essay opinion please

<p>this is my basic personal statement essay for most colleges (a unique experience that changed me, shows how i think, etc)...any opinions, any suggestions on what to add or take out would be most appreciated...thanks!</p>

<p>“Come with me. I have more toys in the car.” The world tried to change me – it tried to strip me of my true identity. I was minutes away from being kidnapped. </p>

<p>I was seven years old and without a care in the world. Life was wonderful. We were headed to Caldor that Sunday afternoon because my mom needed new clothes, but I was well aware of their massive toy department. It was New Year’s Day and we had to cash in on the holiday sales. My mom recalls me complaining about the cold, which is rather odd considering I was wearing three layers of clothing; perhaps I felt a different chill that day. We held hands like we always do – nothing was different. My mom saw a shirt she liked, so, naturally, she let my hand free and browsed the stand for the right size. I glanced at my surroundings – clothes everywhere except to the far left; over there was a big, white, caged metal bin filled to the brim with toys – beautiful, shiny, new toys. I ran down the aisle, sidestepping and jostling frantically through the large crowd. There I was at last, and there it was – a big, yellow Tonka truck right in the center of the pile. I reached and I reached, but I was just too small; the world was playing a cruel trick on me. I looked for my mom to help me, but she was far, far behind. The doors whooshed open; a man entered and a cold surge followed him. He saw me struggling so he came over and helped me retrieve the toy, lifting me into the bin. I had it at last! Then, he whispered something that lit up my face: “Come with me. I have more toys in the car.” He grabbed my hand and started to escort me out. My mom reacted to the scene; she ran, grabbed my hand, forced the man away, and embraced me. She had saved my life. </p>

<p>This suppressed memory lay dormant for years until my parents reminded me of it when I was thirteen. It all came back to me so vividly – the man’s face, the yellow truck, the Christmas decorations in the store. It really got me thinking; one temptation could have taken away who I am today. Where would I be right now? What would this life, this life that certainly wasn’t mine, be like? I would have been a totally different person, defined by this whole new world. January 1, 1995 sure put things into perspective later on. Now, I seize every opportunity I get, every moment I can spend with my family, and every chance I receive to broaden my education; I involve myself in worldly activities – community issues, technological and science advancements, school politics. No more action figures for me. If there is one thing we can control, it is our education; I want to grow, to learn. I know now the things that should be cherished because, if I had not been so lucky that day, they would not exist – my family, my friends, my future. Although I hadn’t learned it that New Year’s Day, this experience taught me, perhaps, the greatest lesson of all – to always be myself.</p>

<p>bump...anyone please?</p>

<p>Hey Collegefreak. Now, I'm not an admissions officer or anything, I'm applying right now too, but I'll give you a little feedback.</p>

<p>First of all, I think the first line is great. It catches your interest. However, the sentence that follows doesn''t seem to fit. When I think of having an identity stripped I think of someone trying to make me conform to society. I don't think that is the case here. So in other words, I think you need to change your 2nd sentence. </p>

<p>I thought it flowed okay until you mention your mom remembering you feeling cold and that maybe there was a different kind of chill in the room. I know you are trying to say you felt something was wrong, but I just don't think the way you did that works. </p>

<p>I thought you did a nice job describing your mother's hand leaving yours and reaching to find the size of the shirt. </p>

<p>Umm, I was confused about the big yellow truck. I feel like it is supposed to be a real truck that you imagined was a toy as a kid, and yet that doesn't make sense since you and your mom are supposedly in a store. Maybe I am just interpretting that crazily but it confused me.</p>

<p>I think if you make the first paragraph flow a little bit bitter and just try to perfect each part it will work. I think the first paragraph is stronger than the second. The second one is trying to explain how the situation affected you I believe. The problem with it is you use more words than are necessary and kind of ramble to make the simple point that now you never take life for granted. I think the last paragraph needs major revision. Some of the listing near the end (community issues, science & tech, school politics) almost seems to affected. It doesn't really follow the rule of "show don't tell" I guess. </p>

<p>Hope that helps a little. I'd really appreciate it if you would be willing to give my essay feedback. Don't feel obligated but if you will please email me at <a href="mailto:hemms_dreams@hotmail.com">hemms_dreams@hotmail.com</a> and I'll send it to you to read. </p>

<p>Good luck with your app!</p>

<p>You write well. I don't think it's a very good idea for a college essay though. Some event (or non-event thankfully in this case) that happened when you were seven, thet didn't really leave much impression on you. Your conclusion is very pat, you tell but don't show. </p>

<p>"Now, I seize every opportunity I get, every moment I can .." When is now? Since age seven, or since you parents reminded you of it at 13? It just doesn't hang together and I don't buy it.</p>

<p>If you use this, skip the melodrama, because you tell the story quite well. "The world tried to change me – it tried to strip me of my true identity." This is ridiculous. And you bring up the story of identity again. That really is a more interesting topic, who are you really? Are you less you if you have experience A vs experience B?</p>

<p>I think you can dig a little deeper than this.</p>

<p>i really appreciate the comments...</p>

<p>bettina: do u think i should just cut out that line ("the world tried to change me..") or should i just elaborate more on how life would have been had i been taken away?...and i knew my last paragraph needed some work..how could i show that i have learned to appreciate the more impt things in life, not toys, rather than tell. do u think it would work well if i showed how it affected me more today?</p>

<p>I think you intended meaning does not come across well. The 'world' did not try to change you--the man tried to harm you. That is melodrama, the way you put it. Are you really trying to say 'your world' could have changed forever?</p>

<p>I think it is poor taste to elaborate how your life might have been changed by a child molestor or something. Anyway, it calls for speculation and is really not relevant to you as a high school student applying to college.</p>

<p>I really don't like this as a topic, as I've said, but that's just my opinion. If all you have to show yourself as a person it's weak. As for showing how you think, it's not good for that either because it seems you dwell on something that (didn't) happened long ago. You would have to make me believe that this really affected you and I don't see how. Then if it did affect you, I'd think you were too dramatic, seeing how it happened when you were small and that nothing really happened at all. I can see it affecting your mother, but not you.</p>

<p>Usually when you show that something affected you, you give details of how you did things before and then after. You conclusion is cliched because you just say it taught you to seize the day, be myself. Like I said, I'm not buying. </p>

<p>You are a good writer and I think you can do better.</p>

<p>before i give up on this essay, the whole cliche-ness and lack of affecting me today, how does this work for the conclusion? I like this as a conclusion, especially the whole truck to future comparison...i think it works well...as for it being a good idea for a personal statement, i'm still not sure (anyone else have an opinion on that?...combining the prompts from all of the colleges, i basically have to write about an experience during my life that greatly influenced me...i might have to tweak it for a few colleges but i think it fits generally...what do u think?..bettina i realllyyy appreciate ur critiques, dont get me wrong, i just want some more opinions b/c my teacher seemed to like it as did my friends and family...then again, i'm sure they're biased...help me out some more please...i have no other experiences really...please help me elaborate on this one...THANKS)</p>

<p>This suppressed memory came back to me so vividly – the man’s face, the yellow toy truck, the Christmas decorations in the store. I was thirteen now and dormant memory was revived by my parents. I sat there, lost in thought at the edge of my parents’ bed. It really got me thinking; one temptation could have taken away who I am today. What would this life, this life that certainly wasn’t mine, be like? That one moment, that one decision, would have taken away, in essence, me. I hugged my parents, and, for the first time, I knew I loved them. I ran up to my closet to dig up the Tonka truck and there it was, slightly faded and missing a door. How easily a toy falls apart! My family was still there though, their love never fading, their support never missing. I used to sit in the back where the “dirt” would go, and let it drive me around. I laughed; it looked so small now. I gave it a nice kick and off it went. It took me six years to break free, but I finally did it. I wasn’t kidnapped that day and I have to take advantage of that all I can. This experience, while not enlightening that New Year’s Day, left a deep impression on me; it put me in the driver’s seat of that truck, the truck that represents my future – the one that kidnapper almost took away from me, the one my family helped to develop, and the one that I was now controlling.</p>

<p>i'm definitely going to cut back on the rambling at the beginning of the new conclusion (above) as well, but how is it overall?</p>

<p>i think my point now is less cliche: this future wasn't taken away from me and knowing that it could have been, greatly affects me</p>

<p>i guess where it falls apart for me is that it seems you weren't aware of what was going on when it happened, and it is only as you look back now, that the fear of it has any impact. Has this event really changed you or is it just a provocative topic for a college essay? I find the love of family part a bit schmaltzy.</p>

<p>Your writing style is good, but I think the essays are really about revealing who you are and I don't think this one reveals all that much about you.</p>

<p>thanks for the comments...here's the updated version with a totally different ending (i cut out the family love nonsense and i think i get a bit more in depth by taking about how i take action, appreciate things (dont take things for granted), and try to be myself based on that incident almost taking that right away from me)</p>

<p>what's killing me is the 500 word limit (i had a really good essay before but it was 1000 words)..anyway..tell me what u think of the revised one (thanks):</p>

<p>“Come with me. I have more toys in the car.” I almost lost my future, my opportunities, and possibly my life. I was minutes away from being kidnapped.</p>

<p>I was seven years old and without a care in the world. Life was wonderful. We were headed to Caldor that Sunday afternoon because my mom needed new clothes, and I was well aware of their massive toy department. It was New Year’s Day and we had to cash in on the holiday sales. It was flurrying outside and I was wrapped up in three layers of clothing. Still, I complained about the cold; perhaps, I felt a different chill that day. My mom and I held hands like we always did – nothing was different. She saw a shirt she liked, so, naturally, she let my hand free and browsed the stand for the right size. I glanced at my surroundings – clothes everywhere except to the far left; over there was a big, white, caged metal bin filled to the brim with toys – beautiful, shiny, new toys. I ran down the aisle, sidestepping and jostling frantically through the large crowd. There I was at last, and there it was – a big, yellow Tonka truck right in the center of the pile. I reached and I reached, but I was just too small; the world was playing a cruel trick on me. I looked for my mom to help me, but she was far, far behind. The doors whooshed open; a man entered and a cold surge followed him. He saw me struggling so he came over and helped me retrieve the toy, lifting me into the bin. I had it at last! Then, he whispered something that lit up my face: “Come with me. I have more toys in the car.” He grabbed my hand and started to escort me out. My mom reacted to the scene; she ran, grabbed my hand, forced the man away, and embraced me. She had saved my life. </p>

<p>This suppressed memory came back to me so vividly – the man’s face, the yellow toy truck, the Christmas decorations in the store. I was thirteen now and my parents had reminded me of the incident. I sat there, lost in thought at the edge of my parents’ bed. It really got me thinking; one temptation could have taken away who I am today. That one moment, that one decision, would have taken away, in essence, me. I ran up to my closet to dig up the Tonka truck and there it was, slightly faded and missing a door. I laughed; it looked so small and feeble now. I used to sit in the back where the “dirt” would go, and let it drive me around. I didn’t climb in this time – I gave it a nice kick instead and off it went. It took me six years to break free, but I finally did it. The fact is: I wasn’t kidnapped, but the constant “what if” remains in the back of my mind, reminding me not to take anything life offers for granted. While not enlightening that New Year’s Day, this experience left a deep impression on me; it put me in the driver’s seat of that truck, the truck that represents my future – the one that kidnapper almost took away from me, the one my family returned to me, and the one that I am now controlling.</p>

<p>avoidingwork (love the name): do u think the topic COULD work though? do u have any suggestions on how i could get into the details of how it shows me? i could make comparisions but the limit of 500 words is killer (the revised essay is above)</p>

<p>i thought this would show me as a strong, independent, appreciative, determined person that came to the realization that the materialistic life of the seven-year-old had to be replaced by one that had control of his future, the one his mom saved.</p>

<p>does that make any sense at all? how can i convey that better?</p>

<p>it sounds like u just took a random event to fit in those cliches at the conclusion. u may be truthful but that's what it suonds like</p>

<p>besides the "reminding me not to take anything life offers for granted" line, do u really think the new conclusion is cliche? i thought i really showed my HONEST feelings instead of telling, isnt that what colleges really want?</p>

<p>it really was an important event for me...maybe the theme has been done before but i really feel i have something here</p>

<p>i thought my comparison of the toy to my future fit in perfectly to show how i had almost lost every opporuniity that i have now...</p>

<p>u guys have said my writing is very well...but i need to improve this essay...HOW?</p>

<p>thanks</p>

<p>anyone else??...does the newer essay seem any better?</p>

<p>i feel there's a major improvement...my ap english teacher said it was excellent NOW...she wasnt too thrilled with the first one, which i hope is the common opinion here as well</p>

<p>I agree with wukong. You may actually feel very grateful and have a different outlook on life because of this incident, but it doesn't come across that way in the essay. You may want to express yourself with more sincerity instead of conforming the conclusion to a cliche. Effective expression involves "showing" the reader how the potential kidnapping affected you rather than "telling" how it affected you.</p>

<p>are you guys reading the revised conclusion or the old one?...i completely changed it...it hardly "tells" anymore..its all symbolic and it shows this time around (look in the above few posts...its there somewhere)...</p>

<p>and do u guys think the description of the event and the intro are fine?...i was having problems with the conclusion and that seems to be the major criticism..am i right in assuming that?..i think the essay is close to working with the revised conclusion..any opinions on that?...thanks</p>

<p>bump bump bump</p>

<p>this is the new essay...forget all previous posts...please tell me what u think of this one (does it convey my thesis without actually "telling," does it reveal my qualities of motivation, control, and determination, does the intro grab ur attention, does it flow well, and finally is it any good?):</p>

<p>“Come with me. I have more toys in the car.” I almost lost my future, my opportunities, and possibly my life. I was minutes away from being kidnapped.</p>

<p>I was seven years old and without a care in the world. Life was wonderful. We were headed to Caldor that Sunday afternoon because my mom needed new clothes, and I was well aware of their massive toy department. It was New Year’s Day and we had to cash in on the holiday sales. It was flurrying outside and I was wrapped up in three layers of clothing. Still, I complained about the cold; perhaps, I felt a different chill that day. My mom and I held hands like we always did – nothing was different. She saw a shirt she liked, so, naturally, she let my hand free and browsed the stand for the right size. I glanced at my surroundings – clothes everywhere except to the far left; over there was a big, white, caged metal bin filled to the brim with toys – beautiful, shiny, new toys. I ran down the aisle, sidestepping and jostling frantically through the large crowd. There I was at last, and there it was – a big, yellow Tonka truck right in the center of the pile. I reached and I reached, but I was just too small; the world was playing a cruel trick on me. I looked for my mom to help me, but she was far, far behind. The doors whooshed open; a man entered and a cold surge followed him. He saw me struggling so he came over and helped me retrieve the toy, lifting me into the bin. I had it at last! Then, he whispered something that lit up my face: “Come with me. I have more toys in the car.” He grabbed my hand and started to escort me out. My mom reacted to the scene; she ran, grabbed my hand, forced the man away, and embraced me. She had saved my life. </p>

<p>This suppressed memory came back to me so vividly – the man’s face, the yellow toy truck, the Christmas decorations in the store. I was thirteen now and my parents had reminded me of the incident. I sat there, lost in thought at the edge of my parents’ bed. It really got me thinking; one temptation could have taken away who I am today. That one moment, that one decision, would have taken away, in essence, me. I ran up to my closet to dig up the Tonka truck and there it was, slightly faded and missing a door. I laughed; it looked so small and feeble now. I used to sit in the back where the “dirt” would go, and let it drive me around. I didn’t climb in this time – I gave it a nice kick instead and off it went. It took me six years to break free, but I finally did it. “It’s time for bigger and better things,” I thought as this new strength and sense of determination overcame me. The fact is: I wasn’t kidnapped, but the constant “what if” remains in the back of my mind, reminding me not to take anything life offers for granted. While not enlightening on that New Year’s Day, this experience left a deep impression on me; it put me in the driver’s seat of that truck, the truck that represents my future – the one that kidnapper almost took away from me, the one my family returned to me, and the one that I am now controlling.</p>

<p>THANKS!!</p>

<p>this site is really great...i've received some great feedback...i have improved my essay considerably (thanks to ur help) and i'm pretty confident that its well-written...as for the flow of it and if it fits the personal statement prompt, i wish someone could provide some insight (using the new essay that's up one post)...</p>

<p>once again its the basic prompt: unique event that shaped my life or affected me greatly (that shows how i think/how i act)...</p>

<p>i received a lot of criticism about how this event/non-event doesnt show who i am. i felt i really let out my feelings of appreciation for life and showed my motivation, determination, strength, and desires compared to the materialistic, naive seven year old...i think the new essay does a better job of "showing" than "telling"...any opinions on that?</p>

<p>dont read any of the other essays in this thread (just the one right above this post..it's the most recent)</p>

<p>THANKS!..u guys are awesome</p>

<p>yup much better now</p>

<p>thanks for ur opinion...its good to hear some positive feedback after all the hard work</p>