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And remember: you only need to write one essay, not seven. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.If this sounds like you, then please share your story. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve.
My church congregation has always been an integral part of my life as well.
When offered a church organist position in ninth grade the word “organist” immediately conjured up the image of some reclusive, frumpily dressed, senior citizen swaying back and forth filling a cathedral, but it seemed like an intriguing use of my musical ability.
Am I helping other people in their crusade to find faith? Entering church and climbing to the organ loft is my redeeming catharsis.
I play for weddings, and my belief in love and harmony is restored.
The high school senior that submitted the Common App essay below was accepted to Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth and UPenn.
To see this applicant’s full college application with their SAT scores, Princeton supplemental essays, and extracurriculars, click here.There is no other place that I can become as immersed in my music or feel as content.Despite the deep connection that I’ve always had with music and my faith, I had never before felt the serenity and purpose that I feel when playing the opening cadence of the Gloria or the Agnus Dei.And though most students are intimidated by having to do these essays, they often find that once they start writing, they have more to say than the 650-word limit permits.From the Common Application press release: “Based on extensive counselor feedback, the existing essay prompts provide great flexibility for applicants to tell their unique stories in their own voice.” Take a look at the prompts and see what you think, but don’t feel you should start writing anytime soon (today is March 23rd). The earliest most students will have to submit essays is November 1st – though please be mindful of earlier submissions!At the summit of my climb, my feelings of anxiety, frustration, and uncertainty are vanquished as I enter the organ loft -a place where I feel impervious to the outside world and perfectly content.I’ve played piano for as long as I can remember on the well-loved Kreutzer upright that sits in my living room.Some hymns are intimidating to sing, and therefore must be accompanied with the utmost of care.The priest’s chant tone needs to segue into the Mass parts, so I play a soft cue like a pitch pipe.The organ loft is a place where I’m both master and servant.I play hymns in the style that I choose, and get to improvise during communion and other quiet times.