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"Bad Influences" - issue of personal or local concern and its importance to you

xx10xx 1 / 4  
May 14, 2011   #1
Hi, I am writing a scholarship essay and the subject above is my topic, and I'm doing it on "Bad Influences". I need your help in ways I can revise this and how I can make it better. Please give opinions as well. Thanks! :) The following is my first draft:


I've always wondered about kids growing up to be a whole different person once they become teenagers. I've also wondered if they ever reflect and told themselves "I've changed". Most of the time, they would say "I'm still the same person", yet they don't know what is different about them. Influences are strong forces that surely makes a person different. As there are good influences, they are bad ones as well, which is a problem in our island today as it is around the world. It is so common to hear about, see, and find teenagers dealing with a lot in school - friends, sex, smoking, and alcohol.

Surely, some teenagers find these aspects interesting to do as they watch or read about people doing it. Strangers, as well as advertisements would even encourage them to "try it out". But even if teenagers can't get the product such as a box of cigarettes or alcohol due to age matters, they would still try to get some of it through older family members or friends who are eligible to purchase it. Before they know it, they are already influenced and getting themselves addicted to it, encouraging other teenage friends of theirs to try it as well before reaching the legal age.

In many places, a youth who is a virgin is likely viewed as a curiosity or also as an odd person. Some teens would also feel the pressure to experiment with sex. No wonder so many young people have sex before they're out of their teens! Friends in and out of school talk about sex and make it seem exciting and normal. However, thoughts of consequences surely have not entered their mind when engaging in this practice. Therefore, teenagers faced pregnancy, humiliation, and sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS or HIV.

School is where all the pressure begins. A student can get influenced by other students to cheat, steal, and bully other fellow classmates. Some would also encourage one another to "skip class". At times, it's hard to resist the pressure because we teenagers want to fit in or be liked by a group of students. Little by little, a student may change the way he/she behave, dress, and treat other people. In other words, a student can change from being a sweet and innocent person to a naive and stupid one.

It is sad to see how one person you know change dramatically. I find this concern important to me because I believe the teenagers who changed are just ending their life so soon, or even wasting their time doing things that are actually worth waiting for. We teenagers are young and have a lot of potential. Moreover, I believe that we can achieve our dreams of becoming someone we are meant to become and make a change in society. Over drinking and smoking will only slow us down and damage our young minds. Sex can wait until marriage. Cheating, bullying, and stealing are really not worth doing. Instead of influencing other people to do these unhealthy practices, why not encourage each other to do good deeds?
isai 12 / 111  
May 14, 2011   #2
Greetings !

An outstanding essay.

I believe (that) the teenagers

Thats all.
OP xx10xx 1 / 4  
May 14, 2011   #3
Thanks! :)

Any opinions or statements you think I should add?
isai 12 / 111  
May 14, 2011   #4
Dear XX....

WELL, YOU DONT HAVE TO ADD. IT IS WELL-WRITTEN ESSAY. Just check your correctness and clarity. Keep in your mind, please put yourself in readers position.

As a writer you must look at it... ABDC A=Accuracy B= Brief C=Clarity D=Design

OP xx10xx 1 / 4  
May 14, 2011   #5
Thanks for the advice :)
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
May 15, 2011   #6
It might be a good idea to replace HIV with something else, like gonorrhea, because HIV is the virus that results in AIDS, so it does not really make sense to list them both with "or."

Therefore, teenagers faced pregnancy, humiliation, and sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS or gonorrhea.

School is where all the pressure begins. -----I think you are right!

...a student may change the way he/she behaves, dresses, and treats othe r people.
I like the ending! If I wanted to criticize this, I guess I could say it is too simplistic. You wrote it in a very eloquent way, but all it amounts to is a message about the pressure people face. Can you dig a little deeper and offer a creative solution based on the examples you used in the essay?What great, useful conclusion can you draw?

linmark 2 / 328 7  
May 21, 2011   #7
It is sad to see how one person you know CAN change dramatically.

One correction (capped ABOVE) and one comment:
The essay would be even better if you could give one personal example. Who is this ONE person that came to mind when you wrote this sentence? Write about what exactly made you sad, how this person changed (what was dramatic) and what you felt could have been different (and why.) I'm sure this will help strengthen the conclusion as well.

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