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Common APP : Self Reflection Essay - God's plan for me

Jayalli 1 / -  
Oct 7, 2018   #1

"You did not choose me, but I chose you...."

Close your eyes and try to spell my name. You can't, can you? Don't worry about it for the first eight years of my life I couldn't spell my name either. But this isn't a spelling contest so we aren't going to talk about the spelling of my name we are going to talk about how that mishmash of letters defines me.

My name is Jesutofunmi Jason Alli III (Just kidding I am one of a kind). Before even diving into the actual meaning of the name just look at it. It's pretty grand, right? Imagine if that name was an older sibling who was perfect at everything and was just an amazing child. Then imagine you are the young sibling of that amazing person. That how I felt for a majority of my life. I felt like my name wasnt my own I felt like it was just too impressive for me. My name alone brought on so many expectations from my parents, to my relatives, to Uncles and Aunts at church. And some of those expectations just weren't me and I knew I was never going to measure up to them and if I did I by some stroke of luck I did would be miserable.

So I did what most people do when overzealous expectations are placed on them. I did nothing. I lived my life in fear. I went to school played soccer and that was it. I shied away from any other interest in fear that it would disappoint those close to me. And I did that for a long time, A really long time. But it all changed around junior year.

Junior year was when I really began to seek God's face. Despite sounding like a cliche that's what I did. I was tired of holding onto the expectations of others in my heart and I wanted to know what the real plan for my life was. So, I got to reading. I began to read the bible stories that I knew from growing up in the church. Then, I transitioned to the all-knowing proverbs and its endless wisdom, but its morally centered axioms were not applicable to my life. I was reading all the time (my Bible streak was even over 100), but I wasn't seeing any changes in the physical world. I was not feeling any better, I was not feeling any relief, and I was not changing. I was still the same boy who was crumbling under the weight of everyone's expectations of him. So I stopped. I went back to my old routine of hiding in my shell hiding from the thoughts and opinions of other people, hiding from their judgments and disappointments.

But then one day, I was just scrolling through bible verses, for fun, just to look busy. And then I found one that had my answers wrapped around the nine words. John 15:16 "You did not choose me, but I chose you...." that was all I needed to reevaluate my life. That's all I needed to realize how absolutely stupid I was. My name literally means "Jesus is sufficient for you". I was spending my whole life thinking that my own efforts would never be enough for my Aunt's, or my relatives or my own parents, but little did I know that it didn't have to be. They didn't give me my name, God did, therefore, I belonged to him and the only person I need to impress was him and what better way to do that then by being who he created me to be. So form that they I started living my name I started reading the books that interested me, I started participating in the things that interested me, and I started being the me that I wanted to be.

So here I am writing this to you because the me that I God created wants to go to college, and I'm from rich but I will not let those limitations stop me from reaching that goal that fulfills me.

czhang 1 / 1  
Oct 7, 2018   #2
The parenthetical text is confusing. I would drop the first one since your name is unique already and the joke was hard to understand through text. I also don't know what bible streaks are, but if they are consecutive days that you have read the bible, I would state it like that directly in the the text.

I started being the me person that I wanted to be.
Confused about the last sentence. I'm from rich?

Also focus more on the epiphany and how you grew. Over half of the essay is about the past you and this is a self reflection!
Holt - / 7,529 2001  
Oct 8, 2018   #3
Jesutofonmi, when I read a highly religious response to a given prompt, even for an open topic one, I ask the student to evaluate his response based on one question alone. Are you applying for acceptance to a Christian university? If the university you are applying to is non-sectarian, then giving such a religious backed response may not do your application well. A non-sectarian university will not look kindly upon a student who may end up triggering his classmates because he may directly or indirectly proselytize within the student community. I am not saying that talking about a religious awakening is bad for your application, I am saying that you should choose the university that you will use this essay in. Not everyone is religious and some could be offended by your essay through one form or another.

Basically, what you need to do with this essay is come up with 2 versions. The first version, will be this essay, the highly religious version and the other, will be a toned down version. For the toned down version, after you make the Jesus connection with your name, you should end the religious reference there. Use a self reflection based on self awareness instead and remove any and all references to bible quotes or epiphanies. Just do a straightforward presentation based on a logical discussion of your life and where it is at this point. That way, you do not offend anyone who may not be highly religious. Use the appropriate essay version for each type of school. That way your essay can be considered on its merits rather than focusing on a religious aspect when it is not necessary to do so.

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