Please take a look at the first draft of my essay!

<p>This isn't in response to any specific question. I chose the topic for two reasons. First, it allows me to explain why I transferred to an online high school for my junior and senior year, and second, it allows me to put a positive spin on the experience, highlighting what I have learned and why what I have learned will help me to succeed in a college setting. </p>

<p><strong><em>Remember: this is only a first draft.</em></strong> Any comments or suggestions are much appreciated.</p>

<p>EDIT: I realize this is a bit too long. <em>FIRST DRAFT</em> :)</p>

<p>When I walked into Mount Lebanon High School on that crisp September morning as a freshman, I expected to spend all four of my high school years there. I imagined I would meet some challenges, but I really wasn’t expecting anything earth-shattering to occur.</p>

<pre><code>Then, on a wintry morning in February of 2002, I was hit with something I never could have imagined. About ten minutes after my alarm went off, I was struck with a throbbing pain on the left side of my forehead. In my feeble efforts to locate some Tylenol, I came to realize that I could not stand the light in the hallway. I was hit with my first ever migraine headache that day. It would not be my last.

As I missed day after day of school, the work began to pile up. Even worse, I had to teach myself the material in order to make an effort to keep up with the classes I was missing. I learned that I had to set goals and deadlines for things if I really hoped to accomplish something. These skills that I developed while finishing out my sophomore year through homebound instruction are skills that I probably wouldn’t have developed had I just coasted through a normal high school life.

In October of 2003 I took the biggest risk I have taken in my entire life. Rather than earning B’s and C’s at Mount Lebanon without really learning anything, I enrolled in the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. This way, even if I had a migraine early in the day, I would be able to work at night, and keep up with a full, challenging academic schedule. Early on, I began to fall a bit behind. I questioned whether I had made the right choice. How was I supposed to keep up with the work with no teachers to push me along? It took all the strength I had to push myself along. It was up to me to decide when to work and when to play. I feel my junior year was sort of an epiphany for me. Cyber School allowed me to see the big picture. I realized that in the real world, there is no teacher to tell you what to do. Your parents aren’t there to remind you to do your homework. I learned that you have to force yourself to set goals, figure out how you will achieve those goals, and most importantly, follow through with your plans. Self motivation is the greatest skill I have learned yet, and I learned it through my experience at the Cyber School.

Attending the Cyber School also allowed me to expand my interests. Late in my junior year, through independent research on the internet, I taught myself the inner workings of a computer. More importantly, I took this newly gained knowledge and applied it; I built my very own personal computer from parts ordered individually. I also developed a deep interest in politics, through independent study, utilizing books, television, and the internet. Again, I applied the knowledge I had gained by volunteering for a political campaign. This taught me the value of public service.

While I the migraine headaches that forced me to take an unusual path to a high school education were the worst pain I have ever endured, I feel the outcome of my struggle is a very positive one. I feel the experiences made possible by my enrollment at the Cyber School have given me something I could not have obtained from a normal “brick and mortar” high school education. Because I am now able to set goals, motivate myself to accomplish things, and seek out knowledge independently, I feel I will do very well in a college setting, where success is up to the student.
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<p>bumping this..</p>

<p>I don't think your essay needs a lot of work. Somethings you might want to consider: Instead of "February of 2002" and "October of 2003," you might want to use sophmore and junior year. The transition between the first and second paragraph is confusing because the reader has no way to know what the relationship is between your freshman year in the first paragraph and February of 2002 in the second. In the third paragraph you can delete "for things." What do "these skills" refer to: setting goals and deadlines? That might be considered to be one skill. Maybe you could streamline the last sentence. In the fourth paragraph, second to last sentence, you might want to continue with using "I" instead of switching to you :"I learned that I have to force myself to set goals, figure out how I will achieve those goals, and most importantly, follow through with my plans." In the very last sentence of your essay, can you find another word for "things"? Also, do you want to say "success is up to the student" or do you want to say "success will be up to me"? In either case do you want to qualify your sentence with a word like "largely" or "mainly", i.e. success is largely up to the student? Maybe not. You've written a good essay.</p>

<p>Thanks for the feedback, good suggestions. :) I wrote this at ~2am last night but it's better to get something started than nothign at all right?</p>

<p>Updated draft: If anyone could offer some comments on this I would really appreciate it.</p>

<p>When I walked into Mt. Lebanon High School on that crisp September morning as a freshman, I expected to spend all four of my high school years there. I imagined I would meet some challenges, but I really wasn’t expecting anything earth-shattering to occur.</p>

<pre><code>Then, on a wintry morning in my sophomore year, I was hit with something I never could have imagined. Soon after my alarm went off, I noticed a throbbing pain on the left side of my forehead. In my feeble efforts to locate some Tylenol, I came to realize that I could not stand the light in the hallway. I experienced my first ever migraine headache that day. The events that followed greatly influenced me both academically and personally.

Chronic migraines had forced me to miss a lot of school.  I realized that I needed a more flexible schedule if I hoped to continue my education.  In the beginning of my junior year, I made the biggest decision of my life.  I took a risk and enrolled in the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.  In the beginning, I questioned whether I had made the right choice.  How was I supposed to keep up with the work with no teachers to push me along?  Suddenly, it was up to me to decide when to work and when to play.  It took all the strength I had to keep myself on track.  My junior year was an epiphany for me.  My experience in Cyber School helped me to grow as a person.  I discovered new ways to challenge myself academically, and I learned how to succeed without the day-to-day structure of a regular high school.  I learned to set goals, figure out how to meet those goals, and structure my time to achieve them.

Attending the Cyber School also gave me the opportunity to broaden my interests. Through independent research on the Internet, I taught myself the inner workings of a computer, and managed to build my own personal computer from parts ordered individually. Through independent study, I developed a deep interest in politics, and applied my knowledge by volunteering for a political campaign. I plan to continue pursuing these interests in the future.

I feel these experiences have given me a unique perspective. When faced with a difficult situation, I did not give up; I found a route to success. Through medical treatment and an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, I have now learned to control my migraines. I believe my experience at the Cyber School has taught me some things I may not have learned in a traditional high school. I am now better able to set goals, motivate myself to accomplish things, and seek out knowledge independently. Because of this, I feel I will thrive in a college setting, where success is completely my responsibility. I believe Robert Frost said it best: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
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<p>bumpage...</p>

<p>Very well written and flowing essay. The quote at the end is really perfect for the situation and I don't think there is anything more you could add to make it better.</p>

<p>Bravo.</p>

<p>I agree with megathunder. I'm impressed. Good going!</p>

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>You have two cliches in your first paragraph (crisp September day and earth-shattering) - also, the readers are not very fond of many sentences beginning with "I" - just my two cents - good luck.</p>

<p>I disagree with cedronella. First pargraph is fine and the use of "I" is only a problem when it makes the writer look egocentric. That is not the case here. In most cases, "I" is much preferable to "you" or "one". Good job.</p>

<p>Hey, this is pretty important. The poem by Robert Frost where you got the quotation "I took the road less traveled by".. the poem is really about regret. Read the poem carefully..</p>

<p>Last stanza:
I shall be telling this with a sigh<br>
Somewhere ages and ages hence:<br>
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—<br>
I took the one less traveled by,<br>
And that has made all the difference. </p>

<p>Many people make this mistake of thinking the road less traveled by made a Good difference, but the difference is that the persona is living in regret, so he tells it with a 'sigh', because both roads are just as 'fair' (ll.6). </p>

<p>Yup, so please don't make the same mistake of saying that it has made a good difference. Cheers! Good luck with the essay</p>

<p>=&lt;/p>

<p>sigh is not necessarily associated with disappointment. it can also be a symbol of contentment and relief. it doesn't seem a very powerful message from robert frost to say that he REGRETS deviating from the crowd and the norm.</p>

<p>ANNYways. I was going to comment on the fact that you hadn't explained how in the world you'd function with those migraines in COLLEGE if you couldn't handle high school, but then i read your revised essay and it is answered very well there. So no complaints. Good essay :)</p>

<p>Oh God-- this poem has been analyzed repeatedly.</p>

<p>The conclusion: there is none.
"And that has made all the difference" is entirely subjective. I've seen beautiful arguments saying it's negative, and equally good opposing ones.</p>

<p>Interpret it as you like.</p>

<p>The quote is suitable for your essay subject, but perhaps you should leave it out just in case the admissions folk are as nitpicky as this forum :)</p>

<p>Also, at the end of the third paragraph you say:</p>

<p>I learned to set goals, figure out how to meet those goals, and structure my time to achieve them.</p>

<p>It should actually be:
I learned to set goals, figured out how to meet those goals, and structured my time to achieve them.</p>

<p>You need to have the right verb tenses if you start off with "learned". :)</p>

<p>thescathach: her verb tense is fine.</p>

<p>She LEARNED three things... how to set goals, meet them, and structure time to achieve them. She just employed parallel structure.</p>

<p>thanks for the responses..i'm a guy by the way</p>

<p>Oops! I have no idea where I got the idea that you were a girl.</p>

<p>My sincerest apologies!</p>

<p>:) haha, it's okay.</p>

<p>I think it is a good essay because it shows how you overcame an obsacle and how you learned some new skills related to school. Te adcom is going to like that.</p>

<p>FYI I suffered from migraines for 10 years and got an incredible miracle cure from a dentist, of all people. I had bad bite & while asleep was clenching and grinding my teeth, jutting chin fwd to open airway-- it turned out to be source of migraines. Just in case you are still suffering from them you want a dentist experienced in this to look at you. I got a $300 fancy retainer type appliance (called a bianator?sp) to wear for sleep and NO MORE MIGRAINES! Ultimately I got the orthodontia to fix the bite but that is optional.</p>

<p>Lots of people don't know about this but it worked like a charm for me.</p>