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Why I Bake - Common App Prompt 1 (background, identity, interest, talent) Essay.


Slumar206 2 / 5  
Jul 7, 2017   #1
Prompt : Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

learning, growing, and creating,



Finally they are ready, I smelled them before my other senses registered their presence. The rich homey smell of baked biscuits seduced my nose and assaulted my brain with taunting images of the mouthwatering goodness. I marched to kitchen, like a soldier to battle, took the biscuit out of the oven and retreated with my golden brown prize. After accompanying the still steaming treat with chocolate, I gently cut off a bite and lift it towards my mouth.

Pure bliss but this is not the reason I bake.

Most of the life-changing lessons are just waiting to be discovered, beyond four high walls, time-table routine and exams - beyond the classroom. The discovery is something I made after engulfing myself in the world of the kitchen. Though encountering a new environment can be quite upsetting to a certain degree, I was acctually glad to venture in this "environment". Unknowing to me, this experience challanged me to take a fresh, creative approach to life while developing a personal drive I would not have attained otherwise. For these reasons, the time I spend in the kitchen remains dear to me.

Dressed in a flour-stained apron, oven mitts and a powdered face, I begin by gathering my tools and ingredients. Then, the harmony begins - the rhythmic shaking of sugar marked the beat, with the whisking of the eggs and constant setting on the timer, all merging to form the melody of the white tiled floor of my mother's kitchen. Attached as I became to the familiar soundtrack of my mother's kitchen, I took a particular liking towards baking.

There is no breathtaking or unique pastry to draw me to bake : it is, instead, the slow process of measuring, sifting, and stirring; waiting as the dough rises in the oven and the house becomes saturated with the scents of butter and flour and definitely sugar; pulling the pans out of the oven and finding the dough transformed into something golden and beautiful that instead excites my core.Baking, to me is like a series of struggles where there have been many failures but were necessary in mastering such craft. While reducing the amount of sugar and adding a little salt, forgetting to set the timer or over-estimating measurements can result in calamities, a few alterations from the recipe can result to triumph. I learned that great bakers are never those who follow every line in a cook book but add their creativity to introduce something new to the oven. This is what I value.

"Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey."
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart.

I agree with Roy T. Bennett, life is all about the challenges, struggles, and tribulations that come along away that energize us and my spirit, not the prospects of the sugar-filled creations. The meaning of life is simply living it. I live through baking, encountering what life has to offer masked behind the facade of burnt edges,or collapsed pancakes but sweetness blooms in unexpected forms. This is where I am happiest. The feeling must be same to what drove xxx to yyy. It is the challenges - the pain, sweat, and burnt edges - that inspire those who push the envelope to never slow down. This love led xxx to yyy and I to baking instead of living on an empty stomach.

I believe that life is a like baking a cake, but that does not make me feel hopeless. I am content in knowing that I am, like Roy T. Bennett said, constantly accept those mistakes and learn from them. In this empty baking pan of an open mind, I will create and learn, continue to push this dough of existence, of life.

That is why I bake - learning, growing, and creating, focusing on the next step and never the last.

The essay is 650 words long, the common app limit is 650 words, how do I polish it. Please, go hard on critiquing the essay and also suggest a suitable title.

Thank you.

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,311 3348  
Jul 7, 2017   #2
Mari, you need to revise the order of your essay. The quote and its discussion in the middle of the essay is totally misplaced. It cut the concentration of the reader from some personal lessons that you learned from baking to the sudden quote. If you must use this quote, which quite frankly, I find unnecessary, then place it at the start of the essay. Quotes in personal statements are always used as the launching pad of the discussion. Therefore, it cannot suddenly be found in the middle of the essay. The truth of the matter is that your personal discussion is far more interesting that your sudden discussion of this quote. If you can, remove the quote and just focus totally on the personal connection and lessons that you learned from the mistakes and triumphs that you experienced while baking. This personalized approach will be better appreciated rather than you suddenly hitting the reviewer with the quote. It distracts from the interesting personal touch that your essay had at the start. You can say that "life is like baking a cake". You can relate that to your personal experiences in comparison to baking. The quote is totally unnecessary. As for a title, you already have it. You wrote it within the essay when you said "Life is Like Baking a Cake". At least that is what I would use for your title.
OP Slumar206 2 / 5  
Jul 7, 2017   #3
thank you Holt

So if I totally remove the quote, will that be better?

And do my paragraphs before the quote flow?

And how do I polish the ending?

And Thank you.....again
jelif 1 / 3  
Jul 8, 2017   #4
@Slumar206
Your expressions are good. However, from my perspective, I could still not find a clear link between baking and life. It seems a little farfetched. A good way to solve the problem is to describe a detailed case to make the logic more clear. Thank you!
OP Slumar206 2 / 5  
Jul 8, 2017   #5
could you please expand on your point@jelif
I don't understand what you mean
jelif 1 / 3  
Jul 9, 2017   #6
@Slumar206
Your draw conclusions about life from baking. Baking is only a piece of cake to many people, but how could you find profound truth of life just from baking? It's ok if you could elaborate the link between life and baking but another story if you could not give detailed examples. I hope that my point can help you though it may not be right.
xhang24 3 / 5 2  
Jul 9, 2017   #7
I feel like the starting sentence of the third paragraph which is the "Most of the life-changing lessons are....beyond the classroom" does not have any connection with the content of the paragraph as I do not see any "life-changing" events or something like that, which left me really confused.

Well, that is my personal opinion. Thank you for commenting on my last essay!


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