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Why Columbia - "Research + Civic Engagement"

DMA17 8 / 31  
Dec 23, 2011   #1
Hey guys, I'm having a little trouble cutting down my Why Columbia essay from 1590 characters to 1500 characters. Yea I know you're prob saying, "Its only 90 characters over so it shouldn't be so hard" but I can't seem to cut it down. So if you don't mind would you please help me.

Annually, large numbers of intellectuals apply to Columbia University. Applying to Columbia may be aiming high, but I chase the dream, not the competition. Currently, my dream is to see the fruition of a research project I have been designing.

With my future research, I plan to take a genetic approach to aging to determine if certain age-related illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, can be counteracted. More specifically, I intend to develop a method of regulating the genes that cause the expression of certain neurological diseases, which can hopefully lead to the development of a cure. This research concept is currently only an idea that has transformed into a drive, but at Columbia, I find inspiration in Professor Brent Stockwell's work in defining the interconnected signaling networks underlying neurodegeneration. Through his research he has made considerable strides in the field of neurodegeneration, and through the plethora of research opportunities available at Columbia, I hope to someday work with Professor Stockwell.

Although first enticed by the availability of leading researchers, my interest in Columbia has grown. Through further research, I have found Columbia's dedication to producing socially-engaged leaders highly appealing. The last years of high school have given me a unique view on how service enriches the lives of others, while enriching my high school experience in ways the classroom could not. Thus it was imperative to find a school that fosters this, and at Columbia I find programs like the Kenneth Cole Community Engagement Program, truly alluring.

Feel free to comment on it as well, in terms of grammar, idea, flow, etc. I was planning on uploading all my Columbia essay at once but this one has got me frustrated.

Thank you in advance for any help provided and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
djpralex 5 / 10  
Dec 23, 2011   #2
I like how you know exactly what you want to do. The end seems like youre starting a new idea and just ending it there. I don't know what the KCCE program is but if it is extremely relevant to your neuro research than maybe you wanna change the sentence for a more sounding ending. If it's not relevant to your neuro research, I think you have a precise enough reason for why columbia so really just focus on ending your essay about the neurology.
OP DMA17 8 / 31  
Dec 23, 2011   #3
In retrospect, I guess you're right. I knew I was over the limit so I wanted to end the essay quickly.

Also, I decided to add the last paragraph, because I didn't want to seem like a one hit wonder, like all I found interesting about the school was the research. So I talked about my other interest civic engagement. Nevertheless, It does end abruptly.

Do you, or anyone else, have any ideas for ways o improve the last paragraph?
deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 26, 2011   #4
Well, if you still want to keep the second aspect, then you should firstly try to not make it
sound so logical "Thus it was imperative to find a school that fosters this, and at Columbia I find programs like the Kenneth Cole Community Engagement Program, truly alluring." You want to show passion for the school, but this sounds rather formal.

In the first part you are talking about your dream, which is exactly the passion you want to show for civic engagement.
Secondly, you could maybe try combining the two aspects somehow at the end.
Or just throw the civic engagement part away.
You should try out several possibilites and see what works best for you.
OP DMA17 8 / 31  
Dec 26, 2011   #5
Yea, I 86'd the last paragraph, and I'm currently working on a new ending. I'll post it here when I'm finished. Thanks djpralex and deremifri

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