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On Being the Higher Percent: College Admission Essay Sample

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When I was fifteen, I considered a theory: it is possible to assign a numerical value to two people in order to measure how much they care about one another. In total, the two numbers would add up to a percentage of one hundred. The more effort, love, and curiosity one person put into the relationship, the higher their percentage would be. For example, the ratio of care between myself and, say, Justin Timberlake, would be written as ninety-nine to one; I care 99% about him while he cares 1% about me (the 1% being generous considering he doesn’t know I exist).

I truly thought this theory was groundbreaking. It explained so much! My middle school crush and I understandably never worked out; our care ratio was at a heartbreaking 70:30 (me, crush).

Over dinner, I proudly explained the basics of the theory to my family. My family has always encouraged my life contemplations, so I was surprised when they responded to my newest statement with equivocality. Between both of my parents, my mother was the more skeptical. She listed some names in order to hear me use the care meter in action, asking me to “rank” myself versus my friends, my coaches, and my family members.

I found a problem: I began to answer many of these relationships with 50:50. My mom sat silently and listened to my struggle considering percentage choices. Eventually, she told me she had different numbers in mind. “Are you sure 50:50 is true?” she asked me. “I see you more as an 80:20 kind of person!”

80:20? I was briefly at a loss for words as I considered her statement. Could it be true? Could people care such a significant amount less about me than I do for them?

Sensing my discomfort, she attempted to redeem herself. “I didn’t mean it that way!” she explained. “50% effort just doesn’t seem large enough to describe the care you have for your friends.” I stayed up late that night ranking my relationships in my mind. I found that even my mom’s proposed 80% was not large enough to describe my love for the people I know and activities I do.

In fact, I cared a full 100% about my friends, athletics, musical development, and my aspirations for the future. I recognized the theory as flawed as I contemplated it in bed that night. After all, who am I to say that two people cannot love and care about one another 100:100? Can’t we all invest ourselves into someone or something and get the same exact passion in return?

Numbers can define countless things, but life and relationships are worth more than two (sometimes discouraging) values that add up to one hundred. Hearing that I am the type of person to have 80:20 relationships has remained poignant in my mind since this event occurred nearly three years ago.

I have learned more about myself since then, and most of all, I have realized that there are worse traits to have than caring more than your share about people or things. I matured that day, as I learned that life is not about minimizing your care to match the care of others towards you. I will always approach everything I do with passion and purpose; I have been ravenous for knowledge and new life experiences since I uttered my first word “book.” I am confident that wherever I end up, whatever I am doing, and whatever I am getting back in return, I will be proud of my 100%.

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On Being the Higher Percent: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, Jun 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 26, 2023, from
“On Being the Higher Percent: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 10 Jun. 2018,
On Being the Higher Percent: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Mar. 2023].
On Being the Higher Percent: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Jun 10 [cited 2023 Mar 26]. Available from:
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