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'determination and perseverance' - critique my Michigan State essay

TFleet13 2 / 3  
Oct 18, 2012   #1
Michigan State University recognizes that an assortment of interests, viewpoints, and life experiences are important in student learning and enhance the university community. Describe an experience, passion, or characteristic that illustrates what you would contribute to the MSU community and how this will add to the overall richness of campus life.

If my friends and family were asked how to describe me, they would most likely point out my determination and positive work ethic in the classroom and on the field. There has been one vivid experience in my high school career that has not only tested my determination and work ethic, but also my morale. In my sophomore year, I was diagnosed with a severe case of mononucleosis. This disease caused me to miss school very often throughout the entire year and really hindered my normally positive work ethic and determination. Mono made me miss many of my assignments and I even risked the possibility of failing several classes. Some would give up when faced with this kind of adversity, but I remained adamant to make the best out of this situation. I frequently got in touch with my teachers via email and had they send me my missed assignments, I also became heavily reliant on my peers to help me with my missed work. Through all this work, I was able to salvage B's and C's on my report card. Although several C's on a report card may not seem like adequate grades to most colleges, I viewed these grades as a moral victory that showcased just how hard I worked to overcome this illness. I believe that I would thrive at Michigan State University because I possess many qualities that are neccessary in becoming a successful student. Michigan State would not only be able to heighten my intellectual ability, but also be able to teach necessary social skills and traits that are essential in today's workforce. With a campus this diverse, I would have the opportunity to befriend and meet people from all corners of the world and work with people who share totally different beliefs and traditions than me. To Michigan State, I will bring with me the belief that hard-work is essential for developing moral character. I plan on having this attitude not only influence others, but also rub off on them too. These traits such as determination and perseverance would not only allow me to contribute to the student body of Michigan State, but also excel as a student.

Please be as harsh as possible if you could!
caseySchooling 5 / 22  
Oct 18, 2012   #2
One thing to definitely change: the opening sentence. It sounds egotistical to assume that everyone you know will say you are determined, even if they would actually say that. On another note, you use the words determination, morale, and hard-work to frequently.

The essay itself is very good, thematically. But it struggles somewhat for diction diversity. If you modify it in these ways, I feel you will have a much stronger essay.
OP TFleet13 2 / 3  
Oct 18, 2012   #3
Please provide any additional details, circumstances, or qualifications not reflected in the application for admission.

Honestly, I feel that my GPA does not reflect my academic success or capability as I have had two events that have affected my grades in a negative fashion. One instance was when I had mononucleosis during my sophomore year. This disease lingered throughout the course of the year and caused me to miss a significant amount of school. I remained determined and showed a great amount of perseverance by e-mailing my teachers and asking them for assignments. I also heavily relied on my friends to get me my work and help me stay on task. The only C's that I have ever gotten in high school came during my sophomore year when I had mono. These C's have negatively impacted both my GPA and class rank, and even though I have been successful throughout high school, I have still not been able to fully repair my GPA and class rank. Although many colleges may frown upon a C on a report card, I saw these C's as a moral victory for me considering the amount of time that I had missed. Another instance of my persistence through adversity was when I broke my dominant hand my junior year and required surgery. I was incapacitated for eight weeks and had extreme difficulty getting my assignments done due to the fact that I was unable to write. and once again my grades suffered. I fought through excruciating pain in order to put in my best effort to prove that I can fight through any obstacle when I put my mind to it. These grades have showcased just how determined I am as a student and how much pride I have in my work. I hope to bring a belief that hard-work is essential for developing a strong moral character that will be able to rub off on my peers as I progress into a young man.
Jazzy13 1 / 2  
Oct 19, 2012   #4
Wow what a pretty good essay. As childish as it may sound, I feel that your essay would be even stronger if you distinguished between paragraphs. Colleges like to see that students can write on a college level an the inclusion of paragraphs is the bare minimum. Even though your essay has a very solid topic and argument per se, basics such as format, grammar, and proper usage of commas, periods etc is still required. Hopefully you don't take this the wrong way.

P.S. Please read my essay!
ljy9152 4 / 12 1  
Nov 11, 2012   #5
There are some minor grammar mistakes, like previous readers have pointed out, but overall you have a very unique essay topic.
I never had mono, so I looked up the symptoms and it sounds very painful!
and I really liked the fact that the Cs in your report card rather encouraged you instead of bringing you down..
Keep up the good work!

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