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Educational interest - psychology, future goals and plans (U of Minnesota)


dreamer 3 / 18  
Feb 26, 2012   #1
Hi!

This essay is for my application to the University of Minnesota. (Deadline March 1st)
Please do give me honest feedback on the content, grammar, writing style and anything you find worth commenting about. I appreciate all the feedback. I've contemplated long and hard before posting my essay here.. so please go easy on me!

Thank you for reading this! I will most certainly return the favor if you want me to! :)

This is the essay question: In English, describe your educational interests and goals and what your plans are for when you return to your home country. Please include an explanation of why you would like to study the major you have selected.

This is my essay:

"One more time...," and she pieced through my skin with a fine needle, leaving my face throbbing in protest. A tear almost escaped my eye, but I clumsily pressed my eye lids shut in time to stop them from rolling. I was there by choice. I was at a skin care treatment center. And the lady hovering over me was working on my face, attempting to clear my clogged pores.

It was another try at treating my acne, when actually my problems were beyond skin deep. The physical discomfort I endured through those fruitless treatment sessions, were nothing compared to the mental agony I felt when I was in the presence of others, or worse, when I was left alone with my own negative thoughts. However, the inner discovery that eventually ensued was well worth the pain.

Battling a debilitating low self-esteem, I incessantly observed and analyzed myself in relation to others. And thanks to my introverted nature, I was so focused on my own inner realm, which further separated me from the outside world of human engagement and expectations. Perhaps this detachment was exactly what I needed, as I was unknowingly unraveling my own passions for the study of the human mind and behaviors. I discovered psychology. *As I was motivated to understand myself, I was thereby inspired to study the human psyche.

To me, a career is a way to contribute. I want to give the gift of psychology to people; to help them understand themselves and others, in the same way psychology has done for me. I want to use psychology as a means to help people think, feel and act in ways that can best benefit them. Having taken several psychology and research-oriented courses in college has further deepened my interest and solidified my aim to major in psychology. So I plan to use the rest of my undergraduate years to learn and thoroughly explore the boundless field of psychology. The broad based focus at University of Minnesota; from cognitive and brain sciences to psychometrics and quantitative methods, will give me strong foundation in psychology. I also aim to partake in the Honors program as I understand it to be a rigorous training ground with challenging courses and personalized attention to guide me through my major. Beyond the classes and coursework, I wish to participate in undergraduate research offered by the university. It would not only give me the much needed research experience by working one on one with a professor, but also the opportunity to publish a paper in the university's own undergraduate journal of psychology, the Sentience. These steps are important to me because it will allow me to find my niche, my own place in this field, that I hope to eventually specialize in at the graduate level.

Coming from Malaysia, there is a clear stigma associated with psychology in the mindset of the people here. A psychologist is equated to treating mental illnesses and not much else, and psychology itself is a relatively recent field. Lacking a governing and licensing body, my country has a long way to go in establishing psychology as a professional career. In propelling a change, I intend to lead by practice. I plan to not just return to my home country to serve as a psychologist, but also as an advocate for the use and appreciation of psychological knowledge in everyday life.

I have come far from the days when I was at the mercy of my skin. I even went on to see dermatologists to receive professional help. They treated what they saw, but what I needed to see was the person inside, who had dreams and aspirations that far surpassed what meets the eye. I'm glad I looked within, because I now look at the world around me through a lens of unparalleled compassion and empathy; as well as a deep-seated appreciation for the human spirit and all that it is capable of.

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The part parked ** - not sure about the sentence. It sounds awkward there, so I might remove it. But it sort of acts as a thesis statement. I'm not sure...

Thank you for reading!! :)

Jennyflower81 - / 690 96  
Feb 26, 2012   #2
Hi :) Your paper looks great! You have a very strong life plan, and you explain your goals and interests very well. I can choose a few things that need adjusting or changes you may want to make:

she pierced through my skin

And thanks to my introverted nature, I was so focused on my own inner realm, which further separated me from the outside world of human engagement and expectations.

This sentence is a bit "wordy" but I do like what you are saying here- esp. the "inner realm"

Perhaps this detachment was exactly what I needed, as I was unknowinglyunravelingdiscovering my ownpassion for the study of the human mind and behavior .

** I like the "psyche" sentence, it sounds good, and well-placed.

To me, a career is a way to contribute.
I would add to this sentence-- a way to contribute to... (the neighborhood, the general public, your family)

It would not only give me the much needednecessary research experience byof working one on one with a professor, but also the opportunity to publish a paper in the university's own undergraduate journal of psychology, the Sentience.
uagwuncha 2 / 5  
Feb 26, 2012   #3
I love this piece! Adding the personal touches is especially insightful and defff work greatly in your favor in displaying your calling to psychology. Its clear from the beginning with the story about getting skin treatments (awesome intro by the way) to the end where it seems your coming to terms with your imperfections that this is something you want to do. I sincerely can't think of much to say other than perhaps go into more about what attracts you to the psychology program at University of Minnesota? Maybe the type of psychologist you want to be and your eventual goals? Otherwise great job!

Thanks for your feedback by the way :)
All the best!


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