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Integrity and Honesty -Common app essay


Neo_LiuSJ 2 / 2  
Oct 31, 2010   #1
This is a draft. I am still wondering whether honesty will be a good topic as colleges assume that everyone applying is honest. But if fact you know, not everyone is honest. All comments are welcomed!

I used to be a liar, but I am not ashamed of it. I know it is fine for anyone to have certain imperfections. However, it will be pathetic if he refuses to change. I am glad this description is not applicable to me.

I remember that when I spent my pocket money in cybercafés, I lied to my mum; I remember when I didn't do well in an exam, I faked my father's signature; I still remember the first and also the last time that I attempted to cheat, I was caught on the spot.

I vividly remember that day, when my high school math teacher was helping me edit my research paper which was to take part in a competition, I suggested submitting the paper to several other competitions, so as to increasing the chance of winning.

'I don't think that is a good idea, Shijie. You should know that normally, research papers can only be sent to one conference or publication. Moreover, the competition specifies that participants are not allowed to send their work to other organizations.'

'That will not be a problem. Nobody will know. Besides, everyone else is doing it.'
'Shijie, you should NOT have said that. I need you to be perfectly honest. Don't care about others.'
'But...'
'This is completely unacceptable. ' was her final remark.
Looking back, that was the first time I started to consider these intricate questions: We all know that lying is unacceptable, but still, most of us lie. So shall I follow the others? Shall I lie without a qualm? Shall I uphold my integrity firmly?

Maybe we all know the model answer to this question. But too often, we are enticed by the devil in our heart. When we have to choose between integrity and self-interest, we often can't help to choose to fulfill our personal goals with all means necessary.

Amazingly, I find the answers in religion. I am not a Christian, but I believe in the teachings of Christianity which fascinated me.

"The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity." -Proverbs 11:3

Honesty is not only a direct reflection of our inner character, but also a way to show our faith. But we know how easy it is to fall into sin. Hence we need to trust ourselves and keep our faith strong. Being honesty can sometimes hurt, as we are usually disadvantaged than those who cheat. But that makes integrity more valuable than any other quality.

So the answer is choice. I can be either a liar who ignores integrity, or a righteous person who is blessed and revered.
Stop lying anymore; that is the choice I made. I endeavor to be as honest and frank as I can ever since. Trust me, I know how it feels when people who cheat in exams get higher scores than me. I know how it feels when I see others who tell lies so as to stay out of trouble. I know how it feels when I hurt the feeling of my friends because of my honesty. But I have never faltered. I know it is hard, but I've tried my best to uphold my uprightness and not get tempted by the desire that resides inside me. Now I know the importance of keeping my faith. I am confident that I've made the right choice.

Indeed, now I can be proud of myself, because I have not told a single lie for 2 years and 197 days.

kmerry 2 / 4  
Oct 31, 2010   #2
I think the topic is good, colleges know that their applicants aren't perfect and you're showing how you've grown from your imperfections. However, I do think that the whole essay is a little wordy, there were times when I had to re-read a section to understand what you were trying to say. You should also try reading it out loud to yourself to catch awkward sounding sentences.
OP Neo_LiuSJ 2 / 2  
Oct 31, 2010   #3
Yeah, thank you very much.
You know, I've just written down everything that comes into my mind.
Once I 've decided to use this topic I will start to edit.
I think I will quite probably stick to this topic.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Nov 10, 2010   #4
I am glad this description is not applicable to me.---If you end the first paragraph with this sentence, it will ring out in the readers mind for a long time. It should express a theme of the essay. If you want to adjust the message of the essay, add a little to this sentence.

Being honesty honest can sometimes hurt, as we are usually disadvantaged when competing agains t those who cheat. But that makes integrity more valuable than any other quality.

So the answer is choice. I can be either a liar who ignores integrity, or a righteous person who is blessed and revered.-----well, it's tough, because sometimes you might have to choose between being honest and being compassionate. Or you might have to choose between being honest and being loyal to a friend. Or you might have to choose between being honest and optimizing the likelihood that your loved one will get some necessary medical attention.

So, I think you would enjoy reading about Kant's categorical imperative and Mill's utilitarianism. Compare them, and you will enjoy the stuff you learn! :-)

I know it is hard, but I've tried my best to uphold my...

:-)


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