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What Matters Most: College Admission Essay Sample

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If I were to follow Henry David Thoreau’s advice to simplify my life and eliminate any unnecessary possessions, I would find myself with perhaps half a dozen of the most important left. It is said that one can tell a lot about a person by his most prized possessions. Knowing this, I made a good effort to think of what objects are really necessary in my life, and the following are some that I would retain.

First, I would keep my soccer boots. While my teammates eagerly browse through soccer catalogues each September and buy the latest European models, I have proudly worn my beat-up Adidas Copa Mundial boots for three years – the entire span of my Varsity soccer career. Like most meaningful relationships, the bond between my cleats and me was unplanned; I had no intention of holding on to these boots for three years when I first bought them. I guess they sort of grew on me, almost like extensions of my feet. I treat them with leather conditioning and buffering after each use, and have found that in reciprocity they treat me very well on the field. My boots have such a great meaning because playing soccer has been such a great outlet for me during high school – kicking the ball around has always been a stress reliever and an effective relaxation technique. My boots seem to represent everything that the sport of soccer means to me, which has thus far been a great deal. Hopefully, come next fall, my boots and I will be able to play some intense games on the Stanford Club team.

Another possession that I would need to keep would be my library card (provided, of course, that access to a public library be available). To me, this little strip of plastic is much more valuable than any credit or debit card look-alikes. One may cringe at the cliche, but the world is genuinely at my fingertips when I have my card with me. Virtually any intellectual interest of mine can be satisfied by a trip to the library, for there is sure to be some book or reference that has the answer to my question or wonder. I do not want to give the wrong impression here; my library card is not entirely about answering questions. I have found that getting lost in a book and reading for leisure are great ways to pass time. Whether I end up borrowing a Middle English version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a copy of The Federalist Papers, or a Spanish novella like Como Agua Para Chocolate, my card represents a wealth of knowledge and fun that greets me as soon as I walk in through the automatic double doors of the public library.

“A dog is a man’s best friend,” as the old adage goes. I believe this to be true. Don’t get me wrong – human friends can be and usually are fantastic companions. The problem is that human interactions and relationships can often become complicated or forced. This can never happen with a dog. For instance, take my 2-year-old Yellow Lab Scout. He doesn’t hold any grudges. No matter what, Scout always wags his tail when I get home and is sincerely happy to see me. Some might call this a lack of emotional depth, but I call it a sign of true friendship. Unlike some girls, Scout will never become angry should I forget to call, and unlike some guys, Scout will never get upset because I may play too physically on the basketball court. He was my friend yesterday, is my friend today, and I know that he will be there for me tomorrow and all the days to follow. While not a true ‘possession,’ I would definitely include Scout on this list – that I must leave him behind when I go to college is sure to be one of the hardest aspects of the whole transition.

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