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'AP biology midterm / Stubborn parents and NYC'(2 essays)

Question: Is there anything you would like us to know about you or your academic record that you have not had the opportunity to describe elsewhere in this application?

After studying hour after hour for my AP biology midterm, I just could not memorize every detailed process of mitosis. In order to quell my frustration, I decided to "take a break" and started doodling dividing cells all over my notes. To my surprise, I realized that I could memorize terms more easily by drawing and seeing things visually ï this was when I discovered my strength: my right brain, or my creative side. I began thinking outside of the box rather than thinking formulaically, and found myself able to dig deeper into any subject by taking advantage of my imaginative side and picturing things in my mind. Although I have gained leadership opportunities with my artistic abilities, such as being the art editor for my school newspaper and being the head of the publicity commission, I have also discovered that I can incorporate my right brain to help me solve things in discrete subjects that aren't often correlated with art. For instance, I add innovation to projects by designing a comic instead of a typed-up synopsis of a poet's life. Even though my logical side faces obstacles with derivatives and integrals, my creative side helps me dive further into the subject by the tiny sketches in the margins of my lecture notes.

(212 words)

Prompt: How have you taken advantage of the educational opportunities you have had to prepare for college?

At first, persuading my overprotective and stubborn parents to let me travel to New York City for a journalism workshop by myself was a difficult task. After much persistence, my parents finally agreed to send me to Columbia University to pursue something I have a passion for and something I truly love. The weeklong program not only taught me strategic skills of journalism and quality writing, but also the true reality of college life and responsibility. The different atmosphere required me to turn in papers on short deadlines, wake up early to make it to my classes on time, and survive in a foreign environment. One time, while my friends were relaxing, they invited me to visit Times Square. I disappointingly declined, remembering that I had an article due in a tight deadline. Instead, without regrets and avoiding the temptations of going out, I took advantage of the libraries on campus to gather extra information for my article on an opinion piece to further justify my point of view. In the end, it was the extra preparation and resourcefulness that helped me write a rewarding article and take advantage of the opportunities presented to me, and making the most of the trip.

(197 words)


You have written a couple of very fine essays! I'm impressed by the quality of your writing. There are only a few minor suggestions I would make:

"For instance, I add innovation to projects by designing a comic instead of a typed-up synopsis of a poet's life." This sentence is a little confusing. Using the present tense and plural in "I add innovation to projects" makes it sound like something you do on a regular basis; the second half of the sentence sounds like a one-time occurence. And I really can't grasp exactly what it is that you did with the comic. Can you make this clearer?

"After much persistence, my parents ..." It was not your parents' persistence, so you might want to change this to something like "After I persisted, ..." or "After I persistently nagged them, my parents ..."

"I disappointingly declined" is not quite right. You could say, "I declined, disappointed" or "I regretfully declined" but since you then go on to say that you took advantage of the libraries "without regrets" I'd recommend just taking out "disappointingly" and leave it at that.

Note that what precedes "and making the most of the trip" is "helped me write a rewarding article." You wouldn't say "helped me write a rewarding article and making the most of the trip" so either take out the "and" or take out the entire phrase "and making the most of the trip."

You've done a very good job here and I feel sure your prospects for getting into the college you choose are excellent!


Sarah, EssayForum.com

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