Please critique (harshly) my essay. I really want to get in so any help would be extremely appreciated. I am a little worried that a religious theme might hurt my chances but i think it flows nicely. Thank you in advance for reading
In the space provided, please write a concise narrative in which you describe a meaningful event, experience or accomplishment in your life and how it will affect your college experience or your contribution to the UF campus community. You may want to reflect on your ideas about student responsibility, academic integrity, campus citizenship or a call to service.
I'll be honest I don't have a story about how I changed the world or something that is going to set me that much apart from the other 60,000 kids who are going to apply this year. All I can offer is the event that made me who I am today. This event defines who I am in a way nothing else ever could .It was the single most important decision I ever made .The funny thing is that this event was not unique to me. Billions have experienced it and yet for those who have there is no doubt of its significance and uniqueness to each person. The event I am describing is my transformation from the selfish self centered person I was and the servant in Christ I have now become.
Many think that the religious transformations of today are nothing but wishful thinking and a cheap psychological parlor trick. I know because I was one of them. I was the biggest skeptic out there I enjoyed nothing more than ridiculing people of faith for their whacky extremism and crazy beliefs. I thought I knew everything. This was not the normal teenage arrogance that we as a species are known for; this was a belief of superiority that extended into my total worldview. The poor were poor because they were lazy. I didn't have to help others it was their fault for being stupid. This was how warped my perception was at the time. I probably would have stayed that way for the rest of my life had god not changed the very essence of who I was in an event that would change my life.
The journey from arrogant skeptic into humbled believer was not one of grandiose miracles or personal revelation but in actuality simply an exercise in intellectual curiosity. I sought to prove religion wrong through an essay for my English class however after researching theological and secular sources and studying apologetic writings of authors such as C.S. Lewis and Ravi Zacharias it became apparent that my belief system, my entire world view was flawed. This "epiphany" may not have been as spectacular as some of the other essays you'll receive but for me it made all the difference in the world
Now a lot of important things have happened in my life between then and now but none will ever surpass that night. As I embark on a new journey at the end of this year I know that whatever happens will be for the best. So like I said I don't have a story about a changed world, just a story of a changed me. And while if I were you would never have accepted the old me I can only hope that my story will show you that I can be an asset at your school and that the gifts that god has given me can really make a difference there. Who knows maybe with some help from a UF education and god's grace maybe I will have a story about a changed world one day.
I'll be harsh because you would really benefit from some criticism.
Good things first. Your writing flows. But unfortunately that only shows up the other defects in this piece.
Right off the reader expects some sort of concrete event, but whether you can see that, there is NO event in your essay at all. You need to have something that would give a sense of the real, something which makes others relate to what you're saying.
You say you read the 'apologetic' works of C S Lewis and Ravi Zacharias 'one night' while preparing to write an essay, and that changed your entire world view .. transforming you from a skeptic into a believer. But that's not enough. You were a genuine skeptic, and that's another good point to your writing, that this comes through, maybe because of that one concrete thing you say about earlier believing that the poor were so because they were lazy. But there has to have been something which truly caused the 'epiphany'. You have to recall the specific ideas you held before then and somethings as specific in these authors writings, which transformed your thinking.
My Original did have a concrete narrative however it surpassed the word limit so I shortened it by exclude the narrative. I guess I'll trim the essay fat so to speak and try to put in the narrative again
Run on sentence:
I'll be honest I don't have a ...
I don't have a story about how I changed the world or something that is going to set me
that much apart from the other 60,000 kids who are going to apply this year. All I can offer is the event that made me who I am today. This event defines determined who I am in a way nothing else ever could, the single most important decision I ever made.----I streamlined a little here.
The funny thing is that this event was not unique to me. Billions have experienced it and yet for those who have there is no doubt of its significance and uniqueness to each person. The event I am describing is my transformation from the selfish self centered person I was and the servant in Christ I have now become. ------I like this part! I like "Billions have experienced it..." That has great rhythm.
I guess I would like to suggest that the essay start right here:
Billions have experienced it, but...-----------------------Wouldn't this be an intriguing start to the essay? These are the first "magic words" of the essay, te words that really CATCH the reader.
And while if I were you would never have accepted the old me I can...It's stuff like this Rajiv must have been noticing when he said the writing has a nice flow. This is very good.
Okay, I do suggest starting with "Billions" and trimming away what preceded it. Also, I suggest Berdyaev. Dream and reality: An essay in autobiography.