My Common App Essay – Escape the Labyrinth

On nous répète souvent que dans un dossier de candidature pour les facs américaines, ce qui compte, c’est les “essays.” Pourquoi? Parce que c’est ce qui permet aux directeurs des admissions de mieux comprendre notre personnalité et le chemin que l’on a fait jusqu’ici.

Cacher nos erreurs de parcours? Mauvaise idée. Mieux vaut les expliquer, et en détail. Pour moi, ce n’était pas evident. Je n’avais pas vraiment envie de dévoiler qui j’étais et je ne savais pas comment raconter mon histoire en 650 mots.

Et puis j’ai réalisé que ce qui comptait, ce n’était pas les obstacles que j’avais rencontrés, mais la manière dont je les avait surmontés: en écrivant. De fil en anguille, j’ai réussi à mettre des mots sur ce blog que certaines d’entre vous lisent depuis 2014.

J’ai décidé d’être entièrement honnête, convaincue que l’université à laquelle cette histoire parlerait serait celle qui me conviendrait le mieux. Et j’ai réussi mon pari.

Dans cet article, je vais donc partager avec vous cette rédaction. J’ai gardé la version originale en anglais pour que vous lisiez mot pour mot ce que les universités qui m’ont acceptée ont lu.

Avant que vous lisiez ce texte, je voudrais vous remercier. Merci de lire ce que j’écris, que ce soit depuis 4 ans ou depuis aujourd’hui. Sans votre soutien, je n’aurais pas eu la force de continuer beaucoup plus loin. Sans votre soutien, je n’aurais pas trouvé le courage de me lancer dans cette aventure américaine.

Merci, merci, merci. Pour chaque message, chaque clic, chaque commentaire, chaque partage. J’espère que ce texte vous plaira.

Admission officers will often tell you that your application essays matter just as much as your scores, given universities’ “holistic review” process. Essays matter because they allow the people looking at the 15689th file to a) stay awake when reading stories that spark their interest, and b) understand who you are as a person and your overall path in life so far.

At first, I was scared to talk about the struggles I had faced and hesitant to reveal my entire story. Besides, I had no clue how to summarize all that in 650 words.

And then I realized that i didn’t need to make a list of all the difficult times in my life, but rather explain how I overcame them — that is, by writing. After this rather reassuring epiphany, I was able to put words on this blog that some of you have been following since 2014.

I decided to be completely honest and I opened up about my depression. I was convinced that the university who would appreciate my story would be the right one for me. And it all worked out perfectly.

Today, I’m in my second semester as a freshman at Boston University, and that’s all thanks to you guys. 

Before you read, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to all of you for reading my blog posts, because I am not sure I would have made it without your support, and I sure as hell wouldn’t have dared to apply to U.S. colleges if it wasn’t for the confidence you all gave me. I never celebrated the anniversary of this blog, but hopefully this article will make up for it. Happy reading!

Prompt: “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.”

I was named after Ariadne, the Cretan princess who helps Theseus leave the labyrinth and escape the minotaur. I’m no princess, but I do share the same purpose: to help people find their path to happiness and escape the labyrinth of negativity in their life.

It’s a rainy day in Paris. The wind is slapping against my face, but I keep walking and enter the coffee shop. I grab my burning hot latte and sit at my usual spot, ready to do my greatest passion: blogging. As I press the keys of my keyboard, I come to life.

I let my mind wander, immediately noticing the color of the sky. It is completely gray, just like it was four years ago, on a random Thursday afternoon that changed my life forever. At the time, I felt depressed. Bullied in sixth grade for confidence and my passion of learning, I was convinced that staying quiet would allow me to fit in, but it also caused me to give up on my happiness. Locked in my own mind, I felt myself slowly fading away. But on that day, while staring at the clouds, I came up with a crazy, brilliant idea: to start a blog.

Posting anonymously meant that I could speak freely, without fearing others’ judgment, and just like that, blogging gave me my voice back. But it did not stop there.

Since I needed inspiration for my posts, I looked for all the beautiful and interesting parts of my little world that made my life a little brighter, which I had just learned to appreciate.

Blogging saved me, because it made my perspective on the world shift entirely. It felt like finding the perfect pair of glasses that allowed me to see the world differently. I could finally focus on the parts of my life that mattered, making me realize that staying alive was worth it.

Through blogging, I found a passion for photography, computer science and communications. Together, they inspired me to challenge myself and leave my comfort zone, like traveling across the world for an exchange program in Seattle, or doing an internship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Thanks to my work in the United States, I became determined to create a life for myself that I love and cherish, and to inspire others to do the same.

After traveling multiple times to America, I am amazed of American people, as they continuously strive to make the world a better place through their positivity, passion, and motivation. They have inspired me to go to college in America, so that I can learn from them and help change the world, just like I try to do through my blog posts. Together, we can find a way out of the labyrinth.

To all the high schoolers applying to college: being unapologetically yourself is the key to finding your home away from home.

With all my love,

xo, Ari

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