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Please critique my essay!

puckerfencepuckerfence Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
edited August 2013 in College Essays
okay here it is:

Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?

Ten years. Ten years is the age gap between my brother and me. When I was born he was entering fifth grade, when I entered first grade he was getting his license, and when I started the third grade he was leaving for college. Because we didn’t necessarily grow up together, I always like to think of him as my third parent. He helped me when I fell off my bike and scratched my knees, he picked me up from daycare every day, and he taught me how to fish and play checkers. And he encourages and believes in me more then any other person in my life. Ten years. Ten years is also the amount of time my brother will spend in prison.

In 2009 my brother was involved in a drunk driving accident that unfortunately killed two people. The initial shock of it all put me into a daze for most of my freshman year. I started to become very introverted and lost many friends and began missing out on normal high school things in favor of sitting in my room and wallowing. As my home transformed from its usual quiet sanctuary to a whirlwind of chaos filled to the brim with lawyers and doctors, I found myself delving into a cocoon to escape the reality that was now my life. I was ashamed of what was happening and embarrassed to be the subject of pity.

Growing up I was always the center of attention. I always got what I wanted and always knew where I stood. After the accident I was thrown onto the back burner and my parents’ lives began to revolve around their eldest child. I learned that I was not a princess and that, although it sometimes seemed as though I were an only child, I definitely was not.

This tragedy not only muddled my whole outlook on life but also made me completely aware of the unfairness and realities of life. I could no longer be a ditzy teenager, oblivious of the struggles and pains of our existence. I was thrust into adulthood in more ways than one. My parents still loved and cared for me, but they were no longer as fully there as they used to be. Physically they were near, but mentally they were disconnected, always thinking and worrying about my brother.

I began to grow up and not rely so much on their attention. After a couple years I realized that punishing myself for a mistake my brother made was not going to benefit me. I began getting active in clubs in my school and gained a new group of friends who were honest and encouraging and had the same interests and goals as me. I began to socialize and got my normal lighthearted attitude back.

While I was not directly in either of the cars that were involved in this accident, this event shaped who I am today. It became a more loving and patient person with my family. It showed me how to handle situations out of my control. And most importantly, it showed me the true strength that I had within me.

any pointers, revisions, tips, hints, or anything of the sort would be incredibly helpful, thanks in advance!
Post edited by puckerfence on

Replies to: Please critique my essay!

  • eligarareligarar Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    Mediocre. There are a bunch of people who wrote your your of essay. Nothing special.
  • OnMyWay2013OnMyWay2013 Registered User Posts: 1,336 Senior Member
    Your situation could be the base of a good essay. However, you're focusing too much on the circumstance part. Meanwhile, you neglect to mention the "skills and resources" you used to resolve the issue, or even to cope with your situation. You describe yourself as becoming more independent, but many teenagers grow more independent as time passes. And to be honest, many people who have experienced some kind of tragedy will also bounce back in a similar way to what you describe.

    Your goal is to show the admissions office a trait or skill that is unique and important to you. You want to show them that this trait/skill will be a good contribution to their university, or that it will align with their values.
  • flyingkittyflyingkitty Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Also, you might not want to post your essay where anyone can see it.

    Take a look at http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-essays/255610-posting-essays-other-sensitive-information.html
  • Need34orAboveNeed34orAbove Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    You more talk about how you learned and changed from this situation rather than how you resolved it.

    I *think* this essay would be good for the common app essay where you need to describe a story central to your identity.
  • FireLionFireLion Registered User Posts: 558 Member
    Ok. The first critique of Ur essay is just rude because this is an excellent piece of work! It delves deep into your emotions and I love the last sentence of Ur first paragraph tying in ten years to the difference between u and Ur brothers age and the amount of time he will spend in prison. All in all this is wonderful and doesn't need much revision. Good luck
  • eligarareligarar Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    It's true. It started off good then you ruined it with saying that you made friends and got over it... Sound like an excuse for your freshman year tbh... So what if your brother went to jail.. Happened to many people...
  • vivendiumvivendium Registered User Posts: 332 Member
    1. You should never, ever post your essay on a public forum.
    2. I can tell that this is a topic that means a lot to you. However, the essay itself doesn't leave a strong impression of you.
    3. Add more details. Don't be scared to put your own voice in the essay, not the voice you think will impress admissions officers. Basically, make your essay come to life.
    4. This is a perfect example of show, not tell. Try to show the reader what you went through instead of telling them 'I had a hard time.' There is a lot of 'I's in your essay, so it seems like an autobiographical narration of events.
    5. Aside from that, there are a few punctuation and word changes you should make.

    Feel free to reply or PM me if you want more help :)
  • TayyabmuzaffarTayyabmuzaffar Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Although it stands out, your essay lacks that tenacity that it could have achieved. Your ending is somewhat abrupt and you need to draw more attention to what you did after you overcame the adversity.
  • mime454mime454 Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    I think that your essay is really good, but I'd be weary of posting it in a public forum. It basically makes it so that an admissions officer could google some phrases and think that you plagiarized this one.
This discussion has been closed.