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The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

You Had Me at the First Line: College Essay Hooks

As early decision and early action colleges begin to release decisions, The Razor asked the Class of 2023 to share the first sentence of their personal statement, a 650-word essay that gets sent to all the schools they apply to through the Common App. Here are some of their actual college essay hooks:
“My name is five letters, all of which my two younger sisters have stolen, taking sibling rivalry to the next level.”
 -Aanya Panyadahundi
“I couldn’t quite spell my full name until I was eight years old.” 
-Dani Rodriguez-Larrain
“Freshman year, I entered high school with boundless energy and excitement.” 
“Separated by eight thousand miles of ocean, as a pandemic raged, my new friend and I forged a bond over our mutual love of Taylor Swift.” 
-Laila Samuel
“Zombies are killing me.” 
-Dhalia Brelsford
“As my first cousin once-removed, Paul really goes above and beyond with the ‘removed’ bit.”
“Orphanage · noun, a residential institution for the care and education of orphans.” 
-KC Chustecki
“The New York Times hailed it as ‘the coming-of-age of an entire culture.’”
 -Arin Bhandari
“Season 7, Episode 17 of Grey’s Anatomy changed my life.”
“‘To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.’ -E.E. Cummings.” 
-Lera Strickland
“Being called ‘The Mom’ in elementary school was an insult.” 
“At heart, I am a storyteller.” 
-Teddy Johnson
“Music is my means of communication and comprehension: I speak and hear through its voice and ears, letting new people and adventures add notes to the song of my life.” 
-Malcolm Edusa
Editor in Chief 
Melody Cui

Managing Editor 
Riley Foushee

Evie Doolittle
Aanya Panyadahundi
Sam Cherry
Sophie Denny
Anya Mahajan
Vivian Wang
Hanna Jennings
Megan Davis
Mira Krichavsky
Asher Joseph
Amalia Tuchmann
Rose Robertson
Shriya Sakalkale
Sarvin Bhagwagar
Daniela Rodriguez-Larrain
Sophia Neilson
Zoe Sommer
Eli Ratner
Teddy Witt

Tanner Lee
Amir McFerren
Connor Tomasulo
Maggie Russell
Arielle Rieder
Anika Madan
Alex Lopez

Dhalia Brelsford
Hailey Willey

Web Editors
Grace Laliberte
Brayden Gray

Business Manager
Luca Vujovic

Faculty Advisers
Stephen May
Elizabeth Gleason
David Harpin
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
The Razor,
 an open forum publication, is published monthly during the school year by students of: 
Hopkins School
986 Forest Road
New Haven, CT 06515

Phone: 203.397.1001 x271