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Undergraduate   Posts: 4

Common App Essay on movie spoilers (Prompt #7)

omnibutt 1 / 1  
Oct 30, 2018   #1
Hi! This is pretty last minute, but I was wondering if anyone could take a look at my essay and give me any edits. Thanks!

Prompt: Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

to live a spoiler-free life

Movie spoilers. When presented, people look away with a groan and a face filled with rage and disgust. They're deplorable, unwanted, and the bane of all moviegoers' existence. Like most people, I desperately fend off spoilers in an attempt to keep the treasure of the surprise ending protected. I don't only try to avoid Twitter spoilers, movie articles, or conversations about movies, I also avoid their trailers.

This idea was introduced to me in my favorite podcast, Hello Internet. In this podcast, Youtube content creators C.G.P. Grey and Brady Haran discuss a plethora of topics that range from technology etiquette to vexillology, the study of flags. During a discussion about an upcoming Star Wars movie, C.G.P. Grey refused to watch the trailer. He reasons that all movie trailers reveal small but significant snippets of the storyline without the full context of the rest of the film, resulting in premature bias. In trailers, the best jokes, the most breathtaking scenes, and the most spine-tingling scenes are displayed. When trailers reveal the best segments of movies without their full context, how can anyone intimately enjoy the movie when watched in totality? The best way to watch a movie is cold, with absolutely no prior knowledge about the film, allowing the events of the story to reveal themselves in the way the director wanted.

With his approach in mind, I stopped watching all movies trailers and started going into movies cold. I let movies such as Fences, Seven Samurai, Moonlight, and Inglourious Basterds unfold themselves as the artistic masterpieces that Washington, Kurosawa, Jenkins, and Tarantino intended. For example, by going into Inglourious Basterds cold, I could feel the overwhelming tension from the battle between SS officer Hans, who was looking for jews, and the farmer, LaPadite, who was hiding them. It kept me fearful and guessing the next scene. If I had watched the trailer, I would've seen Nazi soldiers raiding the house and a subsequent scene of a tearful bloodstained Jewish girl fleeing the scene, unveiling the victor and eliminating the tension from the scene.

As I watched these movies I realized that this principle could be applied to many more mediums of art. I began to listen to music starting from the first track of the album instead of jumping to the few hit songs. My appreciation for the flow and storytelling of my favorite albums increased as I listened to Kendrick Lamar's 'Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and Public Service Broadcasting's The Race for Space starting from track 1. I stopped listening to podcasts such asThis American Life and99% Invisible at 2x speed in order to notice and appreciate every single pause of silence and the exact pacing the podcast creators intended.

Now, as I'm approaching adulthood, I further realize that I want to live a spoiler-free life, devoid of preconceived opinions, including my own. I want to see what life and the world truly are with an open mind. When I begin my journey into college I will meet new people, experience new ideas, and encounter a world of possibilities. When my ideas are challenged by a professor, a student, a colleague, or anyone else, an open mind will allow me to free myself from my own ideas and to consider new ones. When new frightening opportunities present themselves, such as a chance to study abroad, or an opportunity to help a desperate community, an open mind will allow me to see those possibilities and take them. Above all else, by having an open mind, I'll be able to appreciate the nuances of life and allow the story of my life to unfold on its own. If anyone were to offer me any advice on life, I would say, "Please, no spoilers."

Word Count: 633
nyangi - / 2 1  
Oct 30, 2018   #2
"... the most breathtaking scenes, and the most spine-tingling scenes ..." - it's repetitive to use "scenes" twice here.

I would suggest rearranging this sentence to eliminate the passive voice - something like "Trailers display the best jokes..." There are also other places where you repeat a word multiple times in the space of one or two sentences, like at the start of the third paragraph.

Content-wise, I think it's pretty good! I'm just wondering about your conclusion, though. If you refuse life advice from someone for fear of "spoilers," isn't that contradicting your message of open-mindedness?
OP omnibutt 1 / 1  
Oct 30, 2018   #3
Thanks for editing my essay! Do you think it would be better to write "If anyone were to warn me about the imminent difficulties of life, I would say, "Please, no spoilers." instead?

Yeah that sounds good! It gives you a very "come what may" vibe, which is sort of hinted at throughout your essay.
Holt [Contributor] - / 7,660 1998  
Oct 31, 2018   #4
Kevin, you may want to balance the discussion with a representation of who you were before you decided to live a spoiler free life. What sort of mindset did you have? What is the difference between the person who watched the movie trailers and the person who skipped the trailers and went to see the movie cold turkey? Try to balance the essay between the two personalities that are clearly indicated in the essay. Don't leave your previous identity under developed. The reviewer wants to get to know that person too. Who you were before is just as important as the person you have become today because of your spoiler free life. Try to edit the beginning of your essay to introduce that aspect because it will help the reviewer understand the intricacies of your personality and how you have evolved from Person A to Person B. It will help make this essay more informative and interesting to read.

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