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'the first club day of my high school career' - POMONA high school experience essay


saurabh93 11 / 94  
Jan 2, 2012   #1
What experience in high school has mattered most to you? How do you see this experience influencing your decision-making in college?

It was the first club day of my high school career, and I was eager to find an opportunity to become more involved at school. In middle school, I had neither the peer support nor the ability to relate to people to be able to contribute to the learning environment, and I not only felt, but knew that high school would give me a chance for redemption, and all I had to do now was to take advantage of it.

After spending a seemingly endless lunch break gazing at the towering cardboard posters adorned with masterful illustrations and big block letters, I finally spotted a mass of wires and metal surrounded by upperclassmen with purple t-shirts. In the center was a sign with the single word "Robotics", shaded in dark purple, outlined in golden yellow. The four students then began to describe the time and emotional commitment members were expected to invest in the club, and proudly described the exhilaration of winning the 2008 FIRST championship by pointing to the display of the robot in front of them. At that moment, I decided to give Robotics a try, because of the prospect of winning competitions and the opportunity to interact with others. The lure of victory would require teamwork and effort, and I signed up for Robotics because I knew that I would have the chance to demonstrate my abilities and feel valued by those around me. I barely fathomed the lasting impact my experience in Robotics would have on me and my future plans.

Our team worked three hours daily during the weekdays and even longer on the weekends. I joined the Electrical division where I helped create computer programs for the robot, and worked with four other students. Every day, I struggled to keep up with the rest of my peers, and often had to ask a lot of questions because of the complex nature of programming. My relatively mediocre skills at programming may have frustrated me in the short term, but they certainly did set the stage for cooperation among my teammates in the long term, not to mention that I eventually became a better programmer. I was able to connect with them through continuous interaction, and this is how I became more involved. Rather than isolating myself and figuring out the algorithms by myself, I took the initiative to join my peers, seek help, and return all favors. What I desired was mutual support and the reciprocity of help, and my stay in Robotics helped me gain this.

In March 2009, at the FIRST Regional competition in San Jose, I watched the robot swerve over the icy surface and grab the ball from the opposing robots with grace. I knew that my effort and cooperation did not go in vain. Occasionally I would glance at my teammates in front of, next to, and behind me, feeling that I have indeed contributed. When they glanced back at me, I knew that I have formed a great relationship with my fellow peers upon whom I have invested so much time and trust. Our robot did not make it to the semifinals. But what matters to me is that I gained the understanding that mutual dependence and cooperation can help people become better human beings if not successful.

My experience at Robotics has also equipped me with the determination to aim high. In my AP US Government class during my senior year, I became the campaign manager during the mock election and worked hard with fellow teammates to help our candidate win the election.

The importance of interdependence and a sense of value in everything once again struck me when I took AP Biology. In the ecosystem, all components, including rocks, play an invaluable role in supporting the environment altogether. This very notion made me like Biology and helped guide my college decision. I went onwards and took a biochemistry course at Stanford. With the mechanical experience I obtained from Robotics, and the affection I harbored for Biology, I decided to apply to colleges with hopes of working at a biotechnology company, where I can witness the dependence and involvement everyone at work would have to find more information about the dependence and involvement components of life have.

Please provide good feedback and I will return all favors. Thanks
elephant1 2 / 16  
Jan 2, 2012   #2
This is a lovely essay. I think it would be interesting if you added more specific examples about programming and robots though (maybe in the part where you talk about the robot sliding across the ice). It doesn't have to be long, but it could just add some description that would help the reader visualize your experience.

Please help with mine?
pjw7109 7 / 23  
Jan 2, 2012   #3
This sentence sounds awkward. "The four students then began to describe the time and emotional commitment members were expected to invest in the club, and proudly described the exhilaration of winning the 2008 FIRST championship by pointing to the display of the robot in front of them."

This paragraph needs to be deleted in my opinion because I think you want to solely focus on robotics and the things you've gained. don't extend it to other activities too much.

My experience at Robotics has also equipped me with the determination to aim high. In my AP US Government class during my senior year, I became the campaign manager during the mock election and worked hard with fellow teammates to help our candidate win the election.

Good luck.
samsonmccrady 1 / 2  
Jan 2, 2012   #4
This sentence is something of a run-on: "In middle school, I had neither the peer support nor the ability to relate to people to be able to contribute to the learning environment, and I not only felt, but knew that high school would give me a chance for redemption, and all I had to do now was to take advantage of it." After "learning environment" end the sentence with a period, beginning the next with "I knew that high school..." (the "I not only felt" is unnecessary). Lastly, make a third sentence saying "All I had to do was take advantage of it."

It is a compelling narrative and reveals a lot about you as an individual. Perhaps the best way to edit it would be to read it aloud to someone who could point out whenever the phrasing sounds artificial or awkward.

Best of luck.
pinkcheetah 2 / 13  
Jan 2, 2012   #5
I think that this essay reads pretty well. I wouldn't change much. However you do have a lot of extra commas. You don't need one most cases before "and". I'd also go through and make sure that you think all the commas are necessary, or I'd take them out.

Thanks for looking at my essay.
kenneth1001 1 / 10  
Jan 2, 2012   #6
I agree with sansonmccrady. The second sentence " In middle school, I had neither the peer support nor the ability to relate to people to be able to contribute to the learning environment, and I not only felt, but knew that high school would give me a chance for redemption, and all I had to do now was to take advantage of it. " is a run-on sentence.

In my opinion ( correct me if I am wrong), I agree with pjw7109 about the paragraph that needs to be deleted "My experience at Robotics has also equipped me with the determination to aim high. In my AP US Government class during my senior year, I became the campaign manager during the mock election and worked hard with fellow teammates to help our candidate win the election. " because it is as if you randomly "threw it" in there. Your essay focuses about robotics and what values you gained. That's it; just robotics and what values you gained.

But overall, it was a good essay. Best of Luck to you! :)


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