文书解析 | “自嘲”的魅力
Accepted into UC Berkeley
Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
I won “Most Original” pumpkin at a Halloween party years ago. I have the “Most Original” award. It’s a consolation prize. You can’t be the best, or the prettiest, so you have to be “original.” I’ve won the “Most Original” award a fair number of times. I was even named “Most Original” at a basketball awards banquet. What does that even mean? How can anybody be “Most Original” when she’s playing basketball?
Recognizing the “Most Original” award for the pity-prize that it was, I grew increasingly hostile toward the very word “original.” If you win this cursed award, everyone around you offers feigned sympathy or, even worse, insincere congratulations. Phrases like “oh, bummer” or well-intentioned but half-hearted “well, good for you” circle the recipient, creating a cyclone of regret from which the “winner” will never recover.
Okay, maybe I’m overreacting – but I cannot for the life of me understand that award. “Most Original” always let me down, and as a result, I hated to be original in any context. In my hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, where normality was…well, the norm, I tried to be a typical student – absolutely, perfectly normal. I blended into crowds, the definition of typical. I became a person who refused to surprise people. Just another brick in the wall.
And then I moved to Berkeley for six months. It’s an odd, vibrant place with odd, vibrant people. Originality is celebrated there – not in the half-hearted “good for you” way, but in the full-throated “GOOD FOR YOU!” way. One of the first of my fellow students to befriend me wore corset tops and tutus and carried a parasol with which she punctuated her every utterance. Her best friend was a boy with purple hair who once wore a shirt with built in LED lights for Christmas. They were the most popular people in school, in direct contrast to all that was socially acceptable in New Haven. Our peers recognized them as being unique, but instead of ostracizing them or pitying them, the students in Berkeley celebrated them.
In Berkeley, I learned the value of originality: Those who celebrate their individuality are not only unique but strong. It takes great strength to defy the definitions of others, and because of that strength, those who create their own paths discover a different world than those who travel the same worn road.
I returned to New Haven a changed person. My appearance was certainly different – red streaks in my hair and a newfound fondness for tutus certainly made me stand out. But the change went deeper than that: I had embraced the idea of being myself, no matter what others thought was cool or “normal.” Spending time in a place where “Most Original” was the highest compliment allowed me to explore myself without fear of being different or lesser, and I liked what I had found.
I’m still skeptical about the “Most Original” award. In the context of an award ceremony, it’s still just a meaningless consolation prize. But I don’t think of being “Most original” as an insult anymore – I wear it as a badge of honor, proof that I am myself and no one else.
A friend recently joked, “If there were a ‘Quirkiest’ award in the yearbook, you’d definitely win.” We were standing outside of a classroom, and I was wearing a pair of gold, glittery shorts that definitely caught the eye. “Quirkiest?” I said. “How about ‘Most Original.’”
1. Cyclone /ˈsaɪkloʊn/ 气旋；旋风
2. Parasol /ˈpærəsɔːl/ （旧时）女用阳伞
3. Corset /ˈkɔːrsɪt/ （尤指旧时妇女束腰的）紧身内衣
4. Ostracize /ˈɑːstrəsaɪz/ 排挤，排斥
1. I was even named “Most Original” at a basketball awards banquet.
2. If you win this cursed award, everyone around you offers feigned sympathy or, even worse, insincere congratulations… I blended into crowds, the definition of typical… Dull.
这篇文章是通过自己对Most Original这两个词的态度的转变体现个人成长。这三段写的是自己一开始对其‘恨之入骨’，努力伪装成普通人的样子。 “Okay, maybe I’m overreacting.”” Connecticut-where normality was…well, the norm.” 自然不做作的表达方式，像是在听一个人面对面得给你讲故事。
3. Instead of ostracizing them or pitying them, the students in Berkeley celebrated them…It takes great strength to defy the definitions of others, and because of that strength, those who create their own paths discover a different world than those who travel the same worn road.
以对比的方式讲述“我”这样的人在这两种环境中受到的待遇。人的成长很神奇，有些人是循序渐进，量变引起质变，有些人只是看了一本书，见了一些人，做了一件事，就顿悟了。但不管是哪种情况，在成长型的文书中都是不可或缺的一部分。比起你变成了新的自己，招生官更想知道的是你为什么变成了这个样子。Show; Don’t tell.
4. I had embraced the idea of being myself, no matter what others thought was cool or “normal.” Spending time in a place where “Most Original” was the highest compliment allowed me to explore myself without fear of being different or lesser… I’m still skeptical about the “Most Original” award, but I don’t think of being “Most original” as an insult anymore.
“学”成归来后的转变。个人认为这部分进行拓展后效果会更好，即把不畏不同进行了哪些探索、获得了哪些成果采用排比的结构，用简洁的语言总结一下，突出 most original的形象。
5. “Quirkiest?” I said. “How about ‘Most Original.’”