Florida State University Essay Examples

Florida State University Vires, Artes, and Mores Scholarship Sample Essay

Select a torch and submit a short essay (250 words maximum) on the qualities that torch represents and how it is a part of something you personally value

Florida State University Values Essay


Vires, which represents strength of all forms, provides humankind its characteristic tenacity. Its spirit pushes us to persevere against all adversity in order to achieve our potentials. I, for example, have felt the power of Vires as a martial artist.

Practicing martial arts bestowed upon me physical strength. To me, perseverance against physical limits is indicative of physical strength. I have trained with kickboxing state champions, and have been beaten up by them, but I am not dissuaded. No matter the bruises or micro-fractures in my shins I have continued on. Clearly, my martial arts training has developed my physical strength.

Furthermore, practicing martial arts has developed my moral strength. My teachers have always advocated, as cliché as it sounds, that the strong must protect the weak. I have implemented this teaching in my life by volunteering to help the mentally handicapped and raising money for water wells in Africa. Thus martial arts training has developed my moral strength.

Finally, practicing martial arts instilled in me the mental discipline required for intellectual strength. I have achieved academic success in rigorous IB and AP courses and nearly aced the ACT through sheer hard work. I have also never suffered from the infamous "senioritis." Therefore, practicing martial arts has fostered my intellectual strength.

Vires has always aided me in the past and so I will continue to embody its spirit as a proud Seminole. The spirit of Vires, however, is inherent to all of us and will guide us through life's hardships.


As Aristotle once astutely observed, "All men, by nature, desire knowledge." The pursuit for knowledge has enthralled humankind throughout all of recorded history. Artes represents this thirst for knowledge. It engenders deep-seated curiosity that has permitted us to understand the most ostensibly unknowable of concepts. Without the spirit that Artes embodies, progress would surely cease. This fact, in of itself, makes Artes a beautiful virtue. Interestingly, however, the spirit of Artes can awaken our intellectual curiosity quite unexpectedly.

I once performed an experiment to determine the molar volume of a gas at standard conditions. As I analyzed the data, I serendipitously noticed that the ideal gas law more accurately led to the molar volume of a gas than standard stoichiometrical calculus does. I was initially baffled, but I was extremely interested as to why this puzzling phenomenon occurred. I reviewed the relevant concepts, but could not find any mention of this phenomenon. As I intently pondered over the subject, I realized that the ideal gas equation accounts for more relevant variables than does Stoichiometry! I felt profound pride as I stumbled upon this subtle discovery.

While this discovery is admittedly small (and I am sure chemists already knew of this phenomenon), the thrill of solving the puzzle enkindled an intellectual curiosity inside of me. As Artes symbolizes one of the most important qualities Prometheus bestowed upon man-the curious mind, I cannot help but to aspire to uphold its ideals at Florida State University as both a student and assistant researcher.


The Fall of Saigon was a terrible blow to many Southern Vietnamese, such as my parents. My parents were lucky enough, however, to escape the newly Communist Vietnam. My father, however, had to leave most of their respective families behind.

Fortunately, my father's parents were able to move over here a few years ago. The partially re-united family rejoiced in the conclusion to the painful and prolonged separation of kin. My grandparents, however, suffered contemplating how their son, my father, had to grow up without their guidance. Likewise, my father wistfully expressed sorrow at growing up with an empty void where his parents should have been.

We decided to make the most of what time we had left. We constantly had family outings and helped each other in household chores. My grandparents even moved into a house across the street so that that we could spend even more time together. Vietnamese traditions became even more prevalent in my home as my parents attempted to make my grandparents feel at home.

I, however, realized that I needed to go see the world for myself in order to grow as an individual. I decided to attend a college almost 300 miles away from home, against my family's wishes, in order to develop as an individual.

Despite my choice to leave my family, I still believe in maintaining family customs and tradition. I will discover myself here at Florida State University, but I won't forget to make surprise visits home.

Original Source: Essay Forum

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A Clear View
I spent most of my adolescence behind two thick bifocal lenses guarded by a purple metal frame. These glasses made me feel awkward, diminishing my confidence academically, athletically, and socially.
Not only did I have the strongest prescription to enable me to see, but I also had bifocals that made the essential act of bubbling answer sheets nearly impossible. Throughout elementary school, a teacher and I triple checked my bubbling, always finding errors. Until I learned how to cope with my glasses, these errors would result in test scores that did not adequately reflect my ability.
Halfway through a middle school soccer game I took a ball to the face, and out popped a lens. A flock of moms then searched the field, looking for a glimmer of glass. I stood, blind and embarrassed that the game was waiting on me. The next game, I wore prescription sunglasses with a strap, drawing many laughs. This treatment led me to have a negative perception of myself. I looked into the mirror and saw a timid young girl. I took my glasses off, looked again, and saw nothing. I could not see myself; I literally and figuratively did not know who I was or what I looked like due to my strabismus and extreme near and far-sightedness.
I knew a strong but compassionate girl could be in the mirror. Despite these glasses, I had been voted captain of my middle school teams and had stopped incidences of bullying at recess during the infamous games on the four square court. Yet, I still continued to hide behind my purple glasses.
Finally, my ophthalmologist permitted me to ease out of my glasses and into contacts. This seemed to coincide with my intellectual and physical growth. Not only did I feel better about myself, but without the need for bifocals, I could perform better in the classroom and on the athletic fields.
I saw myself transforming from an introvert into an extrovert. My confidence began to grow; I made new friends and felt comfortable expressing my ideas. I began to take on more leadership roles in athletics, academics, and clubs. I felt confident enough to reach out to others, to assist them in the classroom as a Calculus and Biology tutor and on the field as Captain of my varsity lacrosse team. My identity dramatically changed; while I still viewed myself as an excelling intellectual, I now had the certainty and determination to accomplish almost anything.
Today, I sit up on a lifeguard tower with Kure Beach Ocean Rescue where I work to protect lives. Five years ago, I would not have been confident enough to take a position of such responsibility and authority. I was able to push through the season of my life where I felt ostracized, and I was able to adapt to difficult tasks while maintaining an excellent academic reputation. I am ready to persevere through new academic challenges, and I will not settle for anything less than my best. Now, when I look in the mirror I do see my reflection; like a Polaroid picture developing over time, I too have slowly come to recognize all the beautiful colors and variations of me.

* This is for the year 2016*
*Entering the class of 2020*

At nine years old, I was granted a precious gift. One that has unearthed my passion to improve the quality of others lives.

That precious gift is my best friend, Michael.

It might sound odd for a nine year old to think of a 6’3", 300 pound, 22-year old man as her best friend, but our relationship is far from ordinary.

Michael has an extreme form of autism. Although he is incapable of performing elementary tasks on his own, he has an astounding knack for origami. He can intricately fold paper and align myriad shapes at awe-inspiring speeds into handcrafted baskets, flowers, animals, anything.

I spent many summers at camp sneaking off to spend time with Michael. He would teach me origami, a skill I was not coordinated enough to acquire. The thrill I saw in his smiling face while coaching me made me realize how much this time meant to both of us.

On the last morning of camp, I was waiting on the bus when Michael bounded onboard, handing me a basket filled with roses. An origami basket of roses, of course. Inside, a faintly scrawled crayon inscription stated,

"U r my hero.”

I tried to hide my tears. I didn't want him to figure out that this goodbye was sad. Luckily, I didn’t have to worry, because Michael is blessed with the genetic makeup of pure optimism.

Although I only saw Michael at summer camp, he encouraged me all year long with letters, Face-time calls, and emails. Michael has seen me get frustrated, lose hope over test scores, remorse about my absent/drug-addicted father, and even fail at origami. However, Michael never gave up on me.

What brought us together is an incredible organization affiliated with the sleep away camp I attend known as the Friendship Circle, whose mission is to foster friendships between individuals with special needs and the youth of the community.

After camp, I told my mom about Michael and how much he was changing my life. She knew Friendship Circle was a commitment I wanted to make. With her help, I made a 45-minute drive every Sunday for the next six years to the nearest Friendship Circle chapter.

My years serving as president were spent spreading the word to families about Michael, about the opportunity for children to create these relationships, and persuading volunteers that these individuals will impact their lives forever. Just as Michael has impacted mine.

During a visit to Pittsburgh, I met Michael for ice cream. His mother broke down in tears about how I've changed his life; I had to assure her that he has been the one changing lives.

That day Michael left me with another origami basket, decorated in hardly legible blue crayon:

“I love u.”

In that moment, I knew my community deserved more. I knew there were children and young adults in the special needs community who deserved a friendship like ours, as well as teenagers who needed a friend as genuine as Michael.

In the fall of my junior year, I founded the Friendship Circle of Boynton Beach. The hours, days, weeks and months I've dedicated to this effort are coming to fruition as our chapter continues to change lives, including my own. I have found my happiest moments have come from seeing the smiling faces of special needs children feeling included, loved, and supported. I feel I have gained more than I have given, and it is the gift of giving that calls me to be a nurse, and I know as long as I can help another human being, I will be happy.

Growing in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, I truly was not receiving a proper education and I knew that my education was the only way for a more successful future. When I was young, my mother read a book to me every day until I was old enough to read by myself. She would purchase English and I would read them to the best of my ability. This is how I began teaching myself English. I came to the United States at the age of five years old because of all the violence, and was able to because of my status as a Canadian citizen. The court assigned my aunt legal guardianship of me, the reason being that it was not a safe choice for me to go back to Haiti, I became active in the U.S and attended school. My mother always pushed me to be and do better, this is why, when I came to the United States to study, I promised myself that I would try harder than my maximum capability. The United States made me fall in love with learning because it is endless; gaining knowledge by learning never ends unless you choose it to end. With learning comes knowledge with knowledge comes ambitions, and with the right ambitions comes success. I am driven by my ambitions and thrive to learn not only to educate myself, but to use my knowledge to educate others. Learning is not always associated with school; we learn things through experiences, mistakes, life lessons, people around us, and most importantly ourselves. In life I aspire to become a neurosurgeon like Dr. Ben Carson who has truly inspired me in various ways, and have what is called “Healing Hands”. My favorite quote is from his mother, “You can do anything anybody else can do, except you can do it better.” I carry these words with me every single day, with ever decision I make. One of my main goals in life is to visit Africa and build schools and manage a hospital so children in the area will receive a proper education, as well as a proper care. Through my own experience, I can truly say that life in a developing country is very challenging and I believe that these children deserve, as well as anyone else, the chance to learn in order to be successful in the future. This audacious path, which I have chosen, involves a great deal of learning and I know that I am most ready to do what is necessary for my success. There are numerous benefits to learning such as personal growth and an expanded horizon, increasing employability and improved career development prospects, a broader range of interests and a wider social life , and the ability to create one’s own future. Whether it is learning something new or learning how to learn, everyone needs to make learning a part of one’s daily life. Everything around us gives us the opportunity to learn and obtain something from said learning, and I believe that my opportunity to learn and grow is here. This school has an amazing academic system and an overall excellent learning environment; this is the place I need to be to further my education. Here I can continue to expand my knowledge while receiving the best education. It has the field that I want to major in, and will provide me with the opportunity to learn different things and explore beyond the capability of my mind.

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are leaders, and there are followers. Not to discredit any side, but I was born a leader. I can confidently say that my mom and dad are the most important, inspiring, and influential people in my life. From a very young age, they instilled the concept of leadership in me, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. I say "concept" of leadership because it’s only when you’ve experienced the challenges of leadership, that you can truly appreciate what it means to be one. Situations mold and shape us into the people we are today, and many of the lessons I've learned have greatly impacted my perception and my ability to act as a leader. All my life my father stressed the importance of a man's word. "Your word, is your word AJ, never go back on it." This one phrase has defined my character. One of these defining moments was when I was running for National Junior Honor Society President in Junior High. I wasn't the most popular candidate, and the odds seemed stacked against me. As Election Day came, it was time to deliver our final speeches. The other candidates spoke of empty promises I knew they wouldn't deliver on and before I knew it, it was my turn to speak. As I took a deep breath, I remembered my Dad’s advice about showing the class my true character. I did not want empty promises to be my legacy, I wanted my actions to be. My classmates saw the passion I had in keeping my word and against all odds, I won. Later I realized that it wasn’t my speech that won them over, it was the actions that followed my words throughout the year that helped them see the real me. That minor victory helped me grow as a leader and showed me what it took to be one. It showed me confidence and persistence, but most of all, it showed me the value of my word. Today, I can sit here and tell you that creating leadership programs for underprivileged children as Vice Chair of Youth Leadership Broward, mentoring underclassmen as Student Ambassador, making top ten percent of my class are all great accomplishments. However, what I’m most proud of are the little lessons that my parents taught me like “keeping my word”. Because of these lessons, I have a thirst for success, and have the ability to lead others while conquering any situation. Why consider me as a student at Florida State? Consider this, I give you my word, that as a student I will employ whatever means necessary to work hard, contribute greatness to the campus, but most importantly, to succeed.

Walk onto the campus of Port Charlotte High School and pass the student office. Walk up the stairs on your left until you reach the second floor. Keep walking, past the displays of art done by the AP Art students, past the girls curling their hair in the bathrooms and stop at the unassuming double doors known as C-201. Go ahead, open the doors and be visually assaulted by the photographic depictions of life around the world. Notice the Columbian woman in bright colors balancing her market wares in basket upon her head or the white haired man beside his guide on Mount Kilimanjaro with the travel worn knapsack with patches of the world’s flags covering every inch of canvas. If that doesn't appeal to your senses, pick up the hookah on the shelf, sit upon the hand-crafted African chair (but only when Johnson isn't looking) or hang off the totem pole towards the back of the room but be careful the wing of the eagle tends to fall off. This is Mr. Johnson’s classroom where he teaches World History and Humanities but most of all assembles forty plus students together every Tuesday and Thursday. These students comprise the school’s Model United Nations (MUN) team world-renowned and what we jokingly call “the nation’s most diverse team”. This room does more than hold the evidence of Mr. Johnson’s worldly travels or years of MUN research it holds thoughts, hopes, innovation, laughter, character, and more often than not tears. It is my home away from home actually in most cases it is more of a home than my actual home I even have my own little “room”. By room I mean kiosk, all veteran delegates have one and by December they’re decked out with mini fridges, area rugs, and bean bag chairs. All which of course contribute to a thought provoking yet comfortable research environment. Yet, even though the kiosks make up a substantial part of the room that’s not the best part of Johnson’s room. No, the best part is the sense of family that flows throughout the room. The wall in the back corner by the window with the sign that says “hi mom” on the outside will tell you all about the day I crumpled into a ball and sobbed during C lunch and how my team came and brought me back to center. The long wood top table towards the back of the room can laughingly tell you about the dance –off that took place right on top of it. The closet towards the double doors could whisper to you about the fort we made instead complete with twinkling lights, blanket covered chairs, and literary classics. Don’t even get the desks started on the heated debates that take place on topics ranging from the merits of anarchy to desertification and its economic impacts on Africa.
As hard as I try, putting the impact this room has had in my life into words is near impossible. I've lived, breathed, and slept this room (literally) for four years. But more important than the room is the people that occupy it every day. My teammates are my family sometimes more so than my actual family, I see them a lot more. Mr. Johnson, our adviser, whom I lovingly call Odin or All-Father, is a fountain of knowledge and wisdom. There isn't a question or problem he can’t solve or a tear and sniffle he can’t make go away. This room is unlike any in the world and if I find one that has a tenth of the impact upon my life like this room has I’ll consider myself lucky.

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