只因这短短几百字,竟然有5所藤校和斯坦福同步录取她!

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在申请美国名校特别是常青藤名校中,散文(essay)十分重要,怀揣留美梦想的考生要读。



Brittany Stinson


在申请美国名校特别是常青藤大学中,一篇五百字的优秀散文分量很重,当然,名校的录取官员阅历无数,都是文笔高手,完全可以分辨出文章是不是“出自本人亲笔”还是“枪手代笔”。



美国顶尖名校的录取率连年下降,申请人数不断增加,竞争日趋激烈,但今年令媒体、考生和家长格外关注的的是,一名叫Brittany Stinson的小姑娘凭一篇令录取官员同步叫好的500字散文,轻松拿到了5所常青藤大学——耶鲁、哥伦比亚、宾西法利亚、达特茅斯、康奈尔 + 斯坦福大学的录取。



她的散文到底怎样?为什么令阅历无数的录取官员拍案叫绝?请立志赴美留学的祖国的考生和家长们都过来看一看。 


斯廷森的一篇有关探索生命及对美国最大仓储式批发商店“好市多”(Costco)热爱的大学申请作文,使得她获得了众多名校的青睐。这篇作文反应了她好奇的个性,并且以她小时候前往Costco的经历为故事背景。

 

她向“商业内幕”透露了自己选择Costco为作文内容的原因:“在我开始写作文前,我读到了一个大学招生老师的言论:如果你写的作文掉在地上,上面没有你的名字,而当你朋友捡到这篇作文时,他(她)应该知道,写作文的就是你!”

 

斯廷森说:“我很认真地思考什么是我独特的个性,我尝试最后得出一道两个我的特点,然后以此来打动招生老师。”

 

斯廷森一家是巴西移民,几年前成为美国公民。斯廷森的父母从未上过常春藤大学,也不是斯坦福大学的毕业生。作为父母唯一的孩子,斯廷森想成为一名医生。她的母亲说,她一直是一个学习能力很强的学生。



题目 


Prompt 1: 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.


有些学生觉得对于一份申请材料来说,自身背景,身份,兴趣爱好或者才艺等因素至关重要,如果你也这么认为, 请和我们讲讲你的故事。


Brittany Stinson's Essay 全文


Managing to break free from my mother’s grasp, I charged. With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious two­ year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning. My mother’s eyes widened in horror as I jettisoned my churro; the cinnamon­sugar rocket gracefully sliced its way through the air while I continued my spree. I sprinted through the aisles, looking up in awe at the massive bulk products that towered over me. Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrial­sized freezers, to explore every crevice. I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples. Before inevitably being whisked away into a shopping cart, I scaled a mountain of plush toys and surveyed the expanse that lay before me: the kingdom of Costco. 


Notorious for its oversized portions and dollar­fifty hot dog combo, Costco is the apex of consumerism. From the days spent being toted around in a shopping cart to when I was finally tall enough to reach lofty sample trays, Costco has endured a steady presence throughout my life. As a veteran Costco shopper, I navigate the aisles of foodstuffs, thrusting the majority of my weight upon a generously filled shopping cart whose enormity juxtaposes my small frame. Over time, I’ve developed a habit of observing fellow patrons tote their carts piled with frozen burritos, cheese puffs, tubs of ice cream, and weight­loss supplements. Perusing the aisles gave me time to ponder. Who needs three pounds of sour cream? Was cultured yogurt any more well­mannered than its uncultured counterpart? Costco gave birth to my unfettered curiosity. 


While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the ‘all beef’ goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty­three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia's workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52” plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson’s controversiality. There was no questioning Old Hickory’s dedication; he was steadfast in his beliefs and pursuits – qualities I am compelled to admire, yet his morals were crooked. We both found the ham to be more likeable–and tender.


I adopted my exploratory skills, fine tuned by Costco, towards my intellectual endeavors. Just as I sampled buffalo­chicken dip or chocolate truffles, I probed the realms of history, dance and biology, all in pursuit of the ideal cart–one overflowing with theoretical situations and notions both silly and serious. I sampled calculus, cross­country running, scientific research, all of which are now household favorites. With cart in hand, I do what scares me; I absorb the warehouse that is the world. Whether it be through attempting aerial yoga, learning how to chart blackbody radiation using astronomical software, or dancing in front of hundreds of people, I am compelled to try any activity that interests me in the slightest. 


My intense desire to know, to explore beyond the bounds of rational thought; this is what defines me. Costco fuels my insatiability and cultivates curiosity within me at a cellular level. Encoded to immerse myself in the unknown, I find it difficult to complacently accept the “what”; I want to hunt for the “whys” and dissect the “hows”. In essence, I subsist on discovery.


如果你在某个周六早上看到Costco里有个精力充沛的两岁小女孩,那可能就是我了。


我妈妈不太愿意带我去Costco,因为一进超市门,我就莫名兴奋,再也管不住四肢,像发现新大陆一般进入一种狂喜状态。


我在过道上冲刺短跑,敬畏的看着身旁堆叠成山的货品,我好奇,我想用触觉,味觉体验身边的一切,我想把头伸到冰箱里,我想钻进每一个缝隙。我像个征服者一般,但不是寻找理想中的黄金国,我的目标是超市各个角落的免费试用品。虽然最后的情节通常都是被我妈乖乖抓进怀里,但那时的Costco对我来说就是神圣一般的存在。


从包罗万象的商品到随手可得的热狗套餐, Costco可以算是消费主义的具象体现。从我还是个只能坐在购物车里眨眼的小女孩,到如今可以独立自由穿梭在货架之间,这座超市算是我童年中不可或缺的一块拼图。


作为一个资深Costco购物者,我可以做到快速定位,分辨不同种类商品的摆放区,并且选择一辆容量巨大的购物车,省时省力。


但更多时候, 我喜欢观察周遭的顾客,看他们推着自己的购物车,装满各种墨西哥卷饼,芝士,几桶冰淇淋,还有减肥药。有时我很好奇,到底什么样的人会买三磅酸奶油呢?


是因为自己发酵的酸奶会比原料口感更好么? Maybe.


就在这样无数个类似场景下,Costco打开了我好奇心的闸门。


当我吃着超市里卖的热狗时,我脑海里出现的不是Costco促销热狗的广告语,而是在思考有限性和无限性,酸奶油的其他创新用法,或是商品从八尺货架上掉下来会做怎样的抛物运动。


从观察每一个购物者的惯性运动,我学到的是最真实的物理知识。


有一次我从超市买了胡桃木熏制的瘦火腿,父亲和我争执一番,因为这是我们从来没尝试过的新口味。毫无疑问胡桃木的品质是很好的,但父亲不太愿意接受改变,他宁愿选择以前常吃的老火腿,就像他的价值观,世界观一样,认定了某件事就不愿再改变,很偏执,甚至强迫我们按照他的意愿行事。虽然最后的结果是,我俩一致觉得新口味更好吃,肉质更嫩。


利用我在Costco收获的这些探索技能,我一点点累积自己的学术成就。了解历史和生物,学习舞蹈,就像我脑海中有一辆容量无限的购物车一样,轻车熟路的收揽所有或严肃,或有趣的学术知识。我学习微积分,参加越野跑,报名科研项目,脑中有这样一辆购物车,就好像有了铠甲,Costco也不仅限于Costco,它的意义早已延伸到全世界。


不管是尝试空中瑜伽,在数百人面前跳舞,或是学习天文图表辐射软件,任何感兴趣的活动我都会义无反顾参加。


我强烈的求知欲,超越理性范围的思考, 一点点堆积成现在的自己。多数人觉得Costco只是一座超市,但就是这座普通的超市在随时供给我的好奇心,激发我探索世界的冲动。


也正是因为这所超市的存在,让我不满于接受现有观点,相反更关注解决问题的原因和过程,不断发现,不断求知。


一个简单的超市购物,小女孩就能写出如此之多的好奇点。美国院校果然对求知似渴的孩子宠爱有加。要知道今年斯坦福的录取率仅有4.69%,比其他任何藤校录取率都低,可想而知小姑娘是如何凭借实力成为黑马的。


来源:网络


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