Here's the essay I wrote for my application to Carnegie Mellon University. A modified version also went to other colleges. If it sounds a little preachy and over-dramatic, it's because I'm trying to impress these people. Let's hope it gets me in.
Working on my personal web site has influenced my possible future career plans. This web site, Super Mario Bros. HQ, was made in service to all the Mario fans out there, but I ended up gaining a lot from the experience of making it.
I was prompted to start work on my web page two and a half years ago, when I couldn't find a really good web site devoted to Mario, my favorite video game character since childhood. I had recently been introduced to HTML by a computer class in school and had been turning the idea of a web page over in my head for a while. I figured that this was a good opportunity to practice my HTML and fill a niche interest that had not been adequately covered on the web.
I was determined to make my web site a complete source of Mario information; a place where all the Mario fans out there could gather to discuss their favorite character. Through two and a half years of constant updates my web site has grown steadily, getting it's own domain name, getting paid advertising, and becoming a huge source of information on Mario.
Working on my personal web site helped me discover not only an interest in HTML and web publishing, but also in writing in general. In the past, I had found writing tedious and boring, mostly because I was forced to write about topics I had little to no interest in. However, when I started writing about Mario for my web page, I couldn't stop. I found myself paying more attention in English class so I could learn how to write more effectively for my web page. This love for writing has expanded through a creative writing elective I took this year as well.
Working on my web page definitely influenced my planned future career path. Previously I had been planning to focus intently on a computer science education and career. Now that I've found that I actually like writing, I would like to incorporate more liberal arts education into my further learning. While I continue to have a strong interest in technology and computers, I don't want to limit my education and experiences with too narrow of a focus.
SMBhq is best viewed at 1024 x 768 resolution or higher.