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The Ten Thousand Foot Descent: College Admission Essay Sample

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A silver eagle gleams as it soars over the Australian countryside on an early Tuesday morning. Inside this majestic mechanical bird, however, I feel nauseated and shiver vehemently despite the heavy suit I have on. The aircraft gives a violent lurch, amplifying the sickness I feel in my stomach. I snatch the paper bag from the pocket integrated into the side of my seat, unleashing a technicolor yawn into the beige sack. “I have to find some way to get out of this,” I think to myself as waves of panic sweep through me. My grip on the seat’s edges blanches my knuckles. “Perhaps I’ll feign a cold, perhaps I’ll complain of a stomachache, perhaps I’ll–” my thoughts are interrupted as Ben, my instructor, steps forward and clips himself to my harness. “You all set?” he inquires as we move toward the airplane’s side door. Despite every fiber in my being screaming a resounding “No!”, I gulp and nod.

Frigid air envelops the cabin as a member of the crew slides open the sizable door. Gusts of chilly wind hammer me and Ben as we step onto the ledge. I scrunch my eyes tightly shut and hold my breath, my heart rate exponentially higher than it was just a few minutes ago. “Here we go!” Ben shouts over the roar of the Cessna’s engine, as we leap off the plane and into Earth’s boundless troposphere.

After what seems like an eternity of free falling, adrenaline begins coursing through my veins, and curiosity triumphs over fear as I reopen my eyes. Heaven’s bulbous, milky cushions lay scattered throughout the firmament, the finishing details to a vista more breathtaking than anything my imagination could possibly concoct. The sapphire-blue ocean repeatedly kisses the edge of a pastoral landscape, which is peppered with dozens of miniature homes. An extensive network of narrow avenues divides the terrain, dotted with microscopic automobiles driven by ants going about their daily routines, seemingly oblivious to the complexities of the world in which they reside. The grand orchestra of life is performing the most intricate of concerts right under my nose.

In this moment of serenity I realize the utility of bringing a galactic perspective to an earthly problem. We spend so much time worrying about what other people think of us or over-analyzing the little mistakes we make; we forget to step back and look at the bigger picture. A rapid descent from ten thousand feet above the ground showed me the triviality of such matters in the grand scheme of things. The one thing I know for sure is that I am a different person than the one that had stepped onto that plane this morning.

A sudden whoosh interrupts my thoughts as my instructor deploys the parachute, slowing the two of us to a gentle glide. Within a few moments we touch down and, thanks to Ben’s proficiency, land on our feet. Ben unclips me before removing his goggles. “What did you think?” he asks. I look up at him and laugh. “Let’s do it again!”

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The Ten Thousand Foot Descent: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, April 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from
“The Ten Thousand Foot Descent: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 28 Apr. 2018,
The Ten Thousand Foot Descent: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 May 2023].
The Ten Thousand Foot Descent: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Apr 28 [cited 2023 May 28]. Available from:
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