Quick read my cornell "optional" essay! STOP READING THIS,

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Discus: What Are My Chances?: January 2004 Archive: Quick read my cornell "optional" essay! STOP READING THIS,
By Anynameyoulike (Anynameyoulike) on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 10:45 pm: Edit

Here's the optional essay: Is it good/bad/should be written in french? I gotta send this by midnight, and i'm freakin out. Is humor good to use, bad? I'm so confooooozled.

I am not about to lie to you. I could be lying about that, but you are just going to have to trust me on this one. I am writing to you attempting to explain my less than stellar performance in high school and how much I have changed since coming to college. I thought of a thousand interesting lies to explain why I have had this amazing about face in regards to my academic career. They were interesting lies, one involved ADD, which I have never had. I thought that one would have been rather effective. Another essay involved a French mime, a monkey in a dress, and a trip to Sweden, wait no, that was a different essay. Maybe I had better start from the beginning.
Iíll fast forward through high school. I hated it; every second was slower than the one before it. I went a militant Catholic school which I can best describe as Branch Davidians with Text Books. The discipline I didnít mind so much, it was the way they taught that killed me. They held your hand through every little step, they taught in such a condescending way it made you feel as if you were a five year old. I donít want to be so presumptuous as to say that I was too smart for it, but I sure hated every second of it. Sitting there in my little blue tie and shined shoes and blazer (regardless of how hot it was) all I could think about was how much I didnít want to be there. Lists of things I would rather do flashed through my head: beaches, sleeping, or slamming my head in a car door were fine examples. I had no interest in anything they taught; the teachers had an amazing ability to such the life out of any topic. I was always yelled at for questioning and debating things, especially in theology class.
Flash forward to my first semester of college. Teachers didnít hold your hand like a child; they didnít hold your hand at all. It was great! The teachers actually pushed me a little bit, so I naturally pushed back. They would challenge me with difficult questions, about topics I actually cared about. They actually commended my constant questioning and debating, which made philosophy a natural choice for me. The responsibility of studying for classes was all on me, nobody was there to tell me what to do. For the first time in my life, I felt a huge drive to succeed. It was time to put-up, or shut-up. So I did. I realized that not going to class was not at all acceptable in this setting. I am proud of the fact that I have missed two days through all of college from breaking my hand, and that is all. The material we learn is interesting, I love it. I especially fell in love with Psychology and Philosophy. I didnít like all my classes, but I realized even the dull required classes were necessary to succeed in classes I loved. I was finally motivated; I learned to love to learn!
The professors are not terrible, if they actually come to class, usually we just have a TA, which can get frustrating. I canít say I have any huge complaints about Albany itself, with one exception; my peers. Many students I go to school with are proud to never go to class. They go out drinking every night until they run out of money. Iím not going to say my classes are too easy, they can be a challenge. In a class of 300 students, you will regularly see about 40 in class at any one time, and it is considered normal. I am always able to get an A even in difficult classes that arenít curved. Even when I work for days on end studying, the A I get feels like a hollow victory knowing that nobody else really tried, they only wanted to pass the class and get credit. It also gets kind of lonely studying. I like to study in groups and itís so hard to find anyone who is motivated enough to study with me. The other consistent A students that I have met just tend to be recluses, and like to lock themselves in rooms. . There are so few highly motivated students who want to put in the long hours I like to, to ensure the A. The people I study with usually hope that they can copy my notes that they didnít bother to take, and of course get me to explain what the notes mean. God forbid there is a topic I donít understand, I have to make sure I get it right the first time; Iím on my own. Not only am I surrounded by unmotivated students, there was little opportunity for undergraduates at Albany. I want to research with top ranking professors for psychology, and nobody wanted an undergraduate volunteer. They would only take graduate students. In a way I feel trapped, there is no way for me to prepare for graduate research, should I choose that path.
I went to visit my friend, who is an undergrad at Cornell. It was a weekend, and I was expecting to find passed out kids everywhere, who had been partying (typical for Albany). I couldnít believe that I found a group of girls sitting in her room all sharing notes for a psychology class. It was a Saturday! I was amazed.
ďIs that common?Ē I asked her.
ďUmm..,studying in groups?Ē she replied, ďof course.Ē
I was so shocked, I demanded to meet other kids, and a good number were studying as well. They were all so happy to be working too. They really seemed to enjoy what they were learning. They werenít just gathered around the smart kids notebook, hoping to memorize his notes for some class they couldnít spell the name of. How much fun they were having really struck me. I can barely describe that feeling of ďI must be one themĒ that I felt. Thatís when I knew, Cornell was where I belonged. I took the tour, checked the website, I couldnít believe how dedicated everyone at this school is to what they are learning. Not only the students, but the professors really matter. They are people I can really look up to and are passionate about their disciplines. The breadth of the courses offered alone was enough to make me want to apply. I went home and started filling out the application that you are now reading.
So I realize my high school record is not something to be proud of. I am no longer the same person I was in high school. I have a new outlook on learning and I think my college transcripts show that. I realize how great studying something you really love can be. I also realize how important college is for my future. I want to be able to study with students who are at least as motivated as I am. I want to have the best teachers and take diverse classes. I want to be able to learn with the best. I know it is not going to be easy to be a student at Cornell; I know how much work and sacrifice it will take. I know I will be able to handle the work. I just hope you will give me the opportunity to achieve my maximum potential. I will not allow myself to do anything less than my absolute best.

By Shahab (Shahab) on Sunday, January 11, 2004 - 06:48 am: Edit

Great essay, I definitely heard your "voice" in it which is important in college essays however, and i promise you this- they are not going to like you ripping up your fellow studens who just "Crowded aroud the smart student's notebook" theme... skip that part, subtety is you friend here... the part where you said

They werenít just gathered around the smart kids notebook, hoping to memorize his notes for some class they couldnít spell the name of

implies that this was the case at your old school, so this is fine. other than this, i really liked the essay

keep in touch btw, im also looking to transfer from college check my post and let me know what you think

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