College Admissions Essays - A Photograph

721 Words 3 Pages
College Admissions Essays - A Photograph

Attach a small photograph (3.5 x 5 inches or smaller) of something important to you and explain its significance.

At an age when my friends’ floors were strewn with toys, dirty clothes, or video-game cartridges, mine was smothered in paper of all sorts — books, magazines, reams of white and college-ruled, paper bags, paper airplanes. This pattern has survived, and it is representative of the way I live. The house of my life is built on a foundation of paper.

Certainly this element is crucial in all our lives. From money to facial tissues to news to playing cards, paper is a vital organ of the body politic. And I, as a student, laden with schoolwork (and college
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At the age of thirteen, I caused myself some jaw trouble through excessive use of paper as a substitute for chewing gum, though I have largely overcome that habit. In prescribing the role of paper, I can be picky — college-ruled, never wide-ruled, because more words fit on the former — but I can also be flexible — using napkins to scribble visual aids during mealtime conversation.

But as significant as what I chose for this photograph is what I did not choose. Fancier objects would have been inappropriate, because ostentatious materialism is meaningless to me. Sure, a few of the habits I have acquired require more expensive materials — programming is difficult to do, and impossible to do usefully, in the absence of a computer; likewise for chess without a board or pieces — but, for the most part, my interests require little more than scribbling equipment. I am a believer in resourcefulness. Do as much as you can with the facilities at your disposal, I say; hence, armed with paper and pens, I can (in theory) keep myself entertained all day. In the mathematical world, greater value is attached to a proof of a difficult theorem if it uses only the most elementary techniques; perhaps my inheritance of this esthetic is reflected in my preference for building a life from the simple tools of paper and pens. I spurn more elaborate equipment. Why use a calculator when you can do computations