Cornell College Admission Sample Essay on Personal Growth

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Cornell College Admission Sample Essay on Personal Growth

Essay by Juliana DuTremble

It was my fifth birthday. Imagine the joy that must pulse through the veins of a hungry homeless person who just happens to find a winning lottery ticket laying in the gutter. The look on that person's face would be much like the one I wore when tearing apart my present to reveal nothing more than a bag of marbles. The marbles fascinated me. They weren't just pretty pieces of painted glass smoothed into a nice round sparkling ball. There were worlds, whole universes even, contained within the intricate weavings within them. It made my little mind wander through uncharted mind quests, thinking that perhaps my house, my town, my world, was also contained within a marble cherished by another little girl.

One by one, my beloved marbles were swept under the carpets, consumed by the vacuum cleaner, or lost on the playground, until one day I had one marble left. It was a hot, humid day in the middle of June and my mother was outside making some new additions to her perennial flower bed. I'd been observing her work over the past few months and noticed a fairly simple pattern: she would dig a small hole, put in a tiny round object, and a few weeks later there would sprout a beautiful flower. Well, my naive brilliant self had a far better plan, and I at once set forth upon planting my glass ball in hopes of growing a "bed of marbles."

Ten years passed, and the marble garden had been long forgotten. Then one day, my mother was carrying out her annual gardening ritual, when suddenly a shimmering blue-green marble surfaced in the dirt. She hastily called me to her side, placed it in my hand, and instantly the flashback of my childhood endeavor played through my mind. Naturally, I kept the marble in a safe place—the safe place being a zippered pocket in my purse. It was as if I'd suddenly been showered in good fortune from the good-luck gods. At the time, I attributed much of my luck in making it to the county-wide spelling bee to my marble, as well as actually being admitted into the Maine School of Science and Math.

It is with great regret that I report the mysterious disappear- ance of this marble which I have cherished most of my life, as silly as it may be. I would love to finally discover where exactly my marble vanished to. It is a deep shade of indigo, and when you hold it up to the sun it shimmers in an iridescent green that will take your breath away. If you happen to discover my marble laying on a park bench, or upon a table at a yard sale, please, call my toll-free hotline at I-MISS-MY-MRBL. If at all possible, try to make it before I receive my decision letter from Cornell College—I might need a little luck.


Juliana DuTremble attends Cornell College (IA).

Essay Review

When you've lost your marbles

Childhood memories can make for an endearing story, as long as you don't try to wring too much significance out of them. Author Juliana DuTremble tells a story about her childhood curiosity with flair and telling detail. The essay doesn't describe a life-changing transformation, but it is much better than most that strain for one. It ends with a lighthearted reference to the admission process that simultaneously makes the point that Juliana wants to get in, but that she isn't so uptight that she can't poke a little fun at herself.

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