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'The boy without a name' - William and Mary supplement essay


Pradodiana1 3 / 17  
Dec 30, 2011   #1
Hello, I need help with this essay. I am trying to show that this event had a huge impact in my life and that I have learned not to take anything for granted because of it. In the past I have had trouble sounding arrogant, is that how I sound here? Is it long enough at 475 words? How can I improve it, I don't know if it is getting good personal qualities about me across.

Thank you so much!

Prompt:
Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishhments, what else makes you unique and colorful?
500 words or less.

I met the boy without a name the day I saw poverty for the first time.
At first sight, the boiling day seemed perfect. The soccer game was in full bloom, talented young boys were playing underneath the hot sun while their mothers cheered from the side lines. Upon a second look at the soccer-team sized group of young boys, the true poverty that reigned in my summer town of Iquitos, Peru shone through. The scene stopped me on my way to the small kiosk a few blocks down from my aunt's home. At first, I was impressed by the fact that these kids could run and play on a day doomed with intolerable heat. Wasn't the hot air choking their throats like it was mine? Now, I stood watching because the boys played barefooted on a dirt field polluted with gravel and possibly glass shreds. I watched because the mothers weren't just watching the game on the sidelines, they lived on the sidelines. Their homes made up of sticks and tarp. The boys played shirtless not because they were too hot, but because they had tied their shirts together into a round bundle they were using as a soccer ball. I stared because despite their obvious poverty and need, those boys gave the sun-bleached wide sky a smile I reserved for Christmas and Birthday mornings. My eyes filled with tears at the sudden realization of how blind and impossibly lucky I had always been.

I must have looked very odd standing there, because the little boy playing closest to the sidelines stopped just to stare at me. Despite my attempts to look away and continue on my way down to the candy kiosk, I was locked in place. His black eyes were petrifying me slowly and forcing me to bare witness to his condition. His skin, browned by the sun and resistant, clung to his bones making his shape into that of a child's skeleton. There was a pink scar running from his left armpit to a hidden spot beneath his shorts. His feet had obviously never been contained in shoes and his eyes embodied poverty. I thought I saw his mouth give me an arrogant smirk and he was gone, running down the gravel field at breakneck speed with the ball following his feet as if pulled by a magnet. From an impossible position too close to the sideline he kicked the ball toward the two water bottles that had been stuck into the ground and made a goal. The scream of effort that stumbled from his mouth as he kicked with all his strength engraved itself into my memory.

I will always be grateful for the boy without a name, he taught me to see all that I have and be thankful, so thankful, of the opportunities available to me.
Cleopatra 8 / 22  
Dec 30, 2011   #2
This is a really good essay and I think you told the story very well! Watch out for informalities such as "weren't" "wasn't" etc. Contractions are usually not welcomed in College essays

Also, even though I completely fell in love with the story, I do not understand what is unique about your character.
The prompt is urging you to speak about yourself and what you have to offer and why the college must have you. The story is heartwarming and can definetely be used and manipulated into other college's essays but regarding this prompt, I still do not know who you are.

What I have understood is that you went to Peru and were tormented by the poverty you witnessed and the harshness the boy had to suffer. Talk a little bit more about how that impacted your personality. For example, you may talk about the compassion you have for helping those in need or the willpower you have for change. I understood from this essay that you are a grateful and thankful person. However, these are not unique qualities and can be found in anyone. As for being from peru, that is interesting but it is not enough to impress the readers.

Consider the qualities about yourself that you can add to this essay. If you can do this, you'd make it very hard to reject.

Regarding grammar, consider the contractions I told you about but other than that you're fine.
Good luck!

Take a look at my BU supplement and let me know what you think!
I'd appreciate it and it'd help out so much!
Thanks!
deesta 1 / 2  
Dec 30, 2011   #3
I want to help you as much as possible so I'm going to be blunt. This essay eres on the side of cliche. The whole "I witnessed a child dying and I realized how lucky I was" type of essay. Instead, take an approach of how you approached and tried to solve problems in your life.
mlayton - / 8  
Dec 30, 2011   #4
I agree with deesta. It does seem cliche and slightly dramatic with "My eyes filled with tears at the sudden realization of how blind and impossibly lucky I had always been."

However, it is well written and I like the treasure map idea at the end; it's a nice touch.
maryp630 7 / 20  
Dec 31, 2011   #5
I really like your essay and the fact that not everyone has an imagination like that. Help me out with my Lehigh supplements?
pinkcheetah 2 / 13  
Dec 31, 2011   #6
I love this! It's such a good essay. Most things I edited were gramatical. Since you do have the extra words to spare, consider explaining your niche (maybe), but it's not necessary!

If you could help me with my essay (below) I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!
Dilara1010 4 / 17  
Dec 31, 2011   #7
I really liked your essay! its just that the title of your wonderland is a bit confused but other than that I liked it also. Also you have very good descriptive ways of telling your story. Perhaps take out the thing in the paranthesis that kind of through me off but thats up to you :)
pinkcheetah 2 / 13  
Dec 31, 2011   #8
I really like the additions and the personality that you added.

I am no longer fighting "culture-clash."

I am no longer fighting a culture clash. (It's a term of its own and doesn't need the quotations)

So, if somehow our paths cross in the future and you find me with closed eyes, know that I am in Happy.

Personally, I would get rid of somehow.


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