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Hey so here's the closest thing to a final draft I have:

1) At the University of Maryland, we value a diverse community. How have your life experiences and background shaped you into an individual who will enrich the University of Maryland community?

As I stood on the balcony of my grandparents’ house in India, I watched the students with interest as they struggled to carry their textbooks home. Their uniforms were simple, their shoes neatly tied, and their faces lit with joy after another challenging day at school. At that moment, I was struck by the realization of the cultural, political, and religious diversity I have seen throughout my travels around the world. Reflecting on my visits to Africa, Europe, and Asia, I think about how I have incorporated valuable assets such as tolerance and respect for others into my life. These assets are essential for me to have a healthy and successful experience during my role as a University of Maryland student.

Being an Indian American growing up in Maryland, I am fortunate to be able to balance my life between the educational and social life of Western culture and the traditional life of Indian culture. The blend of these cultures has given way to many hobbies and talents that would make me a benefit to the diversity of the University of Maryland community.

When I entered my freshman year at Hereford High, not many boys were willing to join my school’s prestigious chamber choir. Stereotypes aside, I auditioned and won a spot in the baritone section. At first I didn’t believe that I could relate to my classmates in any way because they were all unique in terms of their backgrounds and social classes. However, as time progressed I came to know my fellow choir members as family rather than peers. Surprisingly, our dependence on each other was more vital than I would have ever expected. After a year of long practices in and out of class, our commitment was paid off when we were awarded the highest rating possible at the state competition. From this accomplishment, I have learned that no matter which path I select to pursue, I will be able to associate with any collection of people in order to reach my goals.

Before I entered high school, I had no clue on what career path I wanted to enter. Through my academic and social activities, however, I have become aware of my tendencies to adopt leadership and communication roles within different organizations. I believe that being voted Vice President of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and awarded the illustrious Maryland Mock Trial Champion Award will prepare me for the public role I intend to play in college and beyond.

I believe the University of Maryland offers a wonderful opportunity for me to experience a mix of excellent education and a richly diverse environment. While at the University of Maryland, I expect to concentrate on maintaining superior academic grades as well as being actively involved in campus activities and attending the Terrapins sports games. I am also hopeful to join the honor societies and advanced courses offered within the University of Maryland community. These activities will enrich me with a well rounded view of life, the world, and help me reach my goal to become a successful entrepreneur.

- Please check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- I need to cut 15 words out, any help?
- Also, please be sure to check I use the right words in the right situations.

If you were a college admissions officer, how tempted would you be to have me as a student? (rate out of 10)

For Further Reading

  • Essay $6! GRADE ME PLEASE! -

    I'd rate you about average -- a 4, 5, or 6, mainly because you haven't really answered the prompt: "How have your life experiences and background shaped you into an individual who will enrich the University of Maryland community?" You've focused on your past accomplishments rather than how your experiences will be an asset to the university community.

    In the first paragraph, only one sentence alludes to what benefits you bring to the university. You could have expanded upon the appreciation you have for cultural, ethnic, and religious differences and how you've overtly shown this appreciation.

    In the second paragraph you mention your hobbies and talents, but are not specific about how they can add to campus life.

    The third paragraph, although it exhibits pride in the accomplishments of the choir, still emphasizes how it will help YOU.

    I think you get the picture. Your essay is much too heavily weighed on how YOU, rather than the university community.

  • Essay $6! GRADE ME PLEASE! -

    I understand..I guess i'm going to have to spend a lot more time on this...

    It's due in 3 days so.........wish me luck.

    You'll probably seeing a lot more revisions to come.

  • Essay $6! GRADE ME PLEASE! -

    Good luck! :-)

  • Essay $6! GRADE ME PLEASE! -

    I would rate it 6, same rationale. Some schools would rate it 7, some 5.

    I agree the essay is focused on you, not how you fit the University's needs for a diverse culture and folks who can accept that environment.

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