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Georgetown "Describe Yourself" Essay


icedbananas 1 / 12  
Jan 9, 2009   #1
Hi guys, I was thinking of submitting my common application essay for Georgetown's "The Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you.".

I'm not sure if it fits, or if it really describes me much, but I've been having a really hard time writing a new one to suit the prompt. Please help me see if it's okay. Any criticisms or comments are welcome. Thanks soo much! :)

That must be the reason why God resides in the heavens above us - because from high up, you gain a whole new perspective on the world.

It was 5 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. My friends had all fallen asleep inside the hotel room, exhausted by the excitement of the prom night that we just had a few hours ago. Needing a temporary reprieve from reality, I sneaked out onto the balcony of our 56th storey suite. From the balcony ledge, I gazed out into the Singapore horizon. Through the mist the world was grey, blackened by the absence of the Moon and barely lit by the street lamps below. Pretty soon the Sun would rise from its fiery sleep and waken the city.

I stared at the apartment building a few blocks down. A light came on in one of the rooms and the image of a man carrying out his morning routine entered my mind. How lucky we are to be granted the luxuries of indoor plumbing, I thought. My mind drifted back to the time when my family visited my maternal relatives in the Philippines. I remembered how disgusted I felt having to wash myself with river water from a silver bucket. Those eight years ago, I was disgusted with the dirty surroundings, and now, recalling that memory, I'm instead disgusted with myself. Who was I to think that I was better than my poor relatives all those years ago? A profound sense of shame overwhelmed me. Once again, I began thinking of my life and how lucky I was to be born into a world of comfort and opportunity.

*****

For years now, I have been strongly convinced that I will enter the humanitarian line of work in the future. When people ask me what I want to do with the rest of my life, I can immediately answer them, "I want to change the world."

"For the better or for the worse?" one of my teachers jokingly replied once.

"For the better, of course!"

This conviction in me to do something about the global situation was a result of years of news-watching and article-reading about the stories in war-torn Africa and poverty-stricken Asia. Every few nights or so, after the revealing of some new scientific discovery, the news would feature a 30 second clip about the tragedies in Somalia or Indonesia. It seemed to never end - this interminable cycle of conflict and poverty. It shocks me how the world could be so out of balance. On one side of the world, people like me can easily fork out $5 to pay for a cup of Starbucks, while on the other, people have to work from dawn to dusk to earn less than the cost of a Mocha Frappuccino. On one side of the world, people like me can go to bed every night in the comfort of air conditioning, while on the other, people have to go to sleep praying to the good Lord to shelter them from the raining missiles for just another night. And to think that such contradictions juxtapose one another on the very same planet!

Pondering over these injustices never fails to leave me feeling heart-broken and frustrated. After years of living a privileged life, I feel that I can no longer remain silent; I can no longer sit by and watch as half of the world suffers while the other half prospers. I will learn as much as I can to understand more about the complexities of these problems. And then I will work as hard as I can together with humanitarian organisations to help solve them.

*****

It was time now. The first ray of light had pierced through the thick layer of clouds. Slowly, bit by bit, the sky turned a hue of purple, orange and finally blue. The streets became alive again with the sounds of cars and early commuters. The Sun had risen above the city of Singapore. Across the country, Singaporeans woke up to a brand new day. It was a beautiful sight - the dawning of the Sun. Yet, at that moment, another brutal truth dawned on me: somewhere in the world, someone was not as lucky as I. Somewhere in the world, someone woke up to a new day of hunger and conflict.

I will change the world. And I will do so for the better.

wongxy 14 / 53  
Jan 9, 2009   #2
It's a really good essay! Well you chose to describe that compassionate side of you, that yearning to serve... I feel that kinda conviction that you have to make the world a better place after I read the essay. Leaves me with this wah feeling that I don't even bother to look at whether your grammar's right or wrong etc.

You don't have to describe lots of stuff about yourself to answer the prompt. Just this one bit of indepth description is sufficient. :)

Haha only thing I can spot is that this essay doesn't seem as brief as the question states I guess. XD But if I were you I wouldn't cut down the essay. Cuz it's great! :)

:)
menamilad /  
Jan 9, 2009   #3
your essay is really nice and it's interesting too.. and your 1st line too ...i'm sure it will make the reader sit up... i think i now got an idea about the essay i will write
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 9, 2009   #4
The essay is great -- interesting, original, and it says plenty of good things about you. Your transition into the middle of your essay could use a bit of strengthening, though. The middle of the essay is supposed to arise spontaneously and naturally as a train of thought ignited by seeing the maintenance worker at his rounds. Instead, you start off the middle part with a statement about yourself that is a bit abrupt and more formal than actual thoughts would be. At the same time, your use of asterisks to set of your thinking makes the transition seem even more abrupt. If you could think of a way to smooth this out, your essay would be even stronger than it already is.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Jan 9, 2009   #5
Through the mist the world was gray , blackened by the absence of the Moon and barely lit by the street lamps below. Pretty soon the Sun would rise from its fiery sleep and waken the city.nice sentence!

I stared at an apartment building a few blocks down.

My mind drifted back to the time when my family visited my maternal relatives in the Philippines. I remembered how disgusted I felt having to wash myself with river water from a silver bucket. Those eight years ago, I was disgusted with the dirty surroundings, and now, recalling that memory from eight years ago , I'm instead disgusted with myself.

Just a few tweaks here and there, but WOW! Great essay, very well thought out. Good luck in school.

:)
OP icedbananas 1 / 12  
Jan 10, 2009   #6
Thanks so much guys! I really, really appreciate it. :D

wongxy: Haha thanks, now I feel more confident in sending in this essay to GU.

menamilad: I'm glad that I my essay gave you an idea on what to write. All the best! :)

EF_Sean: Oh okay, I'll try to change the middle portion like you said, but I think it's kind of difficult to do so without changing the rest of the paragraphs. :\ I'll see what I can think of. Thanks for the advice! :)

EF_Kevin: Thanks so much for correcting my grammatical &spelling mistakes. :) I can't believe I submitted the essay to a few other schools with gray spelt as grey! Haha :\

Once again, thanks everyone! :D
wongxy 14 / 53  
Jan 10, 2009   #7
No probs. :)

That 'grey' bit got past my eyes too. Is it something to do with english / american spelling? o.o

Anyway all the best!
OP icedbananas 1 / 12  
Jan 10, 2009   #8
I think 'grey' is UK spelling, and 'gray' is US spelling. Haha the English language is fascinating. :) All the best to you too!
EF_Constance - / 143  
Jan 10, 2009   #9
I believe that IcedBananas is correct on the spelling issue. :)
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Jan 10, 2009   #10
yeah, kind of a gray area there :)


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