SAMPLE SHORT ESSAY SET 1:
Georgetown, Saudi International Relations
For many years, I have been interested in studying international
relations. My interest in pursuing this field stems from several factors
which have affected me. First, I have been exposed to international
affairs throughout my life. With my father and two of my brothers in the
Saudi Foreign Service, I have grown up under the shadow of inter-national
affairs. Second, I am fascinated by history, economics, and diplomacy. I
believe, through the study of international relations, I can effectively
satisfy my curiosity in these fields. A third factor which has affected my
interest in international relations is patriotism. Through the Foreign
Service, I would not only have the opportunity to serve my country, but
also have the chance to help bridge gaps between my country and others.
Finally, as a Saudi living abroad, I have been bridging cultures
throughout my life. This experience has taught me to look for differences
to compromise and similarities to synthesize in order to balance different
cultures. In short, I believe that my experiences in life, combined with a
rigorous academic education, will enable me to pursue a successful career
in the Saudi Foreign Service.
Georgetown, Favorite Class
At St. Albans, especially in our later years, we are given the freedom
to choose from a vast array of classes. Using this freedom, I have
selected classes which have personal significance to me, regardless of
difficulty or appearance on my transcript. However, from these classes,
one holds an extraordinary amount of value to me. This course is A.P.
Omnibus History, a combination of American and European history. There are
several reasons for my great interest in this class. First, I am
fascinated by the cyclical nature of the past. I see these recurring
political, economic, and social trends as a means of looking forward into
the future, while allowing us to avoid the mistakes of the past. Second,
history teaches many lessons about the nature of human behavior, both past
and present, providing insight into the actions, desires, and aspirations
of those around me. Finally, it lays a solid foundation for several
disciplines, including political science, economics, and international
relations, three fields of great interest to me.
Georgetown, Visual Arts
Another major interest of mine, which I have not had the opportunity to
express elsewhere on my application, is the visual arts. Throughout high
school, I have used a variety of media to express myself. I began with
black and white photography, focusing on the presence of lines and balance
in nature. For my work in this medium, I received an award at the St.
Albans School Art Show. From photography, I moved on to glass etching.
Using a sandblaster to etch the glass, I again concentrated on lines and
balance in my works. Moreover, by arranging several glass panes into a
sculpture, I moved my study into three dimensions, winning another Art
Show award. Currently, I am working on canvas, using oil and acrylic in a
Mondrian style, which is based on lines and balance. Eventually, I hope to
explore the effects of combining these and other media, creating my own
style of artistic expression.
In the past four years of my life, no activity has affected me more
than wrestling. Four years of varsity wrestling and the honor of being a
team captain has instilled many qualities in me. First, through years of
hard work and continuous dieting, wrestling has given me discipline. This
discipline has spread to other parts of my personality, including my moral
character, work ethic, and perserverence. Another quality wrestling has
given me is leadership. As a team captain, I have learned to lead by
example, both on and off the mat. Above all, though, wrestling has given
me a love of life. Through this sport, I have experienced pain, sacrifice,
adversity, and success. Exposure to these feelings-which are, in my
opinion, the essence of being-has allowed me to truly appreciate life. I
hope to continue wrestling at Georgetown.
What immediately strikes the reader about this set-before even reading
it-is the balance between the essays. Each answer contains only one
paragraph, each of approximately equal length. The solid structure of each
essay and the focus of each reflects this outward balance. Each one
focuses on a completely different area of its writer’s life, another
striking detail. The first focuses on his career goals, the second on his
interest in history, the third on his interest in the visual arts, and the
fourth on wrestling. This is a perfect example of the jigsaw puzzle
approach. When put together, you have a well-rounded individual with
passion, depth, and involvement in many different areas.