top of page

Quesadillas in UC Personal Statement

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

To the CLASS OF 2020

This summer, most of us Seniors were thinking, Thank god it’s finally our year! Woo-hoo! Senior szn baby! We can finally relax, have fun, and enjoy our last year of high school! Then, inevitably, we get pulled out of our cheerful stupor when we realize that with all the fun and games, comes the trepidation of college applications. With UC application opening tomorrow (Nov. 1), college applications are encroaching on us quicker than we’ve realized. I asked a member of the class of 2019 to anonymously share their personal statement and help us out. With a word count of 330, this PL grad is now at UCLA.

PROMPT: Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admission to the University of California?

I can make a mean quesadilla. Through experiments resulting in hits or misses, I have discovered the special ingredient lays in the butter slathered on the outside of the tortilla. The final product is a shining disk of melted cheese and crispy tortilla that crackles when your teeth close over the triangle slice. This hidden talent of mine took many efforts of trial and error to unearth. In fact, countless attempts were burned because I cooked it on high heat due to my lack of patience.

This was a pattern of behavior my parents had also observed: my impatience for cooking various meals, such as scrambled eggs, leaving them dry and not particularly enjoyable to eat. My parents had continually advised me to change this habit. They would tell me, “life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” It took me until junior year to realize the truth to this statement. My epiphany arose as I observed my peers, who were stricken with homework and I myself was floating in the same boat. We all were running the rat race of searching desperately for the best grades and to achieve the most out of school and the various other commitments we had. I had saved myself the anguish of truly never having any time to breathe or act like a regular teenager by not choosing AP Bio (which is as stressful as cooking quesadillas on high heat). Many of my classmates were able to successfully take the class and survive; however, to preserve my own mental health I chose not to. Not taking that single AP class will not cause my college campaign to fall in a burning wreck around me.

Living with intention is discovering mindfulness while balancing both the enjoyment and labor of life. It can reveal itself in places where it would be expected, like choosing to preserve mental health and balance within your time, or it can appear in the mundane task of making the most crispy, tasty quesadilla.


bottom of page