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Posts by quickstraw
Joined: Dec 12, 2010
Last Post: Jan 8, 2011
Threads: 1
Posts: 5  

From: USA

Displayed posts: 6
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quickstraw   
Jan 8, 2011
Undergraduate / "Swimming seems like a fun and easy" - Short Answer Common App [3]

I agree with Vincent. Include what swimming had done to you. If you do this, your response will be less generic.

" Swimming seems like a fun and easy sport to do," I thought while signing up for the swim team my Junior year.The first week Iswallowedwhat felt like a gallon of chlorinated water from the pool and came home aching from the 100 free sprints.Swimming seemed like a fun sport, but definitely not easy. It works every muscle in your body to its limit. The more work I put into swimming, the more respect I have for it. [ Whether it was a hard practice or a big meet involving over twenty schools, I have had to give one hundred percent everyday to keep up with my teammate and my opponents. Every race is not just about winning and coming in first, but more importantly overcoming my own time and become a better swimmer.]

Consider rewriting this bracketed section. Expand on what lessons it taught you. Before you turn this in, check your tense to make sure that it fits what you're talking about.

good luck!
quickstraw   
Jan 8, 2011
Undergraduate / UC prompt 1: How band helped me realize how change can be good [13]

I think you should make a "grabber" first sentence. While we all know what it feels like to have mixed emotions, I think an image would be much more memorable. I think you will be able to relate to your audience more if you expand on those "mixed feelings" that you had.

In addition, you might want to characterize your story by adding some dialogue? I felt that there was a lot of listing achievements, rather than feeling how they impacted you. This is just a suggestion, so feel free to disregard it if you feel it is not your writing style.

When you are done, eliminate unnecessary words. Go through your essay, sentence by sentence and examine each word to see if it can be omitted. This will add some polish to your essay.

I agree with kisskill16's comments.

Good subject, though. I think you have the right idea, you just need to expand how it impacted you.

Good luck!
quickstraw   
Dec 12, 2010
Undergraduate / "Sneak Out and Explore" - Common App Essay [3]

I believe that this fits the prompt. However, I feel this is a bit too short for a personal statement, and you might want to reflect more on your excursion and how it has shaped you. Great perspective, though! :-)

I would appreciate your input on my common-app essay as well, if you have time!
quickstraw   
Dec 12, 2010
Undergraduate / "Cross Country was never my sport" common app extracurricular Elon University Essay [6]

I was urged to join the cross country team by my friends but i always refused, afraid of being the worst on the team, afraid of failure.

What about, My friends had always encouraged me to join the cross country team, but I was afraid of being the slowest on the team.

Don't forget to capitalize your "I's."

Rewrite your sentences so they transition better, and try to use more vivid images.
Then, re-read what you have written and delete all the extra words (this will give you room to write more).
Good start!
quickstraw   
Dec 12, 2010
Undergraduate / Getting off My High Horse -Common App Essay Personal Statement [4]

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

The spectators in the grandstands collectively gasped when Dandy, the horse I was riding, began bucking and rearing during my first horse show. No sooner had I tumbled off his back had Dandy galloped around the arena, searching for an exit with eyes wide with anxiety. Experienced riders looked on sympathetically as I limped over to the spooked horse and jammed my foot back into the stirrup. Several hands pulled me back down, and someone grabbed the reins from my hands. "He's too dangerous-- you should switch horses," said Tina, an experienced riding instructor. Dandy's owner, Chris, nodded and responded in agreement. My heart sunk low as I watched them lead Dandy away. I kept silent and went home in boots filled with dirt and worries.

...

Here is an updated version!

The spectators in the grandstands collectively gasped when Dandy, the horse I rode, bucked and reared during my first horse show. As soon as I tumbled off his back, Dandy galloped around the arena searching for a way out- eyes wide with anxiety. Experienced riders looked on as I limped over to the spooked horse and jammed my foot back into the stirrup. Several hands pulled me back down, and someone grabbed the reins from my hands. "He's too dangerous-- you should switch horses," said Tina, an experienced riding instructor. Dandy's owner, Chris, nodded and responded in agreement. My heart sunk as they led Dandy away. I kept silent and went home in boots filled with dirt and worries.

After this scare, both my parents encouraged me to quit riding altogether. My mother believed I should completely shift my focus to piano. My father, an emergency room doctor, suggested swimming would be a better, safer sport. Though I enjoyed both piano and swimming, they could not replace the connection I felt to horse riding. I had bonded closely with Dandy and it felt wrong to quit after establishing that friendship.

I knew my decision had disappointed Tina, Chris, and my parents. My father refused to pay for Dandy's lease and riding lessons, as he saw horses a needless expense. Continuing to ride Dandy felt like a selfish act, especially because we were both inexperienced and improvement did not seem plausible. Nevertheless, I wanted to train and ride Dandy.

In exchange to pay for the lease, Chris hired me as a stable hand. Balancing school, horses, piano, swimming, and a job was a stressful challenge. An average school day left me exhausted, and I often stayed up past three in the morning to finish my homework. Managing my time was crucial, and when I failed to do so, I paid dearly the next day. The harder I worked, however, the more improvement meant to me. Books on horse-training became my leisure reading, and I became a more confident rider. Each time Dandy showed improvement, I would fervently praise him and end the training session on a good note; thus, training progressed slowly.

Despite my disappointing first horse show experience, and against the advice of my parents, I followed my passion to ride. Successfully winning competitions later with Dandy made me confident in pursuing my dreams. Qualifying for higher level competitions proved that hard work, and sometimes sacrifice, will be rewarding. Even though my father did not support enrolling me in a lesson program, learning through trial and error has taught me invaluable lessons not only about riding, but about life. Working with Dandy shaped my perspective about hardship: make every struggle an opportunity to succeed. Determination allowed me to follow my dreams, and this same determination gives me confidence to overcome any obstacles in the future.