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Bad at Math - CommonApp Work in Progress


lindz7185 1 / 4  
Aug 1, 2011   #1
Hey everyone, I am still brainstorming ideas for my personal statement. I've made up a bit of ground on one idea but I'm still working on it. Can someone read it and tell me if they like it thus far? I still have a lot to add, but if you have any suggestions (or if you don't like the topic) just let me know! Here goes...

It used to come easily enough to me - if there was an issue, all I had to do was count my fingers. This blissful time was like a world when I still believed in Santa Claus (actually, I'm pretty sure I still did believe in Santa Claus during most of this period). Life was a fairytale existence full of simple math. This illusion, however, was soon shattered by the beast that is Pre-Algebra.

I glided through the early years of my schooling. I was unfazed by the math problems other students found difficult - addition and subtraction? I could do it in my sleep. Times tables? I was first in my third-grade class to master them. Long division? Humor me. Math was a breeze; that is until the horror that is Pre-Algebra descended upon me.

Eighth-grade began innocently enough. Little did I know that when I entered Pre-Algebra class on the first day of school that I was in store for a year full of what can only be described as educational torture. That year, I struggled to grasp what the rest of my class believed to be simple concepts. Expecting me to thoroughly understand exponents, parabolas, and polynomials was like asking me to speak fluent Mandarin Chinese - for once in my life, I didn't immediately get something. To add to my horror, in Pre-Algebra I received my first B in a class - ever. For an eight-grader who was (to put it mildly) obsessed with succeeding in school, this was total devastation.

Obviously, that wasn't the end of my troubles. I knew high school was to be full of difficult and complex math, and I was not disappointed.

(Will be continued with more math struggles, haha)
java4u 3 / 8  
Aug 2, 2011   #2
"I glided through the early years of my schooling. I was unfazed by the math problems other students found difficult - addition and subtraction? I could do it in my sleep. Times tables? I was first in my third-grade class to master them. Long division? Humor me. Math was a breeze; that is until the horror that is Pre-Algebra descended upon me."

This part seems to repeat the last sentence of the first paragraph. I propose that you should replace that last sentence of the 1st paragraph and replace it with this because it is more descriptive.

Besides that I think you have a pretty good essay :-)
OP lindz7185 1 / 4  
Aug 2, 2011   #3
thanks for your help! i replaced it and changed the second paragraph around a bit and it looks a LOT better! :)
OP lindz7185 1 / 4  
Sep 26, 2011   #4
Bump! New draft...
It used to come easily enough to me, if I had a problem, I just had to count my fingers. I like to think this was my educational prime - the years of simple math. I glided through the early years of my schooling, unfazed by the math problems my fellow students found difficult; addition and subtraction? I could do them in my sleep. Times tables? I was first in my third-grade class to master them. Long division? Humor me. Math was a breeze; that is until the beast that is Pre-Algebra descended upon me.

Eighth-grade began innocently enough. Little did I know that when I entered Pre-Algebra class on the first day of school that my life would soon be profoundly changed. That year, I struggled to grasp what the rest of my class believed to be simple concepts. Having to thoroughly understand parabolas and polynomials was like asking me to speak fluent Greek; for once in my life, I didn't immediately understand something. To add to my dismay, in Pre-Algebra I received a B - my first in a class ever. For an eighth-grader who was (to put it mildly) obsessed with succeeding in school, this was total devastation.

Obviously, that wasn't the end of my troubles. I knew high school would be full of complex math, and I wasn't disappointed. I tend to think of Algebra Two as the bane of my educational existence - and as the best class I've ever taken. My Algebra Two class presented a challenge unlike what I was accustomed to in high school; AP US History? Please. AP Biology? Give me a break. There were nothing compared to Algebra. Though I do consider my experience with Algebra Two physically and emotionally painful, the class evoked a passion for knowledge and achievement unlike any other I've experienced. I would spend hours the night before a test repeatedly going over theorems and practice problems and I, in some twisted way, actually enjoyed it. The feeling of elation at finally figuring out the right answer to a difficult equation and understanding the concepts on a test is unmatched; it's cliché, but that feeling of a "job well done" is unbeatable in my book. I had to work to prove myself - and I loved it.

Through my math classes, I've also learned an invaluable lesson: humility. In school, I was used to being at the top. I was the girl who never had a problem with tough homework and aced even the most challenging tests. My adventures (rather, misadventures) in Algebra really caused me to realize that not everything will come easily and I won't always be considered the "big fish"; in fact I'll probably be thought of as the exact opposite. What I do know is that however the rest of my life turns out - college included - I'll always be able to look back on my undoubtedly painful experiences in my Algebra classes and the messages I've learned from them.
hixtine 4 / 9  
Sep 26, 2011   #5
This is a great essay. I like how your voice shows and the moral of the essay.


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