Stanford Essays 2014

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For example, studies showed that a child’s ability to delay eating the first treat predicted higher SAT scores and a lower body mass index (BMI) 30 years after their initial Marshmallow Test.

Researchers discovered that parents of “high delayers” even reported that they were more competent than “instant gratifiers”—without ever knowing whether their child had gobbled the first marshmallow.

Soon the pages of music would be covered in shades of pink, blue, purple, green, and yellow.

Then, after I had spent many hours working on phrasing, rubato, and dynamics, my fingers would finally glide across the piano keys without interruption, as though I were performing in front of thousands of admiring fans at Carnegie Hall.

My mother, convinced that music would be my saving grace, would quietly watch my progress, anxiously wringing her hands.

I approached each new piece of music with an arsenal of markers and high- lighters, marking each section with a different color so I could more easily identify the important transitions and changes.

Maybe their families didn’t use food as a reward system so they didn’t respond to it as a motivator?

Mischel: You have to understand, in the studies we did, the marshmallows are not the ones presented in the media and on You Tube or on the cover of my book.

Simply put, you do not have to write about standing out as a minority (though you can, if this applies to you), you just need to be thoughtful about your experiences and share them in a way that informs the reader that you have perspective and something special to contribute.

Showing rather than telling is of utmost importance in this essay, and is demonstrated in the following sample, in which the author writes about overcoming her struggle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


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