Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees | University of Washington Undergraduate Application Essay

“Money doesn’t grow on trees” was my mom’s favorite catchphrase – and her inevitable response to my requests for movie tickets, clothes, and chocolate. The first time she used this phrase was in fifth grade when I asked for movie money. My mother gave me exact change, so I salivated while watching my friends savor popcorn and candy. Then in sixth grade, my friends and I became obsessed with sparkly jeans. When I asked my mom for money for bedazzled pants, she was genuinely baffled: “You only have one butt. Why do you need so many pants?”

Her message was clear. I couldn’t just ask for those fancy pants; I had to earn them. To earn money, I had to provide goods or services needed in my community. A lemonade stand? Nope, not enough profit. Mowing lawns? The clumsy sixth-grade me wasn’t ready to lose a finger. Having a knack for crafts, I loved making wallets, bags, and hair accessories from duct tape. Soon, I realized I could turn a hobby into a lucrative business. To advertise, I brought a wallet to class, and students clamored to order a duct-tape wallet.

I sold my merchandise for a dollar each and began earning a whopping ten dollars a week, enough to cover expenses and expand inventory. After saving some money, I indulged in…

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