This is my rough draft essay for the following prompt
Although it may appear to the contrary, we do know that people have a life beyond what they do to get into college. Tell us about an experience you've had outside of your formal classroom and extracurricular activities that was just plain fun and why.
I am worried it is too long, and that it may be a bit boring :/. Any feedback is welcome!
""Lydia! That car is moving!" I exclaimed, ready for an impact as she narrowly swerved around a turning Honda. I finally relaxed when she zipped into the parking space and took the key out of the ignition. Two of my best friends and I were on our way to go hiking at Forest Park. School had barely started, and the weather was beautiful; warm enough for shorts, but just cold enough for our light zip-up sweatshirts. There was even a prototypical Portland mist covering the forest.
We got out of the car and skipped towards the framed trail map; thermos, picnic blanket, and backpacks in hand. The trail we picked led to the Rose Garden, and was about two miles each way- close enough to get to the car quickly in the event of rain, and far enough that it would be a nice, long walk. When we went towards where we thought the path began however, it was nowhere to be found!
Seeing a road sign with an arrow pointing towards the Rose Garden, we decided to walk along the road until we found the path the garden-whichever came first. We traipsed single-file down the side of the road, happily chattering about topics such as the weather, or how much we adored or disliked our senior year teachers, until the conversation died about ten minutes along our path. We had had these conversations before, and although still interesting, they failed to captivate our attention for more than a few minutes at a time.
For awhile, we did not talk about anything at all. I began to really examine the scenery- the stately Douglas Fir, the waxy Snow Berry, the dangerous and prickly leaves of the Oregon Grape-, until we found a large patch of blackberries! If our lack of conversation had mattered before, it was certainly of no consequence now that we had found thousands of the dark purple berries. "What a great way to start our "adventure"!" we all exclaimed in slightly different words, as we lustily lunged at the berries. This continued for a few minutes until we had eaten our full (until we had picked all the berries in reach!).
As we cheerfully started back on our path, one of my friends suggested we start an adventure story, as we used to do when we were little. Although we were hesitant at first, (it seemed so strange to emulate what we were doing at eight years old as seniors in high school), we remembered how much fun it could be! Our story began with us three refugees fleeing from a broken civilization, which had been chaotic since the peak oil crisis fifteen years past (maybe ten, we weren't sure of the exact time span the decline of American government influence would take!). A bandit group had arisen to take advantage of the confusion. These bandits ransacked our town, and enslaved most of the people. We were the only ones who had gotten away, and were on our way to find help from a nearby village.
We had so much fun developing our imagined world and each of our characters' hidden pasts, that we only noticed we had arrived at the garden when we saw the thousands of roses stretched out beneath us. The Rose Garden is a beautiful place, with roses of every size, scent, and color. Many of the roses even fade from one to two colors on a single flower, giving the impression of sunsets.
Forgetting about our story, we strolled around the garden in amazement, smelling each and every rose we came across until we could no longer distinguish one scent from another. We then came across a traditional-looking lamp post, tall and sophisticated, with a thick base and a single lamp perched on top. Although the structure itself was beautiful, what was twined around it is what caught our attention. A vine of luscious purple flowers with dark green leaves were entwined with a less prominent white rose plant, both delicately twisted around the post in a sight that was beyond postcard-worthy. It was perfect. After we stared and took pictures for a good five minutes, we decided it was time to eat our picnic. We walked further into the garden until we found the amphitheater, which was a popular lunch spot.
We laid out the blanket and unpacked our carrots, dried mangoes, cheese, and granola bars to share. We discovered that the thermos which Lydia's mom had packed contained black tea with milk and honey honey, and was the perfect temperature to drink. We sat there, talking and commenting on the families near us in the amphitheater until our food had long since been consumed. Eventually, we became aware that it was probably time to start back to the car, so we packed up the remnants of our lunch and went on our way. It started to rain before we got back, as we expected it would. We weren't phased. After all, we live in Portland. We are accustomed to the rain.
When I got home and reflected on the events of the day, I made a note to myself to always remember the simple pleasures of hiking in beauty and good company. "
Thank you! Yes, I think it is too long- the problem I'm having is that there wasn't actually a set word limit, so it makes it hard to know how much to do. I do think it's too long, but I don't think I'll really know when it's short enough! And that wasn't harsh, thank you for your advice :)
I agree, it seems way too wordy and it doesn't really seem to have a point. Try to figure out what your main point is and what you want to get across to the admissions office. If your main point is the beauty of Portland, it's a really good essay, but if you're trying to focus on what your own hobby is and why you are unique because of it, it's lacking.
If it's any help to you, I've been working on my Pomona essay too but I took the approach of discussing a hobby i had all throughout high school. Mine was about enjoying nature and the outdoors as well, but I described quite a few different events and why I enjoyed doing them and such, not just one.