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'Growing up, I was a quiet child' - Amherst - Stereotyped Beliefs Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


zeeconomist 6 / 19 4  
Dec 24, 2014   #1
I am slightly over the 300 word limit. Please do tell me where I can cut down and generally, how the essay sounds. Thanks!
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Growing up, I was a quiet child. I would keep to myself, do what the teacher said, and study hard. Gradually, I found myself forced into a box, a box of who I was supposed to be. Based off of my behavior, people expected me to study and be boring. I was labelled an introvert. Having heard Susan Cain speak on 'The Power of Introverts', I realize that introverts play an important role in society. However, my quietness was not because of introvertism but, rather, because I was shy.

I lead two different lives - quiet and reserved at school; fun and outgoing at home. Stepping out of the box was a slow process. Weirdly enough, I felt obligated to conform to other people's expectations of who I was - stepping outside meant I would disappoint them.

Getting involved in activities of interest peeled off the layers of shyness I had clothed myself with. Model UN (MUN) started the process. Discussing matters like that of refugees, in comparison, made the box of who I was, a minor issue. Temporarily leaving the box behind, I thoroughly engaged myself and spoke what I believed should be done. After a conference, though, I would return to the box of expectation.

MUN pointed me to debate. Here, I was introduced to logic, argumentation and the concept of 'purpose.' By assessing the purpose of an institution, one could argue for or against a topic. I began to realize that my purpose - to use my ability to its fullest - whether to speak, to play the drums, or to make people laugh, was restricted by conforming to people's expectation.

Eventually, people's pre-conceived ideas of me stopped mattering and I forgot about the box of expectation. I realize individuals are far too complex to neatly be placed in convenient boxes. Whenever stereotypes do rear its ugly face at me - in conversation or in action- I am quick to point out. Identifying the problem is the first step to healing.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 24, 2014   #2
Growing up, I was a quiet child. I would keep to myself, do what the teacher said, and study hard.

I think this is redundant. Maybe just keep the important parts:
Growing up, I was a quiet child. I would keep to myself, do what the teacher said, and study hard.

However, my quietness was not because... --- I don't like this sentence at the end of the first paragraph. Can you replace it with a sentence that expresses the most important idea - the one you want the reader to remember?

I realize individuals are far too complex to neatly be placed in convenient boxes. --- I like this sentence. It could be used for the theme of the whole essay. I think this will be better if you express the main idea in the first paragraph. You told too much story before revealing the point you want to make.

Whenever stereotypes do rear its their ugly face heads...
OP zeeconomist 6 / 19 4  
Dec 25, 2014   #3
Hmm, thank you Kevin - I'll incorporate your suggestions. Besides that, how do you think it sounds generally?
kmkmkim 1 / 3  
Dec 25, 2014   #4
I personally think the essay looks good! I liked the way you explained how you got to get out of that box gradually.
A suggestion about meeting the word limit, maybe you could combine the third and forth paragraph together, and leave out the sentence about how you went back into the box of expectations after the conference. Just a small suggestion from another senior student!

Oh and thanks for looking over my essay a few days ago, I really appreciate it
Best wishes to you!
Ghfdw17 6 / 21  
Dec 25, 2014   #5
I think if you put an anecdote at the beginning you may strengthen your essay. Many adcoms have stated that anecdotes pull the reader in, makes your essay more personal.

Good luck! :)


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