Sam’s Struggles: College Essays


Photo By Sam Turnbaugh

Sam Turnbaugh (’17) stands in front of Georgetown University in Washington DC. Turnbaugh hopes to attend the college next fall.

Sam Turnbaugh, Reporter

Dear Mr. Admissions Officer,

I’d like to begin by saying that 350 words is the perfect amount of space to explain all of my interests, talents, ambitions and experiences. A full page would obviously be too much; no one could be that interesting!

First you should know a little about me. I’m humble above all else; in fact, I’m probably the most humble person I know. Additionally, I’ve been described as patient, bold, ambitious, diligent, spirited, honest, thrifty, inventive and industrious. In that order.

I have a perfect academic record; my best subject is English but I also focus a lot of my effort on math, science, social studies, engineering, art, and music. I belong to every one of those Honor Societies as well as the National Honor Society. I am president of six honor societies, and a member of every other club and I’m also a gifted athlete and I have a classic underdog story about barely making the team at tryouts and then rising up to Varsity in time to score the winning point at the State Championship. Which sport, you might ask? All of them. I’m multi-talented. Adaptable, that’s another word people use to describe me. I am fluent in English, Spanish, French, Latin, Chinese and Arabic, and I’m currently supplementing that by studying Japanese, German and Farsi.

I’m also a model citizen by the way, and I’ve contributed hundreds of hours to community service. I won my Eagle Scout award at twelve and decided to start my own charity for disadvantaged youth in my area, raising more than $3 million through fundraising efforts. But I wasn’t satisfied and knew that I had to go global; I’ve delivered 20 tons of food and medical aid to earthquake victims in Haiti and personally intervened to prevent genocide in Burundi.

I once received a Presidential Citation for rescuing a nest of baby bald eagles during a devastating hurricane, helping to prevent a terrible plane crash.

And there’s 332 words, happy now?