3 March 2019

Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you. Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study.

“Look, Mommy, the sun is playing peekaboo with the clouds,” I told my mother, squeezing her hand and squinting at the temperamental sky. It was my first metaphor, although I was unaware of it at the time; I was three years old.

Even before I could read, I harbored a natural affinity for the English language, picking up new words easily and using them in unexpected ways. I would string them together like beads on a necklace, carefully selecting and rearranging them for the most ear-pleasing sentence. For me, words were more than a way to communicate – they were a form of art.

As I delved into the written word I began to recognize writing as a powerful tool for expression.

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I turned to poetry and short stories to capture childhood moments, expanding my vocabulary and becoming skilled at transferring raw emotions and ideas onto paper. My parents encouraged me to make frequent trips to the library, and I often staggered home beneath the weight of a pile of novels.

When I entered high school as a published author and poet, my writing continued to mature. Although I still marveled at the versatility of language, I now wielded my pen with a more defined sense of purpose. I understood that words could be used for more than the aesthetic appeal that got me through my English essays. They could be used to educate, to inform, and to spread awareness.

By junior year, I had transitioned to journalistic writing, and then to more specialized exposition for my advanced science and history classes. I found myself writing more than ten essays and articles a week on topics from 19th century transcendentalism to the inner workings of the digestive system. I realized that I truly enjoyed being the author of this steady flow of writing. I enjoyed the exhaustive research, frenzied note-taking, and accelerated mastery of subjects that writing a comprehensive essay entailed. But most of all, I enjoyed the final product: a piece of writing as meaningful and expressive as it was well-written.

Cornell calls out to both my affinity for writing and my longing for more than just a conventional path in English literature. It spreads its advantages in front of me like ripe fruits: a flexible, progressive English program; abundant opportunities for creative writing; a selective Honors program with its indispensable Senior Honors Essay – the list goes on. In the College of Arts and Sciences, I could pursue writing not just for its own sake, but as a double-major in conjunction with a more applicable study, such as Biology. In this way, I can combine passion with practicality, developing my literary skills but also preparing myself for a tangible career in writing. .

Editor’s Note: Rachel’s essay did in fact help admit her to Cornell, although she chose UC Berkeley.

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