Read, please... I probably have no clue what I'm doing

As seen by the title of the thread, this is my first college essay, and I have no idea what I’m doing. So, you know, take that into account.

I chose the common app question #1: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

I think my essay falls under “experience.”

Wiping the sweat off my brow, I stepped out of the car, my nerves tingling

with anticipation. “This is it,” I said to myself. I was nervous, of course, but

I knew that I had trained long and hard to get here, and I deserved it. All of

those hours slaving away on the sweaty blue mats were finally culminating

into what would soon be a single moment of glory; I was about to become a

black belt.

<pre><code>I had begun karate lessons at the age of seven, and I had enjoyed

the grace and elegance of the sport from the beginning. A combination of

floridity and force, each punch and kick from the higher belts made me yearn

for the next level. I often daydreamed about the day when I could

roundhouse above my head and smash the punching bags backwards into the

wall. As I went from yellow belt to green belt, and then from green belt to

purple belt, I saw my dream becoming a reality.

<pre><code>In the middle of each of our everyday lessons, the instructor would

sit down with us and tell us stories and repeat proverbs in order to attempt

to instill a sense of righteousness, honor and morality into us. I often would

only half-hear the advice because I was so eager to get back onto the mats,

but as the years progressed, I developed a deep sense of what was right,

and often felt great waves of guilt when I told even the smallest lies.

<pre><code>Feeling all of my past experiences pushing me forward into the

building, I stepped in and walked slowly over to where the rest of the soon to

be black belts stood. We all sat down and the ceremony began. The head

of the school, a sixth-degree black belt, stood up and began to call out

names. I sat in a state of absolute suspense, waiting for him to entice me

forward. When I heard “William Censored,” my heart came close to

stopping. Stumbling forward with a half-grin on my face amidst heavy

clapping from the audience, I gazed at my instructor’s face as he tied the

belt around my waist. I was finally a black belt. The realization of the

enormity of the situation suddenly struck me as I sat back down among the

other ecstatic students. I could now instruct; I was no longer purely a


<pre><code>I have carried on this role of being an instructor into other facets of

my life; I tutor students in writing as well as help others in mathematics and

chemistry. It is why I chose to work on a multivariable calculus project with

my father, despite the difficulty of the material. And, it is the reason why I

constantly strive to be a better person; I owe Karate a great deal.

P.S. Sorry about the weird format, I just copy pasted it and decided to make it a bit more readable by making it sort of double spaced.

<p>I like it all except the last paragraph. Cardinal rule of essay writing: Don't give new information in your conclusion. In this case it smacks of "And here's a few other things I want you to know about me." You can probably work in some of those details elsewhere, though, if necessary. </p>

<p>And I think the last sentence is too obviously self-serving. This is a case where "show me, don't tell me" would work better. And again, work the details into the body of the essay.</p>

<p>Thanks a bunch binx. :]</p>

<p>Anyone else got any suggestions? Opinions? Criticism? :]</p>

<p>Weird, I couldn't edit my first post. </p>

<p>Anyway, here's my new conclusion:</p>

<p>The ceremony wrapped up and everyone else quietly chattered as they </p>

<p>walked towards the exit. Receiving a hug from my mom and a look of </p>

<p>approval from my dad, we promptly walked into the night air. I can’t </p>

<p>remember if it was cold; my accomplishment surged the heat of pride </p>

<p>throughout my body.</p>

<p>Get rid of some cliches (such as dream becoming a reality), and it will be a pretty good essay.</p>

<p>much better revision on the last paragraph... pretty good essay</p>

<p>Sorry for bumping, but I would just like to get a few more opinions on the essay and maybe some more critique; I've taken into consideration all of the suggestions above, and I think they're really helpful. =`></p>