Matilda Flóra Ősz
Oh, my back hurts so much, I sighed while opening my eyes. I heard the murmuring ocean near my head and the quarrel of the seagulls. I did not really understand where I was, my memories were twisted, my mind was blank and my migraine increased as I pushed myself up into a sitting position.
I shouted “Hey, anyone here?” through the forest, but no one answered me.
I knocked. No one answered. I knocked again and again. I opened the door in rage and fear. The landscape changed every few minutes, my clothes’ started to switch colours, and the house I walked into was like a labyrinth.
After walking for hours I stopped, because I saw a badly executed part of the wall. My intuition was right, it was a secret door that led to a bright spot.
The room was built from different coloured cubes and a person was sitting in the middle of this madness of a place.
Are you alright? I asked. They answered with only two words: never better.
Can you tell me where am I? I said.
You are in a painting. To be exact in all of the paintings in the Lorenzo Museum. You are trapped, they said calmly.
How can I get out? I panicked. I could not even breath properly, I do not even think I articulated all of the words.
You cannot. I tried. For 172 years. You will not feel hunger or fatigue, but in exchange you will not feel anything. You will forget you. But until it happens let’s have a good time, shall we? Tell me about yourself.
They pointed to the corner of the Piet Mondrian, indicating that I should sit down for this.
Kitti Lili Tupi
It’s been dark … dark for a few minutes but it feels like eternity. As I squint my eyes, I feel some kind of pressure. It’s pretty heavy yet it feels good, at least for a couple of minutes. I am in an idyllic state. The soft touch of a fabric which has a light pink wash is actually pleasant. However, the pressure it puts on my lungs is unbearable. I try to lift up my arms to help myself, but I can’t. Suddenly I stop thinking about the pressure, time slows down, the light dims and my breath is getting slower by the second. I think about little things in life, the little butterflies in my stomach when we go up a hill and suddenly down; as I feel the butterflies I get a hit on my head. And reality hits, my life is flashing down my eyes as my heart rate drops from the sky to the floor in a matter of seconds. I start to panic, I can’t focus on breathing, I actually skip a few minutes, my thoughts feel heavy. It is like I am storing thousands of kilograms in my head while trying to remember how I used to breathe. My mouth is shut, the heavy silk is on top of it. My nose … I cant feel it, not sure if it is present or just a silly nonexistent memory that i used to have one. Suddenly I drop a few meters down my bed, the silk is all over my body. The pretty pink fabric is now lightweight, just like feathers. Now I can take deep breaths, which finally provide enough oxygen to survive. Enough to make me stay alive. I think I am in the happiest state of life; as I hold the peace of satin my heart drops once again. Now I open my eyes and can see my own room. I am in pink satin pajamas and feel like I am finally living.
Why reading? When I hear someone talking about books, they usually discuss required readings and how boring or senseless these stories are. Even though sometimes I totally agree with them, I think reading is an awesome thing that you can do in your freetime. In this essay I want to write about what I find fantastic in this activity, hoping that I can encourage some of you to start a book and fall in love with reading (and if you don’t, that’s okay too).
Reading to me is like a lover who always comes back, quietly, so I don’t even notice. Sometimes when I read a book, I can’t put it down, and even if I do, I feel like somehow I’m still in the story. Sometimes I can’t even look at the letters. I have had both horrible and wonderful reading experiences, but with every book I have read, I have somehow become more than I was before. I even got to the point where I want to create my own story, but that’s another matter.
If someone asked me about my favorite book, I probably couldn’t answer, because when I read something that really touches me, it’s like a part of my soul stays with the book. Even though some of them claim a bigger part of my soul than others.
One of these books is The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This book has everything in it. Family, friendship, loss, grief and love. Salvador, the protagonist and also the narrator, is a young high schooler. He tells the readers his story with a little bit of sarcasm and humour, but (and this is my favorite thing in the book) he is totally honest. It’s not a fantasy or a romance, neither a thriller nor a crime story. It’s just about feelings, and that’s the power in it. At least for me.
One of my favorite things in reading is that I feel like I’m in another world, which is so much more than this one. When I’m reading, I feel that I am so much more than in reality. I feel like I am that girl who I can only dream to become, I feel like I’m the protagonist. When I read, I feel like I’m at home. The other thing I find good in this activity is that when people see that I am reading, some of them will probably think that I am an intelligent and clever being. I have already screwed them, and we haven’t even talked.
And why would I recommend reading to you? Because it’s fun! When you choose a book, it doesn’t have to be a classic, it doesn’t have to be fantasy or romance. Reading is about you, and it’s about getting to know yourself, travelling to new places, new worlds or even old ones. It makes you more than you were before.
I chose walking as a topic because I really like it. I think this is my favourite activity.
I also chose walking because I couldn’t think of anything else. I think walking is an important practice.
I go for a walk almost every day if i can. I usually listen to music while I’m walking, which makes it even better. I started walking because I had too many things on my mind at the same time and I was just home all day, so I needed some way to unplug. I haven’t been walking regularly for a long time, but so far I really like it.
I like to go for a walk because I can switch off while doing it. When I’m sad, nervous, or just not feeling well, I can go for a walk and clear my mind. Sometimes I get so into it that I can walk for hours. I also love it because I can be out in nature and breathe some fresh air.
There were famous people who liked to walk: for example, Nietzsche.He was a famous philosopher, and he said: “Sit as little as possible; do not believe any idea that was not born in the open air and of free movement.” When he was writing The Wanderer and His Shadow, he walked for up to eight hours a day, all alone. Every now and then he would stop to scribble notes in small notebooks. Almost the entire book was thought out and composed during his walks.*
Walking is different things to different people. To Nietzsche, walking was more than relaxation; it was where he worked best.
I recommend it to everyone because I think it’s very relaxing and can fix your mood. Walking is also good for your health, because at least you’re moving a bit. So if you’re not in a good mood or you just want to get some exercise, then I definitely recommend it because it’s a really good activity.
*Source: Farnam Street, “A Philosophy of Walking,” https://fs.blog/a-philosophy-of-walking/ (summary of A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros [Verso Books, 2015]).
Behind Blue Eyes
The first impression you make on your new classmates can determine your place in the school hierarchy for the whole time you spend there. You might get to hang out with the popular kids and know a lot of your fellow (popular) students and be best friends with everybody. You go shopping and partying together, and you even hang out with the (popular) seniors in a big group of (popular) friends. As for me, the first impression didn’t work well.
It might be because I am not afraid to voice my opinion, which is often in the unpopular category. An argument that goes against the mainstream, presented a bit aggressively, can determine your fate in school. Now you look like you hate everyone. Congratulations, here’s your place at the bottom of the school hierarchy.
But am I really an aggressive student? Am I really threatening the other students that I’ll roundhouse-kick their heads off? I am not, and I have never wanted to do that or done that. One of the basic teachings of martial arts is not to act violent unless it’s necessary. I, as a karate-student for fifteen years, follow this principle. I don’t use this hobby of mine to show off and bully, but for my own self-development, fulfillment and endurance.
One of the other bases of karate and every martial art style is respect. However, the that respect is earned and not automatically given, which I also agree with. Still, when having to listen to others, I always remain silent to give them respect, which they many times refuse to do when I’m the one talking. I believe in general respect: if you are being respectful and honest with me and take me seriously when needed, I’ll give it back to you, and vice-versa.
I try to stick to my principle of “silent greatness.” I do what I have to, I fight for achieving goals in terms of having good grades, being helpful, doing everything with the best attitude and maximum effort without bothering others, even if sometimes I fail in that. However, if I didn’t make mistakes or ask questions, I wouldn’t be able to bring out the best in me.
“In a warrior’s code there’s no surrender” (Survival – Burning Heart). This is the mindset I want to follow, whenever I face a challenge. I would rather be called an overachiever or a nerd and take pride in that, than be seen as someone who doesn’t do anything for his/her goals, and then blame others for not being successful. No matter how long it takes to succeed, I will never give anything or anyone up. I will persevere: as a karate-student who wants to become a master one day, as a girl who loves to draw who wants to become an architect, but most importantly as a good person, who can always walk with her head held high, smiling to the world and living the fullest life possible. For that, I am willing to try, fail, and retry. I want to become successful, learn new things, such as languages (I already speak three languages besides Hungarian: I am advanced in German and English, and at the beginner level in French), other martial arts, and playing instruments.
Another thing about me is that I don’t want to be put in a box and be “that given type” of girl in the university, and I dislike the whole concept of putting people in boxes while having a complex personality. I am the type of person who can easily have small conversations with athletes, the band kids and the members of the book club as well, because there is hardly anything that I am not interested in.
I hope this essay has offered a perfect depiction of my personality and qualifications that will give my application a higher chance of being accepted.
Yes or No?
Saying yes to everything was part of my personality. I could not refuse anybody: I was in every ridiculous game that my best friend thought up, I took part in every competition and extracurricular activity that my teachers asked me to attend, I sent my solved homework to every classmate who wrote me a message requesting it. It did not feel right to reject them. I felt like I was obliged to meet their expectations, regardless of whether I did it with my whole heart or not.
Around sixth grade, I was really overwhelmed due to my “habit.” My parents saw that it would not end well, so they sat down and talked with me. I was asked to reconsider all offers before I automatically accepted them. I did as I was told—what a surprise—but I think I misunderstood the whole thing, and I threw the baby out with the bathwater. I started to say no, and it became my new routine.
I stopped attending the drama club, I stopped participating in poetry recital competitions, I did not accept the leading role in my class. At first, it worked well: I had less work and, of course, less stress. However, as time passed I got used to refusing everything without real consideration.
The turning point arrived when I started secondary school. I met new people, new individuals who were so inspiring and different from those I had met before. They took part in everything that I rejected without any second thoughts, and I felt myself being lame. In such wise, I started to activate myself, but learned from my previous mistake: I reconsider every opportunity twice at least, and accept them only if I truly want to.
This is how I became the one I am now. I do not fear to say no any more, but I am not isolated from anything. I have been on both extremely radical sides, but neither of them was good. I needed some time to be mature enough to find the golden middle road, but I am so glad to accomplish it and stop being a robot that can only say yes or no. My personality formation is still in progress, but in my opinion the first few steps have already been taken successfully.
It All Started with a Hamster
On a warm spring afternoon a five-year-old little girl experienced one of the best days of her life at that time. When she arrived home after kindergarten, she saw something small moving in a cage. It was a dwarf hamster, her first pet. Of course the family had dogs and cats, but it was different; this was her own pet, only hers.
This little girl was me. I always knew that I loved animals, but this was the moment when I realised how much I actually like them. After that hamster I almost always had my own pet besides our family’s ones. As years passed by and I got older, I started to show more and more interest in nature and biology. With this growing interest, a crystal-clear idea of my dream future started to form in my head: the idea of becoming a doctor and helping those in need.
Based on everything that I have already mentioned, anyone would think that I would like to become a vet. Well, this is only partly true; at first I thought that it would be the career of my dreams, and I still think it is an amazing idea, but it is not my biggest desire anymore. In the past years I decided that I would like to become some type of doctor, but not a vet.
My love for nature has not changed, for sure. I just realised that I do not necessarily have to have a job related to it to help. One of my closest friends always says that I love animals too much to become a vet. Since I am shy in front of people who are not that close to me, not many people know this about me. When I spend time with my close friend group I am actually very open and talkative, and I love hanging out with them.
In conclusion I am sure that I can fulfill my dreams by becoming a doctor. I know that this journey will be hard and will consume a lot of energy and time, but I feel more than ready to start it, and in the end it will be worth all the hard work put into it.