The essay presents a “human” aspect to your application that can be found nowhere else and, in certain situations, can be the deciding factor between a denial or waitlist, or a waitlist and an acceptance.
If you really want to send any additional materials, make sure to contact the admissions office first to see if they want them and, if they do, how you should send them.
If they don’t “get” the essay, they think it’s dry or boring, or they raise their eyebrows and ask you if you’re serious, go back to the drawing board.
It may take a few tries before you get a good essay but, given that after your standardized test scores and GPA, it’s the most important part of your application, make sure to take your time and do it right.
Neither do I want to read about a star-gazing experience at age 8 (even on a cold, windswept hill), a childhood chemistry set (no matter how beloved), a fantastic documentary that someone happened to find when a televised golf match was canceled (serendipity!
), or anything that is supposed to convince the graduate faculty that you have really, truly, profoundly loved science for a long time." 3.