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Common App Essay - Macaroni and Cheese

pararoma 1 / -  
Sep 1, 2017   #1
Common App Prompt #1 - 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. [No change]

Food connects people

I always ask for the kids' menu. Always. I don't do it for the tic-tac-toe, or even the crayons. I do it because that's where all the good food is. Chicken nuggets, burgers with no vegetables, and grilled cheese. I'm not interested in these today, though. I'll try them next time, I think to myself, knowing full well that I would think the exact same thing when the time came. My eyes go right down the page to the "M" section, where the only food that matters awaits.

My special relationship with mac and cheese started for a very simple reason: I hated vegetables. Everything about them was just plain disgusting. The smell, the taste, the texture, all of it was flat-out awful. I refused to eat anything that a vegetable had touched, fearing that its taste had been contaminated. That, combined with my parents' distaste for fast food, left my options for the title of "favorite food" pretty limited. Luckily for me, macaroni and cheese appeared at the annual Deerfield Elementary Thanksgiving Feast. I didn't know it at the time, but that first bowl condemned me to years of banter from friends and family over my love of a kids' menu item.

But it was totally worth it. The soft texture of the pasta, the creaminess of the sauce, and the obvious but mild taste of cheese combine to create a food unlike any other. The brand doesn't matter; each type of macaroni and cheese merges different ingredients, yet the end product is always delicious.

Despite its divine taste, mac and cheese has come to mean much more than a pleasant meal to me. With how long it's followed me through my life, it's no surprise that some of my most memorable moments have come with a side of macaroni and cheese.

I remember the long ride home from state championships with the robotics team after missing out on qualification for the word championship by three points. I remember stopping and Noodles and Co. for dinner, and seeing a couple seniors fighting back tears while I drowned my sorrows in a bowl of macaroni and cheese. Even though I felt bad, I knew they must've felt tem times worse. I still had three years to go, three more shots at it; they would never get another chance.

Ironically, though unsurprisingly, I celebrated our world championship division title the following year with mac and cheese at Panera. My friends and I were joking around, wondering how in the world we won against some of the best robots we'd ever seen. The topic somehow became how I wasn't dead from five days on a diet of Dippin' Dots ice cream, macaroni and cheese, and chicken tenders. "Is there an issue with that? I'll have you know I only consume the healthiest foods, I swear," I defended. We all burst out in laughter, half because of my unconvincing explanation, half because everything seems funny after five long days with only 20 hours of sleep.

The soccer team was on a six-game losing streak. We couldn't even seem to get a goal, let alone a win. So when we arrived at Oxford High School for our next game, we didn't expect anything different. Despite our lack of confidence, we sure didn't play like we lacked anything. We put up one goal after another, seven of them, with the captain Adam reminding us "It's still zero-zero, boys," after every one. The coach was elated with our performance, and invited us all to Outback for dinner. You know what I ordered.

It wasn't the food that made these experiences special; it was the people I had them with. Those moments and people have become a part of me that I never want to forget. I don't need pictures or trophies to do so; all I need is a bowl of macaroni and cheese.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,939 3570  
Sep 1, 2017   #2
Hi Jeff, this is a very interesting quirk driven essay that you have decided to share with us and the reviewer. While the essay informs the reviewer about your particular interest, this doesn't come across as something that is relevant to your interest in your chosen major. So I am really convinced that this will make for a relevant essay using the prompt that you chose. In my opinion, you should be using this as a response to prompt number 7 instead:

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

In my opinion, the reasons why you prefer to eat Mac n' Cheese and your desire to have the kids meal at times does not signify an interest but rather a quirk in your character. A quirk is defined as an idiosyncrasy, a peculiar trait in a person. I think that the topic you chose to discuss better aligns itself with an open prompt topic that you can create rather than the prompt that you chose for this. You can make your own prompt up to add to the essay so that the reviewer will know what you are discussing. It will create a better understanding of your individuality if you create your topic discussion instead of using prompt 1.

While I can understand why you would think that this is a topic of interest, this is not usually the sort of topic discussed for the prompt that you chose. That prompt normally represents a unique hobby, a learning interest aside from the one that leads towards your major, or a story that shows a unique character building trait on your end. It is a topic that, when presented, helps the reviewer to learn something relevant about you as a person and as a student. I just don't think that your interest in this particular dish qualifies as such.
lexilexi3 - / 1  
Sep 2, 2017   #3
I don't completely agree with the commenter before me. I think this is a very cute quirk and can make an interesting essay. Maybe make a clearer connection between mac and cheese and how it's affected you. This seems more like an ode to the food than anything else. Connect it to a bigger picture. If you can't see yourself doing that then I would suggest choosing something that better defines what kind of applicant you are :)

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