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"Never give up; born to try" Common App - Topic of your choice

basketball 7 / 35  
Dec 20, 2010   #1
In the top of my desk, there is a post-it note: "Never give up; born to try"; This was the note that I wrote to encourage myself in the beginning of my senior year. While in the midst of applying to college, I was overloaded with AP classes, humanities homework, SAT preparation, college applications. Exhausted, stressed are my feelings during this period. The need for keeping a high GPA in my classes while constantly doing college works made me felt like a pedestrian traveling in around a labyrinth. I once thought that I would never want to remember this experience in my life. However, after three months, I realize that this period has taught me several lessons.


What do you guys think about this essay? Is this too common?
I will apply soon so every help is appreciate, thanks so much
MirayPhilips 5 / 37  
Dec 21, 2010   #2
In these three months, I undoubtedly felt that I had strived to do my best to survive these hardships (I know how you feel, I was going through a VERY hard time trying to balance all the work, but for this essay, I don't think you should use the word hardships.) I tried my best to understand my teachers' lectures so that I did not need to spend a lot of time doing homework and revising for tests. After I finished my daily classes' works, I would start preparing for my SAT test and filling out college's requirements . Sometimes, I needed to wake up around 6 to finish up my homework or review for the test (abundant) .Every time I was tired and wanted to give up, I looked at the post-it note which encouraged me to carry on . After three months, I was done with the endless amount of work and I could finally relax as Thanksgiving came. Looking back at this period, I realized that life is just as simple as day and night. When you are in the daylight , go outside, live happily, enjoy the sunshine and every precious moment . When the sky turns dark, run as fast as you can to go back home. However, you should remember that the night will pass away and there is always a new day that awaits you in the morning.

After these 3 months, although the result did not totally sastisfy me, I felt proud of myself for all the work that I accomplished in such a short period of time . There were times that I was upset with myself as my SAT score was not what I aimed for, and I did not get straight A's in my first quarter semester . However, I realized that my unexpected result is what helped me mature (elaborate on how you matured) . Miriam Beard once said, "Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." At the point when one tries the best to achieve a goal , it is not the result that matters. Ilearnt that to travel is better than to arrive. What happens along my journey including the stumbles, failures , pressures, are the things that will help me in the future, and develop myself into a successful individual.


I loved the last paragraph.
I think the first paragraphs are a bit too abundant. Maybe you should divide them in:
1st paragraph: The post-it note and what was expected out of you. What you wanted on your SAT score and what was your expected school grades.

2nd paragraph: Your daily routine, what you had to do every day and make sure it shows that it was overwhelming. And also comment on how it affected your life outside school. Like with me, in that three month period I rarely ever went out with my friends, ate dinner with my family, I even changed my sleeping pattern completely to avoid being distracted my my family. etc etc. You know what I mean?

3rd paragraph is perfect the way it is.

I hope this helped! Goodluck!
nishabala 4 / 91  
Dec 21, 2010   #3
Yeah, I think it's too 'common'. More like it's something every single one of us applying go through, so why does it make you special? I think this is definitely one of those 'throw away and try again' essays.

Sorry, and good luck:)
Chanman 3 / 10  
Dec 21, 2010   #4
I actually wrote a similar common app essay, but ended up rejecting it because it was too simple. What you wrote about is a process every student that applies to college is going through, the bottom line is, it is not unique. Since the common app essay is arguably your most important essay, I would most definitely change the topic...

Sorry if I come across rude, I don't intend to be, but I just don't think an essay on this topic is gonna cut it. Trust me, I went through the same essay, and it'll be much better if you can write about something more personal and unique.

With that said, good luck on your applications!
OP basketball 7 / 35  
Dec 21, 2010   #5
MirayPhilips: thank you so much, I will try to revise and post a new one.
nishabala: hey, I think it's common too. But i'm in a rush cuz i'm a senior now and i probably need to apply in a week. I don't think I really have time to start a new one. Do you think I can use the main idea but drive it into a different topic? I also hope that my interpretation will help this essay stand out a little bit...

Chanman: Thank you for your honesty... I'm in such a rushh ><
nishabala 4 / 91  
Dec 21, 2010   #6
Hahaha love, I'm a senior too, I've got a million unfinished essays lying around my room. My view is that there are gonne be like ten to fifty thousand students applying with you, you might as well churn out the best work you've done in your life., cause that's what they're all doing. You've gotta distinguish yourself from them. I honestly think refining your best English class essay would be better than sending this concept in. My counsellor turned 'Atlas Shrugged' down cause it wasn't individual enough, there's no way an AO will remember this.

You're username, though, is basketball... how hard would it really be to write about basketball? Just a suggestion, and you definitely could do better than that. You write fairly well, it's just a question of spending the time to write out the essay.

Good luck!:)
jyoon11 3 / 9  
Dec 21, 2010   #7
ya the topic is sorta "Cliche" remember these people read thousands of essays. you dont want yours to be the one they "sigh" at and basically get turned off as a reader
MirayPhilips 5 / 37  
Dec 21, 2010   #8
I also think you're better off spending more time writing a new essay than editing this one. There's a lot you can say about basketball or about where you come from since your name sounds international. Talk about diversity or something.

OP basketball 7 / 35  
Dec 21, 2010   #9
Thanks u guys are the best... I receive lots of useful comments, I will start the new one :D

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