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Posts by BearByte
Name: Chibueze Anyanwu
Joined: Sep 17, 2020
Last Post: Jan 4, 2021
Threads: 2
Posts: 3  

From: United States of America
School: Berkley High School

Displayed posts: 5
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BearByte   
Jan 3, 2021
Undergraduate / Giving "Hack" A New Name | Common Application Personal Essay [Prompt #4] [3]

Hello! Please give as much criticism on my essay as you can. Don't hold back (seriously). Thanks!

Prompt:

Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve.


It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. (650 word limit)


Famed philosopher Nietzsche (or Kelly Clarkson, depending on who you ask) once wrote the famous words: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." This quote has become rather cliché in recent history but still holds its significance nonetheless. The idea that one should take failure as an opportunity to build strength is an important one, one that resonated with me when I encountered failure while trying to solve a problem. "What was the problem?" you might ask. Let's talk about it.

The problem in question fell onto my radar while my friends talked about the classes they planned on taking their junior year. I heard the usual. AP this, honors that. But there were two classes I was surprised to hear nobody mentioning: the computer science classes, and when I suggested one of my friends take them, he gave me a somewhat unexpected response:

"I did last year but switched out because it was too boring."

AP CSP is one of my favorite high school classes, so this response surprised me. But it also got me wondering: who else feels this way? So, I decided to conduct a mini-survey via Instagram Stories (very scientific, I know) and received many insightful responses. It turned out that numerous people at my school wanted to learn how to program but found it too boring or too hard, and since my personal experience with coding has been really fun, this didn't sit right with me. So, I decided to take the initiative and do something about it. My solution was to start a club: Berkley Hack Club (BHC), the club where anybody can learn to code (the fun way).

The idea behind BHC is to teach code in a more fun, easily understandable way. The computer science classes in my school focus more on abstract programming concepts than programming itself. It's way easier and fun to learn how to code by making a game versus learning about what loops and variables are. That is the core methodology behind BHC: learning by doing. Of course, this was just an idea. The real challenge was making it a reality.

The first step in starting BHC was registering the club with my school. Easy enough. The next step was the real hurdle: getting people to join. I started hanging up flyers, handing out stickers, and convincing random people in the hallways to join my club, which was extremely uncomfortable for me. I was somewhat of a reserved person at the time, so it felt weird going up to people I didn't know, practically begging them to join BHC. But, I eventually became more comfortable (and less awkward) talking to new people and even made a few friends.

After two weeks of trying to find initial members, I felt prepared enough to hold the first meeting. On the day of the meeting, I sat down in my chair, expecting a sizable turnout. A few people walked in at first, but reality started to set in as time on the clock ticked away. Nobody else was showing up. I held out hope for an hour before finally deciding to call off the meeting. The wave of sadness that came over me that day was immeasurable. I felt like an absolute failure.

Although devastating, I'm glad the meeting flopped because it taught me an essential life lesson: don't fear failure. My fear of failure ultimately hindered BHC's potential because I focused more on "success" than BHC's mission of teaching people to code. Upon this realization, I entirely changed the approach I took towards growing BHC. Instead of focusing on marketing, I focused on the experience, striving to make BHC the most exciting club at my school. Once I did that, I saw BHC go from 3 to 15+ members in only two meetings.

Ironically, failing turned out to be the best solution to the problem I was tackling.
BearByte   
Dec 30, 2020
Writing Feedback / Online shopping is becoming more popular. How could this trend affect our environment and the kinds [3]

ClockWork has already pointed out the ambiguity of the answer you provided, but I think another flaw in this essay you should address is the lack of proper evidence.

You're making all these blanket statements without providing facts or statistics to back it up making the argument you're presenting extremely weak. There's really no reason why anyone should believe anything you wrote in your essay, but you can easily change that by presenting some relevant facts/statistics to the reader. I believe you'll be able to find some good supporting evidence with just a bit of surface level research.

Good luck!
BearByte   
Dec 29, 2020
Undergraduate / NUS Personal Statement, "elaborate your achievements and their relevance to your chosen course" [3]

Holt has already given you excellent advice, but I think you should also elaborate on specific examples of your experience with coding. It seems you tried to make it a central topic of the essay, but you don't provide the substance to back it up. You mention that "learning how to code taught [you] to embrace improvement instead of aiming for perfection" but you don't explain what experience with coding taught you that lesson. I think your essay would greatly benefit from detailing your experiences with coding.
BearByte   
Sep 17, 2020
Scholarship / "CS is too hard" - Questbridge Short Answers - My Proudest Achievement [3]

Hello, this is my first time using the EssayForum and I hope to get some valuable feedback on my essay!

The prompt is:

Tell us about one of your proudest achievements or moments and what it says about you.

(200 word limit)

| Note: I had a hard time fitting what I wrote in 200 words and I think it shows.

Here's my response:

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." A quote by famed philosopher Nietzsche (or Kelly Clarkson, depending on who you ask), the quote that pushed me to create my proudest achievement. The idea for this achievement came to me after my friends and I discussed the classes we planned to take junior year. I heard the usual. AP this. Honors that. But I didn't hear anyone talking about the computer science classes. When I asked my friends about CS, they believed, "CS is too hard." After asking other people, I discovered that most students were intimidated by CS and I wanted to change that. So, I came up with the idea to start a CS club. Ironically, the idea intimidated me, so I just shrugged it off and forgot about it. Before long, I came across that Nietzsche quote on Reddit. As I was reading it, the idea for the club returned to me. I realized that even if the club failed, I would still learn from the experience. So, I started Berkley Hack Club, a club where anyone can learn how to code. In creating a club, I proved that I can bring my ideas to fruition.
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