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Buffy the Vampire Slayer ; Common App- Character in fiction


aqualad 5 / 12 3  
Dec 27, 2012   #1
Part of me is wondering if I ought to do this subject at all. If I shouldn't, please tell me.

Common App prompt 4: Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

I'm just going to be upfront and say that I've decided to take a risk with this essay.
Throughout much of my life, my most important character flaw has been my self-doubt. I have fundamentally doubted my ability to make an impact on the world, instead feeling that I will simply be around for a set period of time, and then vanish, without a trace. It didn't depress me; it simply was a fact that hung in the back of my mind. I have a passion for storytelling; I didn't believe I could measure up to any of my idols. I love discovering the how and why of the world through science, but I could not see myself advancing it. I was stuck in a rut of my own self-doubt, unable to believe in myself.

That all changed due to a quirky show with a silly name: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While I was watching Buffy, I loved every minute of it, and thought I was watching something great. I still stand by that, and it will likely always remain my favorite TV show, and possibly my favorite work in any medium. However, when I had finished all seven seasons, I found myself looking at the show more critically. I began dissecting it, finding the underlying threads that held the entire thing together. I read other reviews online, and gained greater appreciation for the show's depth. And when I paused, sat down, and re-watched a few random episodes, I made a realization. I was looking at a forest, not seeing many of the rotten trees that made it up. Buffy, unlike other cultural works I had looked at in depth before, rose so high, but sank so deep. It wasn't the Toy Story trilogy, which managed to soar without ever dipping, or Ender's Game, which always maintained brilliant pathos. Many of its episodes were simply not that good. Some, even ones directly proceeding or following the fairly bad ones, were brilliant, however. This contrast was what enabled me, in hindsight, to begin kicking my self-doubt. I didn't realize it at the time. What I did realize was that other great things, like Buffy, were not perfect, and that if my creations or discoveries were not, it didn't matter. I started to write whatever stories came into my head, dealing with everything under the sun (and some beyond it.) I began to use the educational channels on YouTube to listen to college lectures on everything from physics to medieval history. Somewhere along the line, I realized I no longer doubted myself like I had.

One of my character flaws today is still my self-doubt. I don't think I'll ever be able to get rid of it entirely, but then again, I don't think that anyone can entirely remove one of their flaws by anything short of a lobotomy. But due to one little show, I can see myself changing the world in whatever way I choose to.
katev 18 / 120 24  
Dec 27, 2012   #2
I'm just going to be upfront and say that I've decided to take a risk with this essay.

Is this a part of your essay?

most important

(important?)

storytelling; I didn't believe

storytelling, but I didn't believe

a quirky showwith a silly name

I didn't realize it at the time .

What I did realize was that other great things, like Buffy, were not perfect

I realized that other great things, like Buffy, were not perfect

I can see myself changing the world in whatever way I choose to

I think this is different than self-doubt. Maybe elaborate/explain how you still have self-doubt, because it sounds like you've overcome a great deal of it

I think you can write about it!
OP aqualad 5 / 12 3  
Dec 28, 2012   #3
Thanks katev!

I was considering having that line as a prelude to the essay. It probably isn't necessary. I originally put it in because a lot of the other essays I'd read said something like "Oh, I had blah blah problem (unable to understand other views, enjoyed pillaging small English monasteries, etc) but now, thanks to (working at soup kitchen, building something in small Central American nation, listening to Beethoven's 9th, whatever) it's all better. I just don't really feel that's accurate, and is simply an attempt to trivialize major character flaws by saying one thing completely cured them, therefore making yourself more admission-friendly. I wanted my essay to say something different, more that "I have a character flaw, and this helped me identify it and start to move past it, but it will always be with me. It won't go away, and I'm not going to pretend it will." So that was a way of drawing attention to that difference.


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