From the days spent being toted around in a shopping cart to when I was finally tall enough to reach lofty sample trays, Costco has endured a steady presence throughout my life.
As a veteran Costco shopper, I navigate the aisles of foodstuffs, thrusting the majority of my weight upon a generously filled shopping cart whose enormity juxtaposes my small frame. Was cultured yogurt any more wellmannered than its uncultured counterpart? While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the “all beef” goodness that Costco boasted.
Stinson’s SAT scores were in the high 90-something percentile (she wouldn’t say exactly her score) and she’s on track to graduate as her class’s valedictorian.
Meanwhile, she participated in highly competitive STEM programs, loaded up on AP classes, was a competitive cross-country runner, and an active participant in her local community.“I’d definitely fit in with the nerds, although the kids at our school would probably categorize us as the overachievers, instead,” Stinson says. I volunteered in a research lab working on a genetics project at the University of Delaware. I’m definitely pursuing research in college.”All of these factors mark her as a strong candidate for an elite university.
For universities, this means recruiting student bodies that represent the best and brightest of a world of worlds: Diversity of heritage and faith, of nationality and culture, of class and familial background, and yes, of race and ethnicity.
Evaluating students by scores and grades alone can’t deliver on that promise.I’ve seen people say that it’s ‘ridiculous’ that my essay involved Costco, but I don’t think they’ve even scratched the surface,” she says.“They think that in order for an essay to have depth, it needs to involve tragedy, inspiration, or overcoming adversity.Of course, tens of thousands of other applicants had similarly outstanding academic and extracurricular profiles this year.Stinson’s essay, however, must have suggested to schools that she would bring with her a unique and interesting point of view.Many have found it charming and compelling, while others have attacked it as an example of the antics holistic admissions practices encourage among applicants hoping to stand out.The truth is, these two opinions aren’t mutually exclusive.Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrial sized freezers, to explore every crevice.I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples.Managing to break free from my mother’s grasp, I charged.With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious two year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning.