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Click. Clack. Click. Common app essay (worried about weak ending)


1365violin 4 / 12 2  
Dec 26, 2013   #1
Hello, everyone!
I am worried that my common app essay has a weak ending and it is quite long... it is almost 650 words.
I don't have time to change the entire essay, but I will work on some parts tonight....

Here is the question for the essay:
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

"The winner of this scholarship award is *** " Click. Clack. Click. Slowly I walked up to the stage to receive my award and I took a deep breath. I could not see the audience because of the bright lights; my mind went blank. A solemn air filled the stuffy auditorium and I was stunned for a few moments. Then suddenly I remembered a priceless lesson that a young girl had taught me. Instead of offering a clich├ęd "thank-you" speech, I decided to share a life-changing experience with the hope that my story would have a positive impact on the audience.

Just after I moved to the U.S., I lost my way in Center City Philadelphia. All the streets and stores looked similar. Trying to find a subway station, I ran around the blocks, but I was afraid that I would not be able to find it in unfamiliar surroundings.

"Yo, girl, what's up?" Some teenagers with aggressive expressions approached me as I was searching for someone to help me. Terrified that they would hurt me, I stood still, trying my best to appear nonchalant. I started to panic as a girl stepped closer and closer to me. I wanted to run away but felt paralyzed and my stiff legs would not move. So there I was, standing awkwardly and waiting for her next move.

"It ain't your own hair, yours?" At first I could not understand what the girl meant. She reached out to touch my hair and while I should have been afraid, it quickly became apparent that she was just curious about my long and straight hair. Then, she took off her baseball cap and rubbed her short dreadlocks and said that she hated her hair. She also said that she had never spoken to an Asian girl. I told her that I had never spoken to an African-American girl and that I hated my straight flat hair as well! Oddly enough, at that moment, I felt a connection with this stranger.

I told her that I was lost, and as she walked me to a subway station, we started to talk about how different our lives were, about clothes, music, families, even our schools. Contrary to my initial impression, *** was a cheerful teenage girl just like me. I even felt a sense of closeness when we found common ground: she and I both live with a single mom and a younger brother.

"School ain't gonna help me; I don't even need it. I wanna get a job, that's all. We're so darn poor." Her only hope, she said, was to earn money so that her alcoholic mother would not fight with her boyfriend over financial issues. When I told her that I loved to play the violin for children, *** simply replied, "We don't even have a music class at school."

When the subway came, our conversation ended. However, I realized that even though I also was from a low-income family, I was fortunate enough to attend a good school in a suburb. Therefore, I had more opportunities than students like *** who attended poor, inner-city schools. The disparities in our circumstances were shocking. I looked introspectively at my own position, situated between well-off students at my high school and those elsewhere who were not only poor but had fewer opportunities than I. I felt grateful for the learning opportunities I had experienced.

Moreover, this chance meeting with *** made me empathize with individuals whose socioeconomic status limits their access to educational opportunities. It inspired me to make a difference in the lives of students who have been deprived of a quality education. I ended my speech with a promise to use the opportunity given to me by the scholarship to be an advocate for marginalized children. Recounting this story during the acceptance speech confirmed my dream.

___________

weak ending... right?
Any suggestions??
AnnieKim611 3 / 12 1  
Dec 26, 2013   #2
I actually really like this essay. The ending could be stronger by making it a little more nuanced

"Moreover, this chance meeting with *** made me empathize with individuals whose socioeconomic status limits their access to educational opportunities. It inspired me to make a difference in the lives of students who have been deprived of a quality education"

-get straight to the point here

If i were to rewrite this maybe it would go like:
"Meeting with ***** instilled in me a shared sense of empathy of individuals whose socioeconomic status limits their access to educational opportunities. I had been lucky enough to have education as my escape but, more importantly, had the hindsight to realize my dream to help those who haven't been so fortunate."

idk something like this... Leave out the word "Inspired"- Your story illustrates how this inspired you, i dont think you need to repeat yourself, rather pinpoint the reasons and leave the reader knowing that this is what inspires you? sorry if this is confusing.

Comment back on mine :)
OP 1365violin 4 / 12 2  
Dec 26, 2013   #3
Thank you for the kind reply! I'm glad you like the essay.

Some people who read this essay were a bit confused... they were confused why I was lost for so long... ..you know...

Anyway, thanks for the feedback!!!
SilverKnight 15 / 55 4  
Dec 26, 2013   #4
Okay, I would like to start by saying I really liked your essay. You did a good job of showing what you got out of the experience and how it changed your way of thinking. As for your ending, it seems to be full of politically correct terms that only take away from the genuiness that the rest of your essay possessed. If you can find a way to put a solid clincher that goes along the lines of "my chance meeting with *** filled me with the determination to bring a quality education to kids like her, who were deprived of such an opportunity because of their lowly socioeconomical situation." Of course, that's just a suggestion.

I hope I was of assistance.
OP 1365violin 4 / 12 2  
Dec 27, 2013   #5
Thank you! I am glad you liked the essay...
I will try to tweak the ending a little bit!

By the way, Silverknight, I am having a trouble understanding what you meant by, " As for your ending, it seems to be full of politically correct terms that only take away from the genuiness that the rest of your essay possessed."... sorry, could you explain this one more time??


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