spencercornell
spencercornell,
Cornell ‘22
B.A., Biology and Biological Sciences
Little queer brown boy from Arizona who wants to change lives.
Features Included
20
Essays
21
Schools
12
Scores
6
Advice
6
ECs
0
Sports

Background

Hometown Chandler, Arizona
GenderMale
EthnicityAsian, Hispanic, White Non-Hispanic
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Accepted
Waitlisted or Withdrew
Denied
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)
  • Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Pomona College (Claremont, CA)
  • Colby College (Waterville, ME)
  • Carleton College (Northfield, MN)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
  • Rice University (Houston, TX)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Tufts University (Medford, MA)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

Applied for a B.A. in Biology and Biological Sciences

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Personal Statement
568 Words
Embracing your heritage, Family background
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Here’s how we make tamales in my family. First, imagine an assembly line. Now, imagine that the line is not a line at all but a criss-cross of paths weaving across a kitchen island in a house within an Arizona subdivision. Next, imagine that even the paths can change over time (depending upon which uncle is taking a break, which cousin is taking over, etc.) such that the assembly line metaphor itself dissolves and ceases to be useful at...
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Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
Numbers are everywhere. As a result of the modern process of teaching math, with its focus on the method rather than the uses, students can often have a disconnect between the beauty of nature, and the power of numbers. I'm not talking about the way the SAT has subjected students to "6 bushels of corn for 5 dollars each, 2 acres of land for 10 dollars, find the intersection" and similar trivialities that suck the magic out of numbers and mathematics. I became enthralled...
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Personal Statement
346 Words
Anxiety before a competition
Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
There is a surprising amount of technique required to properly strike a piece of wood with a plastic mallet whose end is surrounded in a tight ball of twine. In my percussion classes, I’ve only had the title of a "leader" since my senior year, but nonetheless, I've tried my best to positively affect the program despite lacking a formal mandate to do so. The main way I've done this is by tutoring people to play percussion, focusing on...
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Personal Statement
328 Words
Art/acting/singing, Interest in fine arts
What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
Hitting things in time. There's been a lurking version of percussion always in my life, whether it was when I was a toddler playing with a Fisher-Price plastic xylophone with tiny mallets, or when I didn't want to take piano lessons anymore and began bashing the keys of my Casio keyboard because there were too many notes-per-chord for my 3rd grader self to be pleased. Luckily, in 4th grade, my elementary school had a program entitled "Mallet Masters," which was...
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Personal Statement
347 Words
Art/acting/singing, Interest in fine arts
Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
To exist is to be vibration. At the base level of physics is the formula E=mc2, which expresses the equivalence of mass converted to energy, in the form of a wave. In this interpretation, one can see that everything we are, everything we ever do, and everything that has ever been can be seen as an intersection of waves, an ocean of sine and cosine rippling against the shore of infinity. Thus, when presented with this viewpoint, I cannot...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
371 Words
Describe two or three of your current intellectual interests and why they are exciting to you. Why will Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences be the right environment in which to pursue your interests?
Have you ever bent your finger, watching your knuckle shift beneath the stretching skin on your hand? The millions of reactions, processes and collisions that from bending bending your finger are just like the knuckle, hiding underneath the surface. My interest in the Biological Sciences major, specifically with a concentration in genetics, stems from a desire to understand the core of human existence through investigation of the molecular biology within our bodies. I know that at Cornell I could be...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
480 Words
You have been given the option of having one superpower, but, in exchange, you have to give up one of your five senses. If you take this offer, what do you hope to accomplish with your new power, and what would you miss about the sense you’ve given up?
See no Evil. Hear no Evil. Do no Evil. Trapped up to his waist in ice, Dante's Satan with his warped wings pushes freezing gusts of air throughout the caverns of the ninth circle of hell. With him, the worst of all sinners are warped into fantastical shapes while encased in the frigid ice. They are the betrayers of love, the godly ideal of voluntary benefaction, and now must spend eternity without warmth or light. Nothing is felt; by being...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
234 Words
Due to a series of clerical errors, there is exactly one typo (an extra letter, a removed letter, or an altered letter) in the name of every department at the University of Chicago. Oops! Describe your new intended major. Why are you interested in it and what courses or areas of focus within it might you want to explore?
I get a lot of questions about why I want to major in Bisque -- a major offered, oddly, by the Linguistics department in conjunction with the Culinary Arts program. First, there's the coursework. Beyond the obvious, always-popular classes (BISQ 12155 Approaches to Broth; BISQ 23310 Coulis Theory; BISQ 25200 Problems with Crustaceans; BISQ 28000 Nautical Soups II: Melville to Conrad; and BISQ 26200 Mushrooms? Mushrooms. Mushrooms!), I am also interested in focusing on the lesser-known, mathematical coursework that UChicago is famous for, such as...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
99 Words
Why do these areas appeal to you? (up to approximately 100 words).



Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology



Applied Mathematics



Music
Have you ever bent your finger, watching your knuckle shift beneath the stretching skin on your hand? The millions of reactions, processes and collisions that culminate in you bending your finger are just hiding underneath the surface. My interest in Molecular Biology stems from a desire to understand the core of human existence through investigation of the molecular biology within our bodies. Applied Mathematics ties into this by creating ways to analyze and standardize the processes of life in a...
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Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
148 Words
Write about something that you love to do.
There is a beauty that comes from smiling into the hammered facets of a 55-gallon drum -- warped face and shining silver -- and hearing the brilliant sounds of former industrial storage containers. As a "cello" steel drum player in my school’s Steel Band, I did not play the fancy bright melodies of pop songs, nor the groovy bass lines that underlie them. Instead, I provided the rhythms and chords integral to the music. To be the leader of...
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Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
200 Words
What is a community to which you belong? Reflect on the footprint that you have left. (You may define community and footprint in any way you like.)
There is a surprising amount of technique required to properly strike a piece of wood with a mallet. In my percussion classes, I haven't had a "leader" position for long, but I've tried my best to positively affect the program despite the mandate by tutoring people to play percussion so that they get placed on better instruments next year in marching band. One of my best friends, Thomas, asked me to help him learn a solo last year, a moderate-difficulty...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
33 Words
Who or what is a source of inspiration for you? (200 characters)
The old woman across from me at the airport; she sits alone on the gray faux leather chair, and yet she still finds the strength to fly across the country for her goals.
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
35 Words
Yale’s residential colleges regularly host intimate conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What question would you ask?
Ōuchi Yoshitaka; When you sliced your stomach with the sword, did you feel guilt for the deaths of your courtiers? Shame in your position? Anger at those who led the coup? Cowardice in your actions?
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
29 Words
You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called?
MUSI 243, Timbral Studies- An exploration of sound, such as harmonics, envelopes and the physics of waves; both classical instruments and electronic programs will be used to portray the concepts.
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
34 Words
Most Yale freshmen live in suites of four to six students. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite?
An intimate knowledge of some embarrassing animes, an endearing obsession with the lucky cat image, and the ability to create pretty-good lemon bars (that fall apart if you don’t treat them with care.)
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
302 Words
Respond to the following quote in 300 words or less: Translation is the art of bridging cultures. It’s about interpreting the essence of a text, transporting its rhythms and becoming intimate with its meaning… Translation, however, doesn’t only occur across languages: Mentally putting any idea into words is an act of translation.....
Like loops of pool noodles swirling around electrical wires in a swimming pool, anxiety has been surrounding me for as long as I can remember. When I'm having a panic attack, 100 Kilowatts (that's approximately 83,334 potato batteries) of power is firing through the water as the noodles pulse and burst under the stress, an array of neon foams shaking in unhappy waters. When this is happening, there is only so much I can process of my outside world; I am stripped...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
136 Words
Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this application? If you are "undecided" or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150 word limit)
Have you ever bent your finger, watching your knuckle shift beneath the stretching skin on your hand? The millions of reactions, processes, and collisions that culminate in you bending your finger are just like the knuckle, hiding beneath the surface. My interest in the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology stems from a desire to understand the core of human existence through investigation of the molecular biology within our bodies. At Brown, there’s an abundance of opportunities...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
131 Words
Why Brown, and why the Brown Curriculum? (200 word max)
I want to go to Brown and let it envelop my mind, saturating my consciousness like a shirt entering a bucket of colors, leaving a beautiful tie-dyed substrate. A central goal for my future is to receive a liberal arts education, where I can pursue many subjects on my own accord. The Brown Curriculum is perfect because in this regard since I can attend any class without being tied down to a set major map. My other goal for a...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
90 Words
Tell us where you have lived - and for how long - since you were born; whether you've always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100 word limit)
A baby blue tempera sky paired with an over-easy egg yolk looms over beige, off-white and tan homes. Suburbia cooked at 105 degrees for decades results in delicious bourgeoisie casserole. Adjacent to my home is both an elementary school and a middle school, convenient for the child on the go. People grow apart. Friendships can only last so long before popularity, interests, and ideologies begin erecting walls between us. I am grateful for the neighborhood I was privileged enough to be...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
63 Words
We all exist within communities or groups of various sizes, origins, and purposes; pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. (100 word limit)
Marching is intrinsically collaborative. A one-person marching band would consist of an exhausted player hobbling across a football field carrying a contraption reminiscent of the life-draining machine in The Princess Bride. Through every 4:30 am alarm, late night bus ride, and instrument sectional, discipline has been drilled into my head (and then run again twenty times to make sure we get the timing right).
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
143 Words
Why are you applying to Carleton?
I want to attend Carleton and let it envelop my mind, affecting my consciousness like a shirt entering a bucket of colors, leaving it a tie-dyed mess. From the reserved town setting of Northfield, to the top-notch undergraduate classes, there’s a sense of wonder in the idea of Carleton. There’s an image in my brain of me in the mycology club, exploring the forests on a chilly night, full of dark browns, muffled voices, smells of dirt. Additionally,...
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Supplemental Essay: Amusing anecdote
150 Words
When did you first learn of Carleton? (no more than 150 words)
I originally heard of Carleton from one of my acquaintances who, quite humbly, thinks of himself as a beacon of sanity and truth in the mists of a degrading culture. This lighthouse of logic presented me with an article from a far-right news site as “PROOF that these goddamn SJW’s r [sic] takin over!!!”, wherein Carleton was accused of being anti-christian, anti-liberty, and anti-god for its B.A. in Human Rights and Social Justice. Surprisingly, this irrefutable and entirely...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
153 Words
Carleton is powered by wind turbines. What empowers you? (no more than 150 words)
During my summer before senior year, I read the book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, as required by my Humanities class. This text impressed on me deeply, especially the passage detailing the ways to find meaning in life. One can achieve meaning by doing a deed, meeting someone, experiencing an event, or by acquiring a positive attitude against suffering. The first way truly resonates with me, and I feel a deep need to complete something great for the cause of...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
69 Words
While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, uttered this memorable line: “It is, Sir…a small college. And yet, there are those who love it!” As you seek admission to the Class of 2022, what aspects of the College’s program, community, or campus environment attract your interest?
Dartmouth perfectly fulfills my three main college goals. To start, under the D-plan system, I will be able to modify when and how I study at Dartmouth, satisfying my desire for flexibility and freedom. Also, Hanover is ideal because it allows me to live in a small-town environment rather than a large metropolitan city. Finally, the abundance of outdoor activities at Dartmouth will help me stay connected with nature.
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School Specific Advice

How I would describe the wider community surrounding campus
39 Words
Even though University of Chicago is in the city, don't travel too...
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Why I declined other schools
35 Words
I declined admission from UChicago after a really hard decision between...
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More Essays

These essays haven't been tagged by school. Click school logos above to see tagged essays.

General Admissions Advice

How to deal with the stress of applying to college
69 Words
It's really not that important to get into these "top 20" colleges. After I got accepted to a bunch of the schools,...
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How I narrowed down my essay topics
35 Words
It took me a few tries, but I instantly knew I...
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Recommended summer activities during high school and college
23 Words
Get a job! There's so many soft...
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My advice about getting recommenders
96 Words
Respect. Understand the time that needs to be put in and give the teacher adequate time. The earlier you ask, the better. https://www.reddit.com/r/ApplyingToCollege...
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High School Performance

Weighted GPA
4.80
(equivalent to 4.00 unweighted)
Rank
Top 1%
 
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest SAT
1580
 
SAT Score Details
 
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep
SAT IIs

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details9 classes and scores

Sports

Extracurriculars

ActivitiesMarching Band, Science Club/Team, Music: Instrumental, Music: Instrumental, Science/Math, Key Club
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Awards Received
Application Additional Materials

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