Sample College Admission Essay: What Captivates You?

EssayAdmission Essay

A college admission essay is a document that university applicants submit, along with their other requirements, to an educational institution. It allows the applicant to discuss and share personal information that will help an institution assess their qualifications better. Students should utilize the document to tell something about themselves that will stand out and impress an admission committee. To learn what to put into the paper, read this sample college admission essay addressing a popular prompt: “What captivates you and makes you passionate?”

I have a lot of hobbies that help me cope with the stress of academic life. I have learned to draw, paint, and write; I dabble in collecting items, such as books, Funko Pops, stuffed animal toys, and other collectibles; I watch different genres of shows and play a variety of video games. These things allow me to remain productive and be at my best when it matters most. However, of all these things, video games are what captivates me and spark my passion. Video games are not only a source of entertainment but an inspiration to the arts that I also love to do.

Playing video games introduced me to a variety of things that honed my perception of life and the ways I approach challenges. It is common for people who do not play games to think that video games might be a waste or even have detrimental effects on children. However, my experiences prove the contrary. Instead of becoming a hindrance to my studies, video games were the very thing that motivated me to do my best. Realizing the benefits of gaming, video games captivated me and became a central part of my life.

I have played a variety of games from different genres and all taught me something different. The Elder Scrolls franchise, for example, sparked my creativity in different fields. These video games are in the genre of open-world role-playing games. Players can create their characters with personalized names, physical appearances, and abilities. When playing these games, I tend to spend a lot of time on character creation. I try to think of a backstory for my character that also fits the game world. This leads me to do some research before starting the game to ensure that my narrative fits the game world. I would read through game-related articles, no-spoiler reviews, and even watch hour-long interviews of developers talking about their game world. This helped me improve my research skills, contributing to my academic writing.

Another aspect of these games is the option to customize character appearances. You can change the shape of their head, nose, ears, lips, cheeks, and other facial features; you can make them tall, short, dark, fair, fat, or thin. There is a multitude of options depending on the game and all of these add to the time I spend on character creation. When I create my characters, I want them not only to look pleasing but also to fit their backstory. If I am making a thief-like character, I want them to be skinny or petite. If I want a battle-scarred warrior, I will give them a large build and perhaps some scars. Since I can experiment with the character creation menu, I try to shape a character’s look with a real-life model. This can be a famous actor or another game character. In doing these, I can hone my creativity and my appreciation of anatomy.

Aside from the Elder Scrolls games, there is also the Assassin’s Creed franchise. These games are under the action role-playing genre. Individuals play as a defined character with a set name, backstory, and personality. While there is less customization compared to the latter genre, these games compensate for it through their compelling narratives . In the Assassin’s Creed franchise, for instance, the game revolves around the conflict between two factions that signify “order” and “freedom”. The games are full of dialogues and in-game texts that give more context to the factions and their beliefs. 

Playing these games drove me to think more critically about the opposing values of “freedom” and “order”. “Freedom” refers to the idea of achieving peace by giving people freedom while “order” refers to the pursuit of peace through control. As I play through the games, I develop more questions about the topics; I begin to read more about the philosophies relevant to “freedom” and “order”; I would go through online forums and discussions to learn what other players think about the ideas. Even my perception of the games’ protagonists and antagonists changed. Before, I used to value freedom more than “order”. However, after learning more about the game, the ideologies, and observing real-world events, I learned the value of “order”. I understood that “freedom” invites chaos, disorder, anarchy, and more while “order” ensures peace and stability. From this, I began to structure my life with the value of “order” in mind. I set timelines, quantify quantifiable factors, and make sure that whatever I can control; I control.

Lastly, competitive games are some of the titles that I find captivating. They include popular titles, such as Valorant, Apex Legends, League of Legends, and DOTA 2. These games are stressful and require hundreds of hours of investment for one to feel progress. They require the development of mechanical and technical skills so that an individual can play against other players. The competitive nature of these types of games has even led to the e-sport industry–a field similar to traditional sports but focusing on competitive video games. Despite the stressful environment of competitive games, they have taught me about patience, self-improvement, teamwork, and taking care of mental health

I have spent hundreds of hours losing to better-skilled players and a hundred more evaluating my performances every game. I would record myself playing and at the end of every play session, I would watch the recording. This practice allowed me to see the mistakes I have made and work on the things that need improvement. From this, I realized that improvement works in increments. It is impossible to identify my mistakes and fix them the next day. I had to spend hundreds of hours fixing a mistake and turning the fix into a habit. This was the only way to improve–not to practice for perfection but to practice for permanence. Additionally, since playing the games are stressful, I needed to take breaks away from them. This was necessary to protect my mental health and prevent any detrimental effects on myself.


Video games captivate me in various ways because of the plethora of genres and styles that the industry offers. Role-playing games captivate my creative side through their highly-customizable features that allow me to sculpt characters and turn my imagination into virtual reality. Action role-playing games feed my analytical mind with ideas that I can explore, dissect, and criticize. Competitive games offer me a challenging environment that makes me aware of my weaknesses and pushes me to improve myself. These lessons that I have learned from them have helped me through my high school life and I am confident that they will do so in my college life.

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