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From a homebody to the active body. UW Madison Essay -- Something important but unnoticed

barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 18, 2017   #1
Consider something in your life you think goes unnoticed and write about why it's important to you.

the morning walks

"Let's go out for a walk" said my mom.

"Nah mom I am too busy!!"

During my final years of high school I had become a homebody, I would come back from school and then go out for my extra classes. I literally gave no time for my physical fitness, I just let the idea sway off of my mind thinking it's unnecessary and studying is more important.

In the final year of my high school my stress was rising, juggling between jobs, studies, practical and tech events I was running short of time and 24hrs in a day felt less. I started skipping school to manage job projects and practice my design skills. Although it worked out, it was not a long term solution and somewhere in my mind I would still be worried about my physics formulas that I had to learn.

One evening my mom said "we will go for a walk tomorrow morning and no excuses". My mom woke me up half an hour early than my scheduled time and we went out for a walk. I was feeling sleepy, my eyes hardly open and my legs barely moving. I thought of it as a complete torture but to win an argument against my mother was another pain and hence I consented. Every morning it was the same story my mother walking actively and I would be lumbering behind her.

Soon it became part of my day and I no longer felt sleepy. On the contrary I started enjoying the morning walks - walking amongst the lush green trees and beneath the chirping birds it all felt rejuvenating. I got a chance to talk to my mother about the difficulties I was facing and in return I got the best advice possible. The funniest thing was I got well acquainted with an old couple who lives next to us.

While walking with the old couple one morning, the old man said "morning walk has so many benefits and it's sad to see how many people like the warmth of their beds". This was the moment when it occurred to me how I had been neglecting this beauty of morning walk. Even though the park was just ten steps from my house, I never had the thought of wandering in its silence and thinking on my actions. I was beginning to realize how big of a fool was I and such are the people who can't take out time from their busy lives for themselves.

My morning walk had overthrown the stress from my life. Whenever I would achieve the laps that I had set for myself, I would feel on the top of the mountain. Little that I knew that this habit of mine was turning me into a 'Go-Getter'. By the end of my walk I would be full of positivity and I could feel the energy and excitement in me to start my day.

This is just an initial draft. I want to know if my essay corresponds to the topic before i write further. The unnoticed thing i am focusing on is My Morning Walk which helps me relieve from stress.

Any comments are welcome :)
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,858 4558  
Jan 19, 2017   #2
Arnav, kindly post the complete prompt for the essay that you are trying to respond to. Since i have assisted many students before you in developing their essays, I am already familiar with all of the common app prompts and the supplemental essays. I feel like the prompt you have provided is either incorrect or incomplete. I seem to recall this prompt having something more to do with your character that you do not notice but other people notice about you. Hence the term unnoticed in the prompt presentation. I would like to confirm if there was a misunderstanding of the prompt on your part. I would really appreciate if you could do that as soon as possible.

Provided that you are on the right track in terms of the prompt requirement, I believe that this essay needs only a couple more adjustments before it becomes ready to use. There is a point where we have to develop a stronger sense of how other people might see the importance of this activity to them but not to you. So you have to make adjustments to make that sentiment stronger.
shag 1 / 5 2  
Jan 19, 2017   #3

I think you are on the right track, you have to build it up in a sense where you feel that it goes unnoticed by others but has brought alot of change in your character and made you the person you are now. So i guess you just need to build on the ' importance part '.

Good Luck :)
OP barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 19, 2017   #4

this is the whole prompt :

Consider something in your life you think goes unnoticed and write about why it's important to you (you may enter up to 650 words).

I copied it directly from commonapp website.

  • and just to be sure
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,858 4558  
Jan 19, 2017   #5
In this case, I do not think that your morning walks is the correct activity to portray in the essay. The reason that I say this is because everyone you know, from your mother to your elderly neighbors know the importance of this activity. Even more specific, your mother knows the reason that you are engage in this activity. In fact, she had to encourage you do to it. Therefore, it cannot be considered something in your life that goes unnoticed by others.

When you consider your response to this essay think of 2 thinks. The first, is if there is something that goes on in your environment that you are just starting to notice now. For example, maybe there is a new coffee shop that opened up and offers free wi-fi to the clients. This is something that could go unnoticed by most people because they have internet connections at home. However, for those who do not have a home connection or cannot afford for computer rental, the coffee shop could be seen as a blessing because for the price of a cup of coffee, they can use the internet for as long as they need to. Do you see why such a situation could be unnoticed by others but could be noticed by contemplative people? This shows a depth of analysis and an observational attitude on your part. Which is an important trait for a college student.

The other thing that you should think of is something that is personal to you. For example, you dutifully pick up your younger sibling from school without being asked by your parents. Consciously, you are doing this because you know your parents are both working and they cannot afford to pay someone to take your sibling home after class. Since you attend the same school and you get out ahead of your sibling, you take your brother / sister home with you and take care of him / her till your parents get home. You don't need the thanks of your parents, who don't even notice what you are doing, because you just want to help and take some worry off from them. By acting as the responsible sibling, your parents have more time to do other things when they get home. They don't notice that you do it, but you know why you are doing it.

Your narrative writing style will work for either method of developing your response. I just want you to use a more relevant topic for the essay. Don't throw away the current essay that you have though. It might come in handy with a future prompt response requirement.
OP barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 19, 2017   #6

Ok i get your point. Give me sometime to build on another essay, i think i might have something that relates to your first advice.

I have a topic in mind but it sounds a bit weird.

I was thinking if i could write how i switch off the lights and the fans where ever i see them unnecessarily being used.

and if not this then i have this in mind :

A free gym that opened in our public park.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,858 4558  
Jan 19, 2017   #7
If you want to approach the essay from an out of the box point of view, then use the switching off lights and fans anecdote to represent your response to the essay. That is something that most people would not notice because it is not in the common habit of most people to do so. The free gym at the public park is also a good topic to use. Although, that would depend upon the kind of discussion that you will attach to the story. The truth is, either story will work well as a response to the prompt. So the only way to make a decision about this is to have you write both essay topics. After you have written both, you can review both essays and then decide which only you feel more comfortable submitting. The one that you feel best represents your thoughts on paper would be the best choice. As your adviser, I would need to read both essays in order to help you make a decision. I can't decide just based upon a presentation idea.
OP barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 20, 2017   #8
"Not again!!" I said to myself.

All the lights in my dad's room were on even though there wasn't a single person in the room.

Unlike some people my Dad is very careless when it comes to switching off the lights and the fans. When he walks into a room he wants the room to be illuminated like an auditorium but that's not the irritating part, it cranks me up when he doesn't switch them off. I am the only one in the house who is switching off the lights and fans whenever they are being used unnecessarily. It's like I have built an OCD about it.

I wasn't so crazy about it until this incident changed my thinking -

"Not again!!" I said to myself.

"This is the third time today when the internet has gone down."

I wanted to play this game on the internet so much. I applied my small engineer brain to fix it up manually but I failed and I was forced to resent to the low speed internet my grandparents had. While I was going down to see if my grandparent's Wi-Fi was working, I overheard the conversation between our housemaid and my grandmother. She was worried because there had been no electricity in her neighborhood for almost two days and now had to send her children to her brother's place. This news struck me like lightning : here I am, crying on my stupid internet and could not even recall if I had switched off the lights before leaving my room whereas this lady has passed almost two days in the

light of candles.

More importantly, I realized how much dissolved we are in our glorious lives that we often ignore these small things which can lighten the lives of the poor with minimal effort from us. Many of us think of helping the poor in such generous ways but how can we achieve those big goals when we can't even accomplish the small ones. Also we as humans have developed a thinking that we don't like the idea of spending money on unnecessary things but we find it appropriate when we pay those hefty electric bills.

From that day I started turning of the electricals and made it my habit. At first it was difficult because such small things go unnoticed but now it's a part of my nature. Not only do I do this at my home but anywhere I go, even in my school. I am usually the last one to leave the classroom because nobody cares if the lights are on. I have become so obsessive about it that even if I am walking through the corridors and I see the electricals switched on in staff rooms even if there is no teacher around I care to switch them off. Sometimes it just comes to me that the teachers who inflict this habit in us in our childhood are the ones who often forget about these little things.

It is always said 'to achieve big you have to start small', and this was my small thing and although I didn't receive any appreciation for it, I knew I was doing it for the greater good.

just a very rough sketch what i want to present. Not one of my best writings, still need some edits and i also need to improve my word quality.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,858 4558  
Jan 20, 2017   #9
The story about the lights is good. It ties in well with the topic of "thinking that it goes unnoticed" You should adjust the essay content to reflect that part though. Remember, the prompt says that you think it goes unnoticed. Which means that towards the end of the essay. you should learn or discover that what you are doing is actually noticed, but not mentioned by the people around you. So you can say something about being frustrated by your father's habit of never turning off the lights so you stopped doing it. Then he got the electric bill, which was higher than usual and he asked why you stopped turning off the lights in the rooms. By relating that, you will show that your habit of switching off the lights is appreciated, just not vocally by your dad. Which adds to the importance of your habit. That would tie the whole essay prompt together in your response. I know that this is still a draft so I will only comment on the content. I am sure you will still proof read and edit the essay for spelling and punctuation errors, so I won't point it out for now.
OP barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 25, 2017   #10
i built another essay and wanted to know which one would be better, the lights one or this one.

For four nights before the midterm exams in my senior year of middle school, I coached a friend over the phone because he had missed classes due to an illness. This is mainly based on my nature of selflessly helping friends.

I shot a video for friends in economics club, of which I wasn't even a member, missing classes, travelling to a location two hours away to shoot, and returning home to stay up all night editing and animating the video to make it ready for submission by their deadline next morning.

I can be selfless helping friends in need when I can.

I have also been through times when friends haven't come forward to support me when I wanted their support.

That hasn't stopped me from building a large circle of friends.

Over a period of time I have learned that good deeds take time to receive reciprocation. It's important that I do what I consider is the right thing to do. The example of my grandfather helped develop this perspective. As director of a teacher's federation having its head office in Canada, he did the research and developed perspectives that his superiors presented in international conferences. That didn't waiver his commitment towards the work that he did. Even though it took an accident for him to move up to the podium, but his efforts did pay off eventually and he received the recognition he so rightly deserved.

Staying committed to building and maintaining friendships has already yielded unintended benefits. The success of a friend in raising his academic grades encouraged me to raise my grades in math. Interacting closely with students three to four years senior to me at a computer training institute raised my interest and made computer science my biggest fascination. I discovered my talent in athletics after a friend urged me to attend the trials that led me to become the vice captain of the school athletics team. Inspired by the creative skills of a friend, I developed my own abilities to go on to be the head designer of the school's Computer Club.

Now, I don't expect reciprocation for being there for my friends. It's enough that they inspire me and help me grow in ways that I am myself sometimes astonished to find.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,858 4558  
Jan 25, 2017   #11
No. That essay is nowhere near what the prompt is requiring of you. This has to be a nature of yours that you are not conscious about, but others would notice about you and point out when an opportunity arose. That is why I believe that the light story is the best way to present that response prompt. It shows a habit that you do not realize is noticeable to others. The scenario that I laid out for you in my previous response was the best way to tie up that essay so that you could use it in its most powerful setting with your other application prompts. I believe that you should keep this other essay for future use. There may be a prompt requirement that we could adjust this essay content to so that you won't have to develop a totally new essay. Use the light subject essay for this prompt. Save this other version for potential use in the future.
OP barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 26, 2017   #12
the only reason i feel a little doubtful about the lights essay is because of the second part of the prompt that says "Why its important to you?" Any tips on how i can develop on thus part ?
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,858 4558  
Jan 27, 2017   #13
Use the prompt to discuss a more relaxed reason for the importance of the act of turning off the lights for you. I already indicated how you can prove the importance of this act in a previous thread. I suggested that you connect it to the electric power rates that your parents have to pay for monthly. Indicate how expensive it is and that your parents often complain about the monthly bill they receive. Tell the reviewer that you noticed how your father always leaves the lights on. So you decided to keep turning off the lights when it was not in use. Then the electric bill went down as the months went on and you were doing this. Then, a month came when you felt tired of what you were doing already so you stopped. Then the high electric bill came and your dad asked if you forgot to turn off the lights the previous month. Those two specific descriptions respond to the "unnoticed" and "important to you" parts of the essay prompt. The narrative will show that while you thought your father did not notice what you were doing, he actually did and just like you, considered it important enough to eventually mention to you.
OP barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 28, 2017   #14
"Not again!!" I said to myself.

All the lights in my dad's room were on even though there wasn't a single person in the room.

Unlike some people my Dad is very careless when it comes to switching off the lights and the fans. When he walks into a room he wants the room to be illuminated like an auditorium but that's not the worst part, it cranks me up when he doesn't switch them off. I am the only one in the house who is switching off the lights and fans whenever they are being used unnecessarily.

Being a detail oriented person this was something I just couldn't let go off. Not only do I do this at my home but anywhere I go, even at my school. I am usually the last one to leave the classroom because not many care if the lights or the projectors are on.

It's important that I do, what I consider is the right thing to do. The events going around me helped me shape this perspective. One day the internet in our house was down and I was dying to play a game on the internet. While I was trying to fix the issue, I overheard the conversation between our housemaid and my grandmother. She was worried because there had been no electricity in her neighborhood for almost two days and now had to send her children to her brother's place. I was moved and as I looked around I noticed how all the lights were on and realized

how we had been taking this basic necessity for granted.

I remember my dad crying on the heft electric bills that we paid. But since I grasped this habit, our electric bill has gone down. In fact in just a month our bill decreased by 10%. I realized how we can save a lot of money just by pressing a button. More importantly, I got drifted towards energy conservation. In my early years I started creating science projects on saving electricity. I was then selected to represent my school at various science fairs which encouraged me to keep making more. Even though I got involved in many other activities, I never abandoned the issue of energy saving. In my junior year I took the concept of generating electricity from walking. My goal was to produce more current with minimal walk patterns. I was able to achieve 10mins of charge with 2kms of walk.

It is always said to achieve big you have to start small, and switching off lights was my small thing and although it went unnoticed, its impacts have made a huge difference in shaping my values.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,858 4558  
Jan 28, 2017   #15
Arnav, we need to make sure that you correct a few grammatical errors that are in this current version of the essay. These changes are necessary in order to create a clearer and more understandable presentation on your part. These are just simple adjustments that will not affect what you are saying in the paragraph or overall essay. Most of these concerns are located in the final paragraph. For starters, correct the opening sentence that says "heft electric bills" to say "hefty electric bills". Then "I got drifted towards energy conservation" should say "I was attracted to energy conservation". In addition to these corrections, please try to expand a little on the concluding statement you currently have. It sounds abrupt and does not really offer a solid conclusion as to how your father reacted to the lowering of the household electric bill. The essay needs to come to a conclusion regarding that particular anecdote that you shared in order to better inform the reviewer regarding the prompt requirements.
Ahmed_Sanad 4 / 16 4  
Jan 28, 2017   #16
I do like your essay so much, it puts me in an atmosphere where i started to imagine the morning walk and how it could change people's life

you only have to make sure that you are on the right track of selecting such a topic as unnoticed one, unnoticed by whom ? i find this a little confusing to me.
OP barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 29, 2017   #17

what do you think of having this as a conclusion.

I had just gotten up when I saw my dad leaving for work and it instantly triggered me that the lights must be on in his room. As I went to switch them off, I stood there in surprise, the lights were already off.

it completes the answer to the prompt 'you think goes unnoticed' //thats what i think. waiting for your comments.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,858 4558  
Jan 30, 2017   #18
That is a very good addition to the essay. The only problem with that is that it is too short to present as a concluding paragraph. If I were you, I would add this statement to the paragraph about how you can save electricity by pressing a button. Remove the total reference to how you drifted towards energy conservation and instead, offer an analysis or opinion as to how you indirectly influenced your father's electricity saving habits. Whether he says it or not, he noticed what you were doing and he adopted it because he saw the positive results. That would be the best way to describe how this "unnoticed" thing was actually noticed by those around you. You don't really need to present the idea that you were attracted to energy conservation because of this. That does not move along the narrative in an aligned manner with the prompt.
OP barney 1 / 8 1  
Jan 30, 2017   #19
thanks for all the help !! i really appreciate your efforts !

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