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Tiger: College Admission Essay Sample

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Miles inward from the shimmering white beaches of Hawaii, I trekked along beaten island roads to my destination – a small animal refuge playfully named the “Boo Boo Zoo.” As the car pulled up, a heterogeneous mix of cats and chickens inhabited the driveway. I was in the right place. A scruffy old man bearing two baby goats in each arm approached the main gate and ushered me in while fending off a horde of kittens who were trying to escape. “Welcome to the Boo Boo Zoo.”

It was official; I was out of my comfort zone. Part of me was unsure why I was doing volunteer work on my dream vacation, but part of me knew this was where I wanted to be and this was where I should be. Preceding travel excursions were spent soaking up fun in the sun – the typical cliché family vacations. That was what I was used to; restaurants every night, corny family pictures on the beach, mountains of brochures for every tourist attraction possible. However, as soon as I stepped onto the plane traveling halfway across the world, I knew that not only would this vacation be different, but I also would be different. My intuition could not have been more on point. Laying out a towel and sleeping the day away in the sun was no longer on my relaxation agenda (yes, I had a relaxation agenda). I wanted to explore, to help and to learn. After a cup of coffee and roughly ten minutes of browsing the internet, I found my vocation in paradise – the Boo Boo Zoo.

We entered the house, and I had never seen anything like it before – easily over a hundred cats were scurrying around at any given time. They were everywhere; on every table, on/in the washer and dryer, under every crevice and around every corner; there were even cats in wheelbarrows. The guide escorted me into a single room with its own set of furry friends. I didn’t realize it then, but walking into that room would change my perspective on life forever. One cat in particular sticks in my memory; I named him Tiger because of his orange, black and white complexion. Here, I learned that severe burns had brought Tiger to the refuge. As the man elaborated, he revealed that a group of men, who were high on heroin, threw Tiger into a wildfire. My jaw dropped. Not only did the inhuman nature of such an action blindside me, but I was also astounded by the cat itself. I’ve lived with cats my whole life, and Tiger was easily one of the most outgoing, loving cats I had ever encountered. How could an animal that has been put through so much unjustified pain be such a source of joy and happiness? At that moment, all of the puzzle pieces fell into place.

Five hours later, I departed from the Boo Boo Zoo, and spent the entire ride back to the condo in pensive tranquility. My mind was rushing over what I just experienced. The picture in my mind became clearer than the sky blue waters of Hawaii. No longer would I ask, “What can I do for me?” Instead the question became, “What can I do for the world around me?” At that moment I attained what it means to be an adult, what it means to be selfless, and what kind of joy this altruism can bring to my life. Instantaneously, I stepped out of childhood and leaped into adulthood. I wanted to help not just all of the Tigers in the world, but every living being that has been beaten down and just needs a hand to reach out to them to show the kindness humanity is capable of. If a small cat could change my world, then why can’t I do the same for others?

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Tiger: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, May 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from
“Tiger: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 16 May 2018,
Tiger: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Jun. 2022].
Tiger: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 May 16 [cited 2022 Jun 27]. Available from:
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