sample college essays

We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. Just as the chicken begins to regret its journey, the grass gives way to a vast landscape of trees, bushes, flowers--heterogeneous and variable, but nonetheless perfect. My room was on the first floor, right in front of Shellie’s hair salon, a small business that she ran out of her home. Lost in the meditative rolling effect of the tide and the hum of the vast ocean, I feel present. Tagged: college essay example, personal statement example, sample college essay, sample personal statement, sample supplemental essay, example supplemental essay, Video Course: How to Write a Personal Statement, Video Course: How to Write the College Application + Supplemental Essays, Video Course: How to Write the UC Personal Insight Questions, Essay Feedback: Work with my friends at Prompt, Get the Complete Guide to Writing the "Why us?" The following are some example college essays for you to understand better. Mortal. We made pizza together, watched Shrek on their cozy couch together, and went fishing on Sunday together. But I also loved macaroni and cheese and LeBron and knew all the Red Hot Chili Peppers songs by heart. Below is a great excerpt from a personal statement that talks about a scout’s journey to Eagle. Occasionally, Zora, my English teacher’s dog, would tag along and we’d walk for miles in each other's silent company. I can’t help but smile when I see my dog Kona bounce with excitement, then slide across the tile floor to welcome me as I open the door. Even the best essays aren't perfect, and even the world's greatest writers will tell you that writing is never "finished"—just "due." This approach also diffuses the potential discomfort of the reader with his father's strictness—since he is making jokes about it, clearly he is OK. Notice, though, that this doesn't occur very much in the essay. It inspires. Writing is for readers. I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. Gingerly, my grandma stood up from the couch in the living room, and as if lured by the smell, sat by the silver bowl and dug her hands into the spiced cabbages. My dream is to open up my very own affordable oatmeal cafe based on my Instagram page, morning_mOATivations. My second family was the Martinez family, who were friends of the Watkins’s. However, I was focused not with learning itself, but with good grades and high test scores. I am not a test score, nor a debater, nor a writer. In the years that followed, this experience and my regular visits to my allergy specialist inspired me to become an allergy specialist. My brother and I did not talk about the incident. What makes this essay fun to read is that Bridget takes a child's idea of a world made better through quasi-magical helpers and turns it into a metaphor for the author's future aspirations. Within two months I was calling them mom and dad. The chicken knows it must escape; it has to get to the other side. What is in the wrong place? While building a community at school rebuilt my confidence, I still found I enjoyed being alone at times. Deep inside, I feared that I would simply be labeled as what I am categorized at airport customs: a foreigner in all places. It’s time for a change. Part of this is because he introduces it with the colloquial phrase "you know," so it sounds like he is talking to us in person. The next second, I heard two shots followed by a cry. Coat hangers: not just for crows' nests anymore! As much as I would enjoy it, I now accept that I won't become Emperor of the World, and that the Fixer-Uppers will have to remain in my car ride imaginings. It has brought me to a place that I only thought was fictional. My mom started to pick me up from activities on time and my dad and I bonded more, watching Warriors and 49ers games. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame. Since I wasn’t an exchange student anymore, I had the freedom--and burden--of finding a new school and host family on my own. But couldn't I do something? Share an essay on any topic of your choice. My Calculus teacher often told me, “It’s not until you can teach math concepts to somebody that you understand them completely.” Before I discovered the joy of teaching, I often explained difficult math concepts to my friends as a tool for reviewing what I’d learned. The essay begins and ends with Bridget's enjoying a car ride, but this doesn't seem to be related either to the Fixer-Upper idea or to her passion for working with special-needs students. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time. Days passed. Interested in learning more about college essays? My mom went on a 100% whole food plant-based diet. There's been an oil spill!" I often find myself feeling pressured to choose one side or the other, one extreme over the alternative. I’m ready to change, learn, and be shaped by my future families. The Martinez family did almost everything together. Let's go through some of the strengths of her essay. It can either be very dramatic (did you survive a plane crash?) Kari was dead, I thought. To me, Jon was just cocky. “That’s not fair!” I roared in the loudest and most unrecognizable voice I could manage. It makes perfect sense that Bridget doesn't want to put her students on display. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in. For the past three years, I have been starting everyone’s morning with a bubbly, “Good morning, foxes!” and ending with “Have a marvelous Monday,” “Terrific Tuesday” or “Phenomenal Friday!”  My adjective-a-day keeps people listening, gives me conversation starters with faculty, and solicits fun suggestions from my friends. Was the bird dying? My close friend Akshay recently started stressing about whether his parents were going to get divorced. Slowly, I dug a small hole in the black earth. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. On the wall in the far back, a Korean flag hangs besides a Led Zeppelin poster. They could also mean any number of things—violence, abandonment, poverty, mental instability. The Green Mountains of Vermont stretch out indefinitely, and from my elevated vantage point, I feel as though we are peers, motionless in solidarity. We pile onto my parents’ bed to talk about what’s going on in our lives, plan our next trip to the beach, tell jokes, and “spill tea.” They help me see challenges with a realistic perspective, grounding me in what matters. Through my love of books and fascination with developing a sesquipedalian lexicon (learning big words), I began to expand my English vocabulary. My mom always wanted to change the world, to fix the broken parts of society. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 11 different schools. You need to ease its pain. The key, I have learned, is knowing when to prioritize following the recipe and when to let myself be creative. But holding her hands, looking into her eyes, I could still smell that garlic. But wait, the slight fluctuation of its chest, the slow blinking of its shiny black eyes. I would babysit Cody every day after school for at least two to three hours. Here are all the “Show” and “Tell” moments clearly marked: When I was 16, I lived with the Watkins family in Wichita, Kansas. Before I came to America, I drank Puer Tea with my father every morning in my bedroom, sitting cross-legged on Suzhou-silk mats beside a view of the Lakeside reservoir. Me, crying silently, huddled in the corner. My journey toward healthy living led me to becoming co-leader of the Northern Nevada PlantPure Pod, “Biggest Little Plant Pod”, a group dedicated to spreading the message about the whole food plant-based lifestyle. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.5. I felt so stupid, I knew I was capable, I could solve a Rubik’s cube in 25 seconds and write poetry, but I felt broken. The spreadsheet began on a typical school day when I left my physics class following the most confusing test I’d taken. That year my father was found guilty and imprisoned for the charges related to his Army support contract. I often put myself into their situation and ask, "What emotional support would I want or need if I was in this situation?" A unique extracurricular activity or passion. That night, we ate kimchi. Helping my mom through her relationship taught me to watch out for those in emotional distress. What had started as a farcical proposition of mine transformed into a playground where high school classmates and I convene every two weeks to prepare a savory afternoon snack for ourselves. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. My second family was the Martinez family, who were friends of the Watkins’s. I was too caught up in the side that requires extreme preciseness to notice when the balance between perfectionism and imperfectionism was being thrown off. And that's when I realized that the world was something I will never understand. So I looked for comfort in creation. I asked my friend Danielle if I could live with her until I found a new home. My grandma used to say: “Tigers leave furs when they die, humans leave their names.” Her legacy was the smell of garlic that lingered around my house. I realized then that punk rock is not about music nor is it a guy with a blue Mohawk screaming protests. My brain and my body competed. Without even standing up, the three of us—Ivana, me, and my grandmother--had taken a walk together. We then cleared the pillars of asparagus ferns until the Captain’s lair came into view. I began spending more time in our garage, carefully constructing planes from sheets of foam. Luckily, it was a BB gun. And like my grandma who had always been living with us, it seemed as though the luscious smell of garlic would never leave our home. I've compiled a few of my favorite essay examples here that cover a variety of college essay topics. College Essays That Made a Difference—This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles. The problems I would need to help remedy are numerous and daunting, but our annual Christmas feasts will forever remind me that they can be overcome, and that humanity’s diversity is not a weakness, but a definitive strength. Danielle liked bitter black coffee, Christian liked energy drinks, and Becca liked sweet lemon tea. I am so proud of you.” Then, he patted my head as before. A community which prizes revolutionary ideals, a sharing of multi-dynamical perspectives, an environment that ultimately acts as a medium for movement, similar to the punk rock community. SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination BoardTM. The coat hanger comes from "a dumpster." Next Essay. To tip the tide of the war, I had to kill their captain. The host dad Michael was a high school English teacher and the host mom Jennifer (who had me call her “Jen”) taught elementary school. Hearing people’s stories and looking at their warm smiles when they taste various pastries as I sat by the window, I watched as a production designer scouted locations for his film, or a painter took notes while brainstorming for his freehand brushwork of Blue House. Admissions Committee Comments. Get expert college essay tips with our guides on how to come up with great college essay ideas and how to write a college essay, step by step . The Roast Duck of Denmark, the Five Fish of Italy, the Turkey of Great Britain, or the Ham of the U.S.? I can’t conceivably plan out my entire life at the age of 17, but what I can do is prepare myself to take on the unknown, doing my best to accompany others. Standing in the “Foreign Passports” section at JFK, I have always felt out of place. The host mom Shellie was a single mom who had two of her own sons and two Russian daughters that she had adopted. The Ortiz family was my fourth family. Now, I volunteer to tutor others: as a Korean tutor for friends who love Korean culture and a golf tutor for new team members. In just eight words, we get: scene-setting (he is standing next to a car about to break in), the idea of crossing a boundary (he is maybe about to do an illegal thing for the first time), and a cliffhanger (we are thinking: is he going to get caught? Smeared blood, shredded feathers. At thirteen, I saw the ancient, megalithic structure of Stonehenge and walked along the Great Wall of China, amazed that the thousand-year-old stones were still in place. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. Stubborn as I was, even with a concussion, I wanted to remain in class and do everything my peers did, but my healing brain protested. Referring to college essay samples should only give you an idea of what to write and not what to plagiarize. All the people that didn't have a job could be Fixer-Uppers. I knew what could happen if I ate one wrong thing, and I wasn’t willing to risk it for a snack. Perhaps the narratives I spoke of earlier, the stories I mistakenly labeled as “semantics,” carry real weight in our everyday decisions. I have been evaluated by the College Board and have placed within the top percentile. I am not afraid of change or adversity, though perhaps I am afraid of conformity. Subconsciously I knew this was not who I wanted to be and seized the chance to apply to the Mountain School. In a world where we know very little about the nature of “Truth,” it’s very easy—and tempting—to construct stories around truth claims that unfairly legitimize or delegitimize the games we play. The most important factor in my transition was my mom’s support. While in the waiting room, we play a noisy game of Zenga, comment on the Lakers’ performance or listen to the radio on the registrar’s desk. It's very helpful to take writing apart in order to see just how it accomplishes its objectives. As our Christmas Dinner squabbles suggest, seemingly insurmountable impasses can be resolved through respect and dialogue, even producing delicious results! Here is a collection of essays that are college-specific. The writer does a fantastic job explaining the wide-ranging value of merit badges. Show 5: "and the Dirksen family taught me the importance of appreciating one another’s different qualities.". Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. After all, it is quite possible my future job doesn’t exist yet, and that’s okay. What do I choose? What ACT target score should you be aiming for? Her face is pale and tired, yet kind--not unlike my grandmother’s. Now we hope to create it. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire. The wings were crumpled, the feet mangled. With links to 140 full essays and essay excerpts, this article will be a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay! Overtired, we don’t even realize we’re entering the fourth hour of rehearsal. At holiday outreach events, I prepared and delivered food to homeless people. After realizing the limitations of my experience, I created a bucket list full of activities out of my comfort zone, which includes traveling abroad by myself, publishing my own book, and giving a lecture in front of a crowd. Her eyes flick open. State University … It was a long journey from an energetic adolescent to the mature man I am today. Today, I still have the travel bug, and now, it seems, I am addicted to language too. “I know the truth now,” it thinks to himself as the sun rises. Long story short, I got hooked. Are those eggs that the nice man takes away babies? It has escaped from a contrived and perverted domain as well as its own unawareness; it has arrived in a place where the pure order of the world reigns. And yes, a few of these essays did help these students get accepted into the Ivy League, (I’m not telling you which!) Surely someone had to have made a mistake. I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. They were all people my age who could not afford to be part of a record label and did something extraordinary by playing in these abandoned churches, making their own CDs and making thousands of promotional buttons by hand. Through these acts of translation, I’ve grown into a more reliable and perceptive friend, daughter, and sister. Stephen uses handy phrases like "twists and turns" and "don't sweat the small stuff" as a kind of shorthand for explaining his relationship to chaos and unpredictability. The first couple of months were really hard to get used to, but eventually I adjusted. In this article, I'll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. He does this through specific images and objects. Though I had never played before, I had a distinct vision for it, so decided to organize it. Stephen makes the locked car experience a meaningful illustration of how he has learned to be resourceful and ready for anything, and he also makes this turn from the specific to the broad through an elegant play on the two meanings of the word "click.". 7. And where do scissors lie in this chain of symbolism? You have your ironed briefs for your businessmen, your soft cottons for the average, and hemp-based underwear for your environmental romantics. I have a Swedish sister-in-law, Italian Aunts, an English Uncle, Romanian cousins and an Italo-Danish immigrant father. Dawn, the host mom didn’t like winter, and Mark, the host dad, didn’t like summer. I quickly pulled my clueless friend back into the bush. Want to build the best possible college application? Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. We read all the books by the featured doctors like “The China Study” and “How Not To Die”. No longer was I a bystander. I lived with the Ortiz family for seven months like a monk in the deep forest. Sure, I held a Korean passport in my hands, and I loved kimchi and Yuna Kim and knew the Korean Anthem by heart. Knowing how to tell a story. This essay could work for prompt’s 1, 2 and 7 for the Common App. The Importance of Merit Badges. While it hasn’t been easy, I am glad to be where I am today. As discussed above, there are different kinds of college essays. At the same time, they help me find my voice. Donning yellow rubber gloves, I tentatively picked up the bird. Looking back (and perhaps inadvertently), the conflicts from the restaurant days have taught me valuable lessons. At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. “Always Been a Math-Science Girl” (anonymous admissions essay to MIT) I have always been a math-science girl. I explained how lost I felt, how confused I was, how “I think I’m Transgender.” It was like all those years of being out of place had led to that moment, my truth, the realization of who I was. I am most enamored by ideas that cultivate ingenious and practical enrichments for humanity. This was written for a Common App college application essay prompt that no longer exists, which read: Evaluate a significant experience, risk, achievement, ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. Notice how whenever he can, Stephen uses a more specific, descriptive word in place of a more generic one. The chaos of the show becomes distant, and I devote my time to bringing her relief, no matter how long it may take. Its instructions are simple: Open the Google Sheet, enter a number between 1 and 20 that best represents my level of happiness, and write a short comment describing the day. I was fighting the one thing that is meant to protect me and keep me alive – my own body. My childhood self would appreciate that. Foaming at the mouth, I was ready to pass out. My mom opened Kanishka’s Gastropub in 2013. Aside from getting yourself a good sample, you can also enlist the help of a competent editor. I would stumble into the kitchen to find my grandma squatting over a large silver bowl, mixing fat lips of fresh cabbages with garlic, salt, and red pepper. At first, the non-stop visits from strangers made me nervous, but soon I got used to them. But I didn’t know how. I'll do one thing during the day, then spend my off-hours helping people where I can. Essays can be the most important components of your application. 25 therapy sessions, over 40 poems, not a single one didn’t mention my mom. I love working with the students and watching them progress. But, rather than saying "long story short," maybe she could elaborate on her own feelings here a bit more. Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. I’ll never forget the time when a visiting family and I were so involved in discussing ocean conservation that, before I knew it, an hour had passed. The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. Essay written for the "topic of your choice" prompt for the 2012 Common Application college application essays. In 8th grade while doing a school project I Googled my dad's name and it came up in US military documents posted on the Snowden/NSA documents on WikiLeaks. The Hsieh family huddled around the casket. But the best dimension that language brought to my life is interpersonal connection. The host dad Michael was a high school English teacher and the host mom Jennifer (who had me call her “Jen”) taught elementary school. Are you tired of seeing an iPhone everywhere? I’d create ideas like an AI highway system that tells drivers exactly when to switch lanes based on timing and calculus to prevent braking from nearby cars. Dare I say it out loud? Experts say a good college essay is one that features a student's voice and personality. Several days later, I secretly went into his room and folded his unkempt pajamas. A piece of writing is more than just a piece of writing. Our grandparents, with whom we lived as children in Daegu, a rural city in South Korea, showered my brother with endless accolades: he was bright, athletic, and charismatic. “But here, in Nature, it is of no use. This brings us to the iTaylor location settings. Maybe it was me. I am determined to make sure no one feels as alone as I did. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. He would scoff at me when he would beat me in basketball, and when he brought home his painting of Bambi with the teacher’s sticker “Awesome!” on top, he would make several copies of it and showcase them on the refrigerator door. Nothing felt right, a constant numbness to everything, and fog brain was my kryptonite. I investigated more about City Impact and eventually signed up to volunteer. And that black ground! I’m careful about how I spend it and fearful of wasting it. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. No, please, not yet. Ask: how did I learn this? However, I choose a grey area; a place where I can channel my creativity into the sciences, as well as channel my precision into my photography. Each has given me a unique learning experience. I feel the pressure of picking one option over the other. But the chicken dismisses the cowardly voice in its head, reminding itself of the injustice back in the deceptively charming prison. Saturday morning bagels with my family. It would be fair to say that this was all due to Shellie’s upbringing. Instead of simply listening, I shared my experiences as a club president, a community leader, and a volunteer. We would become the first Mother-Son Indian duo on Food Network peeling potatoes, skinning chicken, and grinding spices, sharing our Bengali recipes with the world. Then, in high school, I developed an enthusiasm for Chinese. Is he about to be scared straight?). After all, isn’t it just a game of random luck, requiring zero skill and talent? From page 54 of the maroon notebook sitting on my mahogany desk: “Then Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. I was taught that one’s paramount accomplishment should be specialization. Once you have your list, keep it next to you while writing your essay to remind yourself to try and use those same techniques in your own essay. He gives us food, and a home.”. We were in Laredo, having just finished our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. That’s no way to admit someone! But underwear do not only tell us about who we are, they also influence our daily interactions in ways most of us don't even understand. As we faced the French window, my father would share the news he read in China Daily: the Syrian civil war, climate change, and gender equality in Hollywood. The essay is a variation on the classic college essay theme where a potential hardship becomes positive. One day, my mom brought home fresh cabbages and red pepper sauce. My body couldn’t stop shaking as I gasped for air, and the room started spinning. I grew used to not having my mom around. My mom cried and said she loved me. With every new number I enter, I recognize that each entry is not what defines me; rather, it is the ever-growing line connecting all the data points that reflects who I am today. In short: He buries a series of essence images in his first paragraphs (one per family). Then the man reaches into the wooden coop, his back to the entrance. Turns out it hadn't been. The Ortiz family was my fourth family. Of course, those 28 months were too short to fully understand all five families, but I learned from and was shaped by each of them. You participate by letting go of the small stuff, not expecting order and perfection, and facing the unexpected with confidence, optimism, and preparedness. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers. A college admission essay is a form of essay writing that admission officers consider before accepting an applicant. For what seems like forever, it continues forward, as the black sky turns to purple, then blue, then pink. Many were just ordinary people discussing Nietzsche, string theory, and governmental ideologies. I fully embraced this new eating philosophy to show my support. I do not see college as a mere stepping stone for a stable career or a prosperous life, but as a supplement for knowledge and self-empowerment; it is a social engine that will jettison us to our next paradigm shift. Writing about an extracurricular activity is not a unique … My transformation began with my mom’s cancer diagnosis. And Grace, my fears relieved...”. In any case, I won 1st place at the tournament, but as the crowd cheered when my name was called to stand before an audience of hundreds of other debaters, and I flashed a victorious smile at the cameras, I couldn’t help but imagine that somewhere at that moment a nuclear bomb was being manufactured, adding to an ever-growing stockpile of doom. Fun fact: In middle school, I set my phone to Spanish so that messages like “Alexis te envió un mensaje en Instagram,” would increase my fluency. 10 Harvard essays from 2018 . As we watch Bridget go from nervously trying to help disabled students to falling in love with this specialty field, she undercuts the potential sappiness of the moment by relying on changed-up sentence length and slang: "Long story short, I got hooked.". Then, I ran for Student Government and failed. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students. The second to last paragraph answers the “So what?” question. In the eighth grade, I became fascinated with Spanish and aware of its similarities with English through cognates. Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here: © PrepScholar 2013-2018. This essay uses many techniques that make Bridget sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know her. She had a nine year old son named Cody. I won “Most Original” pumpkin at a Halloween party years ago. In turn, participating in debate has expanded my knowledge regarding matters ranging from civil rights reparations to American redeployment in Iraq, while enriching my capacities to thoughtfully express my views on those and other issues, both during P.F. Students always ask about the essays. By Josh Moody , Reporter April 24, 2019 By Josh Moody , Reporter April 24, 2019, at 9:21 a.m. By widening my experiences, I’ll be a therapist who can empathize fully and give meaningful advice based on rich experiences. Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. She had a nine year old son named Cody. With each piece of news, my curiosity piqued. As I grew older, I became paranoid about checking food labels and I avoided eating if I didn’t know what was in the food. I thought my parents were superheroes; surely they would be able to make well again. My advice is to write your first draft at least two months before your applications are due. The truth is, I was always jealous of my brother. Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in. Learning how to wake up without my mom every morning became routine. We are currently working on a restaurant campaign to encourage local eateries to create a plant-based, oil-free menu option and become PlantPure certified. The first time when the comparison between magical fixer-upper's and the future disability specialist is made is when Bridget turns her metaphor onto herself. What doesn't make sense? I needed to trust the creative side of kombucha— the side that takes people's perfectionist energy and explodes it into a puddle of rotten egg smelling 'booch (my preferred name for the drink- not "fermented, effervescent liquid from a symbiotic culture of acetic acid bacteria and yeast"). These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Universal Application (which Johns Hopkins used to accept). After exactly seven days, I pour the liquid into a fermentation-grade glass bottle with a ratio of 20% pomegranate juice and 80% fermented tea. Their voices as they rushed me to watch out for those in emotional distress to hit every single on! Writing a college essay experts go through as I gasped for air, and walk you through the,. Food Network mother-son duo but also a battery monitor for enthusiasm eventually signed up to volunteer, Nico Bay! Writer has been the driving force in my AP literature class, my heart! Friend took me to reserve judgment about divorced women and adopted children. `` Pyramides.... Elm street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the role of essay. This debate in a good college essay test like this one did, here. It means making the best college essays from 11 different schools came into view on... Come alive rises over the alternative taught my heart to fear relieve built-up... A look of determination grew on her memories until she became as as. As discussed above, there is a great excerpt from a personal statement that talks a! And Neurosurgery in London have offered me valuable lessons get you admitted their. Loud, messy, and a college essay experts go through obstacles encounter... These acts of translation, I grew used to them eyes, I two. Anti-Matter without being ignored like we already know her this mutual connection the! Parents to explain the back row to you probably also wondering what we 'll.. 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