Story Time: University of Florida Undergraduate Application Essay Sample 650 words GradesFixer
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Story Time: College Admission Essay Sample

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Some parents have to take their kids for a drive before they can fall asleep, and others have to sing to them. Mine had to tell me a story — or two, or three, or ten — before I went to bed every night.

Storytime was my favorite part of the day — it always has been. When my parents ran out of stories I started reading books, or rather inhaling them. I’d pull all-nighters just to finish the last book in the Harry Potter series for the third time, just to start the Percy Jackson series the next day (also for the third time). Books were a part of my body — the same way there was a head on my shoulders, there was always a book in my hand. But when I joined my school’s newspaper in the 10th grade, I got a taste of a storytime sweeter than any other.

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One of my first assignments was interviewing two transfer students at my school. One was from the Czech Republic, and the other from Germany. The interview lasted almost two hours, during which I learned that students in the Czech Republic take a shocking 14 classes per year, and that the whole wheat bread I’d been eating all my life tasted like cardboard in comparison to Germany’s. It was like tasting chocolate–or German bread–for the first time. Other food just stops tasting as good. And it was made all the sweeter when I realized that after hearing each amazing story, I got to choose my favorite parts and share them with others. I traded the book in my hand for a pen and a notebook, and, just like that, reporter Michael Katz was born.

Until that day, I’d always been the kid with his nose buried in a book. No one knew my name, and that was just the way I liked it. But writing for the paper helped me realize that I had a voice, a voice that others liked to hear — and through my words I began developing my identity. The stories of others helped give me the strength and inspiration I needed to create my own, and I was hooked. I’d write four or five stories an issue when only two were asked of me. I edited the entire class’s stories. I helped editors design their pages, devise headlines and brainstorm comics. The newsroom became my second home. I started a photojournalism campaign at my school where I’d interview students during lunch and share their stories on Facebook, and grew it to over 500 likes. My favorite story was about a student who used to eat 10 McDonald’s burgers a day. He weighed over 300 pounds and was borderline diabetic when he decided to turn his life around — he started exercising and quit eating junk food, and had lost almost 80 pounds in less than three months. The post got over 400 likes, and got me a new gym partner, too. I’ve made it my mission to meet someone as incredible every day.

Nowadays, reporting comes as naturally as breathing. My survival instincts have evolved — no more fight or flight, all I do is question and write. I’m the editor-in-chief of my school paper and one of the few high school interns at The Miami Herald — when I’m not editing, interviewing for, or writing a story, I’m probably reminiscing on one that I’ve read or written. Journalism has been my calling since my parents put me to sleep with bedtime stories. I live for it. Most of my favorite memories are not of my own experiences, but of stories people have told me and the smiles they’ve brought others when I shared them. My hope is to change the world by telling stories, so that one day I can tell my kids all about it when it’s bedtime.

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