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The Swiss Army Knife - UBC Personal Essay


sleepyshamrocks 2 / 4 3  
Nov 23, 2019   #1

Tell us about who you are.


How would your family, friends, and/or members of your community describe you? If possible, please include something about yourself that you are most proud of and why. 250 words


My parents often refer to me as a Swiss Army knife, equipped with enough tools to prove versatile for any situation. To them, I am the responsible eldest child and a dependable presence for my younger brother and sister. To my siblings, I am a trailblazer in the art of self-expression, spending weekend mornings burning pancakes and shooting hoops with them. With friends, I am both spontaneous - egging them on to try the newest horror escape room or pop-up restaurant - and a worrier - checking Google Maps to ensure that we make it at least an hour before it opens. In school, I have been student council president and alto singer in the choir, debate captain and a pianist for musicals, lead breaststroke swimmer and a community service volunteer. My community sees me as someone who has a penchant for seeking new experiences, whether to have fun or to take on a challenge, reveling in the breath of fresh air that every new hobby or role brings about.

This desire for adventure led me to receive a scholarship from AFS Intercultural Programs to spend an exchange year in Italy. Between Year 11 and 12, I immersed myself in a foreign culture and language, spending a better part of the year trying to communicate with my host family and fit in in school. Though it was difficult, I managed to learn the language and create lifelong bonds with the people I met, and I am proud of the invaluable skills and friendships I gained during my experience.

Is there anything I can improve? Thank you!

student986 2 / 2 1  
Nov 25, 2019   #2
I really like how you used the symbolism of the swiss army knife to describe yourself, its unique and different from many other profiles which will definitely score you extra points. However, your second paragraph about your exchange trip to Italy does not really connect with the symbolism of the previous paragraph. It sounds like there are two different topics in one answer. Since I am also applying to UBC I believe that there is another section on your profile that asks Tell us more about ONE or TWO activities listed above that are most important to you. Please explain the role you played and what you learned in the process. You will be asked for a reference who can speak to your response. (maximum 350 words). I believe that you can REALLY go deep about your experience in Italy there. Meanwhile, you can write about how the activities in your "In school, I have been student council president......" section where you list out some of your extracurriculars have changed you and helped you define who you are. Remember, UBC wants to know what you LEARNED from these activities, not just a list of them.

Also your original paragraph was 255 words, keep them under the limit :)


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