Alcoholism essay -- how personal is too personal?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: Alcoholism essay -- how personal is too personal?
By Confetti (Confetti) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 05:35 pm: Edit

I know that the essay is supposed to be personal. But I was wondering how personal is too personal?

I wrote an essay last night, and I think it's the best of all the ones I've written so far. It starts out with a friend asking me to go drinking with him and when I decline, he asks me why. I then relay the fact that my father is an alcoholic and the day I realized he was and how it forced me to grow up (I say this in the essay, not when speaking with my friend). The essay doesn't whine. It isn't even that bitter since I maintain that I love my father. But it justifies my reasons for not drinking. The essay ends with me telling my friend how I want to have as much control as possible over my mind and body-- and how I know alcohol would not allow me to have that control. That's a very quick overview of the essay.

I'm not sure if it's appropriate though. Any comments?

By The_Slc_Bug (The_Slc_Bug) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 05:41 pm: Edit

I certainly think it's appropriate, because you didn't take the alcohol. The essay is about your values. I personally think it will show that you are very mature, not afraid to discuss this with the adcom, and able to learn from the experience (as many people tend to follow the habits of their parents). If you want to send it to me, I will read it and let you know first-hand whether it is a good thing to send to the adcom. Email in profile.

By Special_Foreign (Special_Foreign) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 05:45 pm: Edit

it could make or brake you depending on the quality of the essay. it would be a good thing if you're just telling about an event which was significant in your life. on the other hand depending on how you wrote it it could sound like you're just trying to win their pity and show and say to them through your essay "hey see i declined drinking i'm a great responsible person pick me pick me." have others read the essay and see what's the message it sends out. but no its not too personal. it might actually show them what type of person you are.

By Confetti (Confetti) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 08:43 pm: Edit

ah, thank you guys for replying :)

i refuse to post my actual essay on the board for fear of unscrupulous lurkers.

but the_slc_bug: you've always seemed very nice and helpful in the posts you've made, so I will probably send you the essay (though im still editting it). And good luck with Cornell! :)

im afraid the subject may be a bit cliche. i guess im not sure, since my father is an alcoholic and i've become accustomed to it. sometimes i forget that's not normal. but still-- im afraid it could be cliche, though i tried to present it in a fresh manner.

special foreign: the essay really isn't whiny at all. im pretty humble, and the last thing i would ever write would be an essay that screamed, "im wonderful so pick me!" heh :) and i will definitely have other people read the essay :)

By The_Slc_Bug (The_Slc_Bug) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 08:56 pm: Edit

Ha! Thanks.

Actually, my father is an alcoholic too, though doing better than he was when I was little. It is fairly common, but it just depends on the extent of the problem. It didn't really affect me much until my mother left him for it, and we still have arguments about his drinking. And one of my uncles just died last year of cirrhosis.

But the fact that it's common doesn't lessen the effects on a child or family, and if your experiences have touched you or caused you to learn something in any way, its not a bad thing to write about in the essay.

By Confetti (Confetti) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 11:18 pm: Edit

the_slc_bug: i just sent it and im sorry :(

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