University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Application Essay Sample on Family and Relationships

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College Application Essay on Family and Relationships

Essay by Dori Chandler

I identify Laetitia by the tights scented with French perfume in my sock drawer, her ten-pound black boots, which still live in my closet, and her beautiful laugh I hear over the phone every so often. Laetitia lived with us as an exchange student in 1994, the year my youngest sister was born. She was the first and only big sister I have ever had. Laetitia got my room and I moved in with my sister. From my eightyear-old perspective, she towered over me; she was tall and beautiful, a French masterpiece. Laetitia taught me so much over the year she lived with us and has continued to do so till today. During Chanukah, as we lit the Menorah she began to cry—remembering her father who had recently passed away. She was the first "adult" I saw cry. Laetitia taught me what a baguette, chocolate mousse, and crepes were, and how amazing it was to listen to her converse in French over the phone. When Laetitia left, I moved back into my old room but there was a void; my family felt it too. So, four years later we visited Laetitia in France. Her family was so welcoming and generous, even if we didn't always understand each other. In 2000, we went again for her wedding, a French Jewish Sephardic wedding. Her culture and language may be vastly different from my own, yet the love and care we have for each other is the same. I believe her scent in my top sock drawer will linger forever.

Dori Chandler attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Essay Review

a whiff of french perfume

Scents can leave a lasting imprint on our minds—a fact that Dori Chandler uses to her advantage in the essay below. She doesn't waste her breath telling about the importance that memories of a foreign visitor hold for her. The memory of French perfume in her sock drawer says it all. At only 261 words, this essay will put a smile on the face of any admission officer staring at a pile of applications on a cold winter's night. The bookend reference to the perfume in the last sentence helps the essay end with a flourish.

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