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The UC essays are your way to give colleges a sense of your personality, your perspective on the world, and some of the experiences that have made you into who you are. The idea is to share the kinds of things that don’t end up on your transcript. It’s helpful to remember that you are not writing this for you. The UC essay example is meant to be a revealing look inside your thoughts and feelings.

Here is a UC essay example:

“A course grade does not always reflect the passion one feels for a subject. This happens to be true for me and my science classes. My passion is reflected by the amount of rigorous science courses I’m taking during my twelfth grade year of high school. I’ve always been interested in science, particularly biology. Unfortunately, the adjustment as I transitioned from a small, private middle school to a large and diverse public high school really took a toll on me in many ways, not just with my grades. I was on my own without anybody to help me adjust to public high school life. I attended a high school far away from where I live. It took me about an hour every day to get to school. I was upset with the grades I was earning. These first two years were very unhappy for me.

In eleventh grade, I switched schools from Birmingham Charter High School to Ulysses S. Grant High School. The change affected me in profound ways. During eleventh grade I volunteered at an elementary school near my home after school. The school had an “LA’s Best” program where I would help out third and fourth graders with their homework. I wanted to help these kids learn to actually understand the problem and try to solve it themselves instead of me giving them the answers. We would have “Science Tuesdays” when I would help out the after school teacher with his group of kids. I would introduce the basics of science to those wondrous young minds. The Science Tuesdays lasted for two months; it was a fun experience.

Now I’m in twelfth grade and I’m more involved in school, taking advantage of the many activities and programs at Grant. I’m able to earn college credit in subjects that I’m mostly interested in, pursuing particularly in science. I’m able to take control of my future, gearing my studies towards what I want to do for the rest of my life. My dream since ninth grade has been to pursue a career in science. I will not lie, the road ahead of me is extremely challenging, but at least I have found the road I wish to continue driving on for the rest of my college years.”