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"Find X, the missing element" - University of Chicago Essay

ams1121 3 / 6  
Oct 1, 2010   #1
X is the missing element. The one ingredient not present in the otherwise perfect recipe. Finding "x" has always been the challenge, originating from our very first algebra class. Often we are presented with a rather simple equation that, whether we know it or not, requires the earliest of our math knowledge. In finding "x," we are able to complete the formula and calculate the missing variable. In this manner, life often follows a similar pattern. "X" is a combination of all the things I never did and things I wish to achieve but have yet to; things that if I did, would contribute to the overall perfection of my life. In comparing life to a math problem, we must also consider the obstacles and challenges we are faced with in attempting to find what is missing in our lives. This task requires the conscious application of our past experiences that we have acquired throughout our lives.

Among the many things that I wish I had done is participate in some form of athletics. In today's society, being fit and healthy is incessantly encouraged. It is difficult to escape the infomercials advertising the new work-out machine or the newest and best diet plan. As a high school student surrounded by friends who all take part in everything from football to swimming to rugby I often consider how my life would have been affected had I been a part of one of these highly competitive activities. I have observed that by participating in organized athletics leads to very regimented and organized lives. Given their busy schedules, they are forced to prepare such that they are able to finish all their work in a timely fashion. Additionally, athletes are extremely fit, a characteristic I lack. Had I participated in a sport I feel my life would be healthier and more disciplined. These are both essential traits to possess in order to succeed in life and the lessons learned from this can be applied directly in the future.

Until my final years of my high school career, I didn't realize how much I enjoyed community service. Every year we are forced to complete, at the least, six hours of service. I would often put off my service requirement until the end of the summer, scrambling to get in my hours. Rarely did I get time to enjoy what I did, and fully understand its importance. Finally in junior year, I became heavily involved in High Schoolers for Haiti, an organization that would raise money to help the relief efforts in Haiti. My involvement continued to grow and I became central to setting up and running several charity events. Once I started seeing the hard work turn into results, the satisfaction of helping started to become more enjoyable. I quickly got involved in other service projects including my involvement in Habitat for Humanity in China. Community service is truly a missing element and I hope to incorporate into my life as I grow up. It would indeed bring a sense of satisfaction and would allow me to immerse myself into my own community.

In the future I plan to incorporate travel as much as possible into my life. Until now I have not been given the opportunity to travel the world outside of my homeland, India. Seeing the world is no doubt many people's dreams but subsequent to my experiences in India and China this summer I picture myself traveling all over the world with my friends and family. This would provide me the opportunity to explore different cultures, histories, and peoples. In doing so I would be able to establish stronger relationships with people from those countries and connect with them beyond a superficial level. This is key to becoming more tolerant, which is essential in piecing together our broken society that fosters discrimination and bigotry. This is often a result of misinformed and intolerant individuals. I feel I can discover the world and fulfill the missing "x" through my travels.

All of our lives are a complex recipe, composed of various spices, herbs and secret ingredients. In any good recipe, before it can be completed we must make sure that no ingredient is missing. I believe that until now, the aforementioned "ingredients" are the missing element "x," in my life. To ensure that the recipe include these ingredients I will make an effort to incorporate these variables into my future as much as possible. I believe this will make me a better human being and one with a more holistic view of the world.

Any suggestions...concerns...comments. THANKS!

Ameya Ashish Deshmukh
swimmer400 4 / 10  
Oct 1, 2010   #2

I really enjoyed your introduction and the first paragraph. I think its beautifully written.

However, I have some reservations about the part where you talk about your lack of physical activities. Its good to identify your weakness, but colleges want to see how you have overcome them and I don't see that in this essay.

Six hours of service a year is not a lot. I would not include that information in my essay because it does not seem that impressive.

I would suggest that you write about how you have tried to find the missing elements in your life in order to show growth in regard to sports.

However, I like the part regarding your community service and how your perspective changed.

Keep up the good work.
kayrock - / 1  
Oct 3, 2010   #3
Hey, I'm actually writing off the same prompt! (Note: Ideas and such will not be stolen, at all...I'm just feeding you some opinion.)

You write well. However, I feel like this is lacking in personality and originality. This could be what anybody could write about... Have you written variations or twisted things at all yet?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 5, 2010   #4
I think a good phrase to use in this essay would be to "solve" for x. That would be cool.

I notice that you do not use the word variables until the end. use that word sooner!

Develop the metaphor! You are doing very well; I love this approach, but you should go into that metaphor a little. Some equations have more than one variable. Does your life have more than one?

Some equations require you to know a particular Order of Operations. Does your life have an Order of Operations for you to follow?

I don't want to see you change much about this inspired essay, but do dive into that metaphor.


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