College Essay: Siddharth Jejurikar to attend Tufts University

College Essay: Siddharth Jejurikar to attend Tufts University

Hailey Spaeth

This year, as they are every year, the senior class was given the task of writing an essay for their common application; many colleges use Common App to determine whether the prospective student gets in. This essay can be a deciding factor on admission to a certain university, so naturally many students spend a lot of time on it. With a generalized prompt, the essay can be a bit of a roadblock in the application process. Here is one of nine essays from Country Day Seniors that The Scroll and the college counseling felt knocked their essay out of the park.


Siddharth Jejurikar:

Contempt, borne of competition, hampered our relationship in those infantile pre-teen years. His three-year head start cast a three-mile shadow, so everything I did was inevitably compared to everything he did. In my mind, my brother, Shashank, was the stronger, faster, smarter, more disciplined version of me. It took me until high school to realize I am not him, that our blood does not make us carbon copies. Our relationship, for the largest part of my life, was strangely akin to Lord of the Flies. Yelling matches and fights broke out over the most trivial matters that our child-like minds inflated to utmost priority. Questions like, who gets to play the Xbox first, who gets that last scoop of Nutella, and who has to do what chores, started thermonuclear wars between us. It didn’t help that we were always doing the same things: we both went to karate class, we both played tennis, and we both had the same teachers (only I had them three years later). I constantly felt the weight of his legacy, an image I had to live up to—and that made me resent him.

He’s a Hemmingway, hating superfluity and nebulous meaning; I’m a Ginsberg, taking pride in the nonsensical and avant-garde. I want my authors to ramble a bit, to see the stream of their consciousness, to delve into the complex and entangled nature of their emotions projected unto the page.  He’s an extrovert, garnering energy and jubilation in the company of others; and I’m an introvert, enjoying my silent reprieve from the overwhelming noise of everyday life. While I love meeting new people and spending time with those close to me, I need an equal amount of time spent introspecting while on a run, meditating, or simply doing my homework every night. He listens to epic chord progressions of Led Zeppelin and the angelic voice of Freddie Mercury; I study the labyrinthine instrumentation of Radiohead and revel in the genius wordplay of Kendrick Lamar so I understand how each piece and component of a song contributes to its core meaning, its tone, its emotion, and its impact.

By understanding the reality of this situation, I unlocked the secret to vastly improving myself and my relationship with my brother. Yes, Shashank and I are infinitely different, but we share an adoration for music, we share a love for learning, and we share a need to best ourselves.

Skip to eighth grade, we’ve just moved to the United States, and I have a chance to reinvent myself. In order to beat Shashank, I realized, I have to do my own thing, otherwise he will always win. Over the course of the next two years, I left tennis for squash, I started running for fun, I read authors that appealed to me personally, and I began to find my own taste in music—listening to artists I uncovered instead of just the ones he showed me.

In doing so, I found myself. I became a happier person, discovering what really made me who I am.

But I also realized something else: my brother is unique too, and his experiences are something I can benefit from. Ever since I began my pilgrimage towards independence we started sharing music, sharing authors, and sharing experiences with each other—and our relationship is better for it. Sharing some common ground, our disparate personalities allow us to relate to each other while broadening each other’s horizons.

Now, I value my big brother, not just for his wealth of knowledge and understanding that I continue to tap today, but for what he inadvertently taught me: about being myself. I still do care if he gets that last scoop of Nutella, but I don’t mind that three-mile shadow anymore, because he cast it for me.