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GAP year essay for common app required explanation. Mount Holyoke College Applicant


enashley13 2 / 5 1  
Oct 28, 2014   #1
Please help me edit my gap year essay. Any suggestion or comment will be appreciated.

Ever since I can remember I have always been a student. I started school at 2 and a half years old and for fourteen more years, being a student was the only identity I had. So, after my high school was over, I had a difficult time trying to understand if my capabilities were limited to the four walls of the classroom. I had been involved in activities in my school, but these activities never gave me the option to explore all my interests and curiosities. I never knew where my true passion lied and I had no idea what subject I wanted to study. I decided to take a gap year to do some volunteering work and travel.

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vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 28, 2014   #2
Enjila, your essay could use further development. One thing that you need to highlight during your gap year is the activities that you participated in with the various organizations. You should make mention of the specific organizations and your activities there. Be sure to relate all of the organization work and volunteer activities with an out of school learning experience. It is imperative that you prove that your gap year was not wasted because you just wanted to take time off from school. Detailing your activities and sharing what you learned during this year away from school will help establish the continued learning process that a gap year is expected to provide to the applicant. You need to show that you continued to develop a well rounded personality as well as intellectual maturity when it comes to the life experiences that you had. The information you provide pertaining to your gap year will help the admissions officer decide if your gap year had admirable results that would make you an excellent addition to their student roster.
Mismak17 3 / 12 1  
Oct 28, 2014   #3
you explain in your essay how the gap year has benefited you in choosing a career and passion you wish to peruse after high school

however there isn't much why you specifically chose economics and political science if you expand a little more on that it will be more effective
OP enashley13 2 / 5 1  
Oct 31, 2014   #4
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I have edited this essay. Please take a look at it and provide further suggestions.

Ever since I can remember I have always been a student. I started school at 2 and a half years old and for fourteen more years, being a student was the only identity I had. So, when I finished high school, I had a difficult time trying to understand if my capabilities were limited to the walls of the classroom. I had been involved in activities in my school, but these activities never gave me the option to explore all my interests and curiosities. I never knew where my true passion lied and I had no idea what subject I wanted to study. I decided to take a gap year to do some volunteering work and travel.

I started my gap year by challenging what I feared most: death. I bungee jumped off a 160m high bridge. Gathering courage to free-fall from the high bridge has made me realize anything is possible if you have the desire and the will to do it. After that, I looked up some organizations I could work for. I volunteered to teach at a special school for differently abled children. Getting to work with children with special needs has taught me to be more patient and compassionate. Shortly after my time in the special school, I participated in the International Volunteer Exchange Program conducted by a local Eco- foundation. As part of the program, I, along with my school friends, worked with Swiss students to build a playground and a home for underprivileged orphaned children. This experience has changed my thoughts on how I perceived other cultures and has developed my teamwork skills.

I was making the most out of my gap year and I didn't want to stop there. I decided to volunteer as a teacher in the only free school in Nepal. This required me to go to remote areas of Nepal and teach English. This was an enlightening experience for me. I had never been out of the comforts of Kathmandu, so I was shocked to find out that life outside the capital was very different and difficult. Getting to stay in the village for six weeks helped me better understand the life that existed for people who lived there. I was appalled by the incapability of our ineffectual government. Due to lack of infrastructure, education and health facilities, it was very difficult for the people to even survive. I was inspired to contribute to improve the present condition in the rural areas myself. This whole experience has influenced my decision in selecting Economics and Political Science as subjects I want to study and in aspiring to be the person I one day, hope to be.

I have also been working for Volunteer Nepal for around five months now and this entire experience has helped me grow as an individual. I got to meet people from around the world, share stories and make countless memories. I have gotten to travel and I have learnt to be more responsible for my actions. Being a part of a multicultural community, where everyone respected each other's opinions and principles, has helped me gain a global perspective.

The past year and a half has changed my life beyond belief. Each experience has had a profound impact on me, whether it was digging the ground to make playground for children or teaching students under a classroom that had bamboo and hay for roof, and beautiful mountains for background. Had I started school straight after I finished high school, I would have never had these transcending experiences that shaped me into the person I am today. Getting to volunteer and travel inside my country has made me aware of the true Nepal that exists outside textbooks and travel brochures. And now it is very clear to me the subjects I want to study and the things I want to accomplish.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 31, 2014   #5
Enjila, you have done remarkable work with this revision. Even with the existing grammatical errors, it is easy to tell that you have spent the past year of your life quite productively. I believe that after we fix the grammatical errors, your essay will be ready for submission. Let me see how I can help you with those errors, if you don't mind that is :-)

Ever since I can remember I have always been a student. I started school at 2 and a half years old and for fourteen more years, being a student was the only identity I had. So, when I finished high school, I had a difficult time trying to understand if my capabilities were limited to the walls of the classroom. I had been involved in activities in my school, but these activities never gave me the option to explore all my interests and curiosities. I never knew where my true passion lied and I had no idea what subject I wanted to study. I decided to take a gap year to do some volunteering work and travel .

- I felt that I needed to realize where my true passions lay and what field of study I wanted to concentrate on. I knew that the only way I would be able to sort things out and get the answers to my lingering questions was to take a sabbatical from school, a gap year. I just needed to rest, relax, and figure out where I really wanted to go with my life after high school.

I started my gap year by challenging what I feared most: death. I bungee jumped off a 160m high bridge. Gathering courage to free-fall from the high bridgehas made me realize anything is possible if you have the desire and the will to do it.

- ( As an addition). I knew that up till that point, my life had no meaning and no direction. I knew that I had stared death in the face and survived, so I needed to do something productive with my life after that. This realization led me to search for some volunteer work that could help me find myself and give my life meaning.

After that, I looked up some organizations I could work for.

- This should kick off a new paragraph. You already have a transition sentence using the addition I suggested in the previous paragraph.

I was appalled by the incapability of our ineffectual government. Due to lack of infrastructure, education and health facilities, it was very difficult for the people to even survive. I was inspired to contribute to improve the present condition in the rural areas myself. This whole experience has influenced my decision in selecting Economics and Political Science as subjects I want to study and in aspiring to be the person I one day, hope to be.

- ... by the inability of our government to provide for the people in the rural areas.

And now it is very clear to me the subjects I want to study and the things I want to accomplish.

- I now have a clear understanding of the subjects I want to study and the accomplishments I want to have in life thanks to my gap year.
OP enashley13 2 / 5 1  
Oct 31, 2014   #6
Thank you Louisa so much for your help! :D


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