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The Beauty of Simplicity: College Admission Essay Sample

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Two hours later, even with my cart stockpiled with an assortment of possible parts, I strode aisle-to-aisle scrutinizing each item, and mentally assembling the bits I had selected to generate the ideal model. It was hard to avoid the weird looks from parents as they pulled their children closer to pass me and my “madman mutter”. Having assumed the responsibility of purchasing the material to compete in the annual Massachusetts Science Olympiad for the event Wright Stuff, I was determined that our model plane would hover for the longest time possible, as per the prerequisite.

After the extended shopping spree, my partner and I pondered upon the design and mechanics of the model using the gamut of parts at our disposal. We built and tested various models, over and over again, before arriving at our “perfect” version. However, in order to add more “zing”, we complemented our creation with a rubber motor and a stabilizer, reasoning that these embellishments would ensure a superior lift and lengthier float, thereby providing us a better shot at winning.

“Your plane is disqualified”, pronounced the event coordinator at the initial check-in. “Rubber motors are prohibited.”

My partner and I exchanged flabbergasted looks; we had read through the rules comprehensively. How could we have overlooked this important regulation? My mind raced. My vision blurred. Not only was this ineligibility a personal embarrassment for us both, but our lame efforts would now affect the reputation of our high school, since a disqualification would reflect that our school did not follow the rules properly. And to think, this predicament was the result of us trying to make our plane more complex, rather than present it in its original simplicity.

As we exited the checking station with our heads downcast, our minds were racing to arrive at a solution to this impossible quandary. Not having brought any spare parts or a backup model, we needed a miracle. In a sheer act of desperation, I lunged for a piece of dirty, footprint-marked oak tag paper that lay superfluously on the floor. “Perhaps we could create a plane out of this,” I exclaimed to my partner. My partner grabbed the paper and then knelt on the floor, immediately fashioning several folds. The material shifted hand-to-hand, from my partner to me; oblivious of the people walking around us ridiculing our efforts, we developed an original plane. Quickly, after testing the modest prototype a couple of times, I added some more folds on the wings, and then rushed to check it in, wanting desperately to save our school’s reputation.

A couple of hours later, during the competition, as we observed models with sophisticated designs created from wood as well as plastic, we recognized that our plane was essentially an ordinary fish in an ocean full of super sharks. One-by-one planes glided through the air; then it was our turn. My partner held the plane in his right hand, spun it around once, and released the plane with an elegant throw. The plane flew in circles, managing to stay afloat for almost twenty seconds. I was shocked; I had expected the plane to come crashing down after only two-to-three seconds. We high-fived and walking to our team’s room, joked about winning the event.

When an announcement declared our plane the winner, we were indubitably confounded; how could a model fabricated from discarded paper triumph over more expensive and comprehensive models? Significantly, this instance proved that complexity does not necessarily guarantee success; sometimes simplicity is key. Indeed, after this event, I have come to realize that many other well-known entrepreneurs, inventors, and thinkers share this reckoning – from Virgin Founder Richard Branson to famous Jazz musician Charles Mingus who is quoted to have stated: “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”

Having learned this essential life-lesson, next objective: to invent, design, and impact the world through powerful simplicity.

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The Beauty of Simplicity: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, Jun 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from
“The Beauty of Simplicity: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 04 Jun. 2018,
The Beauty of Simplicity: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Nov. 2022].
The Beauty of Simplicity: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Jun 04 [cited 2022 Nov 27]. Available from:
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