Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extra curricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful? We know nobody fits neatly into 500 words or less, but you can provide us with some suggestion of the type of person you are. Anything goes! Inspire us, impress us, or just make us laugh. Think of this optional opportunity as show and tell by proxy and with an attitude. For additional context, check out the William & Mary Admission Office video message at wm.edu/admissionvideo. (500 word limit)
''Buy yourself a kindle already,'' - is all I can hear from my friends when I buy a new heavy pile of books or rush to the store when my favorite magazine comes out. I am not that kind of person who refuses progress, but i think that some things are better off the way they are. Nowadays, digital format has invaded every aspect of our daily lives. The whole culture of sending letters is slowly dying and paperbacks are next in the line.
Growing up, my mom never missed the chance of throwing out what she called ''dust-collectors''. However, somehow myriads of books lying all over the flat escaped my mother's fury. Throughout the years I developed certain passion for paper. I was enthralled by its versatality and mysterious potential. Of course reading is more convinient on the tablet, but if you read on an e-reader you miss a great chunk of experience. The texture of the paper , the smell of the paper and the infinite meaning that it holds. When I look around myself, all I can see is people reading from their screens or not reading at all. If the paper disappears out of our lives, the giant part of our culture will also go away.
I think my obsession with paper also started from my desire to capture every small bit of my life that make up my personality. From an observation of my shelf one can see how my life went for the past 17 years. The time when I tried to understand Shakespeare, the time when I wanted to become an architector and the day when I learned how to create an origami flower. I feel that my love of paper reflects who I really am. I never seek for an easy way around. I am always in search of the ways to apply my creativity and give a bizzare twist to any project I take on.
Some things you just cannot prevent from vanishing in disguise, but I hope that I am going to be able to preserve paper as it resonates so much with my personality.
Well Mikhail, your essay is certainly right up the avenue that the admissions video suggests you take. It has the feel of reading a blog and the sharing that may be found on a MySpace page. You've given the admissions committee an insight into the kind of person who you are. However, the last part of the instruction, that of giving them an insight as to who you will become, seems to have gotten lost in the ease of your writing :-)
So we know why you enjoy reading paperbacks, how paper was a part of your life growing up, and the inspiration that you derive from its mere existence. So, how does your interest in paper directly influence your future? Okay, we know that you don't want paper to completely disappear from use in the future. Enough of the reference to paper. Paper is not the applicant for college here :-) You need to show more about how paper will still be a significant part who you see yourself becoming in the future.
For example, will this desire to promote the use of paper lead you to become an anti-environmentalist since they want to preserve the trees that are cut down to make paper? Maybe you will become a purist novelist in the sense that you will refuse to release your books in e-format? Or you will become an architect who will refuse to use Autocad or any software program that won't allow you to feel the paper while you draw your building concepts? I know too many questions.
Those are the questions that, if you can provide an answer for, will add personality to your writing and create a vision of the future you in the eyes of the admissions committee. Your current essay is alright. But it is nothing but a bunch of introductions at this point. Imagine 500 words of pure introduction. It won't help your application. So introduce your love for paper in half the paper, then recreate your personality in connection to paper in the last part. That way, even though you won't fit your personality into 500 words, you will still be able to give them enough information to create an idea of who you are in their mind :-)