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"their optimism towards life" - Princeton Supplement Essay

RheaA 1 / -  
Oct 2, 2010   #1
Hi, this is my supplement essay: using a quotation from a movie or book, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world.

I know these essays are meant to sell you to the admissions, but I'm not very good at exaggerating my talents.

"So she had to satisfy herself with the idea of love - loving the loving of things whose existence she didn't care at all about. Love itself became the object of her love. She loved herself in love, she loved loving love, as love loves loving, and was able, in that way, to reconcile herself with a world that fell so short of what she would have hoped for. It was not the world that was the great and saving lie, but her willingness to make it beautiful and fair, to live a once-removed life, in a world once-removed from the one in which everyone else seemed to exist."

- "Everything is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer

One might refer to a traumatic experience that restricted their optimism towards life, however I wish to recount a simple epiphany experienced after absorbing the text I have quoted.

I was travelling to school in the morning, encapsulated by the story at hand - a story of an extraordinary person disconsolate of her ordinary life and unconscious of her own exceptionality. At this moment, I became aware of my antithetical existence. I was not undisputedly exceptional, constricted by small-town traditions, descriptions of my aesthetics were not synonymous with beauty or awe and my background was not one of fame or aristocracy. I was purely ordinary. Yet I felt no cynicism toward life - I was reconciled with my own ordinariness. I had matured through believing I was going to marry film stars or establish fame from self-ingenuity. I was relatively nondescript to all others but myself. Contrary to my normality was my immense passion for knowledge. I was certain my own passion was not successive of all others, however my physiological yearning for information and understanding was sentimentally preeminent on a personal level. I became humbled by this contradiction - passion without innate brilliance - yet it implanted the beginnings of my new life values. I became enthralled by competition - using my own might to overcome challenges became embedded in my persona. Realism too became an automatic outlook. I no longer over- or undervalued myself - I was awoken to my capabilities and flaws. Nevertheless, my unmitigated passion was resolute. Reconciled with my self-actuality, I pursued my dreams with an open mind and a great deal more humility. The potential for exceptional American education had never solidified in my romanticized sensations, but my subsequent actualization had thrust my dreams into the realms of reality.

The physical efforts to this moment have been unrelenting yet satisfying. I have worked on refining my abilities and myself. I have developed persistence and overcome rejection. I have not lost my sense of hope nor ceased believing in the power of my own efforts.

I am conscious as I write this essay, I am applying to a university of the world's highest prestige - and I find myself reconciled with the prospect of failure, yet excited with the prospect of success. I have recognized that one cannot pursue life without consciously existing within its bounds or accepting one's own existence - whether futile, wondrous or simply ordinary.

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