Far from seeming unfinished or unedited, the somewhat stream-of-consciousness style establishes a humorous and self-deprecating tone that makes the reader instantly like the applicant.
More than anything else, it is this writing style that elevates what could have been a fairly superficial statement of personal growth into a truly informative story that showcases the author’s personality.
If this sounds like you, then please share your story. You can’t be the best, or the prettiest, so you have to be “original.” I’ve won the “Most Original” award a fair number of times.
I won “Most Original” pumpkin at a Halloween party years ago. I was even named “Most Original” at a basketball awards banquet. How can anybody be “Most Original” when she’s playing basketball?
I feel like a speck of dust outside the train, floating, content and happy to be between destinations. I speak both English and Chinese: Chinese is for math, science, and process, but I prefer English for art, emotion, and description.
America owns my childhood, filled with pine trees, blockbuster movies, and Lake Tahoe snow; China holds my adolescence, accompanied by industrial smog, expeditious mobility, and fast-paced social scenes. My reverie isn’t at an end, but I have the answer to my question.
With moments to spare, I catch a glimpse of the boarding platform for my train. Like a compass with a broken magnetic strip, I can’t decide my true North.
Like a captain frantically seeking port in a storm, I haul myself through the turbulent ocean of people, trying to avoid being stranded – or trampled – in the dustiest city in the world: Beijing, capital of both China and smog. It is the summer of 2012, and Shanghai isn’t to be home for much longer. Unsettled, I turn to my ever-present book for comfort.
Luckily, I board my train with seconds to spare, and without being turned into a pancake – always a plus. In another week I will cross the globe to start a new life in a foreign land called Charlotte. Today it is by Tim O’Brien, already worn and slightly crumpled.
They say the best books tell you what you already know, resonating with your own thoughts and emotions.