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Who I Want To Be> Undergraduate Admissions, Personal Statement

schubzcrazee 1 / 3  
Aug 21, 2009   #1
Directions: Tell us a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

My refrigerator at home is the epitome of how we live at 357th st. E. Sticky notes, phone numbers, reminders, and nick nacks stick to the fridge doors. Photos, box tops, and to do lists hang off the sides, but my favorite quark on the crowded cooler surface is a quote by Charles Swindle. He says, "Attitude is everything. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... it is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what other people think or say or do. I'm convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes."

It is this quote that I try to live by. It defines who I am. I believe that following this idea has allowed me to gain dozens of priceless friendships, be accepting, and learn from my mistakes. By making better decisions and having a good attitude I have had a significant difference in my every day life. But I only recognized the importance of this quote after an episode with a seemingly thoughtless teacher.

Biology was a class to discuss life: the history of, the science of, the origin of. Everyone can admit that discussing the origin of life can turn into a heated debate. But in our class no discussion was needed. Mrs. Arc overruled that nature has evolved into the human race; no ifs, ands, or buts. I was not angry because she spoke like this, but I was furious that she had substituted a whole week's worth of teachings on evolutionary science with one sweeping statement. Instead of reasoning with Mrs. Arc after class, I plotted to teach her a lesson. With two friends, we carefully photo shopped Mrs. Arc's face from a 2006 yr book photo onto a gorilla body. It was a perfect match. We typed a caption beneath her that read, "she was happier as a chimp, she blames evolution." That night, like robbers busting a bank, we taped 25 prints to the side of the school. The next morning students were ripping copies off the walls, trying to claim a piece of the prize. Mrs. Arc and the principle gave a lecture to each class about disrespect, humility, discrimmination, and discipline. I was feeling like a secret spy doing my duty until she announced that she forgave the person who made the signs. The guilt sank in. In the next two days she did a lecture on the basics of evolution, and it happened to be the best lecture all year. She also allowed a moderated discussion, "not debate" she emphasized. Who ever made the signs stayed anonymous, and life went on but I learned this incredible lesson: attitude is everything. Mrs. Arc never got upset over the posters. She instead took into consideration the point I was trying to get across, no matter how viol it was. She had such a great attitude.

I never could have recognized the importance of this quote on my refrigerator without her. I never could have developed my own demeanor by myself. I owe my attribute to everyone I meet with a good attitude. A person with a positive attitude is liked. They bring life to a conversation. They are content. I believe that with a good attitude, anyone can achieve their dreams, and these are the people that I look up to. These are the people that go above and beyond. Ultimately, these are the people that I consider successful. This is the kind of person that I want to be.

wienaar 1 / 10  
Aug 21, 2009   #2
I think you need to create a more personal tone in your writing. This is what my tutor for my essay said over and over
mf983 - / 1  
Aug 21, 2009   #3
"Instead of reasoning with Mrs. Arc after class, I plotted to teach her a lesson."

This sentence shows that there was an alternative to what you did to your teacher that would probably have been better. I understand that you used this essay to show that she had a good attitude about it, and that influenced you, but I don't think including sentences such as "That night, like robbers busting a bank," and "trying to claim a piece of the prize." are things that should be emphasized too much since they don't show you in a good light.
tal105 7 / 130  
Aug 21, 2009   #4
you have trite phrases in your essay that need to be either rephrase or removved

I believe that with a good attitude, anyone can achieve their dreams,

like this.

just work on making this stronger. i dont think you have to rewrite it, but you do have some work to do.

good luck!!!
Pikafu 4 / 15  
Aug 21, 2009   #5
Overall, I think the essay is a great one in that it states a specific experience and what you learned from that experience.

However, I think that you should elaborate more on the effect of the guilt on yourself, not to make you look better to colleges, but as an effective literary technique. If you explain more about your guilty feelings after what you did, then talk more about your growing realization of how much Mrs. Arc's attitude allowed her to move on and forgive, the essay will sound more effective as a whole.

And I don't think you should delete the metaphors comparing yourself to a robber or a spy. They are good imagery and do not convey you to be a criminal who does these actions habitually because you obviously learned an important lesson from the experience.

"Who ever made the signs stayed anonymous, and life went on but I learned this incredible lesson: attitude is everything."

This sentence is a run-on. It can sound a lot better like this: Who ever made the signs stayed anonymous, and life went on. However, I learned this incredible lesson; attitude is everything.

I also agree that the "attitude is everything" line is sort of cliched and overused. Try to use a different one, like "your attitude defines your actions" or "how you act is defined by your attitude", etc. Not that my phrases are that much better, but you get the point.
vuko323 2 / 13  
Aug 22, 2009   #6
I think you can change your first sentence to make it more assertive yet broad. The cooler is not that important as the quote by Charles Swindle. overall the essay answers the prompt well, but think about revising the first sentence to address the your theme with a stronger assertive statement, such that the logical flow is consistent.

Overall, the answer to the question is well though!

Good Luck!!!
sparklingway 2 / 7  
Aug 23, 2009   #7
It really is a good essay overall, especially the tone of the essay. But

"Instead of reasoning with Mrs. Arc after class, I plotted to teach her a lesson"

you could revise this sentence to be a little bit less insensitive and sound a bit less evil

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