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"Dad, I really want to get into the IB program" - Princeton Supplement Essay


greenglaze 1 / 2  
Dec 25, 2009   #1
Hi,

Could someone please look over my essay. I know there's a lot of mistakes because I wrote it up really quickly. This is the essay question:

Option 3 - Using the quotation below as a jumping off point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world:

''Some questions cannot be answered./ They become familiar weights in the hand,/ Round stones pulled from the pocket, unyielding and cool.''
- Jane Hirshfield, poet, Princeton Class of 1973

My essay:

Every time I was confronted with the question, "What has IB done for me in life?", it seemed as though I had hit a roadblock that I could not budge from my thoughts. Up till a few months ago I had been ambivalent of my opinion on the International Baccalaureate program. Whenever someone would ask me, "Joe, what do you think of the IB program?", I would repeat what I had prepared in my mind for the occasion, "It's been a good experience". This was merely a phrase to pass-by the question because I had not formulated any solid opinions or any substance on which I could respond honestly. Now I have come to realize what IB has really done for me in life, it has unquestionably shaped my values.

In grade eight I said to my dad, "Dad, I really want to get into the IB program". Little did I know that upon entering grade nine my expectations would dwindle as I would struggle to achieve the grades for which I had such high hopes. I was obsessed with obtaining good grades and my entire life would revolve around improving them. When some tests or assignments did not turn out as expected I became mortified. I could not think of anything else other than mulling over my assignments. I realize only now that this was a reverse and unbalanced lifestyle. To overcome my pessimism I started joining clubs and sports to achieve that balance with my academics; the grades that I would receive on my assignments were no longer life-guiding forces instead they were performance indicators and I could view them from a lighter perspective, one that did not lead me to assuage my efforts but nourished proactive thinking.

If it were not for the rigorous marking system and high expectations set in place by the IB program and my teachers I would not have been able to awake from this dormancy where I could not realize life outside of my school. My values have shifted from being solely academic to widely encompassing - from my family and friends to my extra-curricular activities and religion. This stone was one of few that I encountered in my high school career. It was a question that remained unyielding and cool in my pocket for quite a while. However, as I matured in my thinking over time I realized how to confront this question and eliminate the dissuading thoughts that it brought about. I feel that I have to disagree with Ms. Jane Hirschfield because this stone "yielded" and I was able to overcome it.

I still can't think of how to rephrase that last sentence. I know it sounds kind of weird but I'm stuck. Can you suggest and alternative.

shinhwab 3 / 8  
Dec 25, 2009   #2
In grade 8

change all the numbers to words,
like you can change that to when i was in eighth grade,

I thought that the program would offer

delete I thought
OP greenglaze 1 / 2  
Dec 25, 2009   #3
alright, i'll change that. but, is there anything else I could improve? please let me know.

thanks
pmurray62 8 / 26  
Dec 25, 2009   #4
I don't quite understand how a stone can "yield"... perhaps this is not very pertinent to the subject matter of your essay, but I think you could find a way to rephrase that last part.
leslery 3 / 8  
Dec 25, 2009   #5
Every time I brought up the question It seems like you didn't bring up the question, other people asked to the question and you answered, so it is a little confusing

To overcome the pessimistic Perhaps you can say: To overcome my pessimism

When some tests or assignments did not turn out as expected it seemed as though a bombshell had dropped on my efforts Bombshell is highly cliched, you can use: I felt mortified

one that did not blame my efforts Grades cannot blame anything so maybe you can say: one that did not measure my effort

My values have shifted from being solely academic to wider encompassing - from my family and friends to my extra-curricular activities and religion. You can change wider encompassing to widely encompassing then list the family etc.

I think the idea is good, but you need to make it flow more.

Please check out my essay as well!
OP greenglaze 1 / 2  
Dec 25, 2009   #6
yeah, i wasn't very confident about that last part either. i'll try and change that. i'll definitely check out your essay. any ideas on how to make it flow better, though?


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