Taking the Dare

by Josh Braaten
(Scottsdale, Arizona, USA)

Excellent College Admission Essay - This essay helped me get admitted to Barrett, the Honors College, the honor college at Arizona State University.

“I shall be telling this with a sigh / Somewhere ages and ages hence: / Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference” (16-20). These words of Robert Frost in his poem “The Road Not Taken” have been inspirational to me, daring me to traverse the unfamiliar road of new experiences. Daring myself to travel down this road, regardless of the chance of success or failure, “has made all the difference” (20) in my educational journey, and my life.

My parents say I was “born with a mouse in my hand” (a computer mouse, that is). I was five when I got My First Laptop™. At nine, I was checking computer programming books (Java, C++, HTML, MySQL, and more) out of the library and even taught myself these languages during the time I was playing Little League baseball. The computer programming trumped baseball, and I began insularly learning about the computer during my freshman and sophomore years in high school. In addition, my math skills became an enormous asset to my computer endeavors. However, something was missing. “Yet knowing how way leads on to way, / I doubted if I should ever come back,” (14-15) continued Robert Frost in his illuminating poem. Thus, I had to depart from my comfort zone.

When one transcends their fears and takes on a new challenge or attempts something foreign to their norm “in leaves no step had trodden black,” (12) they gain invaluable experience and clear the way for others to follow in their footsteps. This is what I did at the end of my sophomore year. The insular Josh “diverged in a wood,” (18) or more precisely at Pinnacle
High School. I wanted something I hadn’t attempted before: total involvement in my high school journey. And, what a marvelous journey it has been.

With this divergent path, I created more enjoyment and knowledge in my life and education – I didn’t stick only to what I knew. I honed my leadership skills by being elected into Student Government as well as taking on the responsibility of being a Freshman Mentor and guiding younger peers. I was inducted into the National Honor Society and joined other clubs. I became a real part of Pinnacle. Now, my senior year, I’m vice president of the senior class and of Calculus Squad, secretary and “Big Boss” of Freshman Mentors, and still in NHS. I have been enriched by these travels and have become a more balanced and well-rounded individual, not only in high school, but in my life.

When I reflect on Robert Frost’s poem, I think of myself and how I was in past years, how I am currently, and what the future has in store for me. Hopefully, it takes me to ASU and Barrett, the Honors College, where both of my roads will become one. “…And be one traveler, long I stood / And looked down one as far as I could…” (3-4).

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Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Congratulation to you Josh for getting accepted into Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. This is an excellent college admission essay, and we appreciate you sharing your essay with other students. Good luck to you and be sure to check out our college scholarships.

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