food and drink products. In most cases, marketing of these products is targeted at younger...

Formulation Development And Nutritional Analysis Of Breakfast Cereals

The usual breakfast meal of every household worldwide mainly consists of traditional cereals and millets. Both of these two are chief carbohydrate sources and hence are the main calorie provider. They also provide substantial amount of protein, minerals and vitamins (FAO 2002). Traditional cereals such...

Artificial Intelligence Application In Poultry Industry

Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined as computer systems replicating human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making and translation between languages. At a simplistic level, predictive modelling such as that used in feed formulation might be a form of artificial intelligence, but the use...

  • Artificial Intelligence

Story Of My Food Aversion Towards Bivalves

It was a gloomy afternoon and exactly fifteen years ago when I had my worst nightmare, and I had to say “bye!” to the bivalves. My great dislikes in bivalves started with a single mussel and as time passed by, I eventually disliked the sight...

Types Of Spices Used In Indian Cuisine

What are Indian spices ? Asnwer to this question is that the Indian spices are the heart of Indian cuisine and they are the only element which provide taste to the food. India is blessed with number of the spices like red chili, salt, turmeric...

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (haccp) In Nutritional Installation

The hospital is an organized place in providing health services to patients, both basic, specialistic and subspecialistic.[1] One of the hospital facilities and infrastructure that must exist is a Nutrition Installation. Nutritional installation is used in the process of handling patients' food and drinks which...

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Analysis Of The Fast Food Industry In India And Challenges It Faces

Literature review The economic growth of a country Comes along with the increasing spending capacity of the citizen. The leisure time in India is mostly spent on dining out with friends and families and fast food are the most favorite option of Indian while they...

Reasons Behind American Fixation On Unhealthy Food

On the off chance that you drive on any roadway in the United States, you'll discover drive-through eateries at each exit and administration region. On the off chance that you stroll through any market, you'll see arranged nourishments that state 'make it in minutes' and...

Positive And Negative Impacts Of Chewing Gum On The Planet Earth

The planet is filled with diverse matter. Everything that is on Earth has an origin. Throughout time Earth has evolved and soon later organisms have evolved from it. Even humans can create a story for anything, for example chewing gum. Chewing gum is gum that...

Market Selection With Justification And Opportunity Statement For Baiada Poultry

The purpose of this study is to shed light on describing the market opportunities can be faced by the company while entering in the UK market. In the market opportunity analysis process, the study has highlighted the position of the competitors and those operational impacts...

  • Marketing Plan
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The Role Of Learning Theories In Forming Food Preferences

Discuss the role of learning theories in the development of eating preferences Learning theories help us understand actions and are important in one’s life in building personality and grooming. In my assignment I will be discussing each theory and elaborate each one of it with...

  • Classical Conditioning
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History of Wendy’s: Analysis of the Dave’s Single Advertisement

Wendy's is an American international fast food restaurant chain founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. The company moved its headquarters to Dublin, Ohio. on January 29, 2006. The chain is known for its square hamburgers, sea salt fries, and their...

  • Advertising

Deadly Consequences Of Sugar And Glucose Epidemic In The United States

Questions Obesity rate in the United States have been increased since the past 20 years because of the amount of food we eat which contains a lot of sugar. In addition to the obesity rate, studies have shown a connection between to large amounts of...

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

Understanding The Next Epidemic In North America: Lactose Intolerance

The two main animals that North Americans receive their milk from are either cows and goats, and yet, within the past five years, the rise of almond, soy, oat, and coconut milk have become the most popular versions of milk in our society. Most often,...

  • Lactose Intolerance

Health Benefits Of Durian And Types Of The Most Controversial Fruit Ever

Introduction Introductory Remark Durian is the native fruit in South-eastern Asia and known as the 'king of fruits'. Durian has a distinct large size, unique and strong odour and hard thorn-covered husk. Different people have different thoughts about durian, some may think that durian has...

Origins of Sushi and How They Evolved Throughout the Years

In today’s day and age food has become a major topic when it comes to trends and social media. Social media models travel the world and explore new cuisines and post them on their social media accounts. That influences the rest of modern society to...

  • Japanese Food Culture

My Future Journey to the Goal to Become a Pastry Chef

My name is Chinelle Ann Hooper; I am a student at New York City College of Technology, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. My primary purpose and motivation to earn a bachelor’s degree is to pursue a career as a pastry chef and eventually...

  • Career Goals
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Ethics in the Food Industry-Dairy Farming

Introduction A dairy is a business enterprise which is established for harvesting or processing of animal milk – from cows or goats, and also from buffaloes, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. The word dairy refers to milk-based products, derivatives and processes, and...

  • Animal Ethics

"Indian Horse" Novel Analysis: the Role of Alcohol in Saul's Life

Alcohol is a drink which causes a person to lose his consciousness. Reading the novel Indian Horse, Richard Wagamese narrates how Saul resorts to alcohol in order to escape the reality he has been living in. Now the question arises what causes Saul to turn...

  • Indian Horse

History of Rice and the Benefits of Rice Cultivation in Australia

Rice has become a very important food source for millions of people since the realization of its potential in 2800 BC until now. It has provided those with nothing to make a living selling and growing rice while also providing a stable food source for...

The Issue of Excessive College Drinking and Drinking Age in US

During the freshman year of college, students are more prone to stepping outside of their comfort zone, and experience new opportunities. Entering a new environment, without any parental supervision, encourages these students to branch out even more, and partake in activities that most parents would...

  • Drinking Age in America

Reaping the Health Advantages of Lemon Water

Lemons square measure healthy. Most people associate lemons with vitamin C, however that’s not all they need to supply. They’re low in sugar and per the USDA National Nutrient info, contain everything from adermin, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B complex...

The Imperial Sugar Plant Explosion and Its Effect on Sugar Industry

On February 7, 2008, at around 7:00 pm, an Imperial Sugar Plant exploded and went up in flames at Port Wentworth, GA. There were many reasons as to how it exploded. One of the main reasons was the poor maintenance of the plant itself. The...

  • Problem Solving
  • Sugar Trade

The Nutritious and Diet-Friendly Formulation of Breakfast Cereals

Yeu et.al. (2008) studies shown the beneficial effects of soy and high-protein diets on weight loss and also claim dipping the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 4 formulations with soy meal content of 41, 47, 54 and 60% (w/w) were processed by extrusion and flavored with...

Effects of Ginger on LDL-Cholestrol, Total Cholestrol and Body Weight

Abstract Hyperolestrolemia (one type of hyperlipidemia), due to high level of LDL (bad) cholestrol in the blood, inreases the deposition of fats in arteries and cause coronary artery disease. This condition can be prevented or treated by allopathic drugs but they can develop severe side...

  • Weight Loss

The Harsh Truth of the Fast Food Industry in Fast Food Nation

Eric Schlosser in the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal exposes the inconvenient truth that what we are putting in our mouth has a dark story behind it. This book informs readers about how fast food has completely infiltrated our...

The Perfect Agenda for Single People on the Valentine's Day

All lonely women: He returned. Good V word. When a terrible day draws near, we are all surrounded by Valentine's Day attributes. The sweet Hallmark cards make us laugh; The heart shaped chocolate box gives us evil and constantly reminds us that we must be...

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Cleaning Solutions to Get Rid of Chewing Gum

If you have a gum attached to the sofa, either fabric or leather, you must first take into account the material of your furniture, so you can then perform the proper procedure and thus be able to remove the gum without damaging the surface. We...

The Environmental Impact of Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Chewing Gum Producer

Mars Wrigley Confectionery is a global leader in the manufacture of chewing gum, confections and chocolates. The main manufacturer, Mars Inc. bought Wrigley in 2008 for $23 billion. It is the manufacturer of popular chewing gum brands like PK, Juicy Fruit, Double-mint, Orbit and Big...

The Impossible Burger as the Staple of Vegan Food

The growing popularity of vegan food has become an apparent currency in cultural exchange in the US. Los Angeles isn’t just all about Hollywood glitz and glamor, it’s also all about the healthy and plant-based lifestyle. Eating healthy and cleansing oneself from meat, fried food,...

Burger and Other Nostalgia Food of the People

There are certain foods that trigger nostalgia and bring back memories from our past. Famous chefs and food influencers who have a strong relationship with food have one thing in common: the nostalgia connected to the first moment they fell in love with food. It’s...

Statistics on Death Associated with Alcohol and How to Recover from Alcohol Abuse

If we have a tendency to take a glance at the statistics place along by the workplace of National Statistics, we discover that alcohol statistics may be quite shuddery. Since the 1990's there has been Associate in Nursing constant rise within the quantity of alcohol...

  • Death Rates

Rice Shortage in Philippines and the Rice Importation Controversy

Although the our country is an agricultural-based with rice as its main crop, we still import rice from other countries than consuming the harvest of the Filipino farmers, the country almost relies on Rice Importation even though we can increase the rice production in our...

  • Food Shortage
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Nuances of Food Preparation for Astronauts

Summary Astronauts do not only rely on food for their physical well being. Food provides emotional benefits and can lessen the psychological effects of being in space for extended periods of time. However, food on the International Space Station must be specifically prepared for space...

  • Space Exploration

Healthy Junk Food Substitutes: An Opened Door to Healthier Food in Future

According to Dictionary.com, Junk food is defined as a substance that is appealing and is energy dense, but does not offer much nutritional value (Junk Food, N). Junk food often has substances that scientists create to mimic the way products like Sugar taste. This process...

Link Between the Beverage Consumption and Body Fat in U.S Children

Abstract Soft drinks have become a major contribution to obesity and other health related problems in America. The soft drink epidemic provides many calories with added sugar. it has been linked to overall diet quality and meeting nutrient requirements. Additional eighty-five empty calories or five...

Why High Fructose Corn Syrup Is the One to Blame for Unhealthy American Diet

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there will be a higher amount of Americans that will die of diseases related to obesity than there will be Americans who will starve to death (CDC, 2019). This is a major issue. Processed foods have overtaken...

The Impact of Sweets on Dr. Pepper Industry

Sweets have a huge impact on various industries, not just the dessert and culinary industry. Sugar has become a duplicitous agent in several parts of the world and is an active ingredient in anything and everything we eat. From sweet treats to savory meals, sugar...

Mistake That One Should Avoid During Baking

Spell baking can be a great deal of fun, it likewise needs one serious part of accuracy and meticulousness. Commit one modest error or miss one little fixing and you can wager everything that the dish will be a debacle. I have dependably said that...

Traditional Cuisine of the Carribeans, Southern India and Northern France

One of the most important aspects of any culture is food. The reason why traditional cuisine is passed from one generation to another is to preserve the food culture and also express the cultural identity. When one’s traditional food is frequently cooked, there is a...

BreadTalk Company History: Providing Staple Food to Many

Established in April 2000, BreadTalk started up Singapore's customary pastry kitchen industry with an interesting situating: it was anticipated as an expertly run business; its stores were situated in the significant shopping centers in focal pieces of Singapore; the kitchens were open arrangement so clients...

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Composite Bread Fruit-Sweet Potato Flour Substitution In Bread Production

Introduction Breadfruit and sweet potato are Traditional staples consumed in the Caribbean region. These traditional staples are particularly appealing to the region not only because of their nutritional and caloric value and contribution to livelihood systems, but also because of their adaptability to a wide...

Origin and Domestication of Yellow Corn and Bread Making

The starting place and growing of yellow corn has been a problem in evolution; even though maximum scientists accept as true with the crop originated from Mexico, other scientists have additionally proposed multiple- origins of the crop; based totally on studies on chromosome knob positions...

Best topics on Food

1. Why Is Fast Food So Popular: A Multifaceted Appeal

2. Why Fast Food Should Be Banned: Overview of the Arguments in the Debate

3. The Importance of Healthy Food for Students

4. Cause and Effect of Fast Food: the Impact on Health and Society

5. Indian Retail Wine Industry: Opportunity for Growth and Development

6. The Truth About Genetically Modified Food: Pros and Cons

7. Understanding the Relationship between Aging and Appetite

8. The Evolution of Beer in Egypt and Mesopotamia

9. Genetically Modified Organisms As a Part Of Our Life

10. You Are What You Eat: What Will Come To Our Plate

11. Chickens Artificially Hatching: Statistics and Main Hatchers

12. Cognitive Decline and Diet: Influence of Western Diet

13. Multiple Types of Food Additives

14. The Biggest Threat to the Human Population: Food Security

15. Developing the Habit of Eating Fast Food

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College essays that worked and how yours can too.

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CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JULY 08: A view of Harvard Yard on the campus of Harvard University on ... [+] July 08, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have sued the Trump administration for its decision to strip international college students of their visas if all of their courses are held online. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The college essay is a pivotal piece of the college application showcasing your individuality and differentiated outlook to admissions officers. What makes an essay truly shine? Let’s dive into the words behind three standout essays highlighted by university websites and a school newspaper's brand studio so you can get into the right mindset for crafting your own narrative.

Embracing Differences: Finding Strength In Uniqueness

Essay Excerpt: ‘Bra Shopping ’ (Harvard)

Featured by the Harvard Crimson Brand Studio , Orlee's essay recounts a student's humorous and insightful experience of bra shopping with her grandmother, weaving in her unique family dynamics and challenges at her prestigious school.

What Works:

  • Humor and Honesty: The student's humor makes the essay enjoyable to read, while her honesty about her challenges adds depth.
  • Self-Awareness: She demonstrates a strong sense of self-awareness, embracing her uniqueness rather than trying to fit in.
  • Resilience: Her narrative highlights resilience and the ability to find strength in differences.

For Your Essay : To write an essay that embraces your uniqueness, start by identifying a quirky or challenging experience that reflects who a key insight into your experience. Think about how this experience has shaped your perspective and character. Use humor and honesty to bring your story to life, and focus on how you have embraced your differences to become stronger and more resilient.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, finding connections: humor and self-reflection.

Essay: ‘Brood X Cicadas ’ (Hamilton College)

As an example on Hamilton's admissions website, Nicholas writes about the cicadas swarming his hometown every 17 years and draws a parallel between their emergence and his own transition to college life. He uses humor and self-reflection to create a relatable and engaging narrative.

  • Humor: Nicholas uses humor to make his essay entertaining and memorable. His witty comparisons between himself and cicadas add a unique twist.
  • Self-Reflection: By comparing his life to the cicadas’, he reflects on his own growth and readiness for change.
  • Relatability: His narrative about facing new experiences and challenges resonates with readers who have undergone similar transitions.

For Your Essay: To infuse humor and self-reflection into your essay, start by identifying an ordinary experience or object and think about how it relates to your life. Write down funny or insightful observations about this connection. Use humor to make your essay more engaging, but ensure it still conveys meaningful self-reflection. This balance can make your essay both entertaining and profound.

Persistence and Multicultural Identity: Life Lessons From Tortilla Making

Essay: ‘ Facing The Hot Griddle ’ (Johns Hopkins University)

In this essay published by Hopkins Insider, Rocio uses the process of making tortillas to explore her multicultural identity and the challenges she has faced. Her story beautifully weaves together her Guatemalan heritage and her experiences growing up in the United States.

  • Metaphor and Symbolism: The process of making tortillas becomes a powerful metaphor for the student’s journey and struggles. The symbolism of the masa harina and water mixing parallels her blending of cultural identities.
  • Personal Growth: The essay highlights her perseverance and adaptability, qualities that are crucial for success in college.
  • Cultural Insight: She provides a rich, personal insight into her multicultural background, making her story unique and compelling.

For Your Essay: To write an essay that explores your identity through a metaphor, start by thinking about an activity or tradition that holds significant meaning for you. Consider how this activity relates to your life experiences and personal growth. Use detailed descriptions to bring the activity to life and draw connections between the process and your own journey. Reflect on the lessons you've learned and how they've shaped your identity.

A winning college essay isn’t simply about parading your best accomplishment or dramatizing your challenges. It’s not a contest for which student is the most original or entertaining. Rather, the essay is a chance for you to showcase your authenticity, passion, resilience, social awareness, and intellectual vitality . By sharing genuine stories and insights, you can create an essay that resonates with admissions committees and highlights your unique qualities.

For you to have the best possible essay, mindset is key. Here’s how to get into the zone:

  • Reflect Deeply: Spend time thinking about your experiences, challenges, and passions. Journaling can help you uncover deep insights.
  • Discuss and Share: Talking about your stories with friends, family, or mentors can provide new perspectives and emotional clarity.
  • Immerse Yourself: Engage in activities that you are passionate about to reignite the feelings and memories associated with them.
  • Draft Freely: Don’t worry about perfection on the first try. Write freely and honestly, then refine your narrative.

The secret to a standout college essay lies in its authenticity, depth, and emotional resonance. By learning from these successful examples and getting into the right mindset, you can craft an essay that not only stands out but also provides a meaningful insight into who you are. Remember, your essay is your story—make it a piece of writing that you will always be proud of.

Dr. Aviva Legatt

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Home — Application Essay — Business School — Working in a Restaurant: How Fast-Food Changed Me

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Working in a Restaurant: How Fast-Food Changed Me

  • University: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Words: 582 |

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Words: 582 | Pages: 2 | 3 min read

“Would you like fries with that?” Very few, if any, aspire to say that phrase at any age, but I’ve been lucky enough to have been saying it since I turned fourteen. Almost every teenager loathes getting a first job, but not everyone dreams about working at fast food restaurant. However, for me, working at McDonald’s for more than my entire high school career has honestly changed my life. This job not only made me learn how to balance a vigorous schedule, but also changed my outlook on life completely. This job made me realize how different the real world is from the world I knew, transformed me from a naive and inexperienced eighth-grade Catholic school girl into a high school senior who now has a better understanding of society and dreams of changing it. So in this essay about working in a restaurant I'll share my experience and important skills I learned.

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A job where I flip burgers is the reason I am able to be a responsible and balanced person. When I first started, I had feelings of pure resentment for my job, as it prevented me from having time for fun and doing “normal teenage things.” Now I am beyond grateful to have worked those hours, because they made me appreciate my free time and forced me to coordinate what feel like countless things at once. From my first day of high school, I was able to find a balance between doing well in advanced classes, sports, extracurricular activities, and a social life, while having a job. Along the way there have been quite a few bumps on the road, in the form of fry oil burns or studying for the AP European History exam during a late shift at work. These bumps just taught me that if you work hard enough and do the best you can, you will not only find success but will also exceed your expectations.

When you grow up in Catholic school in a white middle class family, you automatically assume that everyone else around you is just as fortunate, but now I know that this isn’t true. This job has taught me how lucky I truly am and how unfair the world can be to others. I work with a woman named Maria; she and her husband are El Salvadorian immigrants. They came to this county about twenty years ago; unfortunately, they weren’t able to bring their young daughter with them. Fearing that they would lose their chance to ever come to the U.S, they left their daughter in El Salvador, planning that they would send for her once they were established here. After all this time, their daughter is still in El Salvador. Perhaps I can never understand the pain and regret Maria must feel, but I will never look at her without compassion.

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The last four years making McDoubles have made me realize the potential of others and how circumstances have prevented them from reaching it, and have made me even more determined to excel. Working at McDonald’s may seem like the most mediocre job one can acquire, but it has been the most rewarding, challenging, and affecting experience of my life. I want to use the life I’ve been given to help others who have endured so much more than I ever could fathom. I am no longer that naive Catholic school girl I was when I first started. My eyes have been opened and I am now on the cusp of adulthood. Although the future is daunting, I am ready to face it, all because I worked at McDonald’s.

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college essay comparing yourself to food


Real College Essay Examples: Johns Hopkins

Ivy Divider

Getting your college essay right is incredibly important, but you already know that or you wouldn’t be here. We have compiled a list of our favorite college essays that earned students admission to Johns Hopkins University. We think it’s best to jot down your own ideas before clouding your mind with the ideas of others , so quickly type those up before moving forward!

Did you write them down great now onto the goodies., a study in ambidexterity.

I was born with an extra hand—kind of. Anatomically, I’m normal. I don’t have a third arm protruding from the center of my chest or anything of the sort. I do, however, have the unusual ability to use both hands equally well. When I was little, I thought of my ambidexterity as a fun trick. I always liked to play with people when learning a new skill:

“Okay, now are you right or left handed?”

“I don’t know,” I would answer with a comical smile. Or even better, “Pick one for me.”

It’s a bit silly, but I enjoyed the simple satisfaction of being different. For me, ambidexterity has always meant versatility. From using my left hand in a restrictive corner while doing yardwork to switch-hitting in baseball depending on the context of the game, my hands give me the flexibility to adapt to my surroundings. As I’ve grown, however, I’ve realized that ambidexterity means more than just its quirky face value. It’s synonymous with many of the other components of my character.

Ambidexterity is part of who I am, yet it’s something few people know I have. It makes sense that only my closest friends know about my dual-handed capabilities. Although I use my talent throughout my day, it usually blends in with the normal functions of anyone else’s hands. In this sense, ambidexterity isn’t some glaring anomaly: It’s only when you realize it’s there does it become special.

Similarly, much of who I am remains unnoticed at first glance, not because of insignificance but because of initial perception. Most of the people who know me have no clue I’m valedictorian; I’m the kid making paper airplanes at the end of class. The rest don’t realize I “do more than just school” but are pleasantly surprised to see me dancing around as Risky Business Tom Cruise for Halloween or just hanging out all over town on weekends. I like to think that ambidexterity helps me juggle these different parts of myself without letting anything go.

In my job as a Little League umpire, I have three distinct identities. To the league manager, I’m the responsible, quick-replying emailer and the primary person for the job. To the coaches, I’m a wave a relief—they know I’m going to make the right call. To the young players, I’m the umpire who gives helpful tips as well as the one they feel comfortable joking around with. Though each of these roles helps me in their own way, collectively, they are the reason I was made the lead umpire of the league.

In terms of academics, ambidexterity means finishing a half-hour phone call trying to understand the complexities of William Faulkner and immediately turning around to text watered-down calculus explanations to help another student. My ability to transition quickly has helped me establish myself as a go-to helper in nearly every subject, but these behind-the-scenes interactions happen away from my teachers’ eyes. Even teachers, however, see the respect other students have for me during class discussions. Outside of class, other students come to me because they recognize that I genuinely want to help guide them toward their own success.

When it comes down to it, ambidexterity means balance. From athlete to academic, from reliable employee to kind-hearted helper, I take on an array of roles in my life. Just as my two hands merge to create a more efficient system, my personal flexibility allows me to handle the many aspects of my life from different angles. Although each part of me is individually effective, my most complete self comes from applying them together. It allows me to become more than just efficient or well-rounded but a better friend, a more fitting leader, and a respected role model. So now, when I run into the inevitable questions in college applications about who I really am, I can answer clearly: I am ambidextrous.

In this real college essay, Justin was able to communicate to admissions his versatility and well-rounded character by writing an essay about his hands. Onto the next!

The blue armchair.

Instinctively, I hold my breath. The pungent fragrance of roasted coffee beans and the shrill sound of steam whistles from the espresso machines force my senses into overload. Before me are mounds of freshly-baked goodies and colossal stacks of books piled on bookshelves as high as the ceiling. Pressing my nose against the glass cover, I don’t budge until the ginormous chocolate-chip cookie is within my possession. With one hand holding my cookie, I collect as many books as my chubby arms can hold and plop into my favorite blue armchair. I would look forward to this routine: every Saturday, when the big hand hit six, my parents would take me to Timothy’s, their coffee shop, and I would begin the day’s quest.

To my childhood self, Timothy’s was my bridge to Terabithia . In this world, I’ve been a resident of Dr. Seuss’s topsy-turvy Thneedville; an acrobat, weaving words into webs with Charlotte; and a palace spy in Wonderland, fighting for my life in a game of flamingo croquet. Braving these adventures instilled in me a sense of invincibility that pushed me to tackle new experiences, even engaging in mischievous absurdities, both in this world and reality.

Draping myself in jewelry constructed out of straws and cup sleeves, I would unabashedly strut all around the café. Expressions of this unwavering self-confidence and sense of invincibility were not solely limited to my sense of fashion, but rather, it was ingrained in every thought and action that I had. I believed that Timothy’s should’ve been called Anna-Banana’s, that the blue armchair was my throne, and that the deliveryman’s dolly was my royal carriage. Ignorant to the laws of gravity, I once jumped off the dolly after reaching peak acceleration, wholeheartedly believing that I could fly. With a bruised ego and scraped knees, I learned a valuable lesson: invincibility is a mere delusion.

I realized that Timothy’s was never a world constructed solely for me, at least in the way I had imagined. There were no adoring crowds, and the blue armchair wasn’t mine. While I had imagined glorious adventures, in reality, my family’s livelihood depended on the success of this café. Moving to Canada without any support, my educated parents relinquished their professional aspirations to build a stable business to provide for me. Awareness of my parents’ sacrifices for my success imbued my understanding of the interdependency of people, their successes, and their failures, providing me with a new lens to construct my understanding of the world.

Shifting from being front and center to an observant spectator, I began to see beyond myself, picking up the art of people-watching. As if placing an invisibility cloak on, I would quietly sink into the blue armchair, discreetly watching peoples’ behavior and interactions with one another. I found myself creating whimsical backstories of circumstance for each passerby, intertwining chance encounters and meaningful exchanges. People-watching not only helped me to become more aware of those around me, was also as an opportunity to explore undiscovered parts of myself.

I learned that despite the many sports that I have experimented with, I am the MVP at bench-warming. I make a mean latte, often topping my creations with adorable foam cats. I adore Broadway musicals and am always ready to showcase my dancing at a flash mob. I passionately believe in advocating for human rights, actively engaging in Amnesty International’s initiatives. And, I discovered that I am not only an advocate for but also identify with the LGBTQ+ community.

To say that I have figured out all of who I am would be a lie. Unlike the world of fantasy, there is no single defining moment – no Excalibur, no Sorting Hat – that marks my complete evolution. My niche in the world constantly changes, but what remains steadfast is my commitment to a life of service and adventure, albeit it isn’t as cozy as the blue armchair.

Any essay that references Harry Potter is a winner in our book. Congrats Anna!

A wider lens.

“No, no, no, you’re all doing it wrong! The secret to developing realistic drawings lies in your ability to study every nuance of the object in front of you,” my art teacher advised. “Try sketching with one eye closed; it’s all about perspective, people!”

My classmates accepted his advice and I watched as they attempted to make sense of the lifeless apples and pears that lay on the desk in front of them. I, too, clamped my left eye shut, pretending that this technique altered my view in the same manner it affected my peers. It didn’t. With one eye closed, my fruit appeared precisely the same as it had with both eyes open.

As a result of a Retinoblastoma diagnosis at two years old, my world, which my parents dotingly refer to as “Jillian’s world,” has always appeared slightly different from that of others. I have no recollection of having binocular vision, so depth perception has always been a non-existent ability. For the majority of my childhood, I felt ashamed by my prosthetic eye, purposely pushing my hair toward the left side of my face and avoiding all eye contact that surpassed ten seconds. I hated that my eyes did not appear the same, and constantly worried how others would perceive my abnormality. It was not until last summer, when I received a government scholarship to study Hindi in India, that my perspective regarding “Jillian’s world” was altered by one unlikely symbol: the swastika.

I encountered it upon entering my host-family’s home for the first time. It was plastered directly on top of their front doorstep in between two mosaic footprints. I had seen the swastika millions of times in history books and documentaries, but blatantly confronting it in person was an entirely different story. My heart started to sting as images of skeletal bodies and families torn apart raced through my head. The swastika was the face of the bigotry and discrimination that I strongly denounced. I could not wrap my head around the fact that I was about to spend my summer with people who displayed a hate symbol in front of their home.

Within a matter of days I discovered that my host-family was the complete antithesis of the negative characteristics I had originally associated with the swastika. They took me to lavish weddings and temples and taught me how to cook Indian cuisine. My host-mom showed me traditional techniques to create art and we shared many laughs at my many failed attempts at bargaining with market shopkeepers in Hindi. By the mid-way point in my program I had fallen in love with my host-family and their vibrant culture. It was then that I realized that I needed to take another look at the swastika through my host-family’s lens.

One afternoon, I asked my host-mom what the symbol meant in her culture, informing her that it was an infamous hate symbol in the United States. Her response is forever ingrained in my memory.

With wide eyes and a furrowed brow, she answered, “A hate symbol? No no, we believe the swastik is a symbol for peace and good fortune. Why is it hateful?”

When I mentioned the Holocaust, she appeared even more confused. After further researching the symbol, I found that the swastika, known as the swastik in Hindi, had been a Hindu symbol of peace thousands of years before it was ever a symbol of evil. We sat across from each other, both amazed at how our views of one symbol could oppose one another, yet be equally valid in their own respect; this was the beauty of perspective. Since returning from India, I now push my hair away from my face with headbands and my fear of sustained eye contact has vanished. My disability does not limit “Jillian’s world,” but rather, gives me the ability to see far and wide, apples and pears included.

Notice how Jillian finishes her essay by bringing it back to the beginning. A full circle ending often helps to make the essay feel complete and finished. You definitely want the admissions officer reading your paper to feel like they have finished an essay with an appropriate closer.

How to become an adult.

In the US, legal adulthood comes at 18, but it is my understanding that adulthood comes through responsibility, tears, laughter, and most of all: parenthood. It is effortless to watch other people’s children grow and flourish, but having my own was a terrifying new world for which I was ill-prepared. I was not ready for my first, Stanley, but now I cannot envision a world without him. Today, I am the proud parent of not one, but seven beautiful, boisterous, carnivorous plants. Within my small family I have four sundews, two Venus flytraps, and one tropical pitcher plant. Of course they have scientific names, but I only use them when I am angry and my inner-parent reveals itself. Many might ask, “How does a person become the parent of seven carnivorous plants?” and I can only answer that with a story, my story.

It was an ordinary Wednesday afternoon when I came home from school only to find a charming plant that resembled a leafless, dew-splattered fern perched on the counter. With the eloquence that only a teenager could muster, I asked my mother, “What’s that?” She carefully explained that he was our new carnivorous plant and he was going to be on fruit fly kitchen duty. Over the next couple of weeks my fascination with him grew, and eventually I adopted him as one of my own. In all sincerity, I did not begin as the ideal parent. I would give Stanley water to drink if he looked drier than usual and that was the extent of my nurturing efforts. However, my complacency did not last. Come winter, around his half birthday, Stanley became afflicted with a mysterious ailment. His stems curled and his one delicate green frond dried up. After carefully examining him, I concluded that not only was the lake water I had been using contaminated with some sort of root-eating larva, but my mother’s African violets had given him aphids. It was then that I was faced with the harsh reality of the situation: I had a plant that I was absolutely obsessed with, but knew nothing about.

In my desperation to keep my sundew alive, I began to contact other plant enthusiasts in an increasingly desperate attempt to help my poor Stanley. To my great surprise, a close friend was also a carnivorous plant caregiver and was well versed in childhood care. His advice, coupled with some new dirt and the stocked shelves of the nearby library’s horticulture section, allowed me to nurse Stanley back to health. Stanley regained his strength and shortly after the winter incident, I adopted Simone, another sundew. Then came Diana, my first Venus flytrap. Consequently, the carnivorous plant aficionado was so impressed with Stanley’s care that he entrusted me with the care of his carnivorous plants when he left for college. This brought my family’s size to the current seven.

My true reward of having Stanley is that he opened the door to the world of botany. I would never have invested so much time learning about the molecular structure or chemical balance of plants if not for taking care of him. I have loved learning for his benefit, whether it be discovering the best fluoride-free water, finding the ideal amount of sunlight, or reading that he uses a form of electrical signaling to improve digestion. I also love the rarity of being Stanley’s parent. People have their judgments, but I have also found that most people are genuinely curious and I am always open to questions. Ultimately, I love how Stanley has forced me to be adaptive. That first winter I did not have a “Gardener’s Guide to Carnivorous Plants,” I simply had my own observations. This was the most significant lesson that Stanley and friends taught me: the universe lacks a guide to the galaxy, and life is all about discovering your own way.

In this essay, Michaela illustrates her insatiable appetite for learning and passionate personality. She manages to give admissions insight into her character while expressing her curiosity.

Intercom enthusiast.

The most exciting time to live in Vermont is mid-February. This is the time when one is given the privilege of a 30-minute walk to school in sub-zero temperatures, with a 30-minute trudge home in the dark after a long day. It’s been four months since winter began, and it’ll be two more until it’s over. The firewood is being rationed to keep the house at a barely livable temperature, a steamy 50 degrees, and colds are so rampant that people lose half their body weight in phlegm each day. Yet, however dull Vermont may seem to students and teachers as they wrap themselves in layer after layer of flannel, make no mistake, today is the beginning of an era. Today is the day when Isaac (that’s me) starts his job of putting smiles on grim faces as the reader of the morning announcements.

“But Isaac, that job is super boring! You just read what’s written on a piece of paper,” is what an uninformed person might say, someone who obviously doesn’t know about my passion for annoying the tired and melancholic with smiling positivity. While expression and humor has not historically been a part of this process, and while ad-libbing has been strictly advised against, I go for it anyway. And why not? The worst possible outcome involves only a stern lecture and an expulsion from the job.

Fortunately, there is not much going on this week, which means I have some wiggle room with what I can say. The loud buzz of the intercom whines throughout the school, and the silent apprehension of the day is met, somewhat unexpectedly, with a greeting of 20 “yo’s” and a long, breathy pause. I artfully maneuver someone else’s writing into my own words, keeping the original intent but supplementing the significant lack of humor with a few one-liners. I conclude by reminding everyone that just because the weather is miserable today does not mean that we have to be as well.

Luckily, the principal loves it. And despite the fact that I urge everyone to interrupt my history teacher’s classes to wish him a happy birthday, I get to keep my job for another day. I have people coming up to me left and right, telling me that I made them smile. When I hear that, I smile back.

For the rest of the month, I work to make sure that people hear my message: even though we are at the time when school and winter are beginning to seem endless, there are still reasons to grin. I urge people to attend basketball games or sign up for spring sports. I announce birthdays and other special events. Before every day, I make sure I have a message that will make people think, “you know, today might not be so bad after all.” After my month ends, the announcements have been changed. The next readers tell jokes or riddles, or sing songs and invite others to sing with them. I watch the announcements evolve from an unfortunate but necessary part of the day to a positive and inspiring event. It is now more than just a monotonous script; it becomes a time to make sure that everyone has at least one thing to smile about.

Life shouldn’t have to be a dreary winter day; it should be the satisfaction of a good saxophone solo or the joy of seeing one’s friends every day at school. It is the enthusiasm of a biology teacher, the joy of a sports victory, and even the warm messages of a disembodied voice on the intercom. I use that message to help freshman feel less nervous at their first race or to encourage my friend to continue taking solos in jazz band. And in the most dismal time of year, I use that message in the daily announcements.

Now that you’ve read some real college essay examples, it’s time to work on your own message!

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college essay comparing yourself to food

How to Develop a Personalized Metaphor for Your Applications

←How to Use Rhetorical Devices in Your College Essay

How to Get the Perfect Hook for Your College Essay→

college essay comparing yourself to food

Developing a Theme for Your Application

When you’re applying to competitive colleges, you need something that sets you apart from other applicants. This might be a special skill, an interesting characteristic, a unique experience, or even a circumstance beyond your control. One way to express this is through a personal metaphor in your essay. If you can come up with a defining metaphor that manifests throughout your application, you’ll be able to express your character more clearly and give colleges a better sense of who you are. This can tie your personal qualities and accomplishments together in a way that is more likely to resonate with admissions committees. Read on to learn how you can come up with a personalized metaphor for your essays that will set you apart.

How Can You Use a Metaphor in Your Essays

A metaphor is a comparison between two unlike things, tying something—an experience, a person, a thing, a place—to something else. At first glance, the comparison might seem unrelated but when the two ideas are juxtaposed, a new meaning emerges. Unlike a simile, your description doesn’t use “like” or “as,” so the comparison is more implicit. You might also use an analogy, which is similar to a metaphor in some respects. An analogy is another type of comparison, but instead of demonstrating how two things are completely similar, it highlights how two particular characteristics of those things are comparable, and often does use “like” or “as”. “I’m as tired as the day is long” is an example of an analogy, because rather than totally comparing oneself to the day, the speaker is focusing on one particular characteristic in each thing being compared—being tired and the length of the day.

In a metaphor, the comparison becomes a symbol to represent a larger experience or circumstance. Metaphors are commonly used as literary devices. For instance, Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It : “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players.” This is a quintessential example of a double metaphor, in which the stage represents the world, and players represent all the people—the implicit idea being that life is really a performance.

A metaphor can be a strong device to use in your college essays, but you’ll need to keep a few important considerations in mind. You’ll need to choose something unique to stand out, and describe it well. Use imagery and other rhetorical devices to frame your metaphor. Be descriptive. Also remember that admissions committees read many, many essays. While your experience doesn’t have to be completely unique, the way you describe it does. And you certainly don’t want to write an essay with overused clichés. Colleges have seen hundreds of essays describe how winning a sports game is like conquering life obstacles. Don’t be that person!

Consistency and cohesiveness are also important here. Choose something and stick to it. Don’t try to pack too much into a single thought, because then the metaphor might become too much of a leap. “I’m like bird, because I’m quick on my feet, adventurous, and like to sing” has too many elements. Try to focus on a particular thing—such as an adventurous spirit—and draw it out with examples, anecdotes, and imagery.

Thinking About our Pre-College Experiences Through the Lens of a Metaphor

You don’t have to climb Mount Everest to develop a meaningful metaphor. Colleges care more about how you describe and frame your experiences than the experiences themselves. However, you’re probably not going to find much inspiration from the Sunday you spent watching TV on the couch, so you should make an effort to seek out experiences that inspire you. To start, try pursuing something off the beaten path that interests you over the summer. For example, you might volunteer in another country, take on a unique internship, or gain experience in a profession you plan on pursuing. You might, then, use an aspect of the experience—say, animals you encountered in the wilderness—to highlight the new experiences and adventures you seek out in life: “Seeing a lion on a safari in Africa made me nervous at first, but I soon realized the fear came more from the unknown than the threat the lion posed to me.”

Or, on the flip side of this example, if you’ve had a particular struggle, is there a way to paint a metaphorical picture about it?

Making Your College Application Cohesive

Don’t stretch to hard to fit everything into the metaphor you choose, and don’t try to pack too much into it. You don’t want to make admissions committees have to work to understand what you’re trying to convey. For example, “Working with my teammates to defeat the rival school in football taught me collaboration conquers all” is a bit of a reach, not to mention cliché.

To help you come up with something that defines you and your experiences, make a list of your best qualities and what defines you as a student. Additionally, ask friends, family members, and teachers what they think of when they think about you. Then, make a list of extracurricular activities or other interests you’ve pursued, and try to determine the qualities from the first list each activity brings out. Select one that best exemplifies your personal experiences to write about in your essay. It’s also a good idea to think about particular experiences and anecdotes to illustrate the activity. Also think about imagery you associate with the activity. Does playing piano make you feel peaceful? What other images are associated with peace? Perhaps it transports you to a beach or some other calm setting. Is there a particular time when this feeling was exemplified during a performance or recital?

If you have a particular passion, describe why you love it and what you’ve done to hone and pursue it. Show colleges why it’s meaningful to you. Maybe you’re a writer and have participated in writing programs, contest, and clubs like the school newspaper. Is there an image that comes to mind that illustrates how you’ve made writing your focus?

If you can think of a literal object that works well with your talents and experiences, then great. You could also use a single event or activity to show who you are more generally. For example, you might use debate club to show how you feel like a small-time version of a Supreme Court judge. “One time, when I argued the merits of the public-school system, I pictured myself in a real courtroom, presiding over a trial that would determine the fate of Americans.”

Remember that consistency is key. In Well-Rounded or Specialized? , we explain how it is important to demonstrate passion for a particular specialty or area. Having that passion will help you develop your metaphor, because you will naturally have a theme to exemplify.

Final Thoughts on the Admissions Metaphor

A metaphor is an impressive way to capture the attention of the admissions committee. Remember, you want them to sit up and take notice, so you need to draw them in right away.

Also keep in mind that it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. While having a solid academic record is important, you need to demonstrate that you are unique. That doesn’t mean you have to have had a unique experience. You might have a particularly insightful or interesting way of describing or looking at something—and that makes you unique! Plus, being able to describe the events of your life or your goals for the future through the frame of a metaphor is one way of showing that you are capable of thinking of general trends and patterns in life in a creative way.

Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

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college essay comparing yourself to food

The student news site of Hawthorne High School.

The Clarion

  • Sun Shoots Out Largest Solar Flare in Nearly 2 Decades
  • As US Hikes China Tariffs, Imports Soar From China-Reliant Vietnam
  • Former College Football Star Mike Ford Has Died At 38

If you could be any food, what would you be and why?


Veronica Ying

Chloe Sena , Staff Writer October 17, 2016

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If I were a food, I would be _______.”

The answer is probably no…many of you have probably not thought about this. Here at The Clarion we were curious to see some answers Hawthorne High School students had about their lives in food form. I interviewed several people on what they would be and why. The results are interesting, to say the least. Here are a few of them, all answering the question: If you could be any food, what would you be and why?

Adam Dietrich (Freshman): Birthday cake, “because you eat it when you’re happy.”

Jenn Stanczak (Freshman): Shoestring French fries, “because I’ll always be skinny.”

Jillian Padovani (Sophomore):  A pineapple, “so I will still be cool-looking.”

Nik Schenk (Sophomore): A lobster, “because I already get bright red in the sun.”

Zach Orth (Junior): Caviar, “because it’s expensive and I wouldn’t get eaten quickly.”

Dan Whalen (Junior): A whole stem of broccoli, “because I could improve people’s’ lives for the better, through the power of broccoli.”

Devyn Alvarez (Junior): An avocado, “because they’re loved by everyone, they can complement other foods, but they are also good on their own.”

Geena Occhipinti (Junior): A chicken nugget, “because you cannot name five people who don’t like chicken nuggets.”

Brittany Foley (Junior): A burrito, “because they’re so diverse.”

Matt Brown (Junior): Potato chips, “because I’m always salty.”

Tom Gallo (Junior): A pomegranate, “because they’re round and I hate grapefruits.”

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A comprehensive guide to crafting a successful comparison essay.

How to write comparison essay

Comparison essays are a common assignment in academic settings, requiring students to analyze and contrast two or more subjects, concepts, or ideas. Writing a comparison essay can be challenging, but with the right approach and guidance, you can craft a compelling and informative piece of writing.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with valuable tips and examples to help you master the art of comparison essay writing. Whether you’re comparing two literary works, historical events, scientific theories, or any other topics, this guide will equip you with the tools and strategies needed to create a well-structured and persuasive essay.

From choosing a suitable topic and developing a strong thesis statement to organizing your arguments and incorporating effective evidence, this guide will walk you through each step of the writing process. By following the advice and examples provided here, you’ll be able to produce a top-notch comparison essay that showcases your analytical skills and critical thinking abilities.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into writing a comparison essay, it’s essential to understand the basics of comparison writing. A comparison essay, also known as a comparative essay, requires you to analyze two or more subjects by highlighting their similarities and differences. This type of essay aims to show how these subjects are similar or different in various aspects.

When writing a comparison essay, you should have a clear thesis statement that identifies the subjects you are comparing and the main points of comparison. It’s essential to structure your essay effectively by organizing your ideas logically. You can use different methods of organization, such as the block method or point-by-point method, to present your comparisons.

Additionally, make sure to include evidence and examples to support your comparisons. Use specific details and examples to strengthen your arguments and clarify the similarities and differences between the subjects. Lastly, remember to provide a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces the significance of your comparison.

Choosing a Topic for Comparison Essay

When selecting a topic for your comparison essay, it’s essential to choose two subjects that have some similarities and differences to explore. You can compare two books, two movies, two historical figures, two theories, or any other pair of related subjects.

Consider selecting topics that interest you or that you are familiar with to make the writing process more engaging and manageable. Additionally, ensure that the subjects you choose are suitable for comparison and have enough material for analysis.

It’s also helpful to brainstorm ideas and create a list of potential topics before making a final decision. Once you have a few options in mind, evaluate them based on the relevance of the comparison, the availability of credible sources, and your own interest in the subjects.

Remember that a well-chosen topic is one of the keys to writing a successful comparison essay, so take your time to select subjects that will allow you to explore meaningful connections and differences in a compelling way.

Finding the Right Pairing

When writing a comparison essay, it’s crucial to find the right pairing of subjects to compare. Choose subjects that have enough similarities and differences to make a meaningful comparison. Consider the audience and purpose of your essay to determine what pairing will be most effective.

Look for subjects that you are passionate about or have a deep understanding of. This will make the writing process easier and more engaging. Additionally, consider choosing subjects that are relevant and timely, as this will make your essay more interesting to readers.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when finding the right pairing. Sometimes unexpected combinations can lead to the most compelling comparisons. Conduct thorough research on both subjects to ensure you have enough material to work with and present a balanced comparison.

Structuring Your Comparison Essay

When writing a comparison essay, it is essential to organize your ideas in a clear and logical manner. One effective way to structure your essay is to use a point-by-point comparison or a block comparison format.

Point-by-Point Comparison Block Comparison
In this format, you will discuss one point of comparison between the two subjects before moving on to the next point. In this format, you will discuss all the points related to one subject before moving on to the next subject.
Allows for a more detailed analysis of each point of comparison. Provides a clear and structured comparison of the two subjects.
Can be helpful when the subjects have multiple similarities and differences to explore. May be easier to follow for readers who prefer a side-by-side comparison of the subjects.

Whichever format you choose, make sure to introduce your subjects, present your points of comparison, provide evidence or examples to support your comparisons, and conclude by summarizing the main points and highlighting the significance of your comparison.

Creating a Clear Outline

Before you start writing your comparison essay, it’s essential to create a clear outline. An outline serves as a roadmap that helps you stay organized and focused throughout the writing process. Here are some steps to create an effective outline:

1. Identify the subjects of comparison: Start by determining the two subjects you will be comparing in your essay. Make sure they have enough similarities and differences to make a meaningful comparison.

2. Brainstorm key points: Once you have chosen the subjects, brainstorm the key points you want to compare and contrast. These could include characteristics, features, themes, or arguments related to each subject.

3. Organize your points: Arrange your key points in a logical order. You can choose to compare similar points side by side or alternate between the two subjects to highlight differences.

4. Develop a thesis statement: Based on your key points, develop a clear thesis statement that states the main purpose of your comparison essay. This statement should guide the rest of your writing and provide a clear direction for your argument.

5. Create a structure: Divide your essay into introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should serve a specific purpose and contribute to the overall coherence of your essay.

By creating a clear outline, you can ensure that your comparison essay flows smoothly and effectively communicates your ideas to the reader.

Engaging the Reader

When writing a comparison essay, it is crucial to engage the reader right from the beginning. You want to hook their attention and make them want to keep reading. Here are some tips to engage your reader:

  • Start with a strong opening statement or question that entices the reader to continue reading.
  • Use vivid language and descriptive imagery to paint a clear picture in the reader’s mind.
  • Provide interesting facts or statistics that pique the reader’s curiosity.
  • Create a compelling thesis statement that outlines the purpose of your comparison essay.

By engaging the reader from the start, you set the stage for a successful and impactful comparison essay that keeps the reader engaged until the very end.

Point-by-Point vs Block Method

Point-by-Point vs Block Method

When writing a comparison essay, you have two main options for structuring your content: the point-by-point method and the block method. Each method has its own advantages and may be more suitable depending on the type of comparison you are making.

  • Point-by-Point Method: This method involves discussing one point of comparison at a time between the two subjects. You will go back and forth between the subjects, highlighting similarities and differences for each point. This method allows for a more detailed and nuanced analysis of the subjects.
  • Block Method: In contrast, the block method involves discussing all the points related to one subject first, followed by all the points related to the second subject. This method provides a more straightforward and organized comparison but may not delve as deeply into the individual points of comparison.

Ultimately, the choice between the point-by-point and block methods depends on the complexity of your comparison and the level of detail you want to explore. Experiment with both methods to see which one best suits your writing style and the specific requirements of your comparison essay.

Selecting the Best Approach

When it comes to writing a comparison essay, selecting the best approach is crucial to ensure a successful and effective comparison. There are several approaches you can take when comparing two subjects, including the block method and the point-by-point method.

The block method: This approach involves discussing all the similarities and differences of one subject first, followed by a thorough discussion of the second subject. This method is useful when the two subjects being compared are quite different or when the reader may not be familiar with one of the subjects.

The point-by-point method: This approach involves alternating between discussing the similarities and differences of the two subjects in each paragraph. This method allows for a more in-depth comparison of specific points and is often preferred when the two subjects have many similarities and differences.

Before selecting an approach, consider the nature of the subjects being compared and the purpose of your comparison essay. Choose the approach that will best serve your purpose and allow for a clear, organized, and engaging comparison.

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Just a Reminder... Comparing yourself to others is pointless

The only factors that you can control during the college admissions process is you and your application. Just because some random reddit user has a 1580 SAT and a 4.0 GPA uw and 4.7 w doesn't mean you cannot get into your dream school with less stellar stats. I am telling myself this just as much as you probably are, so don't feel so nervous and alone.


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