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Exodus to epiphany - Common App Essay!

Dec 3, 2012   #1
Hi guys,
I am not a great writer, so I have problems with coming up with good ideas, forming good phrases and maintaining flow.
I'm not done with the essay.
I need to elaborate on the conclusion.
Please could you guys help me by
1) Commenting on the overall focus of the essay
2) saying whether I revealed who I am and how i think like

While attending a history class lecture two years ago, I came across a photograph of an old man who had been shot on the battlefield. In the photo, he was captured in mid-fall with a rifle in his right hand. A few months later, I saw this image again, but in reality.

A man standing next to me collapsed as gunshots echoed through the parking lot. He was pale and his facial expression was tense while his arms and legs drooped down lifelessly as if he could not withstand gravity's pull. Screaming and crying, people ran to him as they pointed accusing fingers at the militant who had shot him. Some tried to retaliate against the gunman but failed, as other Gaddafi's soldiers bashed the bruised faces of the assailants with metal batons. Feeling threatened, my parents pulled me into the small airport building.

Inside, thousands of Egyptian migrant workers sat in uncomfortable positions wearing little more than their gray, unwashed wool blankets and dusty clothes as they waited for a plane to take them back home. To buy the ticket for their savior aircraft, they shared leftover water in bins and gave up food. In such a plight, the workers waited for more than two weeks to escape from the bloody wind of Arab Spring.

Ironically, instead of sending an aircraft to save its people, the Egyptian government lent a plane to the Korean government in exchange for money. A public servant, my father taught me that governments strive to protect their citizens. However, the workers, who are legitimate citizens of Egypt, were completely ignored, even betrayed by their government. If the government is the first one to abandon the less fortunate people, who can they rely on?

When I was walking to the gate for boarding procedure, I stopped and looked back at the Egyptians. Some were unconscious due to dehydration, some were praying to Allah, and some merely stared at me and other Koreans who were evacuating. Seeing the eyes of the workers, I could not take another step. I felt that I could have been the one in that abject situation, with all hopes crushed by the most trusted entity.

Pushed by the stampede of other Koreans trying to get on the plane, I boarded, and soon the plane departed for Cairo, Egypt. I believe that I owe the 20,000 Egyptians I saw that day, if only for the fact that I was able to fly to their homeland in comfort while they could not. Thus, I promised myself to establish an organization of my own to aid the ones whom the government fails to reach.

Before, I wanted a higher level of education just because of the perks it would bring. However, this eye-opening experience and my goal of life gave me a reason, the true motivation, for me to pursue an advanced level of education.
Salikron 5 / 21 1  
Dec 3, 2012   #2
Hi, guy ^^
I am not an excellent writer too, but I think that your essay is very good.
I learned a lots from your excellent ideas and I also enjoyed reading your writing. ^_^
Didgeridoo - / 306 191  
Dec 6, 2012   #3
1. I love this so far! I think it's very focused and a powerful story, although some background as to why you were in Egypt (?) and an overview of why this conflict was happening would be nice.

2. What I got from this essay is that you are very observant and compassionate, as well as possessing a strong sense of what is right and wrong. I don't know what your specific prompt was (Just Topic of Your Choice?), but you did a good job of presenting your career plans to your compassion for others.
sarthakjain 19 / 58  
Dec 15, 2012   #4
you mostly describe the situation and less of the impact. though I get a good picture of what you witnessed, but only a little about your personality. Also , try to improve

upon your ending, making it more personal and eye-catching. also I like the line :

I believe that I owe the 20,000 Egyptians I saw that day, if only for the fact that I was able to fly to their homeland in comfort while they could not.
Dec 15, 2012   #5
sarthakjain, thanks for your help. I will make changes.
Dec 16, 2012   #6
Hey guys, could you give me some feedback please?

1) did I focus more on the impact and what I"ve learned rather than the story itself?
2) did I present who I am?
3) other comments?
college134nj - / 44 7  
Dec 16, 2012   #7
You know, this feels so much more suspenseful. so real, like it;s really happening, IMO. it makes me feel sympathetic and sad for the egyptians... and its really detailed. very good.

the reason i believe the other one was better was because this seems too cheesy... "now know the true meaning behind helping" is really, really cliche/cheesy. not original. doesnt sound real, even if it is... I would go with the previous one that i mentioned... i like that so much better since it's descriptive. i think you will bring out emotion in the reader in the draft i quoted, IMO.

hope this helps.
Dec 16, 2012   #8
Hi college134nj,

I agree that the previous one is much more vivid.
However, one thing another member mentioned, which I really agree with, is that the essay you like is focused too much on the story.
If Common APplication was not limited to 500 words, I woudl elaborate further with that essay.

Perhaps, if I could alter the cheesy part as you mentioned, the new essay might be better.
college134nj - / 44 7  
Dec 16, 2012   #9
right... and try to incorporate some stuff from the prev essay maybe?
donquixote - / 2  
Dec 17, 2012   #11

In paragraph 2, at the end of line 1, with "dusted[/b] clothes" there is a problem with the adjective used.

[b]To dust
means to sprinkle with a fine powdery substance, like you dust farmlands with chemical (insecticides) so it is correct to say dusted farmlands or police dusted the crime scene for fingerprints.

Conversely, we can also have dusted off doormats which means doormats from which dust has been removed by brushing or shaking etc.

So what is the correct adjective here... In all likelihood, what you really intended to write was "dusty clothes" which mean clothes with dust on them.

Hope that helps a little bit!
Dec 19, 2012   #12
Hey, thanks but that's an old version.
Any comments people?
potterygenius94 2 / 5 1  
Dec 19, 2012   #13
I think you need to identify how it specifically impacted you earlier in the essay. You seem to wait till the end. The leadup/description is good, but maybe you should identify the relevance first.
sarthakjain 19 / 58  
Dec 21, 2012   #14
i think the content is really good, but i have reservations regarding the Neo part, maybe the AO haven't seen the matrix and couldn't relate to your reference.
weeyizhi /  
Dec 21, 2012   #15
"Our desperateness for the flight grew as the number of gunshots increased every hour." Instead of desperateness, you should focus on the people. Try "We got more and more desperate as the number of gunshots increased; all we wanted was to escape.

"I sometimes think of Neo from Matrix. He had a choice between taking the blue pill and taking the red pill. He chose blue. Same for me, I had a choice between ignoring what I saw and living towards changing what I saw. And I am sure, as much as Neo, that I took the correct pill."

Well, as a person that never watched the movie, I don't really understand what you're trying to say about the blue and red pills. Consider rewriting these sentences.

I think the idea of your essay stands out from the typical essays around. You explain how you changed from your experience and did a good job. Contents are good.

All the best with your application =D
Dec 21, 2012   #16
Thank you guys! I threw away the ending anyways :P My friend said if the AO has never watched the matrix, it would count against me.

I will make the corresponding changes.
@sarthakjain - Remember how you said my previous essay was too focused on the event? Is this one focused on me?
sarthakjain 19 / 58  
Dec 22, 2012   #17
Some grammatical in the ending. Otherwise, the essay is clearly more focused on you now . Good Job.

there were much more people in need of help like the Egyptians in the airport

many, not much

when there were still lots of Egyptians unable to get my help

when a lot of Egyptians were unable to get my hep

my parts of my time

parts of my life

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