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College Essay系列(三十八):2023 哈佛成功文书(1-2)

(2024-05-18 11:13:35) 下一个



来到2023年9月,八月所缺的三篇文书被补齐,分别是Connor的《Waking Up Early》、Tony的《Beauty in Complexity》和Anonymous的《Grandfather’s Butterflies》。Tony和Anonymous的这两篇,其实在一年前在《十篇成功哈佛申请2022》里就已经PO过。而且Tony的这一篇,还同时留在2022里。而Anonymous的那篇《Grandfather’s Butterflies》,本来是《2022》里、作者为Michelle G的那一篇。这时候,《Grandfather’s Butterflies》被从2022文书中替换下来,换上的是一篇作者为Sean的《Butterflies》。除了这两篇外,《2023》还缺一篇才够十篇。Crimson又加了一篇Connor的《Waking Up Early》。等到了2024年3月,被作为Anonymous(Michelle G)的那Grandfather’s Butterflies》又被从2023页面里撤下,换上此时放在《2022》的Sean《Butterflies》。




Harvard Essays 2023 on Crimson

Georgina| Lemonade with no Lemon (Lebanese 1G Girl)

Abby    | Family at Barnes & Noble (Ethiopian 1G Girl)

Marina  | Backyard Four Corners (Cuban 1G Girl)  

Una     | Seeing Without Looking (Latino 1G Girl)  

Simar   | First Haircut At Age 17 (Sikh 1G Boy)

Samantha| I Am A Storyteller (Poem non-eth Girl)

Amy     | The Color of Everything (Diversity non-eth Girl)



第一篇Georgina 的《Lemonade with no Lemon》

With the blazing morning sun beaming through the window, I had an inclination to make a stand to sell Lebanese laymounada - a light lemonade flavored with a splash of rosewater. Throughout my childhood, anytime the temperature spiked over seventy degrees, there would be laymounada waiting for me at my Teta’s (grandmother in Lebanese Arabic) house.

At that moment, I scoured the cabinets and secured the glass pitcher only to realize we did not have lemons. To my disappointment, I realized my days of being an entrepreneur and generating revenue from my laymounada stand were over before they could even begin. I sat at the kitchen table, wallowing in disappointment. I wanted everyone to be able to taste my Teta’s laymounada. Suddenly, I had an idea that would either prove to be inventive or a total failure. I would sell lemonade without the lemons. Revolutionary, right?

I ripped off a rectangular sheet of paper towel and jotted down my business plan. I listed the key elements of the business plan: a drawing of a cup, a rose, and the price- “fifty scents”- to correlate with the rose-themed business. I sat outside of my childhood home located in a cul-de-sac of five houses and sold my neighbors a rose drink- a combination of filtered water, packets of sugar, and a dash of rosewater. Granted, I only made about $10 from a combination of my parents and generous neighbors who did not drink the “lemonade”, but the experience allowed me to realize regardless of the obstacle, if you are passionate, you can persevere. Teta’s laymounada was my introduction to entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneurial skills gained from my laymounada stand allowed me to establish A&G Jewelry, co-founded with my sister when I was twelve. This business focused on representing our Lebanese heritage. Using supplies we found around our house and from our local craft store, we created a variety of pieces that featured traditional Middle Eastern coins, beads, and clay baked into the shape of Lebanon. My sister and I collaborated to create marketing tools to promote our new business. Before we knew it, A&G Jewelry had earned a spot at my church’s annual Lebanese festival. After tirelessly marketing and selling our jewelry for three days straight, we had made over $900 in revenue, which we decided to donate to the church.

Entrepreneurship took a new form in high school when my sister and I founded our second partnership, The Model Brockton City Council. We saw a need to engage our peers in local government by designing a simulation of our city council. We had to collect signatures, present to many administrators, and market our new club. The initial goal to have more people try my lemonade resonated with me as I strived to have more people engage in their civic duties. Today, over twenty-five of my classmates frequently attend my meetings.


With my first business venture selling laymounada, I made $10; with A&G Jewelry, $900; with the Model Brockton City Council, the revenue amounted to $0. Although there was not a financial gain, I attained experience as a negotiator, problem solver, creative thinker, and most importantly, I became persistent.

Twelve years have passed since that summer day with my “laymounada,” and I have yet to maintain a long-lasting business. My six-year-old self would have seen this lack of continuity as a colossal failure, but instead, it instilled an intense curiosity in me. Little did I know the experience would remain so vivid after all these years. It has continued to push me, compelling me to challenge myself both academically and entrepreneurially. As I grow older, my intrinsic drive to have a lemonade stand, regardless of whatever obstacles come my way, persists as a deep-seated love of business.

When life doesn’t give you lemons, still make lemonade (or laymounada, as my Teta would say).

对于这篇文书,Crimson按照Hook-Anchor-Story-Growth结构做出评价。Georgina用一个熟识的“柠檬水”概念做Hook吸引读者注意,再以“缺少柠檬”的现实困难,让故事有了一个反常的元素,使读者愿花时间仔细阅读。全篇的行文中,Georgina写到了很多的细节,让故事充满了fun detail,这满足了叙事写作的”show, don’t tell”的原则,是文章具有可读性。最后,Georgina用自己一系列的”商业”经历,细数了自己从一个只能卖出10美元柠檬水的小女孩,成长为一个有韧性的negotiator、solver、thinker 创业人。到这里,即使还没过任何长期稳定的经营业务,也不妨碍读者得出结论,作者确实是个有成长潜力的选手。



这个结尾的写法,我们在中文写作中都学过,叫首尾呼应。呼应,既可以点睛,也可以升华。这篇的结尾都有。“When life doesn’t give you lemons, still make lemonade”是升华,“laymounada, as my Teta would say”是点睛。

这一篇,结构上有可圈点之处,但在祖孙跨代之间仍缺乏丰富的双线故事,文字本身也距离优秀还有距离。我的给分是A-。我给过A+的文书,目前还只有一篇,就是2018年Cassandra Hsiao的English in our house》。还没有读过的,可以点击链接去补课。

第二篇Abby 的《Family at Barnes & Noble》

Barreling through the hallowed, mahogany double doors, I was on a mission. I made a beeline for the back. Behold, a panoply of new prospects, each beckoning me to read them.

Every weekend, my father, my sister, and I make the pilgrimage to Book Mecca. The sensations one meets upon entering Barnes and Noble are unmatched. The aroma of coffee mingles with the crisp perfume of unopened books, and the tinny music drifts from the ceiling speakers, coalescing with the clanking of the Cafe equipment, which is intermittently overcome by the barista's peppy voice on the PA system announcing the latest limited-edition dessert. Where else can one enjoy a triple-layer cheesecake among bookstacks? As Virginia Woolf says, "one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

My family, however, dines on knowledge. To us, Barnes and Noble is an all-you-can-eat buffet for the mind. After we snag our favorite corner table, I sit, like metal to a magnet, immovable for hours.

I may delve into an Agatha Christie novel and attempt to outwit Detective Poirot; though I never win, I find the sleuthing remarkably similar to analyzing confounders the culprits of unexpected results-in my clinical research. Alternatively, I may crack open an atlas to test my memory from the summer when I memorized the entire world map. Or, I might read Animal Farm to better understand the system that ravaged Ethiopia in the late 20th century and forced my grandfather to flee his own village.

Complimenting this mission to satisfy our voracious minds comes an equally important fulfillment: engaging with the coterie of miscellaneous characters we have befriended. After visiting the same Barnes and Noble for eleven years, we have forged friendships with several regulars, including a retired teacher couple, an octogenarian with a seven-year-old brother, and an eternally sunburned man named George who shelters feral cats at his pool company's office. After a dear Barnes and Noble-goer passed away, my heart was comforted when I read in her obituary that she, indeed, would be missed by "the old [bookstore] gang." United by their good humor and love for Barnes and Noble, this unlikely group teaches me that a community can form around anything, no matter how disparate the members are. They show me that, in Aristotle's words, "educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."

While I have the luxury of Barnes and Noble, my father's reality growing up in rural Ethiopia bears a stark contrast and defines my legacy of education. He received a meager education in a laughable schoolhouse, using sunlight to study by day, and the moonlight by night. When he was nine, my grandfather opened a school so my father could continue beyond 4th grade, unlike many of his peers. My grandfather had no formal education, yet he knew the country's constitution by heart and exhorted nearby villages to educate their children.

My father's dedication to chauffeuring me to the bookstore and the library is an artifact of his father's same dedication. And I am the accumulation of this legacy. Behind me are all of the sacrifices and payoffs of my family's dedication to education, and before me is a lifetime of opportunity and fulfillment. Though I have never met my grandfather, I feel an incredibly palpable connection to him through our shared fervor to learn and teach. My father's and grandfather's stories remind me that education is not a commodity for many, but a privilege that I treat as such. I cherish all of my education's wonderful consequences: the obscure curiosities I have indulged in, the strong sense of identity I have developed, the discernment and morals I have bolstered, the respect I have gained for different viewpoints, and the ambition for excellence that I have inherited and extended. They are what fuel me, my college education, and my drive to pay it forward.

对于这篇文书,Crimson以“aisle essay”来评价其写作手法,给出“excellent”的评估。即,随着讲述,读者可以一个对作者来说比较主观性的时间顺序,一个个细节地经历一个带有community主题的故事,很有带入感。



= = = 后 续 内 容 提 纲= = = 

第三篇,Marina的《Backyard Four Corners》

第四篇,Una的《See without Looking》

第五篇,Simar 的《First Haircut at Age 17》

第六、七量篇,Samantha的《Story Telling》和Amy的《The Color of Everything》


*Connor的《Waking Up Early》

*Tony的《Beauty in Complexity》

*Sean的《Butterfly Identity》


Harvard Essays 2023 on Crimson

Georgina| Lemonade with no Lemon (Lebanese 1G Girl)

Abby    | Family at Barnes & Noble (Ethiopian 1G Girl)

Marina  | Backyard Four Corners (Cuban 1G Girl)    

Una     | Seeing Without Looking (Latino 1G Girl)   

Simar   | First Haircut At Age 17 (Sikh 1G Boy)

Samantha| I Am A Storyteller (Poem ECs non-ethnic)

Amy     | The Color of Everything (diversity non-ethnic)

Tony    | Study Wilderness Art (CA URM Boy)

Sean    | Butterfly Identity (MA Queerness Boy)

Connor  | Working Dad & Me (NH 1G Boy)

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