The article does a great job summarizing how to write a college application essay. However, it doesn’t articulate one critical point: target audience. What are the values of the school that you’re applying to? If you’re applying to a school that values integration and care for your society, then your essay should talk about how you volunteered at a local animal shelter or held a charity auction. If the school values things like creativity, then emphasize that aspect. While writing your application essay, in particular on the CommonApp, my advice is to have different essays for different kinds of schools. If needed, a general one that shows you in a good light will suffice, but if you have more time to personalize each essay to the particular school then by no means do so. This is a good solution for people who have multiple things that they can be proud of from their high school career. If you’re a math whiz but also a soccer champ, you can write about both of those qualities in different essays.
Miami is definitely the most culturally diverse city I have ever lived in, but somehow, people still manage to judge. During my first year here, the kids used to make fun of me for having a British accent because of my studies in a British school in Madrid. I even got made fun of for my Spanish accent when I spoke Spanish because of the lisp the Spanish have when they speak (compared to many of the local Cubans). In the other countries, I was judged for the people I spent my time with. But in the United States, I was the source, and it felt different.