Please help me with an essay!

Discussion in 'Community' started by scem0, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #1
    I just finished the first draft of the essay. Critiques would be greatly appreciated :):

    Changes made are catalogued in a post #13,

    The Prompt:

    What do you expect from a college education? How will it help you reach your life and career goals?

    The Essay:

    My perception of an ideal college experience has been born from the four years I’ve spent in high school. High school has been a lot of fun, but I foresee college as being drastically different. Not only will college satisfy my desire to have a highly specialized education in the field I’m interested in, interactive media, but it will also be a chance to have greater personal and academic freedom. I also see it as an excellent chance to meet people with similar interests, and similar career goals.

    I expect many things out of a college education other than the art and computer skills I need to succeed in future careers. I expect to become a more self-reliant individual. Throughout high school, most people are very sheltered by parents that set curfews, tell them what and what not to do, and prohibit them from procrastination. My parents are no exception; they have enforced a plethora of rules and regulations around the house. When I move out of state for college I won’t have anyone but myself to make these decisions. As always, life will present challenges that will have to be overcome, but now I won’t have support from my family. I expect my college to be a positive force in traversing these obstacles. With a solid psychological base to compliment a strong mental base, I anticipate great success in careers and at life in general.

    Furthermore, I expect to make some life-long friends. I don’t mind admitting that I have a tendency towards introversion. To make my social position even scarier, I don’t know a single person in San Francisco. However, I’m trying to look at my situation as an opportunity for expansion of my social circle. The biggest qualm I have with high school is people who expect you to fit into a predetermined standard, which few truly fit in. There is an incredible amount of superficiality that gets in the way of meaningful relationships. True identities are repressed and are replaced by superficial personas. I try to be as candid as possible, yet I must admit that I’ve repressed some of my true qualities, just to fit in. I hope to meet more honest people while in college that have similar goals and aspirations. Many people think of moving to a new location as a chance to reinvent themselves. I plan to do the opposite and drop any façades I might be wearing, hopefully picking up some sincere friends along the way.

    My favorite artist, Lauryn Hill, once said “anything that's not growing is dead – so we better be changing.” College is a chance to evolve, a chance to grow, a chance to live. I hope my college will be a strong hand on my back to help me through hard times. I hope my peers are a catalyst for truth and freedom of personal identity. I hope that I am challenged everyday, not only academically, but emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. I hope that while I attend college, and after graduation, I can go to sleep looking forward to waking up the next day, being a well-qualified, independent, honest person.


    Thanks so much everyone,

    scem0
     
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #2
    Start with that as the opening paragraph. It would get some attention.

    Mention things you expect, but you also hope to get a better understanding of what it is you want - the experiences you get in school will most likely change your perspective about the world....

    D
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #3
    You might want to discuss how a college education is not obtained only in class. There's the whole college experience, which is educational and certainly a factor in your development. Not to say you should focus on this, but you might want to include a mention of it.

    Edit: as alluded to above....
     
  4. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

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    #4
    Perhaps you could say how horrible you think it is that University/College are taken for granted by the vast majority of those who attend and not embraced as a chance to build real intelligence.
     
  5. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #5
    I thought about that as I was writing it.

    Does anybody second than notion? It might be a bit too 'eye-catching'.

    Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    scem0
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #6
    What's the purpose of the essay?

    Has it been set to make you consider why you're there, what you want out of it and set goals for yourself?

    Will your professor tell you to write your conclusions on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge so you remember those goals while you're there.

    I suspect that the easy answers are those that you gave in your first post - and those are the ones that everyone will come up with.

    What I think you need to do is think very hard about why exactly you are there, why you chose the course you are studying, why you joined the societies you did, what you want to get out of the entire experience professionally and personally. And I think that setting and writing out personal goals at the conclusion of the essay would be a useful move - whether or not you submit them as part of it
     
  7. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #7
    What's going to make your essay different from thousands of others is if you put more of you in it: what, specifically, motivated you to go to college? Did you have a particular experience that drove you toward a particular industry/career goal? The point is to think beyond "I want to get a good job and make lots of money." Yes, everyone wants that, but what is a good job to you? How will college help prepare you for it? The more personal and specific you can get (as long as you are still answering the question), the better.

    Bad: I want to get a good job so I can afford a nice house. I want to be successful and learn a lot. I think the knowledge I gain in class will help me to succeed in life.

    Good: When I was twelve, I had an experience that changed my life: I helped serve meals in a soup kitchen at my church. I wondered how all these men could be in such a desperate situation, so I asked one of them what had happened to him. He told me how he had dropped out of high school at age 16, and never had a regular job (and so on, and so on....)
     
  8. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #8
    great suggestions.

    I will take them to heart,

    scem0
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    I think one overlooked aspect of going to uni is the fact that some people feel it's the only choice given to them. Do you have parental pressure? Pressure from teachers, relatives, etc? I think exploring those options would be a good way of seeing why your are going to college and would make your essay more believable. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my education for anything but for some people it's not the way forward yet the pressure to go to college can be phenomenal.
     
  10. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #10
    Here's how I would write it. First of all, I'd get a catching intro sentence. Something that is a surprising fact like (EXAMPLE THIS IS NOT A FACT, AT LEAST I DON'T THINK IT IS).

    Did you know that half of the students who attend college don't even realize what field they want to go into?

    Next I'd kind of explain that like this.

    The field that someone goes into may not be their best selection for what they want to do, but it suits their needs as of now.

    Then I'd go with a thesis sentence.

    The fields that show most interest to myself include: Graphics Design, Computer Science, and Networking.

    Now you just let the rest of the essay follow. That is just how I'd do it. Its simple, not short, but it gives the main points. Don't expect to be different from everyone else. Someone may have the same idea as you, but the way you make it better is by illustrating the idea with examples that portray what you are trying to get across to the other person. Make it clear and consise, not too simple with word, but not too complicated. Make it flow easy, and make sure you read it over 10 times before submitting it, making changes as necessary.
     
  11. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

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    #11
    Do not use the first person perspective. Sorry, didn't see the essay question :)
     
  12. JDar macrumors 6502a

    JDar

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    #12
    >>> What do I want from a college education? I want to be fully prepared for the industry. I want to be more self-reliant. I want to be able to use my knowledge to make a living........ But so does everyone else.<<<

    I agree with others that you should work that in as an opening statement, maybe even the "is it inevitable that I sound like everyone else?"

    One important aspect of getting a college education is not academic: you will probably meet more people in your college years than you will meet the rest of your life. Learning to coexist and even appreciate the variety of people you meet in college will serve you as well as the academic studies. You will settle into what you are as an individual (and you won't sound like everyone else.)
     
  13. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #13
    Nov 19 - 10:00 PM - Changed quite a bit. I rewrote the introduction. I rewrote a fair amount of the 3rd paragraph. I reworded a lot of things.

    scem0
     
  14. crachoar macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Yes.
     
  15. kakapoporpoise macrumors newbie

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    #15
    maybe you could expect that after you graduate that you won't sound like everybody else,
    don't over edit what you write or you will!
    good luck
     
  16. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #16
    I'll definitely consider that. I might do some editing during web design class (I've worked about a week ahead of everyone else :p). It would be a good thought to work in, but I don't want to work it in unless it flows nicely.

    scem0
     
  17. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #18
  18. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #19
    there are words there that aren't all that weird, but if its not in your normal vocabulary - think twice about using it. you wouldn't sound intelligent, you'd sound like you're trying to impress people with large, obscure words....it would work against you.

    But like I said, there are some good ones in there, just finding them is the problem :D

    D
     
  19. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #20
    Don't start the first paragraph with things you admit are cliched. Don't start the first paragraph asking a question that is the prompt...Don't start the first paragraph repeating the beginning of each sentence unless you really plan on building up to a profound climax--this is best done at the end, though.

    In general, don't repeat phrases. For example, 'self-reliant' is mentioned twice within the first third of the essay. This is not good. Find synonyms. Also avoid quoting people. It's usually not a good thing to do.

    In general, it comes off as if you're complaining about your current life and seek escape in college. I don't think the school will particularly appreciate this. Moreover, you fail to tie in specifics about the particular school and how it will help to meet what you desire in a college education. Read up on the school--see what it stands for, its atmosphere and mission. Try to connect your vision with its vision and you may have a winning package. This question is essentially asking, why is our school a good "fit" for you? It walks around the question by asking you what you want, so as not to get people who will see what they want and try to bridge the gap. But if you can cleverly connect the two, you may be able to make a strong case as to how your desires in college education make school XYZ an attractive choice. Of course, be careful to always keep the focus on yourself, with the school being an incidental, but integral, part of the argument.
     
  20. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

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    #21
    Absolutely not. The important thing is to make the language concise, clear and readable. Never use a page that boats of offering 'weird words'. If you are struggling to sum up what you want to say in a short sentence, or your wording sounds clumsy, THEN use a thesaurus, but it is essentially a last resort. It should sound intelleigent through content rather than surface fluff. If it's not in Oxford / Websters - steer clear.
     
  21. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #22
    I suppose antidisestablishmentarianism wouldn't fit? Hmmmmmmm maybe pogonophobia could be worked in. Or I could say that I was unconsentaneous with some of the people at my school.

    Good suggestions, thanks. I'm working on changing to to reflect your suggestions right now, including rewriting the intro.

    Do I sense an antisesquipedalian?

    hee hee.

    scem0
     
  22. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

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    #23
    haha, not long word per se, but needlessly flashy words.
     
  23. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #24
    I'm glad you found them useful! I hope I didn't come off as a jackass (reading my post, it sounded like it), but I was in a hurry and I wanted to get you my suggestions without too much fluff. Ironically, I had to edit my post for grammatical/spelling errors. ;)
     
  24. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #25
    No, you didn't sound like a jackass at all.

    I really do appreciate all the help. This is a very important essay ;), but I'm very confident about getting in. The Art Institutes aren't too hard to get into.

    scem0
     

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