Penn essay

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: October 2003 Archive: Penn essay
By Awe02 (Awe02) on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 01:09 pm: Edit

i am a homeschooler who is applying to nyu ED for admission fall 2004. i wanted some help regarding my essay.

Undoubtedly, the person who influenced me most is my grandfather. Born in South Africa in 1922, he was an attorney and a writer who intellectually stimulated his peers and even his political opponents. Among his many accomplishments were studying law with former President Nelson Mandela, leading the international debating team of the African National Congress (ANC), being the ANCís official writer, and writing a political newspaper column for over twenty years.
I was two years old when I traveled from Michigan to South Africa and first met my grandfather. Six years later I returned to South Africa, where my grandfather told me about South Africa's history, the struggle against apartheid, and the influence that people such as Mahatma Gandhi, Chief Albert Luthuli, and Martin Luther King, Jr. had on his life. I would sit and listen to him in awe. Often, however, I did not comprehend the principles and lessons to be learned.
Although my grandfather had a serious approach to politics, he also had a great sense of humor. He loved to play pranks on visitors and family members. A well-rounded person, he was an accomplished gardener and cricket player. He loved to tend the garden on Sunday mornings; in the afternoons he always eagerly participated in a game of cricket. My belief that every person should be well-rounded derives from my grandfather. He taught me that people who take their work seriously still can have hobbies and enjoy life.
In his youth my grandfather was a high achiever who skipped two grades in high school and started college at age fifteen. His professors told him that he was too young to pursue a double major in law and political science, but he persisted despite their discouragement and he graduated with distinction. From this I learned to resist discouragement, overcome diversity, and attempt to achieve anything I desired.
When my grandfather died in July 2002, two weeks before I was to return to the United States, I felt an enormous sense of loss. I had lost a great influence in my life. I learned to be a critical thinker, to challenge injustice and to express my opinions. There was so much more I could have learned from my grandfather if I had taken the time to listen to more of his stories; yet I believe he taught me the essential wisdom I would need in life. He wanted me to discover life for myself and form my own educated opinions.
My grandfatherís influence on me was immense. I hope that I will be able to influence others the way he influenced me.

By Afk (Afk) on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 08:43 pm: Edit

What's the prompt?
I'll assume it's something along the lines of "Who has influenced you the most?"

I'm guessing that most colleges want to know about you and not about your grandfather. You go to great lengths to describe your grandfather, yet you never say why he has influenced you, or why he means so much. The only place you sort of say this is near the end. It would be better to connect this essay to yourself, rather than be simply a tribute to your grandfather.


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