Did I completely misinterpret my essay prompt?

Hi all,

The Apply Texas prompt C is such:
Considering your lifetime goals, discuss how your current and future academic and extracurricular
activities might help you achieve your goals.

My “lifetime goal” was to help achieve racial equality throughout the world, namely through the usage of music and medicine, which I used as my main ECs (I went pretty in depth on how those two affected my world view and perspective of the goal). I also gave an introduction in regards to how I discovered this goal by writing a little about my background, where I experienced a bit of racial prejudice from my peers and teachers. However, I feel that this might be too sensitive of a topic to cover, and it might make me seem like a complainer. When I made my conclusion, I mentioned on how America, along with the rest of the world, still has traces of racial discrimination, and reiterated on how I wanted to solve it. My issue is that whenever I read it, I’m afraid that it seems like more of a complaint than anything else. I also feel that I might’ve made my essay too controversial of a topic to cover. Along with such, I’m now completely uncertain if the prompt is even asking for such a wide-goal. I’m thinking that the prompt might actually be more focused on my career aspirations than my wide-spread and overly dreamy egalitarian goal.

Feedback would be appreciated.
Thanks. :slight_smile:

I definitely do not think that it is too controversial. However, from your description, it sounds like it might come across as a Mss America answer to a question: “I want to achieve world peace.” I also do not think that bringing in your own experience will make you sound like a complainer; rather, it will make it more personal.

All that said, I have a BIG question. You stated that the prompt might be asking for career aspirations. BUT, if your goal in life is to have an effect on racism in society, wouldn’t your career goal be somewhere in that direction??? If your goal is to become a lawyer, then the essay makes sense. But if you are wanting to be a computer engineer, then it doesn’t.

In any case, the goal needs to be more personal as well. As an analogy, do you want to solve world hunger/peace/racial equality, or do you want to have an effect like Thurgood Marshall did, or Andrew Young, or Julian Bond or John Lewis, where you have a huge effect on moving TOWARD true equality.

Hi digmedia,

I did not want to have the essay turn into a stereotypical “world peace” type of approach - that’s a little too cliche for most college essays. I really wanted to stress the more philosophical side of humanity that many people seem to neglect, hence my usage of music and medicine as complex, yet nevertheless omnipresent forces in every culture - allowing for a sense of common ground and understanding between various individuals. I sorta wanted to imply that because every individual’s most basic form is that of a human, we’ve been given a capacity to understand one another - an understanding that can be fulfilled by the global reach of music and medicine.

I’m actually conflicted in my career goals (I’m contemplating a career in medicine and the humanities, but also one in the engineering and the more discrete sciences - ironically enough), but I feel that regardless of the path that I take, I’ll still have the capacity to effect a change. I’d like to believe that regardless of one’s chosen profession, so long as enough effort is applied, change can be brought about - that is most likely a naive thought, since at my given age, I don’t totally understand the constraints of career choices. I’ve noticed that there are influential social reformers in the field of science, such as Carl Sagan, who had very insightful views on prejudice, along with hope for science to help dissolve the stratification between races.

“The old appeals to racial, sexual, religious chauvinism to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work. A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism, and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are One Planet.”

-Carl Sagan

I don’t necessarily see why it is unreasonable to state that a significant effect towards equality cannot be achieved by pursuing a computer engineering profession - aren’t the increasing amount of women in STEM an example of that?

I’d like to effect a movement towards. I stated in my essay that my goal is not an easy or definite path, and that alone, the change I can effect will be minimal. My overall motive of the goal was to share and appreciation for diversity with every individual as to allow for a more open view of society - not necessarily a path that will cause world peace, but nevertheless one that may reduce international tension.

I’m assuming that I should put at least a trace of a career focus into the essay, given that I have none whatsoever?

Thanks for the help! :slight_smile:

You can tag @digmedia to notify him of your reply.

I don’t think that your essay necessarily has to sound like complaining; an articulate person like you could definitely pull it off. I also don’t think you have to limit yourself with the essay. If you’re going to dream, might as well dream big. As for writing about your career focus, it would be sufficient to mention what you mentioned above, that you have many interests but still plan to effect change in whatever field you pursue.