My billionth attempt at an essay...

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: My billionth attempt at an essay...
By Stuckat410 (Stuckat410) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 12:02 am: Edit

i've been attempting these college essays a million times, as some of you will recognize because i've posted numerous times asking for help... here i am again.. was wondering if you could critique/edit/anything my essay... is it send-able? so far none of my essays have been of any quality i guess... =/ any help would be greatly appreciated...

Over the years of what psychiatrists may call “searching yourself”, or what I like to blame as my puberty years, when I viciously snap at my parents for mentioning things they should not have to my friends, or when I spend hours upon hours furiously writing in my journal complaining of the misfortunes of life, I have learned that I am quick to temper, and very sensitive. Little comments here and there are enough to set me off on a shrieking fit, or spring a leak in my tear ducts. I admit that though I am not fond of this trait of mine, I am learning to deal with it. A couple of months ago, one of the biggest testers to this side of me was a fellow praise band member. The praise band and I play music so that the youth group congregation can have something to sing along to as they spend a time of praise and worship before the sermon. Our band meets on a biweekly basis, year-round, in order to practice songs for the upcoming Sunday. Since I see the members so often, we are all extremely comfortable with each other—and in my case, one of the members was a little too comfortable with me. Before you start getting the wrong ideas, allow me to elaborate. This is an example of how this particular member (named Fred, for this essay's sake) and I share our greetings: "Why're you so late?! Practice started at 1:00--It's 1:15!" yells Fred, before I even reach my familiar spot behind the drumset. “I told you I was going to be late. I left a message on your cell—I guess you didn’t get it.” I reply, with as much composure as I could muster up, but which was running dangerously low. Our good-bye’s are even better: a simple nod on his part to acknowledge my parting, followed by a terse raising of hand on my part, to at least remain civil, though wanting desperately to hit him over the head with his $2,000-guitar. I do not know to this day what ignited this negative relationship, but it was not just I having trouble maintaining a civil relationship with Fred—it was the entire band against him. We could often be found sitting impatiently on the pews awaiting Fred's arrival, as he was also often late, complaining of how he constantly yells at us for the same thing. We could often be found grumbling while we picked songs of how he purposely turns his microphone volume the highest for his voice to dominate over ours. We could often be found dragging ourselves all over the church in order to fulfill his wishes of bringing microphone chords from this room, returning instrument chords back to that room. As you can see, the reasons that I just listed off, which are not even the beginnings of it, are awfully childish and immature. They are things ten-year olds argue over. But they are things that need to be accomplished in order for our praise band to work as a team. I learned this the hard way, after wasting several months of despising Fred's actions towards the group. I like writing up quotes, and my favorite is: "Step back, look around, realize... Then step back in, but with a completely new set of mind." I stepped back and realized that I was acting incredibly childish for getting angry at the things that I did. When I stepped back in, I did with a mature set of mind, respecting Fred's opinions and complying with his wishes. As time passed, Fred and I became great friends, as did the entire band with Fred. We practiced for hours at a time, fooling around with our instruments and enjoying each other's company. Unfortunately our positive times came to an end just last week, because he is going off to college and is no longer a member of the youth group. If only we were able to make this bond earlier, for then we would not have wasted so much time feuding over useless things.

this is exactly 677 words, but the limit was 500... =/ is it bad to go so over?

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 12:07 am: Edit


What is the image of you that you want to convey to the adcoms? I worry about lines like " Little comments here and there are enough to set me off on a shrieking fit, or spring a leak in my tear ducts." In the end, you do talk about bonding with Fred, but too much of your essay focuses on your immaturity. It's not the length of the essay that worries me, it's its message. Can you find something more positive to say about yourself?

By Stuckat410 (Stuckat410) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 12:10 am: Edit

ohh okay...
so i guess i should balance it out a little more? on the before realization, and after realization thing?

i was thinking that too... because by the end fo the essay, i had used up too many words explaining the before realization part... and just tried cramming as much as i could and still went over 177 words..

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 12:21 am: Edit

I honestly don't know where the notion came from that college essays need to be about some kind of psycho-analytical "realization" or grand epiphany.

In my opinion, those kinds of essays are nearly impossible to pull off and beyond impossible for a 17 year old high school student.

Pick something that you have done. Some experience that shows you in a positive light. Describe that experience and, if you like, throw in some small way that you grew or learned a little something from the experience.

Or, if you like to debate political ideas, write an essay about three whacky ideas you've dreamed up. Have some fun with it.

Honestly, they aren't looking for essays to publish in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Society!

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 08:15 am: Edit

The essay says nothing about you except that you are sensitive and quick to tears. It also does not mention how and why you came to understand Fred (whom you despised) better. I would say if you want to use this topic, then concentrate on those aspects.

By Bettina (Bettina) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 11:16 pm: Edit

I don't understand why you don't have paragrahs. It's so hard on the reader I don't have the patience for it!

It's ok for your draft to go over--but your final paper should be close to the limit so as not to annoy. Now get in and edit and distill it to get a leaner, more effective essay. Perhaps pulling out some of the harping and complaining.

By Patient (Patient) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 11:26 pm: Edit

I think that you have the germ of an idea but you really need to re-focus the essay and get rid of a lot of the gratuitous comments (i.e., "before you get the wrong idea", etc.).

I would take out all of the preamble about you and your sensitivities and focus on how and why you learned to get along with Fred, what he came to mean to you, what you learned about yourself too. Your comments about the band "so the choir can have something to sing along to"--trivialize the band as well. I trust it means something to you? be a bit more positive.

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