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The Colonel Chronicle

The Colonel Chronicle

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Oliver Chase Norris: Hamilton Supplemental Essay

Hamilton College Supplemental Essay

Prompt: We each bring different backgrounds and perspectives, and we teach one another about the world through our individual and shared experiences. How will Hamilton shape your perspective, and how will your perspective shape Hamilton?

I love the perspective you get from only two feet above a river. It allows you to experience all the intricacies of a place, whether they are the lightning-fast hunts of a dragonfly or the guttural croak of a great blue heron. On one kayaking trip, I was enjoying the tranquility when something too shiny to be natural caught my eye. As I paddled closer, I realized that it was a tarp wrapped around bits of refuse the nearby campsite had been dumping into the river. It was an odorous reminder of how our waterways are mistreated.

Kayaking has always sparked a desire in me to protect our aquatic ecosystems, and the best way I see to do this is through fixing environmental problems at their root – our legislative policies. I have an urge to create political change and a skill for spotting arguments that don’t hold water, borne of my perspective on rivers that do. I will bring that passion to Hamilton, contributing to clubs like the Climate Justice Coalition. Courses such as Political Theory and the Environment will broaden my knowledge of the underlying issues and help me understand the best ways to achieve my vision.

Here’s what Oliver Had to Say about His Essay:

For any supplemental essays like the one above, I would recommend telling a story that makes you look good and extolling your virtues. As every material says, go for a good hook, tell a quick anecdote, and then move into something that makes you stand out. I figured that not many others, if any, would write about kayaking and so I could use it to distinguish myself from other applicants. You should then transition into essentially what you’ll do for your college and why you’ll contribute to their “campus culture.” Don’t be modest, flex as efficiently as you can without it being flamboyant. Good Luck!

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