Essay on Intellectual Interests

Almost all students applying to college will need to write an essay describing their intellectual interests. This lets the college know what a student is interested in and wants to study at the university. It can also be modified to address other essay questions including, "Who are your favorite authors?" and "Which of your personal qualities or passions do you value most?" The key is to interpret the questions creatively and apply them to your own personal characteristics. Below is a sample essay that one student used to get into her dream college:

Words are precious to me, which is why I find writing this essay so challenging and so exhilarating. I take pride in my own words, choosing them with such scrutiny. Words are one of the most potent forms of expression. Their power is sometimes abused and often taken for granted by society and individuals. But in the end, they are what make humanity so special. In fact, the 1452 invention of the mass distribution of words through the printing press led the History Channel to just name Johannes Gutenberg the most influential man in modern history.

The powerful expression gained from words is easily taken for granted. I did not truly appreciate it until a couple of years ago when the ability to fully explain myself was obstructed by a foreign language barrier. I have always been a linguistic connoisseur. My love of French led me to Corsica in the summer of my freshman year. I simply stared into my friend Philo’s eyes, stuttering to explain the full depth of my sad state after hearing the tragic story she had just told me. I had understood what she’d said in French but could not express to her my feelings. Two days later I realized that I needed to push myself to truly speak French fluently if I ever hoped to penetrate this lingual wall. My passion for this melodious Romance language has left me yearning to learn and absorb Spanish and Italian language and culture, too.

Language and written documents allow us to learn about history, another one of my passions. The words and biases in primary and secondary sources throughout history transfer different information to future generations. History depends on words, the right words. Other subjects like psychology study how words are an external manifestation of our inner beings—after all, the way words translate and sometimes misrepresent our thoughts and feelings is at the essence of our intellectual and emotional nature.

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