Connor McKeon — Common Application

Connor McKeon

Prompt: What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted your life so far? (200-250 words)

Essay:

In preschool, I tried in vain to teach my classmates to play chess, since I had exhausted my parents’ patience for game after game with me.  In first grade, I similarly challenged their patience by playing a game in which they would choose a country on the globe, and I would name every country that bordered it without looking.  They were seldom able to stump me.  Over a decade later, I am still as intense and obsessive with my pursuits and passions.  On the high school soccer team, I am notorious for being the hardest tackler, putting my body on the line, and leaving practice with my shirt drenched in the most sweat.  On swim team, I am often chosen to anchor relays, due to my tendency to thrive under pressure.  Similarly, in school, I am intense with my selection of classes and effort, and am very productive due to my intensity of work.  Furthermore, I am enthusiastic towards extra-curricular activities, such as A Capella Choir, Jazz Band, and Science League, which have enabled me to learn and succeed in demanding environments.  I am still very competitive with games, whether it be playing bridge, poker, and trivial pursuit with my family, or playing chess online, or even competing with my younger brothers, aged 5 and 9, in checkers, chess, foosball, and soccer.  After all, my brothers are the only ones who finally match, and sometimes exceed, my patience for playing game after game, no matter how low the stakes.

Tips for Writing:
The most challenging part of writing this essay, along with many other essays, was finding a topic to write about that sufficiently answered the question in a focused response, while also trying to relate more about myself than one specific detail.  I tried to overcome this challenge in this essay by dealing with different points in time, by opening with when I was a young child, but then showing how my character has developed over time.  Finally, I tried to keep my answer more focused by coming full circle and concluding in a similar manner to how I began.