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UC Essay: [8] Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you


Limsanity 1 / -  
Nov 25, 2018   #1

stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California



i would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback regarding sentence structure, grammar, flow of idea, and even essay topic. My main concern is whether or not this essay is strong enough to differentiate me or is it too generic?

It was the most agonizing moment of my life. I reluctantly conquered the steps leading up to the enormous, open stage. There I stood, facing the hundreds of students that were blurred by the illuminating stage lights staring straight at me. My hands shook and my face flushed with fear, but then the moment passed.

I don't remember what poem I recited or even if I won; all I remembered was the cheering of the audience afterward. It was then that I realized: I loved to perform.

It may seem ironic that an introvert takes comfort in performing in front of hundreds of people, but for some reason when the room quietens and all eyes divert their attention on me, I somehow muster up the courage to truly be myself. Perhaps it's because the stage often encourages oddities, but when I'm up on stage, all my insecurities disappear.

My high school years presented me many opportunities to practice being in the spotlight. I loved to give class presentations, participate in school plays, and perform in violin recitals. No feeling is greater than the feeling after a successful performance - the feeling of doing what is expected of you then exceeding it. However, in order for me to be true to myself in real life, I had to realize that the character I played during performances wasn't bounded by the confines of the stage but an actual representation of myself.

I learned that everyone is capable of change. When I enlisted in the army, I left behind the insecure boy from my past and took the first steps toward whom I aspired to become. I didn't hide my quirks but embraced them as I tackled this new chapter in my life.

My passion may have developed on stage, but with a change of perspective, I became the best version of myself in life - to live a life that I was proud of. In a way, it's as if this whole world became my stage, and I couldn't wait make my mark.

This is the full prompt below and some guiding questions as stated on the UC website :

8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

Things to consider: If there's anything you want us to know about you, but didn't find a question or place in the application to tell us, now's your chance. What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge or opportunity that you think will help us know you better?

From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don't be afraid to brag a little.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,322 1844  
Nov 25, 2018   #2
Considering your sentence structure, you need to remember to use a comma after a conjunction such as "shook" to separate the action presentations and add clarity to the paragraph. You missed out on doing this in certain sections of your essay so make sure to review your essay after you complete the final version so you can correct those errors.

As far as the content is concerned, it can use several improvements. The first improvement that I hope you can make is the reason why you went from introvert to extrovert on stage. Why were you an introvert? How did becoming a performer help you overcome that shyness? The second part you should further address is your time in the army. That is impressive and any lessons you learned during that time or skills that you developed will be sure to impress the reviewer. What you have to do is show a start contrast from the introvert, transitioning into the performer, then ending with the fully developed man you have become because of the time in the army. The transitions will help to guide the reviewer through your journey to adulthood and the evolution of a shy boy that led to his becoming and adult male.

You have an interesting draft here. Further developments to the topics for presentation should help make this a highlightable essay in the eyes of the reviewer. This is one work in progress I look forward to reviewing again.


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