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Posts by ga717
Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Last Post: Dec 29, 2010
Threads: 4
Posts: 8  

From: United States of America

Displayed posts: 12
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Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "a career based on the human body" - Cornell College of Arts and Sciences [3]

Hey guys, just wanted quick feedback on this essay, anything you have to say is welcome.

Prompt: Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you. Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study.

Although I've always known I wanted to major in and have a career based on the human body, my area of interest has been very broad until recently; I was undecided on whether to become a physician, or a researcher of some kind. But approximately one year ago, I read an excellent novel called The Last Oracle by James Rollins. In the novel, the author deals with the idea of the brain's plasticity, instinct, and the incredible talents of autistic savants. Since reading that novel, I also attended the Summer Leaders' Seminar at West Point, New York; it was there that I was introduced to the Engineering Psychology field, an area of study that focuses on creating devices to augment or utilize natural human abilities and behaviors. At that point, my interest in neurobiology involved further, and I began to understand what it was that was attracting me to the science so much. What fascinates me about neuroscience is the idea of being able to tap into the limitless potential of the human mind, being able to understand the biological basis for instinct, and augmenting these natural human abilities to unprecedented levels. If I am accepted into and choose to attend Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences, I plan on using the prestigious facilities at my disposal to conduct research with the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior into the biological basis for instinct, which is my current passion. I would like to find out how exactly it is that human instincts seemingly allow for minor precognition, and then I would like to augment that natural neurological function to allow one to see even further; in short, I have a great interest in pursuing my own studies in instinct at Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences.
Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "Second Mother; I come home to her frail body lying on a bed" Common App [3]

A very dark essay, incredible in its description... spelling, grammar etc. are all flawless, and the present tense makes me feel as if I'm standing next to the bed myself; the emotion in this is almost visible, I can't find a single thing to criticize or tell you to change, except perhaps that the piece is almost too depressing, but changing anything I feel would reduce the impact of the entire thing.
Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "My Best Friend Mike" - Princeton Supplement [7]

Quick question before I re-write... you guys think I'm fine with mentioning religion in my essay, or should I rip out that part entirely?
Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "My Best Friend Mike" - Princeton Supplement [7]

Hi everyone, doing Princeton supplement right now, and I chose Option 1 for my essay- Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.

This is my essay, criticism/feedback would be welcome.

It all started, as some of the best relationships do, with my soon-to-be best friend and I brawling in a locker room. It was 7th grade at PE, and I'd inadvertently made some frivolous move that Mike took as a perceived insult- he visibly flinched and walked away from his game to brood in the locker room. Ten minutes passed, and I walked in, to be greeted with a full-blown fist-fight. Although 7th grade boys are fairly bloodthirsty, our classmates did do a fair job of breaking up the fight before it could escalate; good thing too, as that might have irreparably shattered our relationship. I was furious at first, but I have the gift of foresight, and my vision of the future was grim: awkward silences around our mutual friends, death glares in hallways, rumor-mongering and passive-aggressive competitions for years to come. I saw that and I acted preemptively; I crossed over to the other side of the locker room, feeling like I was in hostile territory, and set myself free with the simple words, "I'm sorry."

That day is one of the defining moments of my life. Ever since then, we have been inseparable; our relationship has crossed over virtually into brotherhood in the five years we've known each other, and like an older brother he's had quite an impact on me. When he was younger, Mike was relentlessly teased for being overweight by his own older brother, which molded in him a solid core of determination that led to him burning off all the fat between 7th and 8th grade. His campaign inspired me to take similar measures on my own home front, cutting out most of the fast food and actively exercising for the first time in years.

He also affected me in other ways. I was remarkably anti-social prior to 7th grade; although I had friends in school, I rarely saw them outside. He helped to pull me out of that shell, inviting me to the movies frequently and doing everything possible to get me out of the house. And he had an impact on a much deeper level, as well. You see, my friend was an avid churchgoer. Although I'd had prior experiences with Catholicism, religion and spirituality had never had much of an effect on me; I was a scathingly critical, mean child when I met Mike. However, after he convinced me to begin attending church regularly with him, I experienced significant changes in my life. I acquired a sincere belief in a higher power, as well as more mundane values such as compassion, integrity, and fidelity, all of which are now deeply instilled parts of both my social and academic life today. It's a truly endless source of amusement to me, the thought that that one fistfight was the difference between me growing up to be Scrooge or becoming a spiritual person people genuinely enjoy having around; but there is nothing in the world I would trade for my best friend Mike.
Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "My most influential teacher" a Virginia tech application essay [5]

Honestly, I feel that the choice of an elementary school teacher, especially one with such a tenuous link to you, isn't the strongest basis for this essay. My thing is that the teacher really only saw you in school, as you described it, and she developed your basic skills; these are seemingly things that any teacher at your school could have done. Are there any middle or high school teachers that have influenced you that might be a better choice for this essay? Also, speaking just about the essay structure itself, I feel the ending is slightly awkward; it gives the impression of incompleteness, and sounds like you spent a small amount of time on this essay. Again, just my opinion, you should definitely get other opinions on this piece.
Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "Activities- Cultural, Math Club" Johns Hopkins Supplement [2]

I will participate in crew, a sport unavailable at my high school, which has become a passion of mine ever since my, now college friends, have talked about it incessantly.

as a result of my now-college friends talking about it incessantly.

Also, the last line of the paragraph feels like a very awkward way to end the essay. Personally, the ending gives me the feeling that the entire essay is incomplete; mentioning the Baltimore temple and the Indian culture is fine, but I think you should add another sentence or two at the end to kind of summarize your feelings about undergraduate activities at John Hopkins.
Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "a no-tolerance policy for cheating, stealing, or lying" - Davidson Supplement [4]

Prompt: Davidson is an academically and socially engaged community bound by an Honor Code and committed to thoughtful discourse and an abiding sense of inclusiveness. Reflecting on your own background and educational experience, in what ways is Davidson a good match and how might you enrich this community?

Here is my essay:

Davidson's honor code is what allows students at Davidson to self-schedule exams and professors to assign take-home tests and leave tests unproctored. I feel this is an excellent match for me, as I have always displayed the utmost honesty both within and outside of school; I also believe that I can enrich the community at Davidson through many ways. Because my personal convictions would push me to follow the Honor Code to its fullest extent, I would neither partake in any of the forbidden activities listed, nor condone them in others; also, I believe that I could act as a positive influence on those around me at Davidson, assisting them in keeping themselves free of any violations that would result in expulsion. However, those are things to be assumed from any typical applicant to your prestigious university; they are not exactly unique qualities. Beyond these traits, I believe that it is usually the simple things in life that matters the most; often, all it takes to improve a person's day are impeccable manners, a smile, a willingness to talk to and empathize with others, or a friendly greeting. I can provide these examples of positivity to the campus, and I would like to think that my simple actions would make a difference in the lives of those who are already members of the Davidson community, students and teachers alike.

However, there is more to Davidson than just an Honor Code. Davidson is an academically and socially engaged community, committed to thoughtful discourse and an abiding sense of inclusiveness. To me, academically and socially engaged means more than just having friends and keeping a 4.0 GPA; it also means instilling academics in my life on a deeper level, being a scholar and a friend at all times, not just when it suits me. This definition of "academically and socially engaged" resonates deeply with me, because I love learning, and my friends know that clearly, by virtue of me sharing my learning with them; as an example, I once discussed projectile physics with one of my best friends in the middle of paintball, because he complained that all his shots were coming up short. I also love having a good scholarly conversation with my friends, and I can sit with my best friend and lose track of time entirely explaining exactly what subjects like nanotechnology or the Large Hadron Collider are all about. Ultimately, I view Davidson as a community of honest scholars, and because I believe that fits me so well, I would love to join such a prestigious institution and experience that community first-hand.

My english teacher said that the tone of this essay was all wrong, I'm unsure what to do with it, any advice/criticism would be welcomed.
Dec 29, 2010
Undergraduate / "Invisible Man" Influential Book [5]

Great essay, I see nothing wrong with it, and the page numbers can't really hurt... my only two corrections would be:

"The unnamed narrator happily attends a private college that is until the principal, Mr. Bledose, a man who the narrator deeply admires, expels him."

"His teachings were intended to not to liberate, but only to further confine him and his identity."
Nov 11, 2010
Undergraduate / "a medical education" - Why Drexel College of Medicine- BS/MD prompt [6]

Hi, first off I'd like to thank you again for looking at my Williams essay. Now, on to yours. I'm not an expert in this at all, but I think you have an excellent essay here- the only suggestion I can think of would be to rearrange the last line of your essay. In my opinion this just sounds and flows better:

In short, there is no other environment where a clinical physician's future could look any brighter, where comparable resources for a medical education exist, and where I would rather realize my goals than the Drexel College of Medicine.
Nov 11, 2010
Undergraduate / "I see life through my window" - Williams Supplement- Look Through a Window [6]

Hey, first time poster to this site, not sure how this works but if someone could give me some criticism on whether the idea behind this essay works at all that would be great, was going for something a little more unique than the average essay but not entirely sure I pulled it off well.

Prompt: Imagine looking through a window at any environment that is particularly significant to you. Reflect on the scene, paying close attention to the relation between what you are seeing and why it is meaningful to you. Please limit your statement to 300 words.

I look out through a window and see life. I see caps and gowns, joy reflected in the grins of a thousand faces. I see an aisle, a radiant bride and a grinning groom, a shining spark of hope, the dawn of a new beginning. I see an infant gurgling happily, entranced by the swirls on the birthday cake before him and the single candle rising atop it, while the young parents stand beaming with ecstasy behind him. All the more saddening because the cake is a lie. Suddenly, the scene flickers and fades, and I return to reality. The window is an illusion, an image projected over the equations, the diagrams, the theorems and metaphors scrawled along the walls of my prison. That window, the future promise of a better life, is the thread of hope that keeps me on the path, that pushes me towards the narrow gate of success. The walls are closing in, my potential is bursting at the seams, striving to break free, and I am so close and still so very far from receiving the key that will unlock my prison; soon I will be free, and I will realize that potential at college. And on that day when I stand with my peers... on that day, that window will be my reality.
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