Choosing a major in college essay

Harvard Law School has become synonymous with the study of law across the world, and for good reason. As an elite academic institution, Harvard Law School has the capacity not just to forge careers, but also to forge illustrious careers. I am confident that I am of the character, ability, and intestinal fortitude to thrive in such an environment. For me this is an opportunity to stand out from my peers and to create the life that I want to live.

A degree from Harvard Law School will place the keys of my future in law well within my own hands. Recently, I completed a work experience placement shadowing a lawyer, and have had the opportunity to sit and observe a number of trials.

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With my commitment to working hard, I will be well placed within the culture of Harvard Law School. While I like to read, play soccer, be in the outdoors, and hang out with my friends, my passion is music. It started when as a 7 year olds and has blossomed into something I would have never expected.

I have learned how to work hard and about victory and defeat. Music has led me on many adventures, helped me find my identity, and shaped who I am today. One of my first significant experiences as a musician came in the sixth grade. My school did not offer band classes until middle school, but by that age I had been studying a few years with a private instructor and was a member of a community youth orchestra.

I reluctantly performed a short trumpet solo during our first performance before the student body. I worked hard on the piece and it went well, but what I remember most was that when I walked down the halls after the concert other sixth graders congratulated me. While it may sound vein, this experience allowed me at a young and impressionable age to embrace who I am and gave me self-confidence, pride, and a sense of identity.

That spring I also auditioned for two all-district bands with the best seventh and eighth graders in the county even though I was only in sixth grade.

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The experience did not go as well — I was nervous and did a terrible job. I was devastated, but soon realized that if I truly wanted to be great I had to dedicate myself to working harder and learning to handle stress better. I have drawn on these lessons many times in high school. I joined the marching and jazz bands, and made multiple all-district and all-state bands. In addition, when faced with peer pressure or when it would have been easy to question who I am, I was better able to be steadfast and grounded than many of my peers.

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My greatest musical achievement happened at the end of my junior year when I participated in the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. I stopped working afterschool my last two quarters and doubled my practice time to prepare for the audition. I remembered what I learned going as far back as sixth grade and gave one of the best performances of my life.

I then spent a few weeks in New York with a group of students from around the country studying music with an impressive cast of professional musicians. We worked ten to twelve hour days and learned to push our lungs to new levels. The venue was filed with our parents, a few political and sports celebrities, and many others dressed in their finest. At the end of the concert, as we finished the last note, the entire crowd erupted in applause.

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I looked into the eyes of my fellow musicians and we shared a moment of pride and accomplishment. I knew in my heart that all my hard work had been worth it and this is what I was meant to do.

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I did not know who I was or what I wanted, but I knew I was not ready to go to college. I left the house with the goal of circling the globe over the next year, working along the way to make enough money to eat and travel to my next city. I worked about a dozen jobs, from cleaning out horse stalls in Argentina to fast food in the Philippines. The reality is that, up to that point, I had never really understood the value of money or had to work to survive.

I lived in Greece for two months working for a fisherman mending and cleaning his fishing nets. At the end of the day, he would inspect my work and if it was satisfactory I would get paid — if it was not, I was not paid that day. It did not take me long to figure out how to take pride in my work.

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I faced dangers that I had never experienced at home. In the same city, the children would not go to school during periods of heightened gang violence out of fear for their safety. It was difficult to then be asked by those same kids about my school experiences and why I had chosen to leave home. Most of all, I learned that most people are generally the same. Regardless of region, economic class, skin color, religion, or gender most people are just trying to do the best they can to navigate their challenges with dignity and give their children more than they have.

Towards the end of my journey, I stayed a few weeks in France with a family friend. We talked frequently about what I had seen and observed over the prior months, and I shared this hypothesis with the father. To my surprise, he opened up to me about the struggles he faced raising his children. While he did not to have to worry about whether his kids had enough food to eat, his concerns were just as sincere and real, and I saw in him much of what I had seen in others.

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While this may not be profound to some, it was for me particularly in light of the negativity and demonization that seems to dominate so much of the public discourse in the United States. I did not walk away from my year-long adventure with a clear roadmap for my entire life. I do not know for sure what I am going to major in or what will be my final career choose.

But I did gain perspective on what the world is really like and my place in it; I learned how to work hard and the dignity that comes from doing so; and I learned how lucky I truly am and the type of life I want to provide for my kids. I am grateful for the experiences I had and am now better prepared to move forward into adulthood. I hope to have the opportunity to start my next great adventure at your university.

I will be honest — I initially joined Key Club International, a service organization, because I thought it would look good on a college application. As part of my membership, I was required to complete at least fifty hours of service. I decided the easiest way to complete the requirement was to set up a regular volunteer project and so I agreed to work at the local soup kitchen every other Saturday morning. For the first year, I went on my designated mornings, helped out, and went home, but I began to notice that other student volunteers frequently missed their allotted time and left the facility understaffed.

Innocently, I mentioned to the Director that more students may show up on time if she sent them a reminder via text message. She thought it was a good idea and asked if I would mind sending out the messages next week, and so I did. The response was positive and more of the students arrived on time for their shifts.