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Essay: There are no greater moments than those when I unexpectedly catch a whiff of a familiar scent, and suddenly I’m eight years old again, begrudgingly pausing my fun to reapply sunscreen, this time borrowing from my aunt because we ran out after the seventh reapplication. The slightest trace—just a single molecule—of Coppertone Water Babies, which I will forever associate with my aunt, is enough to whisk me back in time. Cow patties produce a…

Essay: The vibrant blue and red patch weighed heavily on my left shoulder. The six-pointed star distinctly outlining the caduceus, the universal symbol of healthcare practice, felt fraudulent. Why, after working tirelessly to wear this EMT patch with pride, did I feel undeserving of the distinction? At 16 years old, I spent my summer training 32 hours each week to become an EMT, and, on the weekends, traveling two hours south to the Jersey Shore…

Essay: Seated at a table of four, pencil in hand and a blank sheet of paper in front of me, I introduce myself to the students around me, “Boujour, je m’appelle —– et je viens de La Hulpe.” I am so focused on the impending competition that I barely register their names. The professeur begins reading aloud, and I start writing. Competing in the “Concours Régional,” I listen to the French academic passage and write…

Essay: I love puzzles. I don’t mean the 500-piece ones from the Dollar Store. Of course, those are fun too. I mean approaching life’s challenges as puzzles, fusing together what at first appear to be disjointed pieces of information. My goal is not simply to get answers but to understand the “why.” Putting the pieces together and pulling from different disciplines to solve those puzzles is generally both fun and productive. For example, when analyzing…

Prompt: Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (100-300 words) Essay: Once every four years, the popularity of swimming spikes. Portraits of muscular swimmers and their reactions after seeing their names on the scoreboard circulate around the internet, leading…

Essay: It’s the middle of March and I have Christmas music stuck in my head. I hum the tune of Pentatonix’s “O Come All Ye Faithful,” while sorting holiday music into boxes in the choir room. I turn to the cabinets which take up the entire right side of the room. Heaving open the doors, I discover dozens of boxes filled with songs from previous years, stacked on shelves reaching the ceiling – like paintings…

Prompt: A prompt of your choice. It can be a truly profound and inspiring experience when a work of art or literature gives voice to a truth that you have been contemplating, but up to that point, have been unable to properly express. I recently had such an experience reading A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. In the novel, protagonist Mahit Dzmare finds herself isolated on a foreign planet representing her home space station…

Emory University Prompt: Your response should be no more than 200 words. What academic areas are you interested in exploring in college? Essay: 9th grade winter break: a supposed reprieve from the stress of the school year, instead spent in an urgent care getting an earring extracted from my swollen ear. My embarrassment immediately dissipated, however, when the kind doctor laughed it off, explaining how common this issue was. His reassuring bedside manner, coupled with…

Why Major? (100 word supplement) I’m interested in engineering because I am a physics enthusiast who is fascinated by the way mechanical pieces come together to create whole, functioning systems. I’ve explored this interest inside and outside of school through classes and projects where I’ve been able to bring my own designs to life. I love how this school allows students to take courses in different sectors of engineering and discover their passions. One of…

Prompt: In lieu of an essay or personal statement, we ask interested applicants to answer a short answer question. The Admissions Committee reviews responses for quality rather than length. However, the most effective responses typically range from 200-300 words per question. Responses that are longer or shorter are acceptable. The question is required for Pitt Honors consideration. Essay: If I were to change anything in the world, I would banish the wicked pain of stubbing…