50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays - Tanabe Gen, Tanabe Kelly 2009
“Exit Door” by Fareez Giga
I consider myself to be mature and focused in my life; I have goals that I strive for and a strong commitment to my education.
However, I do have my more humorous moments, just as everyone else. For instance, a few summers ago, my family and I were in Las vegas on vacation. The over-the-top looking-by-night, eyesore-by-day city was lighted everywhere, and masses of people were walking along the Las vegas Strip. One night, we went out to dinner and were walking back to our hotel. When we got to the entrance of the hotel, which had automatic sliding doors, there was a huge line waiting to get in, yet there were many other doors to its side unoccupied. So, naturally, I said aloud, “Why don’t we just go through those doors,” as I pointed towards the unoccupied doors. My family just waited patiently, but I decided to go by myself, so I did, and I walked straight into the EXIT door. I am not sure who was more injured, myself, or my sister who collapsed onto the floor in convulsive laughter. I still have not heard the end of this story, but at least now I can laugh at myself. Many times people get discouraged in their hectic and stress-filled lives, but sometimes you just need a dim-witted accident to occur to put everything in perspective.
In this note to his future roommate, Fareez relates a humorous anecdote to reveal the lighthearted side to his personality. This essay prompt gives students the unique opportunity to demonstrate how they would relate to peers of their own age group, rather than an older group of admissions officers. Fareez introduces himself as “mature and focused” with “a strong commitment” to education, which at first glance appears to be a rather hackneyed and unmemorable set of statements. However, he quickly throws in an expected twist by alluding to a humorous moment, thereby piquing our curiosity as he sets up the scene in Las Vegas.
His anecdote not only shows us that Fareez “can laugh at [him]self,” but also lets us see that he is close to his family, and especially his sister. Fareez’s narrative is enjoyable to read because he includes details to make the story more vivid, like mentioning his feelings towards Las Vegas and describing his sister’s “convulsive” collapse from laughter. Though hardly earth shattering, the “blooper” that Fareez shares is nonetheless memorable—he walks headlong into an EXIT door in front of a large crowd of people—and in particular his reaction is noteworthy.
At the end of this short essay, Fareez ties the anecdote back to college life when he alludes to “hectic and stress-filled” times. Fareez’s ability to put things in perspective suggests that he will be able to cope with the challenges of college life, and will bring joy and humor to whoever is lucky enough to be his roommate. This essay strikes a nice balance between a casual tone and a deeper analysis. Thus, the topic and style of the essay are reflective of the content, which show us both the silly and serious sides to Fareez’s personality. A short essay such as this one is a wonderful opportunity to share a quirky story that makes you stand out in the admissions officer’s huge stack of essays.