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Essay B # 3- CU Boulder - 'Pay check to pay check is how I have lived'


kyh8252 1 / 5 3  
Jun 28, 2013   #1
Pay check to pay check is how I have lived the passed 17 years of my life. My mother at 17 unfortunately wasn't writing college essays; she was writing checks for diapers at the local grocery store. When I was four years old my mother made the best decision for her family; she left my father and continued a single life with her two kids ages 4 and 5 in Vernal, Utah. My mother tried her best to prevent her kids from making the same mistakes as she did. Neither my mother nor father attended college, or anyone in my family for that matter. This affected me and my academics in many ways, not having an experienced care giver in academics to show me the right steps in order to have a successful future. Surrounding myself with the right friends in high school helped to me understand the importance of education.

My grandfather always said the best knowledge comes from experience, although the only experience the one person who raised me had was how to support a child. It took the hard way to figure out school and how important it really was. My junior year of high school was not my strongest year. I found that at this time I had become flustered with all of the mistakes that I had made I found out who I am as well as who I want to be the summer of 2013.

Despite all the rough challenges that I have faced in my life I realized that through my athletics I have learned what dedication and motivation is all about and why it is important to me. That is why I feel I would be great addition to the CU community in Boulder, Colorado.

IntheClouds - / 8  
Jun 28, 2013   #2
Grammar Comments:

My mother at 17 unfortunately, wasn't writing college essays; she was writing checks for diapers at the local grocery store.

The comma should be taken out after the word "unfortunately."

At four years oldWhen I was four years old my mother made the best decision for her family; she left my father and continued a single life with her two kids ages 4 and 5 in Vernal, Utah.

The original sentence makes it sound as if your mother was four years old when she made this decision.

It took the hard way to figure out school, and how important it really was.

The comma after the word "and" should be taken out.

My junior year of high school was not my strongest year, continuing into the summer of 2013 where I found myself flustered with all the mistakes I had made.

This sentence should be rearranged. Consider the following: "My junior year of high school was not my strongest year. I found that at this time I had become flustered with all of the mistakes that I had made." In my rewrite I broke the sentence into two for clarity and I took out information that may be irrelevant. (You will have to decide for yourself what is and isn't relevant, as it is impossible for me to know the circumstances of the situation.)

I found out who I was as well as who the person I wanted to be was.

Colleges usually want to get a good taste of who their applicants are. Can you elaborate on this by describing the person that you want to be? I would also consider changing the tense of this sentence. You could, for xeample, write it like this: "I found out who I am as well as who I want to be."

I want to be successful in my life, and I feel that with my motivation and determination I would be great addition to the CU community in Boulder, Colorado.

Here it would be best to present specific example of situations where you have displayed motivation and determination. Everyone wants to be successful, and anyone can say that they are motivated and determined. Your job as a writer is to prove (through specific examples) that you have these qualities.

Content comments:

Be sure to read the prompt carefully and address the prompt clearly. As a refresher, here's what the prompt says:

Discuss any events or special circumstances that have affected your academic record, as well as any adversities you have over come.

Your first sentence is adequate as it addresses something that may have affected you academic record and may be considered an adversity that you've had to overcome.

The rest of the paragraph has some information that may be useful but it is incomplete. The most important information that I gained from these sentences is that your mom was a low-income teen-mom who had to make the choice to leave your dad when you were a young child. No one in your family has ever gone to college. This has affected you and your academics in many ways.

It important that you elaborate by explaining how specifically this has affected you and your academics.

My junior year of high school was not my strongest year, continuing into the summer of 2013 where I found myself flustered with all the mistakes I had made.

Describe the mistakes that you have made and how you overcame them. By explaining how yu overcame your mistakes, it is likely that you will also be offering "proof" of your motivation and determination. Also how did overcoming these challenges (the mistakes you made) lead you to a better understanfing of who you want to be?

General Comment:

Remember that you goal is to demonstrate to the college that you have the skills and attitude that is necessary to succeed in college. It is important to be honest and open about your mistakes, but it is also important to highlight you strengths. If you write about specific examples of situations where your motivation and determination has allowed you to succeed, then you will be showing the college that you are applying to that you have a good attitude and that you can handle challenging situations.
jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jun 28, 2013   #3
Your essay is just too short.

Discuss any events or special circumstances that have affected your academic record, as well as any adversities you have over come.

---You need to go into detail about your family's poverty and how it affected your school life.
---Discuss how not having a father in the house made learning more difficult (or easier).
---Tell me what obstacles confront you as a result of being the first kid in your family to attend college.

Forget about grammar, punctuation, and spelling until you're done with the first draft.

You're nowhere near done with the first draft.

You can do this.
IntheClouds - / 8  
Jun 28, 2013   #4
I strongly second everything that jkjeremy said.
Didgeridoo - / 306 191  
Jun 30, 2013   #5
The prompt asks you to:
A. Discuss any events or special circumstances that have affected your academic record
B. Discuss as any adversities you have overcome

You write a lot about your family background, but which part of the prompt is this information answering (A or B)? If it is A, you aren't quite explaining how having a young, single mother, not being financially well-off, and being a first-generation college applicant made your pre-senior year GPA not the best. You write that you did not have "an experienced caregiver in academics" to show you how to be successful. Why couldn't you reach out to teachers? Or was it that you did not have the right attitude about education? You need to explain how your circumstances shaped your attitude, then. Writing, " I found that at this time I had become flustered with all of the mistakes that I had made" is not enough; why did being flustered affect your grades?

And if your circumstances are supposed to answer B, you need to better explain the "overcome" part.

I think you need to rewrite your essay. You don't have much space available, and you need a more focused answer.


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