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"More than I expected" - Princeton Summer Essay

daniel44992 13 / 29  
Oct 22, 2011   #1
Any help would be appreciated. I'm 500 characters over the 2500 character limit, so I need some help cutting out. I feel like I should cut from the first paragraph but let me know.

Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held, if not already detailed on the Common Application.

During the summer, I wake up every morning at six o'clock to go run. Every. Single. Morning. If that's not commitment, I do not know what is. This constituted the majority of my summer after 10th grade and I am perfectly fine with that. That summer was one for relaxation and intellectual exploration. In addition to my daily cross-country training, I spent most days reading, researching colleges, or spending time with my friends. The books I read included books on physics all the way to books on the IB reading list. I truly enjoyed reading these books, not only because they were well written but also because of the content of them. It surprised me that I appreciated the IB books because I had heard so many people complain about them. The plot twists of The House of the Spirits absorbed me and the philosophical ideas introduced by Milan Kundera kept me rapt and thoughtful. Michou Kaku's books on the future possible with the expansion of physics and engineering knowledge solidified in me the desire to pursue one of those fields. When I was not reading, I was likely spending time with my friends, going on various "adventures" around town or just simply hanging out in someone's backyard pool. My friends and I became really close that summer, especially those of us on the cross-country team.

This previous summer has been significantly more eventful than the summer after 10th grade year. The first major thing I did was attend Palmetto Boys State, a weeklong leadership and government camp. I only went because my guidance counselor said it looked good for college but it became so much more than that. It was there that I truly found myself and who I am absent of the stereotypes put on me by my peers. It made me a considerably more confident person even though I was not exactly shy before. After Boys State, I had a week back home of running and then I was off to Salkehatchie, which was a mission trip through my church to Pendleton, South Carolina, a small community in the mountains. This was my first year doing it and this had originally been done for reasons that are more selfish as well. Through IB, there are certain service hours that must be fulfilled and I thought this would be a good one but after the week was over, then I realized the true value of community service. My site had built an elderly woman a wheelchair ramp, but this was no ordinary ramp; ours was a three layer, deck and patio ramp. Because of the lay of the land, the ramp had to double back on itself or it would be too steep. Not only did this further encourage my engineering abilities but it also encouraged me to do other service activities, not just to put on a resume, but so that I can actually help someone in need.

This summer was far more rewarding than I had expected. I attended two incredible camps that taught far more about myself than I ever would have expected. I am already signed up for Salkehatchie again next year and cannot wait to help someone else. I continued running this past summer and I landed my first job. The memories from this past summer will last me a lifetime.
ali_alqaisy93 2 / 7  
Oct 23, 2011   #2
Every. Single. Morning. If that's not commitment, I do not know what is

I think that wasn't the proper way of saying your committed, Just say something like 'I was very committed to waking up at six o'clock..' because to be honest I got the impression that you're telling the reader if they don't think that's commitment then they don't know stuff.

and I noticed you kind of repeated the fact that you did not work just for your CV, mentioning it once is good enough I guess?

Hope that helps in bringing the words count down. Good luck!!
yihrenliu 1 / 14  
Oct 23, 2011   #3
Sorry, I'm gonna be brutal, but can you make the intro more interesting and ramble a little less? I feel like you don't really focus on anything, you just give me a sentence of what you did and move on. It's literally a list! The only thing you actually stick to is the wheelchair ramp, and I think you can take out the things about being close with your friends. Honestly, its not normal if friends don't get close over the summer since usually they spend a lot of time together. You reintroduce the theme of running a lot, so I don't know if its intentional that your essay is literally running~~~you seem to be just stating things in a hurry and seriously not going into depth. Maybe you can talk about one major event for each summer. Don't write stuff just because you have nothing to write! since your 11th grade summer was much more eventful, MAYBE, I'm just saying MAYBE, (since I learned "the secret of good writing is good lying" from a friend who got into the top colleges) you can just pretend your church missions trip happened in the summer of your 10th grade. Therefore, technically you can have two major events, and develop them both better. SUmmer of 2010-missions trip, summer of 2011, leadership camp. Honestly I would like to know a little bit more about the leadership ,camp than you wrote about, and this sentence " It was there that I truly found myself and who I am absent of the stereotypes put on me by my peers. It made me a considerably more confident person even though I was not exactly shy before." the first sentence is super duper awkward. The second one doesnt make any sense. either say you changed from being more shy to being confident, or state something else, since youre implying that "i was already kinda confident, but i just become more confident" Thats boring, not interesting, and it makes the reader feel like you don't want to admit being an introvert or something.

Sorry for being so brutal. Hope this helps!

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