Questbridge essay (significant experience)
Faced with the monumental task of writing an essay that somehow defines me or makes me
stand out and seem memorable, I swelter in the heat of my own indecision and hopelessness.
Whittling all my high school achievements, both inside the classroom and out, to one significant
experience proves to be challenging. I futilely vacillate between the positive influences
Student Government Association has had on refining my leadership skills and the numerous
awards I have won for my exuberant volunteer work. Then my involvement in multiple school
organizations and my rigorous curricular schedule come to mind, effectively stifling all progress
towards anything slightly resembling a finely tuned application essay. Frustrated, I reach for the
one dependable source of solace in my room now littered with stressors: a Rubik’’s Cube.
The multicolored cube buried beneath the dishevelment of papers and pencils covering my
desk functions more as stress reliever than a mental exercise. As I probe the untidiness, the
familiarity of its sharp corners and grooved faces on the tips of my fingers brings comfort and a
brief reprieve from the clutter in my mind. In my hands, the six gleaming colors grin at me from
their solved state. I quickly scramble the cube until it is no longer recognizable as the simple
paper weight of moments ago, but as a mechanical riddle of intricately woven pieces. My goal
is simple: match the nine squares of all six faces with their corresponding colors. Giving me an
encouraging nod, the Rubik’’s Cube logo smiles at me as I study the faces intently, memorizing
key positions for reference later. I start twisting and turning the cube dexterously in my nimble
hands. Beginning with the white side, I first manipulate a cross and fill in the remaining corners
of the first face. Then, turning the cube upside down, I attack the puzzle layer by layer, seeing
it not as an amalgamation of six faces but a combination of three separate stratums. From here,
habit takes over as I am free to wander aimlessly in my thoughts as my trained hands adroitly
perform the complex algorithms in order to situate certain pieces in their proper positions.
Professional as I may seem while solving the Rubik’’s Cube, I can never escape my humble
beginnings. Recalling how, as a novice, I performed basic and calculated experiments to discover
any unique properties, I realize that this cube has acted as a catalyst for my mental maturation.
The puzzle that lies unlocked in my hands retained its secrets long enough to instill patience and
determination, all while entertaining me. But moreover, the cube taught me what brute resolve
or infinite willpower cannot: perspective. Necessitating counterintuitive thinking to solve this
complexly engineered puzzle, I have gained a unique perception, applicable to more than just
mind puzzles. Last, but not least, the Rubik’’s Cube as rekindled a penchant for discovery as
nothing is quite like the feeling of achievement in one’’s hands.
Third Questbridge Essay
Gliese 581g, despite its unflattering name, holds the power to change our world. Locked in
this rocky planet nearly twice the size of the Earth could lay the gratification of centuries
of searching the night skies and over many millennia of pondering the deceptively
simple question: ““Are we alone?”” In the habitable zone of its star, Gliese 581g is the
first ““Goldilocks’’ planet”” ever found in the known galaxy. Not too close in its orbit to
resemble the charred deathbed of Mercury nor too distant to liken to the frozen ice ball of
Pluto, Gliese 581g is positioned ““just right”” to be the potential oasis of Earth. Liquid water,
a very real possibility for this otherwise unremarkable planet, completes the bare minimum
requirements for life. Fascinatingly, the discovery of Gliese 581g could very well house an
unimaginable array of life, from colonies of simple bacteria to civilizations even far more
technologically advanced than our own.
Just the thought of discovering extraterrestrial life, even if totally uncharacteristic of the
numerous alien creatures described in countless science-fiction novels and movies infiltrating
human culture, is enough to excite me nearly to the point of obsession. My interest in the
discovery life outside of our planet is mainly associated with, ironically, the implications it
would have for life on Earth. Thrusting humankind into a new era of understanding by realizing
that life is not simply secluded to the inconspicuous corner of the galaxy that is the Earth, the
breakthrough findings of life elsewhere in the universe could provide a uniquely humbling
and uniting experience. Rational thought would prevail as the masses removed from their
previously ignorant minds the conceited assertion that our home planet is the only one of
its kind. The single discovery of extraterrestrial life would have the impact of what multiple
combined ““Enlightenment”” movements can not achieve: unifying the human race as one.
Seeing past racial, ethnical, national, social, economic or cultural barriers, the world would gain
a whole new perspective as the realization that life does not discriminate sinks in.
Pondering the possibilities of life, I am bombarded with multiple questions in my head. How
much is life there similar to life on Earth? Has intelligent life developed? Is it possible for us
to communicate with them? I futilely try to answer these questions with hypothetical answers,
knowing that they, although possible, hold the slightest chances of being correct. Personally, I
envision a wealth of intelligent life forms not based on the genetic code of deoxyribonucleic acid
(DNA), but something unimaginably different. Visualizing communication, despite the inherent
differences between life forms, through the intermediary language of mathematics and science, I
dream of intergalactic symbiotic relationships forming. As knowledge of unprecedented events
and unique experiences on both worlds are shared, an unparalleled period of worldly peace and
scientific advancements would commence. However, the unknowns are far too great, and for
now my excitement is placated by the potential of Gliese 581g.