Kaitlyn Franck — Common Application

Essay:

The setting sun’s vibrant rays stream through tall rectangular windows. Sunbeams send
cascading warm hues of orange, yellow, and pink over the polished oak cases that hold millions
of books, collections of universes, on their shelves. I’m sitting in a plush leather armchair,
cradling a precious universe in my lap. My hands naturally tilt it up for me to examine its many
wonders. It smells of possible explorations and discoveries. From afar it may look dull, a world
of white pages and black dots, but in my eyes, it’s a world bursting with color.
All my life I’ve been mesmerized by the power of stories. When I was little, I lay cuddled
and warm under blankets as my father read me the classics: Pollyanna, The Secret Garden,
and Treasure Island. As I grew I became more entangled in the world of literature reading
everything from mystery, to sci-fi, to dystopian. I was the kid who got in trouble for bringing a
book to family dinner time. I was the kid walking through the halls with a mountain of books
spilling out of her arms; the other kids would gawk at me as though I was an exotic bird in a zoo.
But, books are my home, my safe place, full of friends whom I could listen to and learn from. I
dreamed of flying away and finding myself in Hogwarts, Cittàgazze, or Narnia. Soon, I realized a
way to turn fantasy into reality.
Musical theater enabled me to be physically present in stories. I became Cinderella,
Amaryllis from The Music Man, and Brigitta from The Sound of Music. I learned there are many
different ways to tell a story: through song, dance, dialogue, gestures, stance. Every small detail
has a greater meaning. A seed carelessly thrown aside in act one of Into the Woods turns into a
beanstalk which brings a murderous giant into act two. In addition, small characters can create
pivotal plot twists. Acknowledging that every character plays an important role in each story,
helped me value all my fellow production members. When I student directed the fall play it
become extremely apparent that everyone plays a vital role in the production. Whether it’s the
member of the ensemble with no lines, or the sound technician who turns on the microphones,

they all bring their own unique touch to the story. On a larger scale, they could end up becoming
your life long friends. From experience, I know that stories change people. To cry, yell, hug, and
pour out your feelings to someone onstage creates a strong emotional bond in real life too;
however, I knew something was missing. As much as I love musical theater, it did not allow me
to tell my own story. The lines and blocking were mechanically memorized and rehearsed, the
story confined to a stage, only told once, then lost forever.
Filmmaking became my passion. Throughout my life, stories touched and changed me. I
want to pursue an area that allows me to give back to the world of art and stories, an area that
would allow me to move people in the way math and science cannot. Film is an extremely
intimate art form. As a filmmaker you bring your creations directly into family’s houses, into their
discussions, and into their lives. The many methods of storytelling captivate me. Film is one of
these methods, and furthermore its nuances allow the filmmaker to create a unique story. A
filmmaking summer camp taught me that different lenses, cameras, lighting, and music are used
in film to convey different messages, different stories.
I want my stories to intrigue and entertain my audience, to touch their emotions, and to
create change. Many in society focus on the fact that we only have one world, but they miss the
fact that there are millions of worlds to explore and create at their fingertips.

 

Tips for Writing:

First of all, make sure you write about something you love. This will come through in your writing and enhance your essay. And, if you are applying to a specific major, make sure your essay shows why you want to major in that particular field and why you would be good at that major. When beginning to write your essay, don’t think too hard. Just write. Start with describing a sensory rich image or short anecdote, and continue from there. Use lots of descriptive details and adjectives in your essay, and make sure it gives the college a sense of what good qualities you possess. Furthermore, make it personal. Colleges want to hear about you. Finally, end it by making a strong statement. And before submitting it have at least two people read it over. If you want more advice I would suggest going to your college’s website and seeing if they have any tips on what they’re looking for in college essays.