Comm App Essay--- too boring?

<p>So, I've written like four entire essays and thrown them all out because I hate them.... I think I just need to go on vacation and forget about this whole admissions process...</p>

<p>So, here's my newest: I personally think it is boring but I am so frustrated that I just want SOMETHING to submit. Also, my common app essay goes to all but one of my schools. </p>

<p>Oh, and please make somewhat specific criticisms so I can revise (no, "it sucks" comments, if it is that bad, tell me why... please???)</p>

<hr>

<p>My life as far back as I can remember has included traveling and learning about other lands and cultures. Be it the technologically advanced Germans or the impoverished Belizeans, the knowledge of the world and its various personalities has given me a different perspective on life in America. Up until high school, normality was not a term used to describe my education. With a military family, home schooling was the only alternative which would allow for some type of structure and continuity while the locations of our home changed. When my father retired, I was thrown into a world of social cliques, materialistic divisions, and standardized education also known as public high school. For all of my life I had been my own teacher, my own counselor, and my own critic. Fitting in wasn’t a problem, I had the brains for the classroom and the talent for the field but where I struggled was in trying to understand the priorities and expectations of the normal American youth. As a senior now and the leader of various school and community based organizations, I like to think that my background has shaped the person that I have become. For the past few years I have dabbled in a little bit of everything trying to experience all of what high school had to offer and as a way to find out who I really am. I played field hockey as the team captain for a few years, softball with the highest batting average on the team, mentored children in under funded elementary schools, and even competed in a state wide environmental knowledge competition. Although varied and somewhat expansive, through my extracurriculars I have found the areas which I truly enjoy. I have passion for technology and its influence on politics and this has been fostered through my involvement in student council at the school, county, and state level as well as regional technology and programming competitions. During my freshman and sophomore years I held elected class offices and now as a senior I have been elected to represent the entire student body for our county. My position as the student member of my counties board of education has allowed me to voice my ever expanding views and have the amount of influence needed to actually make a difference. As more than just a casual member, I have been able to work with an amazingly bright and imaginative group of our top students, faculty, and elected officials on matters which will make a difference in the lives of countless numbers of individuals. This single role has given me innumerable amounts of public speaking, leadership, and social skills which will follow me wherever I go. As for my technological interest, as a freshman, I was encouraged by a dedicated teacher to enroll into a senior level computer programming course. This single action started a hobby of mine which has opened my eyes to an area which I never thought to explore. I’ve continued with these advanced programming courses and been a member and team leader of a top ranked computer programming team since my freshman year. With these and other activities I realized that I wanted a career having to do with both technology and the social aspect of its impacts. This is how I chose civil engineering, a technical career with endless possibilities in the social and political world. As a seemingly normal girl with so many popular positions, my chosen career path isn’t quite what is expected, but then again, my past isn’t exactly normal either so hopefully my future will work out as well as my past has.</p>

<p>yah... break it up into smaller paragraphs</p>

<p>Well, of course, but that was how it copied/pasted... </p>

<p>I'm sure that wasn't your only comment...</p>

<p>I know what you mean about essay frustration...</p>

<p>Anyways, what was the prompt? That'll help a lot in evaluating it.</p>

<p>As a piece of writing, it is a tad bit on the dry side and towards the middle there it seems like a laundry list. IMHO, it seems like you're selling yourself, not revealing your personality and characteristics, which I think the colleges are looking for in essays. Sure, they'll see that you're captain of this or a leader of that, but you'll have that in the extracurricular section. If I were you, I would go into a little bit about all the things you do, then emphasize your "passion for technology" and where that has taken you. Also, I like the idea in the last sentence but the phrasing is awkward and a little bit redundant. "neither is my past, (find new wording for the "so hopefully..." part)</p>

<p>It's the common app essay: a personal statement... no real prompt. Also, in my extracurricular list, it is just a list and it doesn't explain what they are or how they affected me. I need to do some revising, but it's not tooooooo bad?????</p>

<p>I thought that common app had 5 prompts and one topic of your choice...actually I know it does.</p>

<p>Anyways, it's not too bad but it's not too memorable either. As for the extracurriculars, a list is pretty much self-explanatory and sufficient. I mean, there aren't many variations of softball or field hockey or student council. Yes, they may have affected your life in a profound and irreversible way, but there are a lot of people who are going to write about that. Like I said before, focus in on your "passion" and show a little bit more about yourself other than your are involved in clubs x, y, and z. Another thing I noticed, you have a lot of cliches ("opened my eyes to an area which I never thought to explore" [the which should be cut out if you leave that in, though])</p>

<p>Sorry if I sound harsh, just trying to help! :cool:</p>

<p>that essay is pretty stale...</p>

<p>"My life as far back as I can remember has included traveling and learning about other lands and cultures."</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Try: As far back as I can remember, my life has included traveling and learning about other lands and cultures.</p></li>
<li><p>Or: Write a more attention grabbing intro.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Do at least #1, preferably #2. :)</p>

<p>seems to list more then tell about something special</p>

<p>i think its alrite. Definitely not a BAD essay.</p>

<p>you don't prove anything. the essay has no taste either.</p>

<p>not trying to be mean, just straightforward.</p>

<p>THANKS for all the criticisms... Don't worry about being brutal or mean, after all, that's why I posted it. I updated it a little last night but haven't made the changes suggested since then.</p>

<hr>

<p>My life as far back as I can remember has included traveling and learning about other lands and cultures. Be it the technologically advanced Germans or the impoverished Belizeans, the knowledge of the world and its various personalities has given me a different perspective on life in America. Up until high school, normality was not a term used to describe my education. With a military family, home schooling was the only alternative which would allow for some type of structure and continuity while the locations of our home changed. When my father retired, I was thrown into a world of social cliques, materialistic divisions, and standardized education also known as public high school.<br>
For all of my life I had been my own teacher, my own counselor, and my own critic. Fitting in wasn’t a problem, I had the brains for the classroom and the talent for the field but where I struggled was in trying to understand the priorities and expectations of the normal American youth. As a senior now and the leader of various school and community based organizations, I like to think that my background has shaped the person that I have become. For the past few years I have dabbled in a little bit of everything trying to experience all of what high school had to offer and as a way to find out who I really am. Although varied and somewhat expansive, through my extracurriculars I have found the areas which I truly enjoy.
I have a passion for technology and its influence on politics and this has been fostered through my involvement in student council at the school, county, and state level as well as regional technology and programming competitions. My position as the student member of my counties board of education has allowed me to voice my ever expanding views and have the amount of influence needed to actually make a difference. As more than just a casual member, I have been able to work with an amazingly bright and imaginative group of our top students, faculty, and elected officials on matters which will make a difference in the lives of countless numbers of individuals. This single role has given me innumerable amounts of public speaking, leadership, and social skills which will follow me wherever I go. As for my technological interest, as a freshman, I was encouraged by a dedicated teacher to enroll into a senior level computer programming course. This single action started a hobby of mine which has opened my eyes to an area which I never thought to explore. I’ve continued with these advanced programming courses and been a member and team leader of a top ranked computer programming team since my freshman year.<br>
When I think of the classes that I’ve truly enjoyed, my environmental, math, physics, and programming classes come to mind. That in combination with my interest in social and political issues is how I chose engineering, a technical career with endless possibilities in the social and political world. As a seemingly normal girl with so many popular positions, my chosen career path isn’t quite what is expected, but then again, my past isn’t exactly normal either so hopefully my future will work out as well as my past has. </p>

<hr>

<p>THANKS!</p>

<p>You are an accomplished student with an interesting background, but your essay does not effectively "sell" you as well as it could. You will list your ECs. leadership positions, and stats elsewhere in the Common Application; the essay is your opportunity to let admissions know what makes you special apart from the ECs, stats, etc., and why you would be a great part of the college community.</p>

<p>My daughter found it incredibly difficult to write her essay, as it requires you to put yourself out there. Very few people - especially teenagers - are comfortable doing this.</p>

<p>Try reading your essay out loud, and find the one thing (coping with the culture shock of a public high school?) that gives a good snapshot of who you are and build on that.</p>

<p>Hope this helps.</p>

<p>"Fitting in wasn't a problem"---This statement seems too simple. I think its very hard to adjust. this could be focus of essay, how you used your talents to find friends among peers and staff, even in the community</p>

<p>bookworm: I didn't really have a hard time adjusting. I used my mind and athletic abilities- just like I said- to fit in. What I had a hard time learning was the social cliques, expectations, and priorities(ie Peers: why do homework when you can party? Me: Well, if you want to do anything besides be a bag lady, you need to get educated and high grades so you can go to college and get a job.) </p>

<p>I think that I should get rid of alot of the extracurricular BS and put more about myself and my views on 'life'... but, although this might sound bad, whenever I start doing this, I sound self righteous and conceited. </p>

<p>I've got two other (actually much easier) papers to write for Wednesday so this is on hold for a day. </p>

<p>Thanks and more comments are appreciated.</p>

<p>I think it's much better. Just some mistakes.</p>

<p>"Up until..." That bothers me. It's just "Until"</p>

<p>and at one point in your essay you switch from active to passive voice and back to active.</p>

<p>I have also noticed a pattern that you use the word 'as' very often. In a short essay, it may be better to add diversity in your diction and phrasing.</p>

<p>Okay, so I revised some more and decided that whenever I tried to edit it, it kept getting LONGER AND LONGER. It was already like 560 so I cut out a bunch and it is now a shorter, what I consider better, essay. </p>

<hr>

<pre><code> As far back as I can remember, my life has included traveling and learning about other lands and cultures. Be it the technologically advanced Germans or the impoverished Belizeans, the knowledge of the world and its various personalities has given me a different perspective on life in America. Until high school, normality was not a term used to describe my education. With a military family, home schooling was the only alternative which would allow for some type of structure and continuity while the locations of our home changed. When my father retired, I was thrown into a world of social cliques, materialistic divisions, and standardized education also known as public high school.

For all of my life I had been my own teacher, my own counselor, and my own critic. Fitting in wasn’t a problem, I had the brains for the classroom and the talent for the field but where I struggled was in trying to understand the priorities and expectations of the normal American youth. As a senior now and the leader of various school and community based organizations, I like to think that my background has shaped the person that I have become. For the past few years I have dabbled in a little bit of everything trying to experience all of what high school had to offer and as a way to find out who I really am. Although varied and somewhat expansive, through my extracurriculars I have found the areas which I truly enjoy and have been able to influence my peers with my somewhat eccentric personality. I’ve found that I have a passion for technology and its influence on politics and this is how I chose engineering, a technical career with endless possibilities in the social and political world. As a seemingly normal girl with so many popular positions, my chosen career path isn’t quite what is expected, but then again, my past isn’t exactly normal either so I can only hope that foundations will provide me with ability to succeed.

</code></pre>

<hr>

<p>When I started looking at my application as a whole, much of the extracurricular stuff was already in there. Like you all had said, it was dumb to repeat it. </p>

<p>How is it? It's only 345 words but the common app prompt says 250-500 so it's right in the middle. I think some of the wording in the begining of the second paragraph gets sketchy, but bearable.</p>

<p>THANKS!</p>

<p>::normality was not a term used to describe my education::</p>

<p>That sounds funny. Normality is not an adjective ... so it really can't be used to 'describe' a noun. </p>

<p>Good topic, but I think you come off as a bit arrogant. You might want to tone it down a bit.</p>

<p>People that know me know that I am quiet and reserved but agressive and unfortunetly, <em>arrogant</em>. Do you think that I should reveal more of my insecurities and downfalls?(what... downfalls? No, J/K :) ) In one sense I think that my essay to too- bland- but I think that it tells alot about me and it compliments my teacher recs well. (ie, my teachers say I am one thing and I don't say I am another)</p>

<p>Thoughts?</p>

<p>I believe your essay would be more effective if you focussed on a specific event or dilemma in your transition from homeschooling to public HS. Did you have a difficult choice along the way that you can write about? After so many years as an independent learner in so many different countries, did you ever doubt that you could become a part of an American public school community? What was the turning point? What skills did you rely on or develop, and how will they serve you as you become a part of the college community?</p>

<p>Unfortunately, I find the "brains for the classroom, talent for the field" and "seemingly normal girl with so many populat positions" statements a bit much. Your stats will bear out that information.</p>

<p>You're off to a good start - there's a very solid essay in there just waiting for you!</p>