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When You Didn't Exist (M&Ms and Solipsism) - Common App Essay

pitchfork 2 / 4  
Dec 28, 2011   #1
Okay this is one of three of my common app essays, I'd like to know your HONEST OPINIONS about it. I chose option #6, which was "topic of your choice."

One winter day, thirteen years ago, I had the foolish misfortune of shoving M&Ms up my nose. At the time, my elder sister, already in the second grade, was monopolizing my mother's precious time with her school work. Therefore, I had no one to play with. I must also mention that at this time, I was a profound solipsist. Shattered by outright neglect, I half-heartedly skipped into my parents' bedroom and found an unambiguously open pack of Hershey's M&Ms lying on the dresser. Without much further thought, I grabbed the bag and scooted back into the hallway to reevaluate the accessibility of my playmate sister. But, of course, she was too preoccupied with her crayons, most of which I had already broken while drawing rainbow daffodils and princess castles.

Quietly, yet delightfully, I popped M&M pieces into my mouth, but I desperately wanted my mother's attention. It became harder to entertain myself, especially with this newfound sugar rush from the forbidden fruit I hid in my grubby hands. The piece I remember holding at that moment was a brown M&M. Why did they color the brown M&M's brown, when the chocolate had been brown to begin with? To me, It was perplexing, and so much so to the extent that I mindlessly shoved it up my right nostril instead of placing it in my mouth. Oh, I thought. That feels pretty cool. I pulled out an orange M&M and secured it in my left nostril. I felt like a God - or perhaps a beast, but only one of unfathomable might and strength.

"Mama! Mama!" I began to shout from the hallway. "Mama, I'm a monster!" I began to growl in her general direction. The noxious odor of Crayola no longer wafted in from the room... or perhaps I could no longer smell it? My inadvertent plan had failed to work. It was time to put those rebellious-looking M&M's in my mouth. But that had failed also.

My parents forced me to blow my nose as hard as I could and roar like Simba, but no roar came out. I sounded less like the king of the jungle and more like a child with a pair M&M's beginning the long journey into her lungs. My nostrils were adhered shut with chocolate candy, and they started to sting. I fearfully gazed upon the distressingly modest amounts of brown stains on the tissues I blew my nose into. I was frightened, and felt very much alone.

Straight afterwards, I was driven furiously to the hospital, where the pieces were nowhere to be found because they had already melted during the ride over. In the ER, there were children of many ages, all there in illness, injury, or possibly even chocolate maladies. Hiding under the receptionist's desk, I began to ponder the true reality of the world around me, because there was no way that the M&Ms I had in my nose should have caused such a ruckus if they did not exist.
dasadhikarik 5 / 10  
Dec 28, 2011   #2
Haha! Brilliant. Great diction, though I think you faded a bit throughout the essay.

the foolish misfortune

I'd get rid of the "foolish" if I were you. Admission officers might frown at you starting the essay with a negative reflection--especially when the reflection's pretty funny in itself!

Why did they color the brown M&M's brown, when the chocolate had been brown to begin with?

Can't really understand the role this plays in the essay. It just seems like a disjointed thought.

inadvertent plan

adhered shut

Both of these sound awkward--the descriptions don't go well with their antecedents.

Anyway, your essay's pretty sound grammar-wise and what I've written above's just my two cents for possible improvements.

Like I said before, the diction was great for the childhood memories, but became less appropriate as you moved on to a serious tone.
OP pitchfork 2 / 4  
Dec 28, 2011   #3
Please critique my Common App Essay! "When You Didn't Exist"

Okay, this is my third and so far final attempt at a common app essay. It's also option #6, "topic of your choice." It's about solipsism, please judge the essay, not me!

Solipsists deny the legitimate existence of anything or anyone else but themselves; and I, in all my morality and firm belief in God, was once one of them.

Of my stranger attributes, I have the ability to recollect even the most shaded of memories from wherever they've been stored. In some ways, this helps me analyze the life I've led by being able to relive it. Every conscious thought, every previous state of mind, any image I can bring before me with the same clarity as if it had happened moments ago. I can remember pleasant scenes, like daffodils, swaying indecisively in the early spring breeze. Brighter than Kraft cheese, but probably not as palatable. Every morning or so, I would endeavor with my mother on these long walks throughout my extended neighborhood planted in the middle of D.C. suburbia. I couldn't have been more than three years old, yet I would run far ahead on the concrete path, and stand in wait of my mother, who slowly pushed the stroller carrying my newborn baby brother along the moss-stained sidewalks. I liked to observe. It was my observation of the daffodils outside my neighbor's house that led me into solipsism fourteen years before I would even learn the word for it.

Everything seemed more beautiful in the belief that none of it was real. The clouds, the sky, the daffodils, Pokémon, they were all for me. I felt alone, but empowered. I never realized this at the time, but I can now deduce that the reason for me to lean towards such a majestic idea was simple. In solipsism, I could justify my own loneliness. I could also kick the mushrooms growing at the side of the street curbs into oblivion without feeling guilty about it. Unfortunately, I still had much to learn.

Now seventeen, I am no longer a solipsist. What I tried to fill the void with resulted in stretching the hole. Undoubtedly, I now cannot deny the existence of anything, regardless of whether or not I see it, feel it, taste it, or believe it. I could not live in dire certainty. The beauty of the daffodils was never found in their color or in their dance. They are beautiful because they are. I only wish that I could understand the world around me as easily as I accepted the notion that the world was not real. Some days, I am ashamed to say that I could not be bothered by the meaning of life. I have gone from being a nihilist, to a solipsist, to a pessimist, and possibly to more "ists" than of what I know the meanings of. Now, I am sure that, no matter what the purpose of our being is, I shall not sacrifice my life any further in striving to find it. I believe that it is inevitable that I shall stumble upon it someday, perhaps under the next wild mushroom I decide to kick into oblivion.
teehehe 1 / 5  
Dec 28, 2011   #4
Sophisticated and well organized. I would suggest explain more of the "sacrifice my life any further in striving to find it" part, such as: are you going to work hard or become a doctor? Show a bit of aspiration to lighten this up!

Also, in your third paragraph, describe some of the "things to learn". Make the essay a bit more specific so the colleges get to know you! :)
postscript94 5 / 14  
Dec 28, 2011   #5
your topic is unique and your essay is very well written
I just think you should talk more about what caused you to change your ideas the change is somewhat abrupt and I think its really important that you show the transition

good luck!

I would really appreciate it if you could look at my common app essay as well!
Razvan231 - / 4  
Dec 28, 2011   #6
Your choice of topic will definitively stand out, so good job! My only suggestion is to modify your transition sentences in order to improve the flow of the essay.

BTW, thanks for reading my essay and good luck
cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 28, 2011   #7
This is a great essay :) If you wanted you could add something about your solipsist life in interaction with others outside...like your family/friends/school? This is mostly internal events, and it is really meaningful and interesting, but if you wanted to add some variety and let readers see the outside perspective as well, it could add a lot!

But great overall:)

If you could read mine I'd apprecaite it too:))
bll2012 1 / 3  
Dec 28, 2011   #8
Of my stranger attributes, I have the ability to recollect even the most shaded of memories from wherever they've been stored. In some ways, this helps me analyze the life I've led (idk if this is the best idea but i think maybe adding in "the life I've led thus far by being bale to relive it.") by being able to relive it.

Every conscious thought, every previous state of mind,( I am not sure, but check the grammar rules for this third comma. I may be wrong) any image I can bring before me with the same clarity as if it had happened moments ago.

I may be wrong and if I am sorry.:/

Anyways your essay is phenomenal! The topic is very unique and the writing is very strong! GOOD LUCK! your a wonderful writer!

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