Hello friends, welcome to another post, as you may know, I was privileged enough to be accepted into Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS) last year under the cause of applied science and engineering and I’m going to read out the 500-word essay that got me accepted into this program and share some tactics that I have personally found helpful in the writing process.
Also, YYGS have posted an article a few years ago on how to write an essay. Prior to my YYGS application, I wished that there were sample essays for me to refer to, and promised myself that if I’m ever accepted, I will make a post about it to help future applicants. So here I am today.
Writing an essay can be a daunting task and often we tend to overcomplicate it which was a problem that I faced in my first few drafts. I used complicated vocabulary words and sentences with the intention to impress YYGS, but lost focus in my essay content.
Ultimately, the essays are here to help you and each question is an opportunity to sell yourself. YYGS receives thousands of competent applicants every year, but why should they choose you? This is where the essay comes in.
Lastly, I hope to commend you on Having the courage to apply for YYGS and hope that you will find this video helpful.
So I decided to write about income inequality in Singapore.
Singapore is a developed country in Asia, which as Google defines it. It’s a state that has a developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations yet as a resident of Singapore, I do experience income inequality in one way or another and it got me thinking, what if there is a way to redistribute wealth, such that everyone is equal.
$100 could be someone’s daily allowance. Yet, It could also be another person’s monthly spending. This divide continues to exist.
Skill, a word yet so easily spoken by filled with so much twist. It inevitably defines who we are, where we stand in our society, our successes, this is a never-ending list.
It is not the number of skills you have but how good you are at it and this fact can surely be missed. Additionally, the skills one depends on for a living has to be unique, something that is not easily done by everyone. Although a cleaner might be very skillful and mopping the floor, this skill can easily be acquired.
Contrary to popular beliefs, how talented you are at a certain task may not be dependent on one’s level of education. Chan Ho man, the chef and owner of the world’s first Michelin starred food store, was a high school dropout. Devotion, he said.
I like to thank there’s an added element of luck to it. My parents are two of the hardest working people I’ve known. They battled with directly economic game, delivering goods in our rack little car. It has always been a pain to me when they come home their hands black and roth from carrying the heavy goods at work, with sweating beats still dripping down from their foreheads. Their attempts of trying to hide that tiredness often fail to numb the pain I feel inside.
In contrast, my ears are often drowned in conversations of misused privilege. My parents only gave me $100 for this week. I think they want me to starve.
My purse is made out of real crocodile skin, but I have to buy other person’s again soon because if I bring the same purse to work people, will think I’m poor. What if there’s a way to redistribute wealth so that everyone is equal.
Income inequality can cause a huge social divide. It is the divide between the Haves and the Have-nots, they are creating tension in our society. These challenges the values that we hold firmly and dearly to ourselves. Skills, like wealth, can be passed on down the generation tree, the transmission of privileges or these privileges host the key to these societal stratification. It is also something that we can easily foresee.
Some children are deprived of their rights to go to school due to this inequality in income, as their families struggle to break into circles of privilege. This vicious cycle will continue to repeat itself. Hence, a dream of mine is to create and maintain a charter school, which will accept students using a lottery system. My Hope Is that you will allow children with financial needs the opportunity to procure a quality education in an inspirational environment where you will provide them with a platform to discover and nurture their own unique talents.
We need an economy that works for all not just for the privileged.
Tip #1: Choosing an Essay
My advice on how to start is to think about a topic that resonates with you. It can be about anything but it has to be about you. It can be something that you personally find interesting or something that you wish to change about the society today and elaborate the reason behind it.
Essays are a good platform for readers to have any insights on your thoughts and thereby get to know who you are better. This 500-word. Essay is one of the big parts of your YYGS application, and there are not many ways to showcase who you are.
Additionally, YYGS receives thousands of essays, so make yours unique. Choose a topic to show them something special about you. I’m aware that now YYGS have changed up the essay a bit and the applicants are required to write one 500 word essay and one 200 words response.
For my year, we have an essay prompt and it was, right about an example of social inequality. What do you see as a primary cause of this inequality. As for the 200 word essay, we had to write about a topic that we found fascinating and are interested in exploring.
For this essay, I wrote about my curiosity for virus. They are made up of nearly nucleic acid and a protein coat and despite it having the simplest of structures, its power can be catastrophic. If you want me to make a post about my 200 word essay, do leave a comment below.
As you can see, you can write about anything, as weird as it may seem, as long as it is personal to you. You never know when a Eureka moment may strike you. For me, I get the most inspiration when I’m about to fall asleep. How weird!!
I will literally wake up in the middle of the night and type out random sentences that pop into my head.
Tip #2: How to Start?
When we start writing something we often have this phenomenon called the writer’s block. We will stare at the blank screen not knowing what to type. The solution, First-Bad-Wrong, have an FBR mindset by Tim Ferriss.
I first heard of this FBI writing style from Ali Abdullah and it was incredibly helpful. I just tell myself “Wright FBR” and that permits myself to write from the heart and say whatever pops into my head without any thought for whether it is good or not. When I added the first draft at a later date and even if I thought it was pretty bad at first, I found that when I read it with a fresh set of eyes, it’s not as bad as I thought. I think the FBR approach works great for any type of creative Endeavor.
Often, we want to separate the first draft from the later editing stages, but our perfectionist tendencies prevent us from starting. So don’t give yourself pressure to always get it right on the first draft. Have this mindset where you begin writing something, allows you to write without having a mind block.
Tip #3: First and Last Sence
We often hear that the first and the last sentence of an essay are crucial as they set the tone for the essay. You can start with a thought-provoking question or part of a dialogue, but do not feel pressured to make it super interesting. I personally don’t find my first and last sentence quite interesting.
They are just a simple summary of my essay and the main point that I hope to get across. You can have a question on a dialogue in the middle of your essay as well, which was what I did.
Tip #4: Write about your Future Aspirants
You want YYGS to know that you are thinking about your future. They want to see students with aspirations and dreams, no matter how crazy it may seem. In my essay, I talked about wanting to create and maintain a charter school to allow children with financial needs the opportunity to procure a quality education in an inspirational environment.
People throw around the word passion a lot, but passion is just an emotional reaction. We offer think that we need to write appointment story about a lifelong passion for our field of interest and fit all of our extracurricular activities into these common theme, but come on, we are still young.
It would be rare to develop a burning passion for something, It is okay to have explored and change course, It’s okay to have been in the school’s track and field team for a few years and then dropped it because you realized you want to focus on other interests. I did this. It is okay to include in your application as well, I did this too. Dropping an activity doesn’t mean you are a person who gives up easily, we are all exploring.
Be genuine, be honest and do not worry if you have not been interested in the same thing since the age of three, do not worry if you do not have a single defining experience that shaped every single goal you have afterwards. No one’s life story is that neat?
500 words are not a lot, in the beginning, I exceeded the word limit by three times, but it is okay because that’s how the first few drafts should be. There are very rough work. Do not write an unconventional essay just for the sake of standing out. In other words, don’t include details without purpose. Always ask yourself “Why is this sentence here? What does it illustrate about you or your life or this story? What is the point of your essay and how does this sentence move you towards your point“.
If a detail doesn’t have a clear reason for being in your essay, take it out or change it. Don’t put it in just because it sounds impressive, if it does not add value to the essay, delete it even if it hurts you, be concise. For example, your GPA or SAT and ACT scores are irrelevant information. The YYGS team already have your stats. Hence, these are just wasted words.
An essay should not serve as a proof that you are some list of qualities and are therefore a perfect applicant. None of us are, rather, essays can shed light on how you think about the world and how you grapple with obstacles. Remember that you’re applying to be part of Yale University for two weeks, not just an academic community. You’re applying not only to take classes and do work there but also to eat and sleep and socialize and grow there for two weeks.
Tip 7: Honesty is always the Best Policy
Never lie in your essay. When it comes to essay, the admissions team have seen it all. The worst thing you can do is to make up a story.
You are good enough being you and there’s definitely something that you can write about without having to lie. You don’t even need to tell a slightly exaggerated Story. The truth is always the best. Since the admissions committee is reading hundreds of essays, It’s your job to move them, make them laugh and convince them to realize that they need you at Yale.
Your essay should exemplify the manner in which you think, you should act as a blueprint to your mind. Instead of basing a character of the grades and standardized test scores, your essay should provide readers with a sense of your personality and reviews from your perspective.
Writing about yourself can be a slippery slope, which is why it is best to stick to the truth and leave the lights behind. In the end, the admissions committee is just looking for insight into your and character, it’s up to you to show them through your writing. Just what you can add to their school.
Tip #8: Keep your Ego in Check
While writing your essay we have to keep your ego in check, although you want to come off as the best version of yourself, sometimes you can get carried away with the story and lose yourself in over-exaggeration. The emissions Community can sense that, you want to be genuine.
Tip #9: Having more drafts do not mean that your essay is better
Don’t fall into the trap of tricking yourself into thinking that you are improving your drafts by writing lots of them. I found myself rereading my essay so many times each day and only making minimal changes every time. In the end, I got so sick of my essays and I realized my mistake. I misguided myself into thinking that I was being productive and improving my essay, but I was not. What I ended up doing in the end was to edit my essay once a week.
With a fresh set of eyes, I gained New Perspective and also a week of weight allowed me to consolidate new sentences or rethink old ones and ultimately, allows me to make effective and productive changes.
Tip #10: Don’t Stress Yourself
In a nutshell, don’t stress yourself too much about this essay. You can see this as a good opportunity to get a few of what you’ll be like when you’re applying for University in the future. The whole application process and required components are all pretty similar. I know, I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity.
I’m happy to read your essays and provide my feedback on it for free. You can email me your essays or if you have any questions about essay writing in general, you can email me as well or leave a comment if you wish.
Thank you very much for reading this post. I hope that you found it helpful, and if you want to see more post like this, please leave your suggestions in the comment section down below or improvements and ideas for future posts. I’ll be incredibly grateful for that.