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July 22, 2014

Homework Help: college essay please correct and comment

Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 10:21am.

3) Open-Ended question: Is there anything you would like us to know about you or your academic record that you have not had the opportunity to describe elsewhere in this application?


High school is a strange time. After three years of trying to develop identity and friends in middle school, students are expected to mature immediately on the first day of ninth grade, but I never did this. I never fully realized in the earlier grades how important high school success, as measured by GPA, would be to my future life. If I had worked and studied hard rather than taking things lightly, I would not have to apply to school with a low SAT score and a 3.7 GPA. Had I taken my grades in my earlier years seriously, I could have been a college's dream candidate. This year I have made an big effort to improve my work ethic. My grade point average is rising and my study habits are improving. Dedicated to making something of myself, I finally matured and am now trying to undo my actions and lessen the consequences. My new attitude and my understanding of the importance of earning good grades shows my ability to be responsible and I assure you that I will never revert to the student I once was. I enjoy the freedom to pursue my own interests and anxiously anticipate the ability to choose my own class schedule in college. While I understand that college will be significantly more challenging than high school, I have always found it easier to study for a class that interests me. I am also willing to accept the fact that as long as I am in school, I will be forced to take required courses that I might be less than enthusiastic about. However, with my new goal-oriented nature, I will realize that I am working towards my college degree and my future success, and I will be motivated to improve and do better. I will definitely enjoy the independence of campus life. The courses will be challenging, but I am willing to do what it takes to achieve my ultimate goal. I assure you that I have the potential. I am a changed person, hoping that my lack of responsibility and understanding will not have a lasting effect on my future success.





High school is a strange time. After three years of trying to develop identity and friends in middle school, students are expected to mature immediately on the first day of ninth grade, but I never did this. I never fully realized in the earlier grades how important high school success, as measured by GPA, would be to my future life. If I had worked and studied hard rather than taking things lightly, I would not have to apply to school with a low SAT score and a 3.7 GPA. Had I taken my grades in my earlier years seriously, I could have been a college's dream candidate. This year I have made an big effort to improve my work ethic. My grade point average is rising and my study habits are improving. Dedicated to making something of myself, I finally matured and am now trying to undo my actions and lessen the consequences. My new attitude and my understanding of the importance of earning good grades shows my ability to be responsible and I assure you that I will never revert to the student I once was. I enjoy the freedom to pursue my own interests and anxiously anticipate the ability to choose my own class schedule in college. While I understand that college will be significantly more challenging than high school, I have always found it easier to study for a class that interests me. I am also willing to accept the fact that as long as I am in school, I will be forced to take required courses that I might be less than enthusiastic about. However, with my new goal-oriented nature, I will realize that I am working towards my college degree and my future success, and I will be motivated to improve and do better. I will definitely enjoy the independence of campus life. The courses will be challenging, but I am willing to do what it takes to achieve my ultimate goal. I assure you that I have the potential. I am a changed person, hoping that my lack of responsibility and understanding will not have a lasting effect on my future success.

Comments before we work on the essay:


1)What are you doing " to undo..actions?" Are you doing community volunteer service?
2)Immaturity is not expected when one goes into the Ninth grade, frankly, most males are not mature until they are 40. It is a growing process.
3)Your new attitude.....attitudes are in the mind, what you need is evidence that it is there.
4)Freedom to pursue own interests....Mostly during undergraduate college you pursue the interests of your professors, or they expect you to do so.
5) ARRRRRGGGG you find it easier to study for a class that interests you? My God, what about all the others that make up the majority of your schedule?
6) You are shooting yourself...in the next sentence..." you recognize you will be FORCED to take courses ...." Do you really think any college will want to have students with that attitude? They want students to recognize each course as a challenging stepping stone to the path ahead.
7) The goal oriented natue brings the question...what are your goals? You never mentioned it? I mean life goals, educational goals, personal goals. That would help in this essay. Why do you want an education?
8) Your assurance of " I have the potential". You should never say this. OTHERS should be saying this in your letters of reference. If they did not, get new ones that say this. You have not demonstrated great potential on your record, so others (HS teachers, especially) should make comments on your potential they observed.
9) Last sentence absolutely delete. YOu need to close with something more positive and tangible, such as " I am making a new vision for my life, one of achievement, education, and works....." Something like that, not you are hoping for prior works to have a lasting effect...

OK. The only thing I didn't mention was the first sentence..delete it about "strange" time. It is not strange to those who are prepared. You were not.

Here is what I suggest. Think about the ten things I listed. Redo the essay with those in mind. The mechanics of the essay (grammar, word usage, strength) we can work on then. But my recommendation is to do a major rewrite. If you are in HS ( I am guessing you are in HS as a senior doing this as an assignment), ask a few of your teachers, present and past, to tell you what they see your potential as, and what kind of potential they see. If you listen, they will be honest, even brutally if you request it.
Then redo the essay. I think you have the beginnings of something that will work. Honesty, as written here, means something. Somewhere in the essay you ought to express sorrow for being a slacker for so long.

Repost, and we will help you.

One last thought on this essay. Your honesty does come thru, however, it has the flavor of being perhaps insincere and manipulative. That is a brutal statement, but you ought to know.
To mitigate this in the reading, try not to be flavor your essay with self enhancing and self serving statements: work for being honest, candid, and HUMILITY. Do discuss your "potential" with past teachers, let them do the talking, and you do the listening.

I hope you repost. Thanks.

Bob Pursley has given you some excellent advice. I look forward to seeing your next post -- your re-posting of your rewritten paper.

=)


I would add one more suggestion. You are using a lot of generalizations. Be specific. What weird thing did you do? What exactly did you do to make changes? How exactly do you expect to cope with the "looser" atmosphere and greater expectations of college? You have some good thoughts, but as the other teachers have said, you need to be "real", not just one of the crowd.

I liked it.

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