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Briefly describe a non-academic pursuit that best illustrates who you are, and why it is important


Vee15 1 / 1  
Dec 14, 2014   #1
USC students are known to be involved. Briefly describe a non-academic pursuit (such as service to community or family, a club or sport, or work, etc.,) that best illustrates who you are, and why it is important to you. (250 word limit)

#23 Make a difference to someone's life.

It's the 23rd item on my bucket list.
Fourteen year old Sushant has big dreams, he wants to grow up to be a football player and part time business tycoon. I know this because I've been teaching him English for the past few months.

It seems like a fairly simple thing to do except he's dyslexic and English isn't his first language. When we first met he told me he liked to read and wanted to learn everything from history and geography to the English language. So I made him a promise; I promised him I'd teach him to read and write, I promised to introduce him to a whole new world of fantasy and fiction, one that made me believe my dreams could come true, one that would do the same for him.

Over the past few months I've pulled him out from under a table, listened to him talk about his dreams, raced him all over the world by running our fingers over a map and evidently I've been teaching him English.

This so-called "non-academic pursuit" of mine is somewhat like my pursuit of happiness. I look forward to the few hours a week I get to spend with him because they give me hope. They remind me of pure innocence and genuineness in a pitiless and pretentious world.

I was determined to make a difference to his life but what I didn't anticipate is the difference he would make to mine.

redfoxspl33 1 / 2  
Dec 14, 2014   #2
Vee15, Here is something that might make the essay sound better. With the beginning of the essay try and combine the first two sentences.

Bucket list item number 23 is to make a differenc in someone's life.

then

I had or have been introduced to a fouteen year old by the name ... who

other wise the rest of the essay is good.
OP Vee15 1 / 1  
Dec 14, 2014   #3
redfoxspl33, thanks for the input! (:
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Dec 14, 2014   #4
After reading this short essay, I did not learn much about you. Remember, the most important part of this prompt is "that best illustrates who you are, and why it is important to you." The adcom really wants to learn more about you and why did you decide to take on this project and what did you really take away from the experience. These are the elements of this essay question that need to be really flushed out. As it is now, you pretty much glazed over the most important aspects of this essay. - Admissions Advice Online
sampunk9494 7 / 26 2  
Dec 15, 2014   #5
#23 Make a difference to someone's life.

It's the 23rd item on my bucket list.
Fourteen year old Sushant has big dreams, he wants to grow up to be a football player and part time business tycoon. I know this because I've been teaching him English for the past few months.

It seems like a fairly simple thing to do except he's dyslexic and English isn't his first language. When we first met he told me he liked to read and wanted to learn everything from history and geography to the English language. So I made him a promise; I promised him I'd teach him to read and write, I promised to introduce him to a whole new world of fantasy and fiction, one that made me believe my dreams could come true, one that would do the same for him.

Over the past few months I've pulled him out from under a table, listened to him talk about his dreams, raced him all over the world by running our fingers over a map and evidently I've been teaching him English. (I thought this phrase was a bit awkward because you already mentioned you're teaching Sushant English in the 1st paragraph. Or you could write "Over the past... running our fingers over a map during our English lessons )

This so-called "non-academic pursuit" of mine is somewhat like my pursuit of happiness. I look forward to the few hours a week I get to spend with him because they give me hope. They remind me of pure innocence and genuineness in a pitiless and pretentious world.

I was determined to make a difference to his life but what I didn't anticipate is the difference he would make to mine.

Feedback:
Your essay is very coherent and I enjoyed reading it. I get a sense that you're a very compassion person as you're describing this non-academic pursuit of yours. To make this impression stronger through your essay you could elaborate on your conclusion. "...because they give me hope" How does the teaching give you hope? Where does the hope come from? Is it because of the fulfillment you feel when imparted the boy valuable knowledge that you know he will use in the future to change the world?

Hope this helps!
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 15, 2014   #6
Vanika. you actually have an interesting non-academic pursuit. The problem, is that most of the essay dealt with the person you were helping instead of what you were doing in the activity. I would suggest that you revise the essay and redirect it instead to concentrate on your participation in changing the life of this kid. You really dealt with the topic in such a lighthearted manner that it seems like you are almost disinterested in it. You need to show that this activity was a two way street. He learned from you and you learned from him. The part about what you learned from him will answer the "why is it important" part. Call it an eye opener. Say something about how you never thought that you would be able to change a life by simply tutoring a person and unconsciously helping him. Then say something about how this is a character trait of yours. That you spend most of your life helping people without your knowledge and that you feel extremely satisfied with the results of your indirect assistance. That should help make this essay work better.


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