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University of Rochester "Meliora" Essay HELP!

ledunlapledunlap Posts: 46Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in College Essays
I'm writing the "Meliora" essay for University of Rochester applications (Priority Review, due December first) and I'm concerned it's not about me and my own experience enough, but i don't know what else to say! Suggestions?

The prompt:
Meliora: ''Ever better'' - The University's motto directs our focus toward continual improvement through learning, discovery, creativity, and enterprising collaborations among people with different points of view. Describe a ''Meliora'' experience from your life.

The essay:
At the end of Taekwondo class, my instructor said, “You all did great today. But do you think you can do better?” A few students said, “Yes, Sir.” “Your answer should always be yes,” he said. “You can always improve with practice.”
I took his words to heart, realizing they pertain to more than Taekwondo. I find they apply to life in general: improvement is possible in most endeavors, as Meliora proclaims.
To me, Meliora means ever better at what I love and what is difficult or scary. It means ever better at working with different people and in unique environments, especially when it doesn’t come naturally. Like Taekwondo, college will offer me new goals, boosting me from my comfort zone to my Meliora zone.
Post edited by ledunlap on

Replies to: University of Rochester "Meliora" Essay HELP!

  • dob103dob103 Posts: 85Registered User Junior Member
    I had a difficult time with the Meliora essay as well. They don't give you a lot of room to get a point accross. Did you go to the website and read the blog that has about 1000 other Meliora essays?

    BTW I think the essay your wrote is good but might be better if you could personalize it a little more.
  • eCoachJeneCoachJen Posts: 169Registered User Junior Member
    My personal opinion is that this prompt is asking an applicant to share with admissions a specific incident he/she experienced “Meliora.” What you’ve written agreed with the prompt but didn’t answer the prompt. Again, colleges are looking to get to know YOU better as a person through your experience.

    Hope this helps. Good luck! : )
  • ledunlapledunlap Posts: 46Registered User Junior Member
    Thank you!

    Here is my latest attempt at the essay. I completely reworked it.... any suggestions?


    My strengths are mostly mental and rarely athletic; I am more a logical, creative thinker than a limber gymnast or graceful dancer. Paradoxically, that is why I love taking taekwondo. No part of it comes naturally to me; I have to work for improvement. This makes taekwondo satisfying in a way that easier activities are not; every milestone I reach, I know I deserve.

    My goal in taking taekwondo is not to become a grand master, but to cultivate a part of myself that needs development. I try to bring this attitude into my life whenever possible: each challenge and each weakness is an opportunity to grow and become better. As meliora dictates, I am “always striving to be ever better” at all aspects of my life – not only those that come easily.
  • ledunlapledunlap Posts: 46Registered User Junior Member
    This is definitely not an easy essay.
  • eCoachJeneCoachJen Posts: 169Registered User Junior Member
    This is excellent, unique and perfect for the prompt. The only thing I personally would change is this part:

    As meliora dictates, I am “always striving to be ever better”

    Rewriting the prompt is not necessary and takes away from your wonderful piece.

    Good luck! :)
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