clenihan
clenihan,
Yale ‘22
B.S., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Yale student and a cappella nerd here to help :)
Features Included
33
Essays
11
Schools
14
Scores
4
Advice
11
ECs
0
Sports

Background

Hometown Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
GenderFemale
EthnicityWhite Non-Hispanic
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Accepted
Waitlisted or Withdrew
Denied
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)
  • Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
  • Tufts University (Medford, MA)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • New York University (New York, NY)
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Yale University (New Haven, CT)

Applied for a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
“It’s Pi Day, Pi Day, gotta do math on Pi Day!” My voice cracked on the last note as my seventh-grade classmates stared in horror. The karaoke track to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” blared in the background, but I couldn’t stay on pitch. In a desperate attempt to win back my audience, I ran to the front of the stage like a pop star and encouraged everyone to clap along. Instead, I was met with boos and a...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
252 Words
What about being a student at Boston University most excites you?
I cannot imagine a better place for me to catalyze my academic and personal growth than Boston University (BU). First, the ease of conducting undergraduate research is astounding. I am fascinated by so many current undergraduate projects, including Professor Allen Harbaugh’s research on statistics in the social sciences. Additionally, the Directed Study program in BU’s location makes it the perfect place for me to research the impact of rooftop gardens in cities on reviving butterfly populations, a focus...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
598 Words
How would Kilachand’s interdisciplinary curriculum fulfill your academic, creative, intellectual, and/or professional goals?
I was five years old the first time I received detention. While my kindergarten classmates dutifully pushed in their chairs and sat on the carpet to learn about the letter G, I sat at my desk, admiring the glimmering letters etched into a spiderweb. A piglet ran in circles around my legs; when I bent down and tried to catch a glimpse of his name tag, it said “Wilbur.” Everything was quiet and peaceful and…. Wait. Who just called my...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
607 Words
In your view, is the appeal of populism a necessary and positive corrective to the challenges of globalization, an unrealistic or inadequate response to the current age, or some combination of both? Is it an example of democracy at its best or a danger to democratic institutions?
Improvements to communication technology have created the first truly global society. The transnational fungibility of assets has led to the rise of globalism, where social, political, and economic policies are determined using an international lens. But no universal consensus exists as to whether the benefits of globalism outweigh its drawbacks. While globalism increases overall wealth in countries like the United States, it also eliminates blue-collar jobs, exporting them to less developed countries. Many people who feel shortchanged by globalism have...
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Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
306 Words
"Something that's not on the resume" Give us a glimpse of a passion, dream, or mental pursuit that absorbs and delights you.
A butterfly landed on my nose. I gasped with delight and crossed my eyes to catch a glimpse of the fluttering wings, the tiny feet, and the unrolled proboscis sucking the salt from my skin. While my first grade classmates squealed and tried to snatch the ethereal creatures from the air, I was quiet as I shared this tranquil moment with my new friend. Thus began my love affair with butterflies. When my mom picked me up that afternoon, I...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
171 Words
List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community.
List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community. (150 words or less) Wide eyes, the delight of discovery, that feeling I get when you suddenly understand the deeper meaning hiding behind the ink on a page, experiencing every snowfall like it’s my first Sharp swords, cutting open my pre-existing notions and exposing them to air, admitting that I was wrong, becoming Atlas with the responsibility of knowledge on my shoulders Warm hugs, people who won’t...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
86 Words
List the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre Existentialism is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Hamlet by William Shakespeare The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
148 Words
List the titles of the books you read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood What is the What by Dave Eggers The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter Untwine by Edwidge Danticat The Sky Between You and Me by Catherine Alene Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews Wither by Lauren DeStefano The...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
28 Words
List the titles of the print, electronic publications and websites you read regularly.
The New York Times The Washington Post The Atlantic The Huffington Post NPR Science News Everyday Feminism Teen Vogue Buzzfeed
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
54 Words
List the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year.
Hamilton: An American Musical Dear Evan Hansen A Bronx Tale: The Musical In Transit Beautiful: The Carol King Musical Get Out La La Land Moonlight Dunkirk Hidden Figures The Zookeeper’s Wife Ed Sheeran Niall Horan (Flicker Sessions) Halsey The 1975
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
266 Words
Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why.
I cannot imagine a better place to catalyze my academic and personal growth than Columbia University. First, I appreciate the Core Curriculum because of its potential to enhance my capabilities as both a member of society and a scientist. I have always valued interdisciplinary learning and analyzing problems from different angles; namely, I want to research the impact of urban roof gardens on declining butterfly populations, which requires knowledge of biology, environmental science, engineering, physics, sociology, economics, and politics. The...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
303 Words
For applicants to Columbia College, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section. If you are currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have an interest at this time.
I grew up covered in mud. Much to my parents’ dismay, the stream running through my backyard tempted little hands and feet. My neighbor and I raced through the creek to the woods behind my house, covering ourselves in muck for camouflage. We were explorers, searching for magic in the woods. When he insisted that unicorns weren’t real, I pointed out broken twigs that proved him wrong. We experimented with samples of chewed leaves on my porch, trying to...
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Supplemental Essay: Strong beliefs/principles
579 Words
The Harvard College Honor code declares that we "hold honesty as the foundation of our community." As you consider entering this community that is committed to honesty, please reflect on a time when you or someone you observed had to make a choice about whether to act with integrity and honesty.
The walls were mustard yellow. The carpet was covered in suspicious stains. If I counted the blotches on the carpet, I wouldn’t have to look at the therapist in the corner with a notepad or the other teenagers in folding chairs. “Hi. My name is Cat. I have depression and anxiety.” “Hi, Cat,” they monotonously replied. I reached up and yanked out another chunk of hair. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be at home,...
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Supplemental Essay: Strong beliefs/principles
786 Words
Successful students at Johns Hopkins make the biggest impact by collaborating with others, including peers, mentors, and professors. Talk about a time, in or outside the classroom, when you worked with others and what you learned from the experience.
“EMILY! YOU CAN’T JUST POUR THE SALT INTO THE DOUGH WITHOUT MEASURING IT!” I shouted from across the kitchen as I frantically washed the dishes. “What?” she yelled back while the salt continued to spill from the open container. I groaned and banged my head against the countertop. When I signed up for Foods and Nutrition my senior year, I assumed that it would be a fun and easy class that would fulfill my Consumer Science requirement, reduce stress...
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Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
105 Words
Please tell us more about your cultural background and identity in the space below.
I come from a family of immigrants; my Irish grandmother’s name is immortalized in Ellis Island, and my maternal grandparents met on the boat from Italy to the United States. I feel closest to my Italian heritage; my family just enjoyed the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve, and I recently visited my grandfather’s hometown of Bagnara Calabra. I sailed the Mediterranean with my cousins and threw Nonno’s fedora into the sea, to return him home one...
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Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
101 Words
We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it.
Nothing makes me happier than The Cookie Shake at Black Tap. It’s common to see my friends and I jump out of my mom’s car at 11:30 pm and sprint to the restaurant, hoping the line isn’t too long. When we get a table, I order The Old Fashioned burger (hold the mushrooms, please) and wonder how on Earth I’m supposed to have a milkshake after all of this. Somehow, though, I always finish the gargantuan, foot-high...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
95 Words
Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why?
I want to study biology at MIT because of the department’s leading stance on research. When I first became interested in CRISPR, I was not surprised to discover MIT’s key role in its development. In fact, it would be impossible to list all of MIT’s biology initiatives that fascinate me in 100 words! However, what is especially striking about Course 7 is the ease of conducting independent research. I want to apply to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to...
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Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
250 Words
At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world's biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc.
The fiery-haired little girl wrapped her arms around my legs. “Hi, Teagan!” I exclaimed while trying to ignore the overpowering scent of flowers and the casket behind her. When I started working at Central Equestrian, I didn’t know that I would become so attached to Teagan. The barn was small; it was often just me, Cecelia (the barn owner), and Teagan. As I taught her how to ride and take care of the horses, I grew to admire her....
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Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
250 Words
Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?
I grew up covered in mud. Much to my parents’ dismay, the stream running through my backyard tempted little hands and feet. My neighbor and I raced through the creek to the woods behind my house, covering ourselves in muck for camouflage. We were explorers, searching for magic in the woods. When he insisted that unicorns weren’t real, I pointed out broken twigs that proved him wrong. We experimented with samples of chewed leaves on my porch, trying to...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
256 Words
Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?
I spilled my milkshake when I learned that my a cappella director had been fired. Mr. Thompson was my second father; we often sat together in the lobby after rehearsal and discussed everything from improving the group to dealing with friend drama. The Belles and I were devastated at the loss of our beloved director. I created a petition, and we protested at a board meeting, to no avail. Hence, Sirens A Cappella was born. My group mates and I...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
391 Words
Why NYU?
I cannot imagine a better place to catalyze my academic and personal growth than New York University (NYU). First, the pulse of urban culture through NYU’s academics is unmatched. As a biology major, I want to synthesize what I learn in class and in the laboratory and apply it to solving real world problems, particularly those that plague cities. NYU’s Urban Initiative is the ideal way to do that -- I would relish doing research on the Democratizing...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
304 Words
Other parts of your application give us a sense for how you might contribute to Northwestern. But we also want to consider how Northwestern will contribute to your interests and goals. In 300 words or less, help us understand what aspects of Northwestern appeal most to you, and how you'll make use of specific resources and opportunities here.
I cannot imagine a better place to catalyze my academic and personal growth than Northwestern University. First, the ease of conducting undergraduate research is unmatched. I could spend hours browsing the Global and Research Opportunities Database, searching for thrilling research positions. There are also countless research grants, such as the Academic Year Undergraduate Research Grants and the Circumnavigators Travel-Study Grant, that I could use to investigate the impact of urban rooftop gardens on reviving butterfly populations, a lesser known, but...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
102 Words
Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts or SMFA at Tufts?”
When Professor Garlick started rapping about climate change, I knew I belonged at Tufts. I realized that Jumbos aren’t afraid to take personal and intellectual risks because they treat each other with genuine kindness, a quality not often found at other competitive research institutions. I can be shy around new people, but when Tufts students encouraged me to share my opinion and respectfully debated with me in Science and the Human Experience, I felt right at home. In addition,...
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Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
250 Words
There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today.
I grew up covered in mud. Much to my parents’ dismay, the stream running through my backyard tempted little hands and feet. My neighbor and I raced through the creek to the woods behind my house, covering ourselves in muck for camouflage. We were explorers, searching for magic in the woods. When he insisted that unicorns weren’t real, I pointed out broken twigs that proved him wrong. We experimented with samples of chewed leaves on my porch, trying to...
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
237 Words
What makes you happy? Why?
Nothing makes me happier than The Cookie Shake at Black Tap. It’s common to see my friends and me jump out of my mom’s car at 11:30 pm and sprint to the restaurant, hoping the line isn’t too long. I order The Old Fashioned burger (hold the mushrooms, please) with truffle aioli fries and wonder how I will devour a milkshake after all of this. Somehow, though, I always finish the gargantuan, foot-high vanilla milkshake, topped with a ...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
103 Words
Why do these areas (majors) appeal to you?
Ever since I was young, ecology and environmental biology have fascinated me; I want to understand how the environment shapes evolution, and what factors speed or slow evolution. Statistics and data science, working with data to find hidden meaning, relaxes me. When I tell people that I make lists and conduct statistical analyses for fun, they don’t believe me, but it’s true! Finally, music is my “passion project.” Music has always been in my life, but taking AP...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
124 Words
What is it about Yale that has led you to apply?
As I walked through Kroon Hall and marveled at its eco-friendly adaptations, my tour guide casually mentioned Yale’s 2:1 STEM student to faculty ratio. That was the moment I fell in love with Yale. No other institution has such a strong liberal arts background and flexible curriculum that is as dedicated to the sciences. Only at Yale can I apply for the Freshman Summer Research Fellowship to research the impact of urban rooftop gardens on declining butterfly populations, while also...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
33 Words
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by Cathedral Grove in Muir Woods, where everything is silent except for the swift, cold brook, the birds singing from the redwoods, and the beat of a butterfly’s wings.
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
32 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?
I would invite Rick Mikula, the expert who introduced me to butterflies in first grade, and ask him “What has your scientific research taught you about butterflies’ symbolism and role in society?”
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
29 Words
You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called?
My course would be called “The Politics of Equestrians.” We would examine the political views of equestrians, how they differ from the general population, and what causes these changes.
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
39 Words
Most first year Yale students live in suites of four to six students. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite?
I would bring music to our suite. I would also bring earplugs, as I sometimes sing at unholy hours of the night. If my suitemates are open to it, I would be the provider of warm hugs and support.
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Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
250 Words
Reflect on your engagement with a community to which you belong. How do you feel you have contributed to this community?
The fiery-haired little girl wrapped her arms around my legs. “Hi, Teagan!” I exclaimed while trying to ignore the overpowering scent of flowers and the casket behind her. When I started working at Central Equestrian, I didn’t know that I would become so attached to Teagan. The barn was small; it was often just me, Cecelia (the barn owner), and Teagan. As I taught her how to ride and take care of the horses, I grew to admire her....
Read more...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
245 Words
Write about something you would like us to know about you that you have not conveyed elsewhere in your application.
I grew up covered in mud. Much to my parents’ dismay, the stream running through my backyard tempted little hands and feet. My neighbor and I raced through the creek to the woods behind my house, covering ourselves in muck for camouflage. We were explorers, searching for magic in the woods. When he insisted that unicorns weren’t real, I pointed out broken twigs that proved him wrong. We experimented with samples of chewed leaves on my porch, trying to...
Read more...

School Specific Advice

How to increase chances at my school
246 Words
Obviously, it's important to have good grades and extracurriculars, but I don't need to tell you that. Unfortunately, there are SO many perfectly qualified applicants that they have to turn some away, so if you get denied, remember that it does not define your self-worth. With that being said, the way that admissions counselors decide between equally qualified applicants is by looking at fit, which comes through in your essays. My admissions counselor...
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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 I narrowed down my essay topics
118 Words
When I first started brainstorming for my essay, I wanted to write something poetic, deep, and inspiring that would make my admissions counselor cry and make me stand out. However, every time I sat down...
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What I learned transitioning from high school to college
220 Words
First of all, you're going to grow apart from a lot of people you befriended in high school. It can be painful and confusing when your former acquaintances, friends, and even best friends start "ghosting" you, but know that it's not your fault and it's not personal. The summer before college is a huge time of transition, and everyone is busy getting ready to move out...
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Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
91 Words
I didn't use a private admissions counselor per say, but I hired someone to read over and help me edit my essays. I had a lot of...
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High School Performance

Weighted GPA
4.70
(equivalent to 4.00 unweighted)
Rank
Top 1%
 
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest ACT
36
 
ACT Score Details
 
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
Highest SAT
1600
 
SAT Score Details
 
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep
SAT IIs
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details8 classes and scores

Sports

Extracurriculars

ActivitiesMusic: Vocal, Equestrian, Animal Foster Care Provider / Animal Rescue Volunteer, Outdoors/Hiking Club, Science Club/Team, National Honor Society, Boy/Girl Scouts, Social Justice, Gay/Straight Alliance, Marching Band, School Theater/Plays
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Awards Received

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