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Common app essay prompt 5 discussing my interest in Physics


Jan 2, 2019   #1
The full prompt is as follows:

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization


that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.


I really wanted to show my love for physics. I have written the essay the best I can but I just feel like something is missing or it hasn't the extra something. Any feedback, ANYTHING, is hugely appreciated. The essay:

10 hours a day seemed reasonable, 15 hours a day tolerable, but now 18 hours a day - UNACCEPTABLE. Power outage was a part of life here in Nepal, but 18 hours was too much. Watching T.V. became a rare pleasure. My childhood, in an instant, turned into a horror movie set. Nothing to watch, no siblings to talk to, I was miserable. That was when my father started bringing me books to read. I was tentative when he first handed me an illustrated edition of "The Hobbit". Having nothing better to do though, I slouched near the only torchlight that illuminated our room and dived my nose into the book.

What started out as a way to squander time during power outage turned into a passion very quickly. Books became my friends - portals to new worlds. The magic in Harry Potter, the mysterious world in Redwall, the parallel realm in Caroline and Chronicles of Narnia: compared to these, the real world seemed dreary and bleak. The more works of fiction I read, the more I'd get pulled away from reality. I wanted to be a part of an escapade; I wanted to be thronged by wondrous creatures in surreal places.

My desire of being part of some fantasy came true unbidden. In grade 4, a new chapter grassed its way in my Physics book: Astronomy. I wasn't fascinated by Physics up to that point. It was just another subject; it neither itched my imagination nor curiosity. Then the teacher started discussing about The Milky Way.

Until that point, my universe only consisted of nine planets, the sun, and some stars (though I had no idea what they were). The conception of a heavenly entity besieged with stars and planets was alien to me. Huge spiraling arms consisting of billions of stars and planets (according to my teacher), it was something straight out of a fantasy book. I wanted to know more about these structures. How did they form? What makes it possible for them to stay "up there"? On my next visit to the bookstore, I bought an encyclopedia about space. It profoundly staggered me, and that's an understatement. Apparently, Milky Way was only one of the many billions of galaxies in the universe. White Dwarfs, Pulsars, Binary Stars: my tiny universe exploded in size overnight. I discovered that Physics is the alphabet through which the universe was written. Those superficially pointless formulas and laws were mirrors to capture the essence of the universe.

Physics was not obsolete. Even I could contribute to this vast trove of knowledge. Like Frodo, I now had a tangible adventure to embark on, an adventure to solve the questions in Physics that plague us. Time dilation, action at a spooky distance, big bang, Schrödinger's cat, Heisenberg uncertainty principle: my world suddenly transmuted into something stranger than fiction. The mere act of converting the flow of water into electricity was magic at the highest level. Even the meaningless twinkling of stars started evoking wonder and fascination in me. From the evil black holes to the bright quasar, the night sky transformed itself into a treasure map inundated with lustrous treasure troves. The grueling nights I spent learning about the method of making a telescope, the frustration I felt when I couldn't grasp relativity and Maxwell's wave function, the lunch money I saved to buy "Lectures on Physics" by Richard Feynman, I don't rue them at all. I don't regret the sleepless nights I spent trying to figure out a way to make a time machine nor do I regret the summer holidays I wasted trying to make my own dynamo. "How?" and "Why?" always kept on fueling me.

I, a mere composite of stardust, now want to pore over the thickest "fantasy" book in existence. The book of Universe, the book of the true nature of things, the book to rule them all.

Holt - / 7,530 2001  
Jan 4, 2019   #2
John, the topic you have chosen to discuss is very good. However, it does not fit the prompt requirement. You need to speak of an event, accomplishment, or realization that takes place in an instant. Not over such a long period of time. Most specially, you are to discuss a new understanding of yourself in relation to your dealing with other people or a new understanding of people around you based upon a "maturing" event in your life. This is not an essay that should lengthily discuss the development of your interest in Physics. This is not a personal statement. The topic you have chosen to discuss showcases the development of that interest, rather than a period of personal growth and / or understanding of others. The prompt you have chosen requires you to show a change in your mindset, treatment of others, or an understanding of something that used to be alien or confusing to you. Therefore, I do not believe that you have chosen the correct prompt to discuss with this topic. If you would like to use this essay, then go with the open prompt topic instead. That way you won't have to change the essay as it suits the "personal statement" nature of that prompt. I hope to consider my suggestion.
OP Richardfeynmanfa 1 / 1  
Jan 4, 2019   #3
Thank you so much for your feedback. Apart from mismatched prompt, is my essay as a whole good? Does it help show my interest in Physics?


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