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"I value the word maze" - favorite word, Common App Essay


Novaray 1 / -  
Aug 13, 2011   #1
Looking for feedback on my common app essay. I am choosing the topic of my choice, using UVA's prompt: What is your favorite word and why?

Every day there are twist, successes, failures, and decisions that I must make, choices that will either make me take a step forwards or backwards. When I combine the trials of each individual day together, I form a giant maze that represents my life. Start represents birth, exit represents death, and all the loops, dead-ends, and forks in the road constitute the ordeals I must experience and overcome in order to live a full life.

The word maze, both in how it appears and what it represents, is the perfect symbol of life to me. Although the word itself looks simple, when capitalized, MAZE requires more strokes to write than any other four-lettered word. This is symbolic in that obstacles in life should not be taken lightly because they will require more effort to overcome than first perceived. Another aspect of the word is that its physical appearance displays the ups and downs that one will encounter in life. I value this factor as it is a constant reminder to myself that although I will experience setbacks, eventually greater prospects will arrive. Mazes represent the lives of everyone because as each maze is unique, each person's path in life is different. A person's path may be convoluted at times and straightforward in others. We will come to forks in the road where one path leads to success, one to failure, and another that gives us a little bit of both. With each decision we make, we become more confident in our abilities, eventually reaching the end, and leaving this life behind.

When I was younger, like many other children, I would solve the occasional maze in the newspaper or on the back of a cereal box. However, what really fascinated me was not solving, but creating mazes. I always wondered how people behind the designing of mazes could make each one a new challenge while still adhering to the concept that there is a path leading from start to finish. Whenever I tried to make my own, I got stuck trying to decide where to place the forks, dead ends, and the clear path. I would work for hours building a maze that was neither too simple nor too difficult. Each time I failed, I would crumple up my paper and start anew; however, I was never able to achieve that newspaper like quality. This shows how even when one has influence over the future, he can not fully control it.

In the movie Inception, the main character, Dom Cobb asks architecture major, Ariadne, to design a maze in two minutes that requires at least one minute to solve. She fails at her first two attempts but succeeds on her third by creating a circular labyrinth that does not contain any dead ends but is tedious to solve due to its winding nature. This maze reflects life, showing that although one may not face great challenges, success still requires effort.

When most people hear the word maze, they immediately think of the puzzle game, but the word is more representative of the puzzle of life-a journey that requires skill, decision making, and courage to achieve success. I value the word maze because at the end of my life I want to look back at it and ask myself, "Was my maze worth solving?"

cherrybomb94 20 / 44  
Aug 15, 2011   #2
Awesome essay! The only correction I have is to change 'newspaper like quality' to 'newspaper-like quality'. Could you help me with my essay?


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