The Essay That Got Me Into Duke

what’s going on YouTube it’s Dan here I’m gonna be reading the essay that got me to Duke University and if you are too impatient to want to hear my preface my little disclaimer my explanation for the essay just click down here got the button that goes straight to the timestamp where I start reading my essay but if you’re gonna hang on here I just want to talk about my essay for a second this is not the first essay I wrote there’s actually my second essay so the first one I wrote was a lot about nature and how I grew up near a forest and all sorts of the birds and animals right and I was gonna turn that in and then on reddit there was a college application subreddit and there was a guy from Harvard who confirmed it was from Harvard it was just like a scam who was taking essays to read so I turned in my essay to him and in the nicest way possible he said basically it was the worst essay he’s ever read because you could summarize the entire essay into three words I like nature that was my entire essay it was pretty much not substantial shallow it was talking about stuff that really could be summarized in three simple words so before I read this essay I just want to talk about what a college essay isn’t and this is the common app essay that kind of talks about you know talk about an interest or something that your application wouldn’t be complete without so with that in mind a college essay a common app essay is not three things I just saw more about three things number one it’s not a brag sheet it’s not just a thing where you brag about how you internet NASA or how you volunteer all the time or how you do something magical and mystical because your application should already have that you should already have that activity or extracurricular as part of your application so on the same tangent number two your this is not something we’re just going to repeat what you’ve already said in your application so if you save your application as an extracurricular you like to fish for example don’t talk about fishing in your essay unless you can like really really build upon it this essay is to you know have another window into who you are as an applicant and not just you know reiterate what you’ve already said and number three this essay is not supposed to be an expose of all the vocabulary you have obtained in high school okay you don’t don’t talk all didactic and so for I guess just write how you would talk this is a window to the admissions to let them see who you are and this is not just a show that you know how to win a spelling bee or you know that you’ve you know studied all your vocab quizzes this is to be about you not what you’ve you know learning as words or how much of the dictionary you know by heart no this is about you okay so we’re gonna begin our reading of this essay this essay was sort of kind of a just how I’m a unique person and this is the second essay as I said before so let’s get started I missed the camera there anyways let’s get started with our essay ready begin all right you’re from New Jersey isn’t that the garbage state you mean the Garden State I corrected and there I was alone as a freshman in a unknown school in an unknown state with unknown people 3,000 miles from a place I once called home my hometown would fit your typical description of a conservative back country town rolling hills big houses small schools deer hunting baseball old and faded mccain-palin stickers jumping into the lake in the summer and sledding into the winter the list goes on and on and even for my immigrant family that arrived in rural somewhat middle of nowhere New Jersey when I was two there was a sense of harmony among everyone in town no one was telling anyone else how to live their life we were just a tight-knit community of families simply taking life a day at a time and as the years flew by not much changed people moved in raised their kids sent them off to college some left after that and others stayed and the cycle continued there was a sense of mutual respect for one another laughter was abundant arguments rare life was good shortly after the sudden news that we would be moving out to urban Southern California that feeling changed very quickly the slow paced comfortable life was replaced with the fast and super competitive it seemed as if everyone was trying to out study out athlete out GPA their peers I was an outsider looking in on people turning against each other in every aspect of highschool life that one can find the cutthroat culture that seemed to envelop every student’s mind soon spread to politics as a certain celebrity businessman grows from the national spotlight suddenly people were taking sides between make America great again hats and love Trump’s hate shirts as insults flew unrestrained between them it quickly escalated to people putting duct tape on their mouths changing their social media profiles to add political messages the whole nine yards everything became political I never expected politics to take over my life before sophomore year I frankly didn’t care I didn’t know the difference between Democrats and Republicans or who my governor or representative was I didn’t understand the pro-life versus pro-choice argument gun control immigration I knew next to nothing that all changed when I began to overhear people saying things like no Republican can possibly have an IQ over 90 or anyone who supports Trump is racist these insults began to compound in my mind I came from a Republican country grew up with some of the most generous friendly intelligent individuals you can imagine people who could recall digits of pi effortlessly people who consistently managed to catch fish within seconds of casting people who would walk seven miles across town to visit you since they didn’t have a car or immediately labeled as dumb and racist simply due to the color of their red hat I decided that my mission in high school and beyond is to disabuse those who view conservatives as an evil oppressive force about why we believe the things that we do not to impose my beliefs on others but so people can better understand the rationale that supports conservative ideas people have become so polar over politics that they see it as a fight of good versus evil rather than a vast array of differences in values experiences and ideas my reputation for being a conservative grew around school I recently become an intern from your local congresswoman handling constituent to district communications and outreach events I’ve also found myself in political discussions every day both informally and in debate and political clubs people question me often once a friend of mine wondered why I was conservative even though I was a Filipino immigrant she jokingly said you’re a brown Republican that title stuck and became the name of my political bloc the brown Republican thank you for sitting along with me as I read my essay I might have some reflections in the description or reflections in another video but this was the common app messy they got me into Duke so thank you for watching hope you stay tuned later

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