Unanswered [2] / Urgent [0] / SERVICES
Home / Undergraduate   4

'Focusing to get some sleep' - Upenn, 300-page autobiography

Mar 15, 2009   #1
Hello, I would very much appreciate if you could help me with your comments about my autobiography essay for penn.

ou have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit page 217.

Focusing to get some sleep, I looked at the clock in my nightstand again: 11:46. I had been rolling in bed for two hours and had not been able to fall asleep. I tried once more to turn off the voice in my head that kept buzzing as my eyelids felt heavier and heavier...

It was still dark outside when the alarm clock started to sound. My natural reflex to hit the snooze button was blocked by the sudden thought that made my heart skip a beat: it was the big day. I got out of bed with a jump and ran to my closet; a thin, petite, brunette girl glanced back at me from the bathroom mirror and made me stop to examine her. She brushed her long brown hair out of her face to reveal a big smile and a pair of eager dark eyes that seemed to speak for themselves. I gave a last glance to her and hurried to my closet thinking of how pleased she looked with herself.

While changing my clothes, my mind was already busy with last minute mental checks: "Toothbrush: check. Passport: check. Tickets: check. IPod: check..."
My mom's voice coming from downstairs revealed me that my last homemade breakfast was served and that I should hurry if I didn't want to miss my flight.

After eating breakfast I hurried to pick up the stuff I left in my room. With a strange feeling in my stomach, I walked out of my bedroom and went to the car to meet my mom, dad, and brother who were already in there. It was now very bright outside, so bright that the sun almost didn't let me see for the last time the house surrounded by palm trees and a beautiful garden that had been my home for the past two years.

The airport was crowded as usual, I checked in my luggage and said goodbye to my family. "Call us as soon as you get there," my mother said. "I will mom, don't worry," I heard me saying, and before we knew it, we were both crying and holding each other.

Shortly, I got in the plane and prepared myself for take-off. In just a few hours, I was going to be in the city of Philadelphia and stepping into the grounds of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mar 15, 2009   #2
You have a nice writing style. Unfortunately, the best advice I can give you is to use that good writing style to create a new essay. While this one is well-written, it does not do the one thing you absolutely need an admissions essay to do, which is to say anything particularly good about yourself. As with any application essay, you want this one to convey some special quality about yourself -- intelligence, dedication, compassion, rationality, etc., that would make you a good applicant. So, pick a quality (preferably one you haven't already covered in another essay), and write a page from your autobiography that includes an anecdote that shows how you possess that quality. Good luck.
EF_KevinThreads: 8
Posts: 13,840
[Contributor] 129  
Mar 16, 2009   #3
I have heard many people ask a question about this one: Do they mean your whole life's story, or your story up til now? Perhaps opinions differ among admissions people, but I would choose to give page 217 from my future. When you are in your 60s perhaps, you'll be on page 217! So, perhaps you can look to the future and write about turning 57 years old and writing a journal article about your area of expertise.

I agree with Sean, both about your writing style and the need for a new essay.
Mar 17, 2009   #4
Page 217 in an autobiography does seem like it would cover material that happens well after the age of an average student applying for an undergrad. A fictional anecdote from your future is a great idea. Just make sure it says something really positive about you as both a person and a potential student at whatever university you are applying to.

Home / Undergraduate / 'Focusing to get some sleep' - Upenn, 300-page autobiography