College Essays

Tufts University – Supplements

Prompt: Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” (Required length is 50-100 words)

Spider webs are ubiquitous, yet rarely explored. Only at Tufts would someone see the potential in so seemingly insignificant a structure. Spider silk- stronger than steel and biocompatible-could revolutionize the world of medicine; however, spider silk is much more than a medical super weapon. Spider webs embody Tufts’ educational philosophy: interwoven across numerous fields, and constantly building upon the idea of “holistic education.” At Tufts, intellectual curiosity weaves a web, ensnaring the importance of learning. Why Tufts? So I can cocoon myself in knowledge inspired by thinkers itching to spin a tapestry of brilliance.

Prompt: There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised—your family, home, neighborhood or community—and how it influenced the person you are today. (Required length is 200-250 words)

Some people say that you need to eat to live, but I live to eat. Hand me a bowl of spaghetti bolognese or chicken biryani, and I am one happy camper. Food speaks to me in a way that transcends the human voice. Eating dinner with my family has largely influenced both my love of food and quenched my thirst for conversation. To my family, a dinner table is a place to exchange ideas. Over a meal, anything goes: politics, school, literature, or even movies. At our table, my family members are much like ingredients for a dish- my dad is similar to pepper: spicy and opinionated; my sister is like saffron: colorful and vibrant; my mother is like paprika: extra flavorful.
I spent hours trying to figure out my “ingredient.” Over conversations about the Fibonacci Sequence and Sherlock Homes, my predicament became deeper as our discussions and my individual ideologies grew increasingly complex. After discussing King Lear, however, one quote stuck with me even after our plates were cleared away: “you are as dear to me as salt.” Salt was my ingredient! It binds a dish together; yet, I would have never realized this without my parent’s encouragement to speak my mind or form an educated opinion. Without our family dinners, I would have never understood the power of my voice to incite change, or to shut down an idea. Throughout the years, seasons (and seasoning) come and go, but the lessons from dinner will always remain.

Prompt: Sports, science and society are filled with rules, theories and laws like the Ninth Commandment, PV=nRT, Occam’s Razor, and The Law of Diminishing Returns. Three strikes and you’re out. In English, “I” comes before “E” except after “C.” Warm air rises. Pick one and explain its significance to you.

Spider Man shoots webs from his fingertips. Wonder Woman is omnilingual. I, too, have a superpower: I am the queen of overthinking. I tend to overanalyze situations at times, and, while being detail-oriented can be useful, I end up confusing myself to no end. Perhaps this is the reason why I find Occam’s Razor so fascinating. If the simpler of two answers is usually correct, why do I spend so much time obsessing over minutiae? Luckily, there’s an area of my life where Occam’s Razor is applicable and beneficial: chess – the game where you move medieval-themed pieces on a sixty-four squared, black and white board. I’ve been playing chess for about ten years now, and since I’ve been forced to tap a clock after every move, I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone by making quick decisions that could potentially cost me a game. One of the elements of chess that is so intriguing is that you don’t need multiple, or powerful pieces to checkmate. Sometimes, the best checkmates are made with a knight and rook. Perhaps the best way to get out of a check is to move the king one square to the right. While chess may be my superpower’s kryptonite, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it’s taught me one invaluable lesson: you don’t need to play smart, you need to play suave: simple, short, and sweet. Checkmate.

Tips for Writing:
Overall, I really loved my Tufts supplements. I think that they are creative, showcase some of the most important traits of my personality, and really speak to my writing ability and general thought process. However, I think that, while these essays sound nice and “cute” (for lack of a better word), they are not truly “me” when read aloud. After re-reading these essays a good couple of months after I submitted my application, I personally feel that these essays sound like I am trying too hard to fit a certain mold of a school, which ultimately prevents my voice from truly shining through. As a result, I think that in subsequent essays, I tried to sound more authentic and genuine, rather than attempting to placate the person who was reading my app.  I would also attempt to vary my diction a lot more, and when looking back, to find different ways to introduce my thoughts. Reading all three of these essays, I find that it sounds like I’m writing from a specific formula and then just sticking details into that structure.

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