Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: MY ESSAY SUCKS PLEASE HELP
By Jennyzsong (Jennyzsong) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 10:09 pm: Edit

For Stanford

"A picture is worth a thousand words" as the adage goes. (You're limited to the space provided, however.) Attach a photograph that represents something important to you and explain its significance."

Okay so I have a reeally bad habit of not being able to follow a prompt!!! Please read and tell me if I'm on the right track!! I will read yours!! Surprisingly I'm good at editing I'm told.

Anyhow, the photo I will be attaching is of me at 2 years old, I'm holding a pencil and writing on a paper, my index finger is on my chin and I am very concentrated looking.


It may, at first, seem insignificant, as do all things of unworldly value. A snapshot, a still image of a moment long-passed, waiting among the thousand which lie in photo albums or drawers. Another million are never captured. But this one…this one remembers me. The colors are not properly exposed and the somewhat androgynous child of two years is no beauty.

But never mind, now, the science and art of photography, the behavior of photons and the rules of design, which serve, momentarily, only to hinder the magic of the history embodied here. Think simply this time. This photograph is not material; it occupies no space. It’s vapor, a wish, a melange of childhood hope and obsession crossed with fate, if you can call it that, if you can believe it exists.

I used to draw these pictures, as shown here, yet I did not, for they were never pictures although they might have been dismissed as such. They were language. They were the abstruse symbols of a toddler’s mind, row on row, character after character in an alphabet only I could know. Perhaps they conveyed a story once, but I cannot remember now, can no longer decipher my own ‘words’. It is the price of my years, the apathy of teenhood, that these types of fancies have become obsolete.

This nostalgia is unreal. My memories are, in reality, subconsciously implanted by the words of my mother, who sifts through these pages in time and hands them to me as if they were my own. I remember that pencil in my hand, yet I do not - it’s impossible. Nobody remembers what she feels at that age.

I know it happened, this legend. It must have. The countless pages of symbols my mother describes to me are elusive, but they cannot be invented. It’s too true a story, too like me, this need to communicate, to cleanse myself of my thoughts and to have them open on a page even if I do not have the words, to show the world: this is who I am. Do not forget me. Please, please, do not forget me.

My mother said, you have a talent for something, but she could not explain it. I sat and wrote and thought and wrote, captured in a dozen photographs, concentrated, perhaps worried in expression, each picture a tick on my timeline. I do not know when these encoded stories made their fatal close, but from their remains sprang new passion for words, real words now-that is to say, recognized words-but what is captured in this photograph, this foreshadow for a possible ending, is, in part, forever marked in me.

By Bbstlchi (Bbstlchi) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 10:34 pm: Edit start off with, you will probably have to cut down your sentences and make them short.....many times.....i had to read some of the stuff twice to get a hang of it....u started off pretty good with your first para...but the second one seems a bit absurd...."if you can call it that, if you can believe it exists.
"---where did this come from???...delete it.

And in the 1st 2 paras, if the pic is not significant now, why are u talking about goes against the prompt

"I used to draw these pictures, as shown here, yet I did not, for they were never pictures although they might have been dismissed as such
"---again cut it down.....make it something like " the so called pictures that i used to draw were in reality a language, a language composed of abstruse symbols of a toddler’s mind"

"row on row, character after character in an alphabet only I could know"--cut this

Perhaps they conveyed a story once, but I cannot remember now, can no longer decipher my own ‘words’. It is the price of my years, the apathy of teenhood, that these types of fancies have become obsolete"--good job with this part

"Nobody remembers what she feels at that age"..whos she here?.. you or your mom?...clear such grammatical errors

"I know it happened, this legend. It must have'....what legend are u talking about??....this para makes no sense what so ever...full of confusing and misleading sentences

The last para is the only one that actually responds to the shows the importance and the significance of the pic

The essay is very well written but i think u need to be a little bit more clearer...try to stick with the saying that you dont remember anything about the scene makes it lose its significance...a re write of it would definetely help

By Bbstlchi (Bbstlchi) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 10:35 pm: Edit

btw heres my essay

My dad waved me goodbye as I walked up the cold gray steps of my new school alone. The kids that walked past talked to each other about their summer but hardly even glanced at me. Changing schools has been one of the worst feelings I have ever encountered. My 4 years of high school have been a journey full of obstacles that affected me academically as well as emotionally. In the past three years, I have moved from India to Saint Louis, MO and then from Saint Louis to Chicago. Ironically I will have to move again next year and go off to college.

Upon coming to America, I realized I was different with my Indian accent, Indian looks and Indian lifestyle. These differences made it hard for me to fit into my new school. But as time progressed, I got a sense of belonging in my new school thanks to the wonderful students and teachers I met, who were willing to help me at any point.

So Just when I thought everything was going al right, tragedy struck. It was spring time of my junior year. I was busy selecting my classes for the next year, looking forward to another fun filled physics class with my favorite teacher Mr. Lay and joining the school’s soccer team. The same day I returned home and my mom with a grief-stricken face told me “ dear, your dad got laid off from his job today, we will have to move to Chicago after completing your year”. Bang! All my dreams and hopes were shattered. My intellectual understanding of the move contrasted with my emotional resistance to it. I was afraid of the uncertainty that lay ahead and unhappy about those who I left behind. Nevertheless, I held the tears within myself, left my destiny into the hands of my dad and moved to Chicago.

My first visit to the school didn’t impress me . Could I have any worse start than to hear the news that I was too late for the soccer try-outs?. And then came the D-day, my first day of school. A feeling of anxiety, depression and resentment overcame me. I felt lonely again in a cheerful and jubilant high school world. For the first two days, I didn’t bother getting out of my secluded world. The next day, as I walked past the cafeteria, I noticed a tall and pale kid sitting all alone in the corner. Feeling sympathetic towards him I went up and said “ Hi, what’s your name?”. In a very peculiar accent he replied” Hi, I am Ricky, I am new to this school”. “Where you from?”, I asked him. He replied “oh, I just moved in from London”. From his talks I realized that he was more glad to find a companion than I was. Perhaps he needed help more that I did. Talking to him made me realize that maybe my victimhood and isolation was all self imposed. I was probably causing misery to myself by refraining from getting involved. Perhaps if I could be more out going like I just was, I could make friends again. The next day, I didn’t mind asking for help from the person sitting next to me in my math class. Much to my delight, he invited me over to play soccer with his friends. This led to a series of new friendships. Making new friends again gave me a feeling of confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

So as I look back at my 3 years of high school, I realize what a life enriching experience changing schools has been for me. Every time I moved, I ended up meeting people who were as wonderful as those I left behind. A few months from now, I see myself surrounded by unknown walls of a university. But this time I will be mentally prepared to face my battles, to talk to people and to make friends again. Each friend I have met has given me something special, I just cant tell you what it is. Every time I have left a friend I hold on to memories, memories that are going to live with me until the day I die.

By Jennyzsong (Jennyzsong) on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 11:31 pm: Edit

Bbstlchi, your essay is the very opposite of mine I think, and I think we both need to make our essays a bit more inbetween! What I mean is yours is very very direct, whereas mine kind of meanders in an artsy, tangenty way.

What schools are you applying to with this? The major problem with your essay is that I don't think it is subtle enough, everything is very very clearly stated which gives it a simpleness. "Show, don't tell" is a good motto to remember. Instead of saying something directly, sometimes give an example or allude to it using other things. This adds much more colour and interest! Also try to vary your sentence structure a bit more (just as I need to simplify mine.)

Also, instead of writing your numbers like 4,5,6, write them out like "four, five, six" etc. And don't use the "tragedy struck" part. Too cliche. Cut out the "So as I look back..." clause in the last paragraph, you don't need to conclude so obviously. Just say, "I now realize.." and so on.

Overall, we both need to rub off on each other.

By Bbstlchi (Bbstlchi) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 10:51 am: Edit

this essay is for the UCS,Umich and Uillinois

By Jennyzsong (Jennyzsong) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 02:04 pm: Edit


By Jennyzsong (Jennyzsong) on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 05:34 pm: Edit


Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page