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Case Western Reserve University- essay- significant experience in my life

MaggieP 1 / 2 1  
Nov 11, 2016   #1
Hello, everyone! I'm new here and this is my essay for graduate applying. The question is: Throughout our lives, we have significant experiences, or "milestones," that have a lasting impact on us. Briefly describe such an event and its impact on you. I'd appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

Like many travelers, I used to never consider going somewhere independently, but after a journey to Lake Baikal I have undertaken along with my friend Lindsay last winter holiday, I begin to feel the strong appeal of adventure and exploration that can only be brought by independent travel.

It was one picture of the Blue Ice sent from Lindsay that ignited my desire for visiting this place. Coming from Shenzhen, a southern city of China that remains evergreen throughout the year, I was absolutely fascinated by the glamor and scope of the ice itself. A trip to such a heavenly destination was just like a dream come true. After a research on traditional package holiday options provided by travel agencies, I found none of them catered to our taste in sights and activities. It occurred to me that independent travel would be the ideal choice for us to enjoy the landscape at a slower pace and immerse ourselves in the local culture. However, when I brought up the idea to my parents for the first time, they were hesitant to support our trip to a destination off the beaten path for language barriers and safety reasons.

In an effort to dispel their doubts and win their favor, I decided to demonstrate that I could handle this task in an adult manner by creating a feasible travel itinerary. Based on the information gathered from travel guides and tourist message boards, I discussed with Lindsay about travel schedule and customized the routes to our preferences while staying within our budget. Then I made a checklist outlining the details of our trip including transportation and housing arrangements, telephone number to China's embassy as well as items to be packed. In case the cellphone shut down from the extreme cold weather, I also wrote down all the important information in a notebook. By organizing the travel information into a single document, I showed them the efforts that I had taken to keep our travel safe and sound. They finally agreed with our independent travel.

Despite the thorough planning prior to our departure for Siberia, we still ran into different problems that tested our abilities to overcome obstacles. For instance, we were challenged to seek help from local persons for missing the bus, and we happened to confront with the coldest temperature ever when doing hiking in the mountains. Faced with decisions we needed to make and challenges we needed to overcome when we travelled, I felt more proud of ourselves. Not only did we feast our eyes on the spectacular snow scene and blue ice, we also made new friends with some local residents.

With an invaluable lot of memories and moments I wouldn't want to miss, this trip is one of the most important milestones in my life. First, it allowed me to walk out of my comfort zone and learn how to put ideas into actions. Further, it gave me a confidence boost in relying on myself to tackle any problem with aplomb. I believe this experience has left a deep imprint on my mind and will help me to become a braver person whenever challenges emerge.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 12,672 4113  
Nov 11, 2016   #2
Yuen, please clarify the information about the trip that you took. Where is the actual destination? Was it Lake Balkal, Blue Ice, or Siberia? By mentioning three different places in the essay you really confuse the reviewer. We need to know where the actual destination for you was. As a reader, I found myself really confused while reading your essay because, being unfamiliar with the territory, I could not finalize where you were actually headed. Which led me to wonder if you bothered to outline the essay topic, information you will present, and if you bothered to proof read the content before you sent it to us for review.

Additionally, in order for the reader to consider this a significant experience in your life, I believe that you should open the essay with a description of the kind of personality that you had before you had this experience. That way the significance of the event becomes clearer to the reader. The point of comparison can help the reader better understand the reasons why you would consider this event a significant experience in your life.
OP MaggieP 1 / 2 1  
Nov 11, 2016   #3
Thank you for your advice! I actually wrote an outline and I presumed all the places I mentioned were well-known because Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world and Siberia is a concept just like Amazon. It seems I was wrong... In fact, blue ice is a kind of magnificant scenery in Lake Baikal, which located in Siberia. Anyway, your feedback is very helpful, and I will pay attention to the destination when I revise it.

About your second idea, my comparison was mainly showed in the change of my parents' attitude towards my independent trip. And since I prepared all the things well on my own and had the courage to visit a freezing cold place, this trip is important to me. Did my expression in the essay confuse you and prevent you from understanding the idea I just stated?
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 12,672 4113  
Nov 11, 2016   #4
Yuen, you should never assume that the reviewer will be familiar with the places that you will be mentioning in your essays. Bear in mind that these places are more familiar to you since these are within your area of residence or within your country, hence your familiarity with them. Not everyone will know the places you are mentioning so being specific will be helpful to your essays when it comes to locations and places.

Now that you mention that you meant highlight your parents change of attitude towards your independence regarding the trip, the essay, now that I think about it, is more geared towards the transition to adulthood prompt than a significant experience or "milestone" in your life. While this essay could very well portray a "milestone" because it showed your parents you are finally an adult, I don't see this as actually having a direct impact on you as a person. This event relates mostly to your parents.

When students write about an event that had a significant impact, the event normally has a more personal note attached to it. The significant impact is something that either changed their mindset about something or inspired them to become a better version of themselves. It should be a topic or event that changed something in their character or helped to further improve the character of the student.

My opinion is that you should try to find something more significant in terms of character development on your part. However, if you opt to use this essay in the sense of a milestone, it just might work just as well.

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