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William and Mary "What Makes You Unique?" Essay: Amiibo Collecting Essay


pietrom 1 / 1  
Oct 13, 2018   #1

William and Mary supplement essay



Hi all, I was hoping someone could take a look at my William and Mary supplement. Specifically, if I could get some feedback on the pacing and/or organizational structure that would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular 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.MAX 650 Words

"To unbox or to keep boxed?" That is the question. It is a debate that has raged on among collectors of hobbyist goods and memorabilia hoarders alike. You may be asking "What exactly are you keeping boxed?" Well, back in 2014, I embarked on one of the most challenging endeavors I have ever undertaken: collecting Amiibo, palm-sized plastic models of Nintendo's beloved cast of characters.

Following Amiibo's initial release in late 2014, users on Reddit noticed that three out of the twelve released figures - Marth, Villager and the Wii Fit Trainer - seemed nearly impossible for people to find. From camping outside stores to creating apps that tracked which Amiibo were currently stocked on online shops, competition among serious collectors to see who could find the "Holy Trinity" of characters was fierce. Despite my obvious disadvantage, I desperately wanted to prove to the older and better prepared collectors (and myself) that a 13-year-old kid could find the scarce figures. Armed with nothing more than my ever-dwindling birthday and Christmas cash, the occasional ride to the mall from my mother, and a determined drive, I dove head first into the Amiibo-collecting foray.

Luckily, I had stumbled upon Villager before the Amiibo craze took off, but after numerous trips to stores searching for the figures, I soon realized that dumb luck would not help me find Marth or Wii Fit Trainer. Like a contestant stumped on a question on "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" it was time to use a lifeline to phone a friend. My mother's friend worked at a licensing firm in New York City and frequently traveled to visit clients. She was preparing for a business trip to Asia, so I asked her if she could keep an eye out for me while in Tokyo. She returned with gifts for my whole family, including a small bag for me. I instantly recognized the opaque-blue casing of Marth protruding out of the bag, but more importantly, I had learned the value of asking for help.

With Marth and Villager down, only Wii Fit Trainer remained to complete the coveted trifecta. Months of scrounging around every Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Walmart in all of

Morris County led to little success, but I wasn't ready to give up the search. A family trip to Italy over spring break gave me the perfect opportunity to expand my Amiibo operation internationally once again. When we reached the urban city of Milan, I realized I would get a chance to renew my search.

On our final day in Milan, my family and I were trekking along the cobblestone streets of the Piazza del Duomo when I saw it protruding off a side street: the bold black and red lettering of the GameStop sign. Wallet in hand, I dashed across the square and burst into the store, instinctively looking towards the back of the shop where Amiibo are typically stocked. Scanning the inventory, I spotted the Wii Fit Trainer, in all her 3.5-inch plastic glory. As I clenched onto the grass green box, I was flooded with a feeling of personal accomplishment I'd never felt before.

My unconventional method to find the figures was unlike the intricate strategies recommended by most pro-collectors, but that made the reward of finding the figures that much more satisfying. The impossible had been achieved, and a search that spanned three continents and had instilled me with a burning desire to challenge myself had finally come to an end...at least until Nintendo releases the inevitable next wave.

WORD COUNT: 593

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,179 1785  
Oct 14, 2018   #2
This is a highly engaging, imaginative, and inclusive essay Pietro. I was immersed in your search and actually rooting for you to find all the missing pieces. It really introduced a different side of your personality that, although part of your non-academic endeavor, gives the reviewer a clear idea of the type of determined student you will be should you become part of the student community. You did a very good job when it came to combining the inspirational, impressive, and comedic aspects of the prompt requirements. Good job!

One point for improvement though. I am not sure how the unboxing discussion fits into the presentation. I think you should add one paragraph that brings the discussion full circle, back to the unboxing discussion. If you don't go back to that topic, the essay feels incomplete. All you have to do is create an all the more interesting narration of whether you unboxed your collection or not and then add another sentimental closing line to drive your point home.

Good job overall though. You should be proud of having written this essay in such a manner.
OP pietrom 1 / 1  
Oct 14, 2018   #3
Thank you for the feedback Holt, I really appreciate it. With regards to going full circle with the unbox or boxed question, do you think I should add my reason for keeping them boxed in my current conclusion paragraph, or do you think it would be better to have it be its own paragraph?

Thanks - Pietro

This is my revised conclusion paragraph:

My unconventional search method was unlike the (...) more satisfying. My collection, now four years in the making, is well over 60 figures, but no matter where I've found the Amiibo or who I've received them from, I've realized that it would be futile to leave them in their boxes. After all, if the main purpose of Amiibos is their connectivity in games, why only let them collect dust on a shelf? Life is too short to remain cooped up in a box, so I'd rather get out there and explore the world. Who knows, I may even find a few rare Amiibo while I'm at it.


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