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Posting my essay for all to see - I have no use for it anymore

ee33eeee33ee Registered User Posts: 644 Member
edited September 2008 in College Essays
I'm class of 2008 / 2012. I'm done. Here is my CommonApp essay.

Use it as an example of badness/goodness, learn from it, plagiarize it, whatever.
I clicked a button and created a canvas. A lonely, almost blank screen, it was one of thousands of standardized and tabulated web pages, with only my online moniker at the top to distinguish it as my own. That was my debutant, an admittedly unremarkable event. Around the same time as my friend’s Bar Mitzvah, my own initiation into adulthood was an eBay feedback page. At the impressionable and naïve age of thirteen, I was awed by my new opportunities and its subsequent responsibilities.

I created my eBay account to sell a guide I had written for an online multiplayer game, and I dived into my e-merchant role with gusto. Despite the fact that I was merely peddling an information product for dollars per auction, I was quite intimidated by the gravity of my new occupation. You see, the marketing and business acumen of running my auctions were fluff to me, lighthearted technical details - but this was not the case with my brand new feedback page. As I had never been held accountable for the effects of my actions as an adult before, I was reminded of Spider-Man’s advice, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Serious business indeed.

The one-liner judgments that customers wrote about my products and services carried more weight with my inexperienced self than those critics could possibly have known. Minor complaints became embarrassing reminders of my incompetence, small words of praise seemed to redeem my self-worth, and the job of providing feedback to others was handled with laughably excessive reverence. When I was playing the online game itself, childishness and cruelty were the norm. But with my transition to eBay, I became the innocent little kid in a room full of adults, eager to prove my maturity.

I was enchanted by eBay’s feedback mechanism, which quite literally seemed like the anecdote for everything. A simple yet elegant means of making sure that users got what they ultimately deserved, it was like instant karma served in a cup. A similar system could be enacted to right various injustices! The restaurant that gave me food poisoning could be publicly admonished, the cheating husband could be denounced on a page that would last forever, and the corrupt despot could be shamed out of office through the safety of one’s own home.

Obviously, these grandiose ideas did not last beyond my first impressions. I soon realized that the hours I spent helping customers with questions could be substituted with a painless “you first” feedback policy. Unless you insult their mother, rarely does anyone leave poor, or even mediocre, feedback if the threat of retribution is present. I laughed at the previously appealing premise that a simple reputation page could instill virtue over the Internet. Who needs cheap prices, quick delivery, or friendly service when a crooked system was already in place and exuberant, glowing feedback was easy to come by?

Thankfully, my ensuing Machiavellian inclination to game the system, which brought me the majority of my few negative feedbacks, was weak and short-lived. I discovered that though everyone had relatively good feedback, it was the unsung honesty and hard work that would set me above my many competitors when I began my full-fledged eBay store to sell online game items. This was just good business sense, and I put in the extra mile in a notoriously fickle and demanding industry, where items would sometimes disappear because of hackers and impatient customers practically lived at their desktops.

I did my best to act judiciously with my customers, offering refunds for vanishing items and staying up late to help them transfer merchandise. Were these extra steps necessary when I had posted repeated warnings of the potential risks? Absolutely not. They probably would have left positive feedback for me anyways, and indeed there was hardly a stark contrast between my feedback and those of my competitors. Yet, I was not tied down to my insecure obsession with stats anymore, and the eBay feedback page was no longer my master. My instant karma had revealed its cheap and insubstantial nature, so now I turned to real karma, the intangible kind. With over 4000 positive feedback, it hardly mattered anymore if I received a spattering of negatives, so why did my feedback keep getting better and better as I cared less and less about it? The answer is that I was no longer acting as a good businessman; I was acting as a good person, and it’s to this mindset that I owe my wild successes as an eBay Powerseller.

In hindsight, my evolving attitude toward the almighty feedback page reflected the growth of my maturity. Well here I am, with more wisdom, more empathy, and more humility, ready to take the final step into the real world. As I continue my business via my own website, I’m the slightly more experienced adolescent in a room full of adults, but still eager to prove my maturity. This time, there won’t be a feedback page to keep me in check. And nor will I need one.
Post edited by ee33ee on

Replies to: Posting my essay for all to see - I have no use for it anymore

  • az1698az1698 Registered User Posts: 1,900 Senior Member
    Wow, this is really good. I hope you got in wherever you applied.
  • heweyhewey Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    Great essay, mate. Where'd you get in?

    You remind me a bit of a good friend who was mercilessly teased by half the grade for being a Powerseller on eBay. He lived and died by the feedback he received, but by the time he'd left school he had over $40,000 in the bank, just from online auctions. Admittedly, he wasn't as upfront an honest as you seem to be. He did a lot of buying and reselling for more; got his IP banned well over fifteen times. I think he's going to own half of Australia by the time he's 50.
  • ashdraniasuraashdraniasura . Posts: 138 Junior Member
    he (she?) got into penn state and swarthmore. (i checked his other posts). and waitlisted from u of chicago.
  • ee33eeee33ee Registered User Posts: 644 Member
    yuhh correct
  • pawne4pawne4 Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    a fantastic essay sir
  • dave2008dave2008 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    admissons are over.. heres my essay
    I hesitated on the ground for only a moment before sprinting to the huddle. Through the light drizzle on artificially bright Astroturf, a mist rose from my teammates—the product of fourth quarter determination and weeks of preparation. I took my place behind a tackle and steadied my breathing as the linebacker began to boom out orders. “Third and eleven, fifty-two bobcat, ready…hit!” My legs twitched, my eyes focused, and the ball snapped. Ripping to the outside, I saw my opportunity: the quarterback was only two steps away. This tackle is mine. I will sack the quarterback. Suddenly, I was flying towards the ground.

    My body hit the ground with a sickening thud as the enemy completed his pass for a first down. I had been blindsided. This time there was no hesitation; I pushed off the ground and regrouped with my teammates thirteen yards closer to my end zone. I should have anticipated the trap; I had almost cost my team the game. Physical pain paled in comparison to my mental anguish. As formations came in via linebacker, the other defensive end gave me a fraternal thump on my pads.

    I broke out of the huddle and my chagrin hardened into resolve. Thoughts of how much we had all sacrificed brought our August practices abruptly to my mind. How many times did we take respite in grilling burgers or floating down the river after an especially grueling practice? Strong left, strong left. Again I locked eyes with an opposing tight end, our faces equally grim and determined. My body calmed, a smooth anticipation prepared me to test and break my limits.

    “Down, green nineteen, green nineteen, set, hit!” boomed the rival quarterback, his red #7 jersey a matador to my bull. The center’s arm twitched and I fired into my man—the sort of collision that makes mothers shudder and dads grin. Again, I fought to the outside, but it came too easy. Years of drills turned technique into instinct and I could almost hear Coach’s familiar words, “That’s it, fight pressure. Don’t let him set the pace.” Almost without meaning to, I spun around and now faced a somewhat surprised running back.

    In a split second, we were two gladiators, sizing each other up and feeling only the rhythmic beat of an excited heart. He stepped right and my cleat mirrored his, the few yards still between us crumbling away. As I moved closer, his dark eyes and furrowed expression became distinguishable and infused me with renewed determination to make the play. He faked left, opening his arm to me. Seizing my opportunity for redemption, I drove into his hips with a gratifying CRACK! Together, we hit the ground—a perfect tackle.
    It was a few moments before I heard the roar of the crowd, an orchestra of excitement brought alive with air horns, stomping feet, and whistling. I regained my footing to see the teammate who had bolstered me moments before, now carrying the ball down the field. I had caused a fumble! Sprinting after the ball, I caught up with my brothers in the end zone and jubilantly joined them in celebration. As, we jogged off the field I could not help but look around at my teammates, my family—“the wrecking crew.”
  • zhaoszhaos Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    that was a good essay dave. I forgot I was reading an essay when I read it.
    the sort of collision that makes mothers shudder and dads grin.
    I liked that line : ).
  • skunkskunk Registered User Posts: 663 Member
    I too am posting my essay here for all to see. I know it sucks, and this essay was the main reason why I got rejected from so many schools. However, I did get into Amherst and none of that matters anymore.
    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold
    - "This is Just to Say", William Carlos Williams.

    You could call him a greedy wretch but presented with such fine plums, he never stood a chance. You could wonder how he could have shown such callousness, as he had only a shadow of an apology to offer in exchange for the plums so carefully preserved. But, after all, the plums were so delicious, so sweet, and so cold.

    Greed - the ultimate survival instinct. Does a croc think about the lion cubs when it seizes the lioness's prey? Does a vine crawling upwards consider the tree beneath; does it consider the tree's need for light? The world is not run on theories of selfless service but rather on self-help taken to the extremes. From inside a single cell to the large, wide world, a battle perpetually rages on – a battle of greed for the survival of the fittest.

    Greed - human nature at its finest. From feisty plum heists by a wayfarer to the gargantuan wars for "some more riches", the raison d'être is always greed. With so much longing filling their lives, it is quite a wonder that humans sometimes manage to think of something else.

    How come such a lengthy dissertation on greed, you might wonder? Today, after days of procrastination, I finally managed to pick myself up to write something. I cast my mind around for topics and turned back the pages of my life to find some common denominator. Look what I found!

    From birth onwards, greed has characterized my life. My bawling on birth – my demand for rehabilitation to the comfort and safety of my mother's womb – was probably my first display of the most primal of my instincts. My infancy was filled with many such displays, filled with my incessant demands for breast-feeding, my irrational longing for the shiny and the colorful, and a million other trivial desires.

    Childhood too was filled with displays of self-interest and greed. I fought non-stop with my brother for the TV remote; I competed non-stop in the classroom for the teacher's attention; I vied for the best food, best clothes, the best seating, and the best available at everything I encountered.

    With age came finesse – my acts for self-help became less and less obvious. However, my greed was evident in my search for perfection, my thirst for knowledge, and my desire to succeed.

    Today, I still have the same desires. I still have the same longing for the delicious plums, and for a million other trivial and not-so-trivial things. I still commit the same acts of petty larceny in order to sate my momentary temptations. Today, however, I seek for perfection not only in what I do but also in what I see around me. Today, I act to bring about that perfection, both in myself and the world about me. Today, I know there is no easy path to success; I know the futility of a one-man-band. Today, I value hard work and teamwork – the only routes to success.

    Yet, I am still greedy and forever shall be. After all, why shouldn't I be?
  • hec2008hec2008 Registered User Posts: 550 Member
    I like this. Kind of our own "Admissions Essays that Worked."

    I only applied to Georgetown (School of Foreign Service) and Boston College. Accepted at both EA.
    I broke lots of college essay writing rules.

    It was a toilet in Fiji that brought me to tears. I had seen hundreds in the past year, but this one affected me in a way I never expected. That morning, the pounds of emotion that I had forced away came crashing into my life, leaving me to reevaluate everything I had become.

    The summer before my senior year, I sought comfort in simplicity, focusing on what was important in my life: my faith, my family, and my future. In my heart, serving others is a celebration of grace. I was alive; I was blessed; and despite my concerns, I was entirely thankful. Fittingly, I first heard about Fiji through my pastor. People of all ages from around the world were working together to improve the infrastructure of rural communities, and Reverend Clayton did not have to ask me twice. Four weeks later, I was on a plane with one large backpack, an address, and little other information concerning my stay. In the month to come, we worked wherever we were needed and slept wherever we could. I cannot think of a time when I was so dirty, yet so happy. I learned to love the plates of cassava, to embrace our communal river baths, and to thrive in uncomplicated village life. However, it truly was the work I valued most. We painted. We laid cement. We tiled. We put together fences. We built toilets. I never thought that sanitation would mean so much to me.

    Fiji was a far cry from the world I left behind. Almost exactly four months earlier, I walked away from a physically abusive relationship. In its aftermath, I was left lost and confused. My pain brought me face to face with the one thing I despised – apathy. There was a part of me that gave up on idealism. Nevertheless, with time and pure determination, I began to heal. I refused to let the experience define me, but in my heart the pieces did not fit. I could march for peace in the streets of Los Angeles, but when the time came for me to speak on my behalf, fear left me without words.

    My abuse made violence real. Images of hate and destruction were not just stories but my reality. I came to understand that heartbreak requires much more than an apology; it craves a response. Today, I am no longer angry but instead frustrated with inaction. There is a point where we must stand, scream if necessary, and if all else fails, jump onto the table and demand that something be done. I am passionate about non-violence, conflict resolution, gender equality, and tolerance. However, I was unsure about their future in a world seemingly filled with indifference. Never before had I identified so closely with the Jackson Pollock paintings in my father’s art books. Complexity had taken on a new connotation.

    Five thousand miles away in the small village of Nasivikoso, we were working on a new plumbing system. There I had been tribally adopted and lovingly embraced by one of the local families. Just a month before, they had lost their baby boy to an infection, possibly preventable with better hygiene. As we laid the piping, I began to cry for my Nene’s (mother’s) loss. Poverty was her abuse, and it simply was not fair. Sitting there, sobbing at the sight of the village’s first flushing toilet, I realized how confused I had once been. Devastation had left me uncharacteristically skeptical, but here were Americans, Fijians, Australians, Brazilians and Israelis working together. Their sweat-drenched faces proved me wrong. Our reality may include injustice, but it will not go unanswered. What we did was neither televised nor broadcast, but it meant the world to a community that deserved every minute of our labor. I know now that progress will not be mandated nor photographed; instead, it will come as a result of simple acts, quietly done, cloaked in humility. Whether it is domestic violence or racism or poverty, it can be changed one toilet at a time. Covered in dirt in Fiji, I was reminded that I had the strength to love and to heal and to forgive and to change what was broken in my life and in the world. Losing myself in the service of others, I had found myself.

    I understand the clich
  • grade inflati0ngrade inflati0n - Posts: 961 Member
    LMAO i read "it was a toilet" and stopped

    nice thread should be bookmarked
  • PJTen28PJTen28 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Well I may post mine, but I'm not sure if posting an essay about your last name on the internet is the smartest thing to do.
  • laserbaselaserbase Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    i would post mine but nobody would learn from them....they'd make u dumber
  • jman01jman01 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    LOL grade inflati0n.... :D
  • ElanorciElanorci Registered User Posts: 841 Member
    hec2008, that was a really superb essay. Definitely one of the best I've ever read.
  • hec2008hec2008 Registered User Posts: 550 Member
    thanks, that means a lot. it took a very long time to get the tone right. it is hard to write about something serious, but not sound like you are taking yourself too seriously.

    i really think this could be helpful to future classes, anyone else willing to post theirs?
This discussion has been closed.