Long Standing Tradition Definition Essay

Did you ever hear one of your kids say, "We always" when speaking of a family activity or event?

Kids love rituals of all types: bedtime rituals, Friday night pizza and movie nights, spending the night at Grandma's on Saturday night, and especially holiday rituals.

In fact, if you do something that kids like once, they often expect it to be a ritual that continues.


Rituals are an important part of childhood. Think back to your own childhood and the things you "always" did.

Your family probably took part in daily, weekly, annual, and holiday rituals. These are all a part of family life.

What is the difference between a regular daily routine and a family tradition?
All of the things your family does on a regular basis are part of the family's routine. This includes the normal daily activities like what you eat for breakfast, weekend activities like kids' sports or visiting relatives, and activities during the week like eating dinner together as a family.

Some regular parts of your day can also be family traditions. For example, if a part of your daily routine is eating breakfast together as a family, that is a family tradition.

What are family traditions?

  • Practices and beliefs
  • Create positive feelings
  • Repeated regularly
  • More than just routines
  • Some are handed down from generation to generation
  • Some are created within a single branch of the family
  • Some are spiritual in nature
  • Some are part of your cultural or ethnic heritage

Why should you have family traditions?

  • Strengthen your family
  • Create a connection between family members
  • Links you to other generations in the family
  • Creates a feeling of closeness and togetherness
  • Allows the family to spend special time together
  • Gives kids a sense of belonging and identity

What kinds of family traditions are there?

Day-to-day family interactions include

  • Dinner time rituals like sharing the best part of your day
  • Bed time rituals like reading a book and saying prayers
  • Weekend morning rituals like watching Saturday cartoons

Family traditions specific to your family may include

  • Church on Sundays followed by lunch at a favorite restaurant
  • Vacations to Myrtle Beach or the Outer Banks
  • Weekly or monthly family meetings
  • Pizza nights every Friday
  • Visiting out-of-town relatives over summer vacation

Celebration traditions involve special events

  • How and where birthdays are celebrated
  • Where holidays are spent and with whom
  • How anniversaries are celebrated

Some extended family traditions

  • Vacationing together
  • Sunday dinner at Grandma's
  • Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving dinners

Think of a family like a bank account. You make deposits of time and energy to the family bank to create a strong family. Family members withdraw what they need from the family bank during difficult times.

Family traditions are one of the types of deposits available to the family bank.

Changes to family traditions

Family traditions almost always change when parents divorce. Due to changes in where kids live and how they spend holidays and birthdays, traditions may change a little or a lot.

Some family traditions change over the years as your children get older. Good examples of changes due to older kids are bedtime stories and family movie nights.

Other traditions change as your children grow up and have families of their own. Opening gifts on Christmas morning and Easter morning egg hunts will take place at your grown children's houses instead of taking place at your house.

Sometimes families review long-standing traditions and decide that one or more no longer fit their lifestyle.

It's a good idea to talk as a family about any traditions that you feel may need to change. Weigh everyone's input and the reasons for the changes to make a decision.

You may be surprised how much you and your kids are attached to long-standing traditions. If one family member really wants to keep a tradition, it's best not to change the tradition if practical.

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Rice University Application Essay Prompts


Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150 word limit)

This question is common among universities and requires you to name one extracurricular activity or work experience that uniquely defines you. The prompt has the potential to make your application stand out for reasons outside of the academic realm. Examples of extracurricular activities or work experiences could range from serving as the president of your high school’s local branch of UNICEF to working as a cashier at the nearby McDonald’s.


While the activity itself might not hold as much weight, your leadership and accomplishments in the aforementioned activity — that is, what exactly about your involvement in the activity that makes it significant — do. Thus, you should have been involved in the selected activity for some considerable time.


The tight word limit ensures that you select the activities that are the most important to you. Especially effective essay topics would be activities that enabled you to step outside of your comfort zone, have some special personal significance, and/or are related to your potential major. Writing on these allows you to communicate something about yourself beyond just your involvement in the activity through this essay, be it your long-term devotion to your desired field of study or your capacity to overcome personal hardship.

With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study. (150 word limit)

This prompt goes hand-in-hand with the preceding question by gauging your academic interests to supplement your extracurricular profile. In addition to elaborating on your general academic interests, we at CollegeVine recommend that you highlight some unique attributes of the corresponding school at Rice to tie your response together.


Talk about your specific interest and experiences in the major and area of interest. Unfortunately, with a required response of 150 words, this essay prompt is not long enough to be a fully developed essay like that of the Common Application. Thus, you should be especially judicious in the balance between describing your general academic interests and discussing the finer details of the relevant school at Rice.

How did you first learn about Rice University, and what motivated you to apply? (250 word limit)

“Why our school?” is perhaps the most common prompt seen in college supplements and requires you to highlight specific aspects of the school that appeal to you. Ensure that you do your research and find attributes of the school that connect well with your interests.


You could discuss the residential college system, faculty-to-student ratio, and/or top architecture program, to name a few key aspects of the school. Regardless of your selection, you should point out how that aspect has some personal connection to you. In tying personal experiences, accomplishments, and interests into the offerings at Rice, you can make your essay all the more compelling.


With a slightly larger word limit, this question enables you to flesh your ideas out more thoroughly than the previous questions. As a result, you have the option of either focusing on one or two attributes of the school that particularly resonate with you or generally discuss multiple aspects that appeal to you. If possible, we at CollegeVine suggest the former to help make your application as unique and tailored to you as possible.

In keeping with Rice’s long-standing tradition (known as “The Box”), please share an image of something that appeals to you. See the Help Section for more information.

The Box is perhaps the most interesting of all the prompts. It allows you to express your identity through an image as opposed to a worded response. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so choose carefully.


You could submit a photograph of a family heirloom or a gift given to you as a volunteer at the hospital. By forcing you to choose one image, admissions officers will see your image as a reflection of what is important to you. Thus, use your best judgment and avoid inappropriate images such as those that might reflect any extreme political standing. It would be wise, if possible, to choose an image that was mentioned or described in either your Common Application essay or one of the above prompts, so that the image has some context.


If you are looking for more personalized help on your application, consider CollegeVine’s essay editing and application guidance programs. Our team would love to evaluate your application and help you further set yourself apart in the applicant pool!


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