My College Essay

Fri Mar 16 2018

Students hate writing essays. It is easy to get wrapped up in the traditional 5 paragraph essay which is dull and boring. When writing a college essay, you have more freedom since you are telling a personal narrative. Since you are writing a story, you want to make it interesting. You should not rephrase the prompt which you are responding to, and you should not write about anything that the admissions office already knows. Your application already mentions all the clubs, classes, sports, and volunteer service you do-- so don’t mention them.

I don’t want to go off on a huge tangent about how to write the perfect college essay, I’m not an expert. However, I would like to share my personal college essay which got me accepted into RIT and Clarkson last year. As a computer science applicant, it is a great idea to write your college essay based on the programming experience you had outside of school.

/**
 * Title: HTTP ERROR 500
 *
 * Prompt: Describe a problem you’ve solved
 *
 * @author Jeffery Russell
 *
 * September 13, 2016
 */

#include <stdio.h>

main()  
{  
printf("

        On a dim screen in the corner of my room flashed the dreadful message- HTTP
    ERROR 500. That simple warning taunted, probed, and questioned my mind for
    hours on end. As I pivoted my binocular gaze from the computer to out the
    window, I saw the front yard dimly lit by the drowsy moon. Time for a second
    stood still as the crickets chirped and the trees swayed in the cool summer
    breeze. Closing my eyes for that second of silence made me realize how tired
    I really was. A beeping, piercing, and dinging sound focused my gaze back to
    the computer. Still flashing was that error reminding me that I had a long
    night ahead.
    
        For the past two weeks I had been working on an employee management system
    for a store. This web based system was to keep track of employee hours for
    payroll. The project was near complete; however, there was a few bugs left
    to fix. The most annoying of which was password verification for the
    webform. Now nearing the end of the development cycle, the project was
    suppose to go live tomorrow.
    
        Debugging a project is often a daunting task for programmers. Simply finding
    an error is like finding a misspelled word in the dictionary. Correcting the
    misspelling may be easy but finding that word is another story. What I love
    about programming is that the program does exactly what I tell it to do. If
    it makes a mistake it’s because I told it to, not because it feels tired, or
    doesn't like me. Every bug, error, and glitch I unintentionally create.
    These bugs eventually come out to the surface like a fish gasping for air.
    An error is never just a mistake. It represents something much larger- an
    error in my way of thinking. Debugging is a process that enables me to
    further understand the program and crush the bug like the parasite it is.
    
        Sitting back in my chair in deep thought I resumed the process of scanning,
    poking, and probing my code for any source of the error. For the past hour I
    narrowed the source of the error to ten lines of dubious code. Pondering
    these lines of code I added an echo statement which allows me to see the
    inner workings of the code. The error became as clear as day, the password
    was not getting hashed: a feature that adds security to password storage.
    Excitedly I typed a few lines of code to fix this problem. Then swiftly I
    pressed execute, only to my disappointment to receive a different error
    code. Eyes glazed over, I realized my mistake. In the process of debugging I
    left a block of code commented out.
    
        On a dim screen in the corner of my room beamed the message- Currently
    Working.

");  
}