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FSU undergraduate admission essay, "My father once..." (vires, artes, mores)


vick01 1 / 1  
Jan 19, 2010   #1
I was wondering of someone can give me advice on how to improve my essay and see if there are any mistakes before i submit it to fsu admissions. Thank you.

Prompt:

For almost one hundred years, the Latin words, "Vires, Artes, Mores" have been the guiding philosophy behind Florida State University. Vires signifies strength of all kinds - moral, physical, and intellectual; Artes alludes to the beauty of intellectual pursuits as exemplified in skill, craft, or art; and Mores refers to character, custom, or tradition. Describe how one or more of the values embodied in these concepts are reflected in your life.

Here is my essay:

Vires, the strength of all kinds- moral, physical and intellectual, I can say is the concept that reflects my life the most. My father once told me "Son, greatness only comes from mistakes; you can only do better by doing bad first." At first I was oblivious to the fact of how deep and meaningful this was. Later on in life I finally learned that my father was trying to say that we can only accomplish great things through trial and error. I have always been my own person and far more independent than many of my peers; it is essential to me to try and accomplish things without asking for assistance when I know I could do it on my own. From a very young age, I've exhibited qualities and traits of a strong and independent individual. I was one who ever since I can remember picked out my own clothes, rarely asked for help on homework or projects, prepared my own food, captain of my baseball teams, etc.

Being the youngest of three brothers can be difficult at times, but overall it has its advantages.I have always looked up to my eldest brother Joseph who is now twenty three and I guess you can say has helped mold me into the person I am today. My parents got divorce when I was eleven, so Joseph has not only been my brother and mentor but he has also been a father figure. I have always tagged along with my brothers and his friends who are much older than me, and by doing this I've experienced many things at an early age. Although I have made my share of mistakes before, I've learned from them; and with the guidance of my older brothers, have taught me whats right from wrong.

At the age of 3 is when I started playing baseball and 'till this day I continue to play and love the game more and more every day. Baseball is the type of game that takes a lot of determination, dedication, and desire to play and actually excel at. As the years went by, playing the game became more and more competitive, which meant it required strength in all aspects- moral, physical, and intellectual, but mainly physical. Entering high school I was a whopping 5'2", 115 pounds, I was the second smallest kid on my team. I am now 5'10", 165 pounds with a 7 % body fat which signifies that most of my weight is muscle. I can honestly say if it wasn't for the competitiveness baseball requires I would not be the size I am now. Baseball has driven me to excel in all aspects of the game; improving my strength, speed, and endurance.

The game has not only helped me and been my motivation in becoming a physically stronger individual, but it has also helped me stay focus in my studies. It is required by law that all student athletes must attain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. Knowing that if I do not meet these requirements it will prohibit me from playing the game that I love, I made sure to excel in my classes. Since the 9th grade I have been an honor student and have always had one of the highest GPA's on my team. It is crucial to me that I get a good education and perform to the best of my abilities in school because education is far more important to me than a baseball career. At any time I can get injured and my baseball career can be taken from me in a split second, but having an education is something that forever will be with me. Being accepted to FSU will be a tremendous accomplishment for me and my family, and by allowing me to attend your university, I promise to continue to make FSU the great institution it already is.

I really need help and advice on my fsu admissions esay, please and thank you.

EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Jan 19, 2010   #2
"Vires, Artes, Mores" ...It sounds as if your life reflects all of these, so in your topic sentence, you should say that you believe they are all part of who you are.

From a very young age, I've exhibited qualities and traits those of a strong and independent individual.

... that's just the way I was brought up, not to... I moved the word 'just' in this sentence.

Being the youngest of three brothers can be difficult at times, but overall it has its advantages.

Joseph, who is now twenty two....this looks better if you write the numbers out.

Joseph's and David's mistakes have not only helped them learn but they have also helped me.
...bad influences, my brothers were always ones to make the right decisions and along the way, teaching me

...dedication, and desire to play and actually excel at. it.

can be taken from me in a split second, but having an education and being educated is something that can never be taken away and forever will be with me.
OP vick01 1 / 1  
Jan 19, 2010   #3
Thank very much i have taken your advice into consideration.

The only problem im having now is that my essay is too long, right now im at 650 words while the essay has to be 500 words or less, so if u can please revise it again and maybe point out some things that are not important to the essay so that i can maybe shorten it, please and thank you!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,324 129  
Jan 22, 2010   #4
At first I was oblivious to the depth of his meaning. this was.

Later on in life I finally learned that my father had bee n trying...

You can get rid of some words and, if you really think about it, the sentence will still have the same meaning without being so long and watered down:

I was one who ever since I can remember picked out my own clothes, rarely asked for help on homework or projects, prepared my own food, captain of my baseball teams, etc.

Also, do not use etc. in important essays. If you have to resort to asking the reader to infer other things based on inductive reasoning, at least write "and so forth." But don't say etc. It's like saying, "Well, you know what I mean..."

:-)


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