Essay to Harvard, Yale, Penn, Columbia

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: Essay to Harvard, Yale, Penn, Columbia
By Joecit (Joecit) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:01 pm: Edit

Any thoughts on my essay? It's being sent to Harvard, Yale, Penn, Columbia, and others.

The whoosh. The ensuing pop. The holler of a self-important 17 year-old inviting me ever so gently to return to my dugout. The scene became much too familiar, and way too miserably commonplace in my first year of Little League. I was by far the most predictable player in the league. Every at-bat was certain to yield the same result: the awful strikeout.
Enduring the entire regular season without ever experiencing the feeling of my bat hitting a ball, without ever knowing the sensation of adrenaline pumping through my veins as I rounded the bases, without even getting a single high five or congratulations was humiliating and disheartening. But it set me on fire. In spite of the suggestions to find a more suitable activity, I wanted those simple things so undescribably badly that I resolved to work for them until only death could stop me. I wanted I needed to prove to myself and everyone else that I, too, could do it. All that I wanted was one moment of contact.
So in the three week hiatus between the regular and summer seasons I coached myself. I used every means available to a twelve year-old self-coached boy to reach my simple but noble goal. I rode my bicycle to the local library for instructional books and "how-to" literature on the baseball swing. In a single sitting I completed Ted William's The Science of Hitting, and found myself soon thereafter browsing the Internet for more information. I registered online for baseball discussion boards and stole my mother's credit card to purchase a $25 instructional tape. I found out everything I could on the various swing theories and drills. I was probably the only Little Leaguer who came to understand rotational mechanics and the concept of torque, and why modern day physics hails it as superior to its counterpart linear mechanics. I began video-taping my favorite player's swings, reviewing them in slow motion to analyze them frame by frame. As I watched the tapes, I stood in the middle of my living room floor molding my own swing to the swings of the best in the game. I categorized swings into distinct groups, and tried to match player statistics with their swing types to note any patterns of success with a particular style. I became visibly obsessed.
I remember vividly the first contest of that anticipated summer league. As Malverne squared off against New Hyde Park, the game seemed destined to be filed away as another three strikeout performance for me. I struck out looking in my first at-bat, returning to the dugout with my chin plastered to my chest. However, my second at-bat would change the way I viewed success forever. After digging myself into a two strike hole, I mustered together everything I taught myself and every bit of determination I could find. In a moment of pure bliss my efforts culminated into one burst of sheer satisfaction, as I whipped the bat from my shoulder directly into the trajectory of the ball. Bam! I finally did it. For the first time in my life, I realized what it truly means to be rewarded by hard work and dedication. I discovered a personal definition of success.
As time went on and my passion grew, so did my skill level. Lacking natural ability, I discovered unique ways to drive me to new heights. But now, as physical limitations step in the way of personal fantasy, I realize that I can never be an All-American athlete. I was never blessed with quickness of foot, hand-eye coordination, or fast twitch muscle tissue. I was probably never "supposed" to play baseball. However, it is the curiosity and desire, the need for personal fulfillment and actualized potential, that to this day drives me to be what I can be. Without that initial urge and willingness to at least put up the best fight he can, man would never realize just what he is capable of.

By Godis (Godis) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:25 pm: Edit


By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:47 pm: Edit

I like it. I do not have the time right now to go over it in detail for feedback. But two quick things.....I would not say you stole your mom's credit card.....implies too much negative connotation....rather get across how you ordered it and so forth. In the final sentence, instead of using "man", keep it to you personally. Would pack more punch for me, plus this really is about you, and not all of mankind. Like we do not need a moral to the story. If you show your story well, and you mostly did, then the reader should be able to INFER things about you. You do not have to spell it out. Overall, it is well written. Get some feedback near you, a teacher or something. Sorry to not be able to do that in detail for you here....also have my own daughter's college essays to read over, etc. Good luck to you!

By Joecit (Joecit) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 10:55 pm: Edit

thanks for the feedback
anybody else?

By Culovv (Culovv) on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 11:05 pm: Edit

The best ive read in a while. I would change the credit card thing up a bit. Other than that, youve really got a good essay. Good luck.

By Y17k (Y17k) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 05:06 am: Edit

*cough* cliched *cough*

good description though, pity about the trite topic

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 08:05 am: Edit


By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 09:03 am: Edit

It was an excellent essay, exactly what adcoms are interested in seeing. Unlike what many applicants assume, the best essays aren't the ones that tell the most tragic or unusual stories.

The best essays are the ones in which students demonstrate their strong characters by showing what something fairly ordinary meant to them. The best such essays go beyond the cliche and trite, which is exactly what you have done.

My only suggestion is that you not post your work on line because I fear that it could be easily stolen. Far better for you to get advice from a person like your English teacher.

By The_Slc_Bug (The_Slc_Bug) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 10:04 am: Edit

I love it. It's not a cliched topic. He is talking about being terrible at Little League, not heroically winning the game at nationals or breaking a leg.

By Joecit (Joecit) on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 06:14 pm: Edit

thanks all... i greatly appreciate the compliments and criticisms... good luck to all in the coming weeks

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