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"I'm not an athlete" Brown Supplement Q, Perspective change


jjm7000 2 / 2  
Dec 19, 2011   #1
Hey guys. This is the first draft of my essay for the prompt:
Sculptor Jacques Lipchitz once said, "Cubism is like standing at a certain point on a mountain and looking around. If you go higher, things will look different; if you go lower, again they will look different. It is a point of view." With this in mind, describe a moment when your perspective changed.

The essay is supposed to be 2000 characters max, and mine is about 2400. Any revisions and/or advice for cuts would be greatly appreciated!

I'm what you might call "athletically inept". You know that gene, the one that gives you coordination, speed, and strength? Yeah, I never got that. At 6'3", you might assume, as many have, that I'd be a great basketball player, but the sport never clicked for me. Neither did baseball, soccer, tennis, or any of the other popular pastimes I attempted during my childhood. But I kept trying, hoping that eventually I'd find my niche in the athletic community. And when I moved to Virginia, right before the start of high school, I knew I'd have to find something.

So in the winter of my freshman year, I joined Indoor Track, running as hard as I could every day, carrying out every drill to the fullest. At the start I was always last by a long shot, but that didn't surprise me. I knew that it would take time. So I stuck it out for the entire season, through every grueling practice and last place finish. And the entire time I thought to myself, "I may not be that great this year, but next year I'll be right up there." That's when the coach called me into her office for a private meeting. She wanted to know why I was slacking in practice. She thought that if I wasn't going to try my hardest, I might as well not be on the team. "Coach, I've been working my butt off to get better!" I told her, but she wouldn't hear it. She was under the impression that I was simply running track as a resume builder, not because I truly wanted to get better.

All my life I'd been trying to separate myself from that mindset that I wasn't meant to be an athlete, the idea that I would never be the MVP of a team or win the championship trophy. But that day, in that meeting with my coach, my perspective changed. I realized that maybe, just maybe, I didn't get the genes of an athlete for a reason. Maybe God gave me bad eyesight and terrible coordination to signal something to me. After that meeting, I quit the track team, and haven't played for another team since. I don't think that I quit on sports that day; rather I made a realization of what was really important to me. All my life, playing sports had been advertised as a way to be seen as "cool", to earn the respect and appreciation of others. I now know that that isn't true. Playing all of those sports was my way of trying to find an identity, but my identity didn't exist within a basketball or on an AstroTurf field, and I'm completely fine with that.
marielnl94 1 / 19  
Dec 19, 2011   #2
I think this essay is well-written. I like the introduction, but it tends to be a little pessimistic for me. Maybe you could highlight what you are good at. " I would never be the MVP of a team or win the championship trophy. But that day, in that meeting with my coach, my perspective changed. I realized that maybe, just maybe, I didn't get the genes of an athlete for a reason. Maybe God gave me bad eyesight and terrible coordination to signal something to me." It is really strong, but also a bit negative. You could say something like "Yet God gave (for example) an extraodinary ability to understand Physics".

You say you focus on what is really important for you, then a tip would be to specify.
Also, something about your identity is missing. Say who you think you are and the leave the last words "I am completely fine with that". It would make a strong ending.

Good job :)
fredday 4 / 10  
Dec 19, 2011   #3
I think marielnl94 has a point. It does seem a little negative..? Though having said that it is still a great essay, with good content which reveals you as a person. I would try to put emphasis on the fact you realise your not a good athlete, but am not depressed by that issue because your good at X, or you have a passion for Y, or that you really fit in in the Z community, etc. At the moment it just seems you have quit sport because you realise you're not good at it... not the best way to sell you're sell i don't think.

Sorry if this seems harsh criticism; it's still a really good essay, the tone of some sentences just needs to change i think.
ckpckp1994 8 / 17 2  
Dec 19, 2011   #4
Nice Job! I can somehow related to your essay, because I'm one of those "playing sports just to be cool" kind of guy, and I could totally understand how you felt. However, I also agree with Mariel. I like it because I have a similar experience, but I don't know about the admission officers. So, it is always a good idea to minimize your negative side, and bring out your positive side as much as possible.
OP jjm7000 2 / 2  
Dec 19, 2011   #5
Thanks guys! I had a feeling it had a bit of a negative tone to it, and i'll work on a revised version. No need to apologize for criticism, it all helps :)

any advice on parts to take out to get it down to the proper character count?


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