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CommonApp Short Answer - Orphanage


Hello! Could you please have a look at my CommonApp Short Answer? The exact prompt is:

In the space provided below, please elaborate on one of your activities (extracurricular, personal activities, or work experience)(150 words or fewer)

They never cry. The realization hit me as I sang one of the younger babies to sleep. It was my first time helping at the orphanage and disabled people's asylum, and I was not sure what to expect. Loudness or violence? Maybe. But not the calm silence that prevailed everywhere, even in the babies' ward.

The reason? "Crying never got them anything, so they gave up", said a busy nurse. Instead, the babies, children, adults and elderly alike showed their hunger for warmth and affection in their grateful eyes and I felt guilty that I held them only to let go again, too soon.

No, I can't single-handedly bring about world peace or end starvation. But I can reach out into someone else's darkness and bring a little light, share a human connection. Connections are, after all, how we define our identity and meaning in life. We are not made to cry alone.

Thank You!

This is powerful, perhaps the single most effective short essay of any kind I've ever read. I really cannot think of any ways to improve this essay. The only fault of any kind I can find is that the phrase 'disabled people's asylum' is a touch awkward. Perhaps: 'asylum for the disabled'.

I would really consider it a privilege if you would give me some feedback on my CommonApp essay, and my CommonApp Short Answer:
I agree RDHFinney. This is an incredibly moving short answer. A small suggestion, if there is any way to add that this wasn't a one time event. The college might like seeing that you stuck with this, even though they might be able to read that in your extra curricular section on the common app. They also like to see leadership, if there is any way to point out a specific activity or thing you initiated yourself.

Hope that helped! Check out my essays if you have time please. :)
Dec 30, 2009   #4
Thanks for your suggestions!

The only fault of any kind I can find is that the phrase 'disabled people's asylum' is a touch awkward. Perhaps: 'asylum for the disabled'.

You're right, it is quite awkward and I've changed it now :)

I agree RDHFinney. This is an incredibly moving short answer. A small suggestion, if there is any way to add that this wasn't a one time event. The college might like seeing that you stuck with this, even though they might be able to read that in your extra curricular section on the common app. They also like to see leadership, if there is any way to point out a specific activity or thing you initiated yourself.

Hope that helped! Check out my essays if you have time please. :)

I'd love to add the stuff you suggested but sadly, I'm all out of words (150 w limit) and I don't want to cut anything out :( I have included it in the activities section, so hopefully the adcom(s) should be able to piece it together.

Thanks for your input, I will definitely have a look at your essays!
The reason? "Crying never got them anything, so they gave up", said a busy nurse. Instead, the babies, children, adults and elderly alike showed their hunger for warmth and thirst for (keep the parallelism its good)affection in their grateful eyes. I felt guilty that I held them of holding them only to let go again, too soon.

No, I can't single-handedly bring about world peace or end starvation. But I can reach out into someone else's darkness and bring a about a little light, through sharing a human connection. Connections are, after all, how we define our identity and meaning in life. We are not made to cry alone.

[b]I love it. I love the message at the end but most importantly I can feel the passion. Can you just give a read through my essay and write a short comment of how it is?
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