This is an intriguing and creative opening sentence. It hooks you from the beginning, piqueing your interest in both the essay and in myself as a prospective student. This paragraph goes on to describe a specific event tied into one of the many unique interests I feel passionately about. Here, I relate how I played a central role in either losing or winning some significant event in the field I am discussing. (Either that, or I discuss the death of a family member, but even I have the taste not to mock that, much.) I begin in medias res
and use only active sentences, helping to engage you, the reader, in the occurence.
In this second paragraph, I tell you how this event affected the team with whom I have worked closely with toward the goal we either met or failed to meet in the first paragraph. I explain how I demonstrated leadership of my peers, but balance this with modest assertions of how I couldn't have done it without the group. I relate briefly how hard we had all worked toward this moment, and express our joy in either triumphing or having done our best.
Next, I discuss how this event affected me. In exciting and/or heartfelt sentences, I tell you how much it meant to me and how great its influence has been. I mention my family's support, love, and care. I may throw in a simile or two like spices to liven up the writing, but not so many as to waste my precious word count. Perhaps I even admit to a little self-doubt, so that you realize I am truly a down-to-earth and realistic person, in spite of my many extraordinary aspects. Finally, I tell you how having experienced this has changed my view of life and the way I choose to live. With simple, eloquent language, I provide the moral to my story and leave you deeply moved by my words.
In this concluding paragraph, I wrap up the topic at hand. I mention quickly all the points previously set out, in case the board of reviewers is only reading the last paragraph to save time and because it's good structure to do this anyways. I recant the ideas that have made you feel that I am intelligent, kind, moral, and deserving of heaps of superlative adjectives as well as a letter of admission to your school. My second to last sentence neatly sums up everything presented so far in this essay and expresses a hope for the future. And now that you are off your guard, my last sentence adds a twist and a new perspective on the content that leaves this essay and the student it represents stuck firmly in your mind, hopefully setting me apart from the many bland and identical applicants and ensuring my swift acceptance to the college of my choice.
...The sad thing is how much I wish I had the nerve to actually send this (it's the right word count for the common app...), and how much time I spent composing it instead of writing real essays.
If you found this at all amusing, you might want to go read This is the Title of the Lunch Message, Which Appears Several Times Within the Lunch Message Itself, which is much funnier than this. You'll have to scroll down a bit, it's worth it.