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Offensive essay?

medadumedadu Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
edited November 2004 in College Admissions
This is in response to the Why Penn? essay. I'm concerned whether the tone is insincere. It's only the introduction though, I will write more, but I wanted to know if I was going in the right direction. Do you think that the second paragraph makes me sound conceited? Appreciate the feedback, thanks!



Why Penn?


I always buy lunch from the Yue Kee food cart on 38th street. It’s not what we call “authentic” around my house, but hey, they make a good orange chicken. On any other day, I would indulge myself outside the Au Bon Pain across the street, but I was studying for my Biology final that day, so I made my way back to my study room at Van Pelt. Strolling down Locust Walk, I noticed from afar what seemed like chalk drawings all over the pavement. Flagrant vandalizing right in the heart of Penn’s campus! Oh the audacity. As I got closer, I saw that the culprits had signed their names as well: The Penny Loafers. Apparently they were holding auditions for new members. Beneath all the curlycues and exclamation marks, the Penny Loafers advertised, “Ass Kicking Acapella!” Shaking my head, I thought to myself, “Only at Penn.”

Over the past summer, I have had the opportunity to explore many of Penn’s programs through the Summer at Penn Program and my internship at the Clinical Research Building. Although I was not able to attend the Penny Loafer’s invitation, I did look into many of Penn’s more academic programs. Most of my explorations were in the scientific field (pun intended.) My summer goal was not to dig up as much dirt on Penn as I could so I can better write this essay, but to see for myself whether I could survive in Penn’s rigorous academic atmosphere. Biology 101 had the reputation of being the most challenging course in the program. Sadly, I did not learn of this until a week after classes had started. I was suspicious when our professor announced that we were required to read one chapter per night, but I figured, “It’s the Ivy League, what’d you expect?” Little did I know, Biology 101 did not have class five days a week during the normal school-year.
Post edited by medadu on
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Replies to: Offensive essay?

  • thicksthicks Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    I don't think that it is concieted. Some essays that I have read openly talk about how smart they are and how they deserve to go to Ivies. This is not concieted at all. It seems like a natural, humorous opening to a good "Why Penn?" answer.

    Good luck medadu.
  • zantedeschiazantedeschia Registered User Posts: 7,841 Senior Member
    I don't think the adcom will be so uptight as to take it offensively. They'll probably laugh about it.
  • dharmabumdharmabum Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    I like it. It may be a slight gamble, but a humorous one.
  • nngmmnngmm Registered User Posts: 5,708 Senior Member
    sounds good so far
  • KidsmokeKidsmoke Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I don't understand the pun.
  • gianievvegianievve Registered User Posts: 1,821 Senior Member
    i'd get rid of the "it's the ivy league" - keep it specific. Pedantic point though. So far, not bad (gives thumbs up).
  • enviromanenviroman Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    "Yue Kee food cart on 38th street"

    They aren't too bad...I prefer eating at Beijing next to the Wawa on Spruce though. Bit more expensive but the food is way better.


    My essay to Penn was much, much longer than that...so, I'm not sure. I didn't find it conceited but I found it to be a bit pandering. All you're doing is telling Penn you know about the campus...why not make more references to their world-class departments? The bio101 thing was decent...expand on your desire to study science at Penn. What sort of science? If you're going to pander at least do it about academics, not aesthetics. :)

    -Penn '07
  • medadumedadu Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    Hehe, Beijing is ok. I'm so addicted to Yue Kee though, it's ridiculous. Besides, I don't always have enough $$$ to eat at Beijing! haha...
  • pebblespebbles Registered User Posts: 2,617 Senior Member
    i ate philly steak when i visited :P
  • enviromanenviroman Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    You ever eat at the cart at 33rd and Spruce (across the street from the museum)?
  • ayumi.sakiayumi.saki Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I don't think they will be offended. Good job
  • irish200irish200 Registered User Posts: 264 Junior Member
    I really like the 1st paragraph and the 2nd is in no way conceited....
    however, when i read it I got the image that u were unprepared when u entered this Bio class (u didnt even know it was 5 days a week?)--this seems to be an unappealing quality......other than that i like it
    just my two cents
  • searchingavalonsearchingavalon Registered User Posts: 509 Member
    There's a real difference in tone between the introduction and the lst paragraph. I suppose it's ok for you to speak/write in two totally different voices but the abrupt change from one voice to another sort of bothers me. Also, in the sentence "My summer goal was not to dig up as much dirt on Penn as I could so I can better write this essay, but to see for myself whether I could survive in Penn’s rigorous academic atmosphere," I'd leave out the part about dirt-digging and what your goal wasn't and just write what your goal was.
  • bettinabettina Registered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    I'd lose the first paragraph, but then you'd be stuck with the 2nd...

    REally, I didn't know what you were talking about.

    And I 2nd getting rid of this awkward convoluted thing: My summer goal was not to dig up as much dirt on Penn as I could so I can better writ...

    Better to write an entire essay and see what you have to work with and save the honest bits, then to try to write something like this, where you are trying hard to give someone what you think they want to hear. I do find it insincere so far, but that's okay, you can just try a first draft, then get a good idea going, see where it takes you, find inspiration, edit out the bad parts or rewrite next time around. Keep going.
  • medadumedadu Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    Bettina, I think you would understand the first paragraph much better if you were familiar with Penn. I'm kinda banking on the fact that the ad com will know which parts of Penn I am referring to...hopefully that will be the case. The completed essay can be found here: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=5096
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