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Common App Essay: "Ramen Addiction"


blackwatch 1 / 3  
Dec 31, 2009   #1
Hi, This is my common app essay under the topic of:
A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

Please read and comment on my essay :) Any comment, from grammar to contents, would be much appreciative!

Thank you,

Ramen Addiction

I have an addiction: not drugs or drinks, but ramen. Unlike other kinds of negative and harmful addictions, ramen addiction is nothing like something that costs much or because ramen is cheap, easy and satisfying. It is a simple food that does not require any sophisticated cooking skills. The most complicated action you will take is perhaps breaking an egg, or cutting green onions to incorporate into the ramen. However, my ramen addiction ultimately became a source of enlightenment after my trip to South Korea two years ago.

I was only a ramen cook, making one type of ramen, until I stayed in South Korea with my friend for two months. After that period, I was promoted to a ramen chef, adept in making different kinds of ramen. Since we had insufficient fund to sustain for two months, iwe needed to find alternative ways to feed ourselves other than eating outside; we chose to eat ramen. My ramen cooking skills saved us. Every twice or even thrice a week, I cooked ramen for dinner and we enjoyed eating it mainly because I tried different approach in cooking by incorporating different kinds of ingredient.

My most exciting, and perhaps even most historic accomplishment, was making ramen with shrimp. With four shrimp that I bought from market, I started the experiment. The shrimp were first peeled and cleaned, then put into a boiling pot. Within five minutes, the skin color of the shrimp changed from black to red. The smell of the sea stimulated my olfactory sense, anticipating the taste of ramen before I even put the spoon into my mouth. We were excited to taste something totally different, yet still keep the essential element of ramen. The dish was successful: my friend, who was quite reluctant at my attempt to incorporate shrimp into the ramen, became the first fan of my ramen cooking skills.

My fascination with ramen, as well as developing different kinds of ramen recipes, drove me to conduct numerous experiments with different kinds of ingredients. As humanities and arts interested student, I did not like experimenting. I believed experiments were dull and repetitive with no creativity. Through this experience, I changed my perspective on science. In fact, upon reflecting my achievement on making a shrimp ramen, I realized how scientific method was strongly involved in my experiment on making a shrimp ramen; from measuring precisely measuring the amount of water input and time and temperature I would put shrimp into the boiling pot to adjusting the taste of ramen through adding salt or water, everything was about observation and empiricism. Having realized the strong similarity, I started to take an interest in experiments with the same degree of as ramen. I no longer found that experiments were dull. Ramen affected not only my perspective on science, but also my cooking abilities. After two months of living with my friend, I have shown and tested my versatile ability in cooking ramen. Initially started as an interest, I realized how my affection towards ramen eventually enlightened me in a way that my initial dislike of experimentation was just my innocence and that with passion and perseverance on an interest, nothing could be detestable.
BlazingInferno 1 / 4  
Dec 31, 2009   #2
"All you need is breaking , of course, for the egg, and cutting , in case if you want to incorporate green onion in it."

This felt a little odd to read. perhaps you can rephrase it as "The most complicated action you will take is perhaps the breaking of an egg, or the cutting of green onions to incorporate into the ramen."

However, since I was not really good at eating that much of hot, spicy food, I was not pleasantafter the experiment.
perhaps change to "not pleased at the experiment"?

Having attended a boarding school with two korean roomates, I'm well aware of the vital importance of Ramen in any dorm. However, I am not quite sure how it increases your strength or diversity very much. Could you please elaborate?

If you don't mind, I'd really appreciate help with my essay:

Thank you.
courtain 1 / 5  
Dec 31, 2009   #3
I think blazinginferno took care of your grammar part.

However, I have a critical suggestion on your essay.

I think you should talk more how ramen affected your interest in experiments.

It's good that you're talking about your trip to Korea. However, that kind of takes

away the focus of your essay. You say you're using different ingredients to cook ramen. But that doesn't tell much. Why don't you provide very specific examples of what ramen and with what ingredients you cook. It will be a good idea to use some figurative languages... like imagery sense to portray ramen on your essay.

I wish my suggestion was helpful...
and if you could criticize my essay here.. at

I will really appreciate it.
JakeK812 3 / 6  
Dec 31, 2009   #4
This is great, very unique. BlazingInferno pretty much wrapped up what you need to change as far as grammar goes. As for courtain's suggestions, I'm not sure if I totally agree. Only change your essay to what he says if you feel it will add to your essay. If you just change it for the sake of it I'm afraid it might lose a bit of its personal feel.
OP blackwatch 1 / 3  
Dec 31, 2009   #5
Thank you for your replies!

I will try to reply your posts as soon as possible :)

By the way, which topic do you think this essay would answer strongly?

I first felt that this was the answer for diversity part, but then I also found that this could also answer another question, which is

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Any comments on this would be very appreciative :)
BlazingInferno 1 / 4  
Jan 1, 2010   #6
I think you're better off with the diversity prompt, unless you think that you can change it so that people think it's weird to make ramen or challenge you to a ramen contest, which I don't think is very likely.

Can you please edit mine? Thank you.
OP blackwatch 1 / 3  
Jan 1, 2010   #7
Sorry, BlazingInferno. I think I should change my essay topic to evaluating part.
hurdlingasian - / 3  
Jan 2, 2010   #8
Hehe, this is funny. I am also a ramen addict myself. Shin ramen, Chappagetti...list goes on. you wrote a very creative essay here.

I also wrote about Korea in one of my essays. To minimize the wordiness, just say South Korea first, and just keep saying Korea. The admission officers would know what part of Korea you are talking about.

Unique essay.


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