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best advice - what and why?

owls 8 / 33  
Dec 27, 2009   #1
What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given, and why? (500 words)

A lot of things make me a little bit happy. I like apples. I eat around an average of three per day. Being warm makes me happy, so by default, sunshine and quilts make me happy. New clothes make me happy and freshly laundered clothes make me almost as happy. I like presents tied up with ribbon and the dinners at my grandparents' house. Growing older makes me happy. Eventually it won't, but for now, it does. Vacations make me happy, and so does that feeling I get when I come home after being away and sleep in my bed for the first time in a while. Finding money makes me happy, even if it's only a lucky penny, and I think it would be fantastic to win the lottery someday.

In my lifetime, I have been denied none of this. My mother keeps a fresh supply of apples in our refrigerator. We have more blankets around the house than I would need in the middle of winter in Antarctica. I've traveled to many places and I always come home to my bed. Every year, I make lists of things I want for Christmas and every year, my family does their best to give me these things; they always do a pretty good job. Yet in my lifetime, I have not always been happy.

Some things made me unhappy. My nose. It was too long and too big and it ruined pictures. My eyes. I tried to cover them up with sunglasses for a while because they ruined pictures too. My stomach. I only wore one-piece bathing suits one summer. My inability to tan. The fact that a lot of my friends were self-proclaimed losers who liked Star Wars too much. The lack of the opposite gender in my life.

I tried to blame my unhappiness on these things. I told myself that if I had cooler friends and a flatter stomach, I'd be happy. If I had a tan and a cuter nose, I'd have a boyfriend and if I had a boyfriend, my life would be better. My mother shook her head and told me that I was wrong. She told me that I couldn't be happy unless I was first and foremost happy with myself. It took me a while of trying to find happiness in birthday presents and stomach crunches before I realized how right she was.

Since my realization, I've been trying to be happy with myself. I'm looking for my strengths, instead of my flaws. I'm focusing on the positive; I want to be more optimistic. I'm realizing that everyone looks prettier with a smile. It's working, I think. I'm looking in the mirror and seeing happiness instead of a big nose. I have a real kind of happiness now, the kind that doesn't flicker away at a moment's notice.

I wore a bikini last summer.
I love my friends.
I smile more now.
poisonivy 14 / 102  
Dec 27, 2009   #2
This is such a nice essay! My fear is that it isn't much focused in the topic. Don't elaborate so much on the first two paragraphs. The advice is the thing that should spot and the way HOW you dealt with it to have the results you have now.

Good luck :)
OP owls 8 / 33  
Dec 27, 2009   #3
That's what I was afraid of, so thank you for the advice! I hate having to cut out some of the things on the list of things I like, but I agree with you, so I'll be rewriting this!
Mellzzer 1 / 14  
Dec 27, 2009   #4
I think you could start with what makes you unhappy, give your mother's advice, go into little things that make you happy (as if your mother's advice opened up your eyes to all the little things that matter in life) and then end with those three lines.

It's good this way too, but I think it could work if you rearranged it too. It's all up to you, of course :]
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 1, 2010   #5
I eat around an average of three per day. Being warm makes me happy, so by default, it follows naturally that sunshine and quilts make me happy. ---> nice!

...and I think it would be fantastic to win the lottery someday. ---> I think so, too, but I don't think this is a good way to end the first paragraph. You are ust listing things, and that is not good. End the first paragraph with a main idea, a theme that all the paragraphs support. What is the main theme of the whole essay?

Express that theme in the last sentence of the first para and all throughout the last para.

ebby2010 10 / 51  
Jan 1, 2010   #6
Wow! this is amazing! it's so personal and really captures your personality!
Kevin's comment is dead on. Stating the main idea at the end of the paragraph will definitely strengthen your essay.

Also, i think the last paragraph uses the word "happy"/"happiness" too much. maybe try some synonyms?

But other than that, I have no criticisms. This essay is really great!
hern255 13 / 48  
Jan 11, 2010   #7
Just amazing!!
One of the best essay I have ever read!
Keep writing so good!!
Good luck with your application and with your life! :D

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