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📝: Stacy Vazquez 📅: April 1, 2023 🔗: /my-college-essays
My College Essays
I will always remember December 31, 2021 as the most anticlimactic New Year's Eve of my life. For most young Americans, New Year's Eve is a day to dress up, meet up with relatives or friends, and anticipate the coming year. For seventeen-year-old Stacy Vazquez, New Year's Eve was the day to write nine college essays. I don't remember the countdown, but I do remember watching the date and timestamp at the bottom right corner of my laptop screen switch to 1/1/2022 and 12:00 AM. For the first time in hours, I rose from my kitchen table and hugged my mother and sister. Then, I took a few pictures and returned to my seat to continue typing my life story away. I had less than nine hours to submit three college applications.

This behavior is somewhat expected of a major procrastinator who doesn't really care about the outcome of the college decisions but wants to apply anyway. This behavior, though, is not expected of a young girl who has been dreaming of getting into her dream school since ninth grade.

For how much I cared, I should've had my college essays and Common App complete and revised by October. But, my power combination of writer's block and procrastination had me submitting my applications at 11:59:59. The college application speedwriting continued for five more days.

Today marks a year since my college decisions were finalized. By April 1, 2022, I had collected all of my acceptances, waitlists, and rejections. And, my four-year-long journey to college came to an end.

Since then, my college essays have been sitting in a folder that I haven't clicked on in months. So, I feel it is time that I share some of my essays with the world and potentially help younger students who are in need of inspiration or guidance. And, maybe I can even save some Duolingo streaks! (Yes, I lost my 616 day Duolingo streak on January 1, 2022 because of college apps, and I still haven't recovered.)

So, if you're a high school student reading this a few months before your applications are due, open that common app, add some schools, and start reading those prompts! And, if you're a senior reading this with less than twenty-four hours to submit your college apps, don't lose hope! I believe in you!

So, without further ado, here are some of the essays that got me to Cambridge:

Stanford Supplement: El Semanario
Tell us about something that is meaningful to you and why.

I was fifteen when my mom gifted me a “semanario”, a collection of seven bracelets, symbolizing each day of the week. I fidgeted with them, as she explained their origin. She bought them when she was about fifteen. She saved up for them.

They weren't very expensive, for they aren't real silver. But, given her financial conditions, they were a reach.

Since I put the bracelets on, they've become my most precious jewelry. They're not silver, and they're stained. But, they represent the work of my fifteen-year-old mother, a girl who had to drop out of school to help sustain her family. I now wear one of the only treats she gave herself. And, the longer I've worn them, the more meaning they've taken.

There are seven bracelets. Since she started retirement, my mom hasn't failed to be there for me seven days a week, from the moment I wake up to when I fall asleep. They are perfect circles, reminding me of her endless love, a love without boundaries, a smooth continuous love.

Every formal event, I wear the bracelets. They're not the shiniest or cleanest, but they are symbols of the beginning of her journey to give her children a better life.

This Semanario has become my treasure. They're a gift from a fifteen-year-old girl who had endless dreams she couldn't fulfill to a fifteen-year-old girl who has endless dreams she will fight to fulfill. My mother gifted me her bracelets. I will gift her my future.

MIT Supplement: I love sundaes
We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it.

I carefully roll a scoop of strawberry ice cream; I estimate the center and drop it on a trio of perfectly baked chocolate chip cookies. I add a cherry and serve it to the customer. He cheers and gives me a $30.50 tip.

Unfortunately, this delicious treat only exists within the realm of my phone. I am a fanatic of Papa's Scooperia. I enjoy calculating the speed to scoop the dough to the ideal size. I enjoy the thrill of serving an order while another is baking in the oven. I enjoy the short, yet fun Foodini minigames. I enjoy redecorating my lobby and character's outfit to match the holiday. Why do I enjoy this? I'm not quite sure.

At the beginning of the year, we read the short story “Eleven” in English. The narrator explains that each year we grow older is another year we can “be”. Like rings of a tree trunk, our ages stay within and sometimes show.

My hobby of playing Papa Louie games started in elementary school. Whenever we could use Chromebooks, I rushed to CoolMathGames to play. Lately, it feels like I am growing rather quickly. Though I am excited for every new thing coming into my life, I also miss my early childhood. Perhaps the girl who loves to play Scooperia is my seven-year-old self, returning for another round of Cool Math.

Sometimes, I am seventeen and want to explore the universe. Sometimes, I am seven and want to serve a sundae.

Gates Scholarship Essay: Art and STEM as part of my identity
Note: essay prompts change yearly, mine was along the lines of “How do you feel connected to your culture / ethnicity?”

The skirts flow. Our feet tap on the wooden gym floor as the violins of the Jarabe Tapatío echo throughout the room. Heel, Toe, Stop; Heel, Toe, Stop; I repeat to myself, maintaining the rhythm of the music.

My hands hurt. I begin to peel the glue off my skin as my mom presses down on the board, hoping the materials stick. I am working on my seventh-grade mosaic project, and I decided to create an Aztec Emperor penacho (headpiece).

My cleaning cloth soaks. I analyze the buttons on our music system as my family cleans to the rhythm of cumbias. It is a Sunday at my house, and our cleaning music plays while we dust our furniture.

The sun shines. My hands grip on the rope-like railing as I climb up the pyramid. I am in Teotihuacan, and I want to see the view from the peak of the sun pyramid.

As a STEM enthusiast, I have always appreciated math and science, serving as universal languages. One plus one is two here and everywhere. We are all composed of similar particles that behave similarly. STEM celebrates our shared origins and history, but art celebrates our uniqueness.

Through art, we express our heritage and culture. Dance, artwork, music, and architecture convey our diversity. I never felt more connected to my Mexican roots than when I performed folkloric dances at my school, presented my mosaic to my class, listened to cumbias, and touched the center of the sun pyramid.

In Mexico, I observed how culturally and artistically rich the country is. From the beauty of Teotihuacan to the artesanías (crafts) sold on the streets, so many stories get told.

Though I've never been too inclined towards the arts, I've learned to appreciate them for their contribution to society and culture. That inspired me to endeavor and continue exploring art history. Paintings and sculptures serve more than an aesthetic purpose; they are long-standing symbols of past lives and civilizations.

I wish to continue traveling and analyzing how different people use the resources nature has granted us to capture the complexity of humankind. Art and STEM both share our history in different ways.

Every swing of my folkloric skirt is a reminder of where I come from; the stars are reminders of where I will go.

*Disclaimer: The essays posted on this blog are the original work of the author, and any attempt to copy, reproduce, or use any part of this essay is strictly prohibited and may result in serious consequences, including but not limited to academic penalties and legal action. Plagiarism is a serious offense that undermines the integrity of academic institutions and the hard work of students. Remember that academic honesty and integrity are essential values that we should uphold in all aspects of our academic and professional lives.
Post Info
📝: Stacy Vazquez
📅: April 1, 2023
🔗: /my-college-essays
🏷️: College Applications High School Writing
Thanks for reading!