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'invest in education' - Common App Transfer Essay


goettlek 1 / 1  
Mar 11, 2012   #1
EDUCATION INVESTMENT

Hello, This is an essay I've composed for my transfer applications due this Thursday. If someone could critique it and offer some feedback (don't be afraid to be tough, I need this to be great!), that'd be fantastic. Thanks!

Prompt: Please provide a statement (250 words minimum) that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve.

"Invest in your education, for education is the most important investment you will make in your life," was a proverb of my father, one that has resonated with me from the time I first heard it, at the start of my high school career. Reflecting on the past year, I have heeded my father's advice and invested my whole self into my education, leveraging the talents I have been granted, and for which I am most grateful, in pursuit of a fulfilling college experience.

But what exactly defines a successful and satisfying college experience? Certainly academics are neither the sole purpose nor the primary component of these four years. In my mind, the studying is equally weighted with the socializing, and both aspects combine to form a dynamic and engaging setting that provides a healthy balance of intellectual and social stimulation. The lecture halls should not be the only arenas of relevant and meaningful discussion. Rather, such discussions should be infused into everyday campus life.

Upon my arrival at _________, with my father's adage still firmly resolved in my head, I set out to fully apply myself to discovering and creating such an experience during the following four years. I enrolled in classes that I believed would challenge and motivate me to think both analytically and critically, while supplementing them by participating in seminars and lectures given by Jesuit priests, economists, activists and politicians. I proceeded to take advantage of other, extracurricular opportunities as well through clubs such as Oxfam and the Campus Activities Board. Additionally, every Thursday, through the (club name omitted), I visited (name omitted) for several rousing matches of cribbage against the reigning champion, Gladys.

Still, I found myself growing dissatisfied with living on College Hill. I began to recognize that the stimulation I required outside of the classroom was virtually nonexistent. There was no thought-provoking dialogue after lectures concluded and little diversity in the perspectives and opinions of the student body. Instead there was a prevailing homogeneity and intellectual apathy that made me feel isolated and alone in my commitment to learning. While the College attempted to foster meaningful conversations, hosting speakers and guest lecturers, most were met with less than stellar attendance. As I sat through those lectures and talks, actively searching for those conversations, I could not help but wonder: was this going to be the extent of my investment in education?

After careful deliberation and consideration, I've determined that reaching the full potential of my investment in post-secondary education means moving beyond _________. The intellectual involvement so crucial to my idealized four-year experience is simply insufficient here. I want to be part of the majority in seeking out deeper understanding and exposure after class hours, and part of a room full of eager learners at seminars and events. I firmly believe that a more vibrant and engaged community would ultimately quell the disappointments I have discovered over the past six months.

Therefore, I must persist onward. I must continue my college education elsewhere, because although __________ was unable to provide a sufficient level of intellectual engagement and social gratification, my belief in this investment has not faltered. I am confident that the next three years will be the most important years of my life and, with my father's proverb in mind, I am certain I will still uncover the true benefits of a fulfilling college experience, with the opportunities necessary to develop into the person I desire to be, at another institution.

_______ is my current school name.
chalumeau /  
Mar 13, 2012   #2
It was in one of those empty lecture halls, at the height of my frustration, that I arrived at the conclusion: reaching the full potential of my investment in post-secondary education 1) meant moving beyond Holy Cross. The intellectual involvement so crucial to my idealized four-year experience 2) was simply insufficient here. [font#0000FF]3)The classes should not be the only arenas of relevant and meaningful discussion but, rather, such discussions should be infused into everyday campus life.[ /font] 4)I want to be part of the majority in seeking out deeper understanding and 5)exposure after class hours: one voice in a community full of eager learners.

Therefore, I must persist onward. 6) I must continue my college education elsewhere because, although Holy Cross was unable to provide a sufficient level of intellectual engagement and satisfaction, I know there is an institution that cultivates the dynamic and diverse setting I desire.
7) My belief in this investment has not faltered. I feel confident that the next three years will be the most important years of my life and am certain the true benefits of a fulfilling college experience, with the opportunities necessary to realize my full potential, await me at another institution.

1) I would not switch to present tense in the middle of a sentence. In my example, I made the transition in the beginning of a paragraph.

2) "
3) You already made this point more eloquently. Cut this sentence.
4) "I longed to be ..."
5) "Deeper understanding and exposure after class hours," is confusing. There's an expression we use in the U.S., "after-class hours," which indicates what times the professor is available in the office for questions. Suggestion: "I longed to be part of the majority in seeking out an unparalleled investment in educational opportunities: one voice in a community full of eager learners."

6) Awkward construction. Suggestion:
"I must press onward in leaving Holy Cross for another institution, one which cultivates the dynamic and diverse setting I desire."
7) Wrong style. Suggestion: "This conclusion that fulfillment of the investment awaits me elsewhere is the most satisfactory opinion to be had on the matter, as the opinion rests on my unfaltering belief in my father's wisdom."

1st paragraph revision:

"Invest in your education, for education is the most important investment you will make in your life." This advice, passed from father to son, transmitted with it a spirit of achievement and adventure, a reluctance to accept passivity, and an inclination to stir up debate. During my stay at Holy Cross, I have heeded my father's advice and invested my whole self into my education, leveraging the talents I have been granted, for which I am most grateful, in pursuit of a fulfilling college experience.

****I feel that the first sentence is a little too passive, so I have changed it to reflect what emotions, expressions, and actions were felt by you. The second sentence contains that modifier, "reflecting on the past year," which I hate. I feel that it creates ambiguity. Are we, the reader, to think you are reflecting still, were reflecting at the moment you wrote the essay, or were reflecting from the moment you entered college? I have changed the words to suit your meaning.

I admire your writing abilities. I have to admit that many students become disillusioned with the college experience. Intellectual stimulation is often low on the list of priorities for most students. You may find that only a handful of students share your aspirations at whatever institution you choose.

The first time I read your essay I was under the impression that you intentionally left out the name of the new institution. However, I'm not as convinced this time. Have you been accepted to another institution? If not, I would highly discourage you from sending this letter.
chalumeau /  
Mar 14, 2012   #3
Before I spend more time polishing the essay, I'd like to read the essay prompt again.
I strongly feel that this essay is inappropriate for an admissions application. You detail
several (ad nauseam?) reasons for leaving HC but are unclear as to what programs
interest you. What authors? What speakers? Admissions personnel have heard it all, as
the saying goes. I still remember the lectures given by Joyce Carol Oates, Kurt Vonnegut,
and Amy Tan at my school. Surely, you heard someone or something that really caught
your interest? You have a good grasp of the English language, but you need a little more
substance.

Do you want to know why you Brits seem to have better language skills than
us Yanks? They removed grammar from school and stopped teaching writing. Yes, my last
regular grammar lesson was grade 5. They even slowed the reading speed to a crawl. Why?
Je n'ai aucune idee.
OP goettlek 1 / 1  
Mar 14, 2012   #4
chalumeau

Why did you assume I'm British? I'm not British, far from it actually. I come from the Pacific Northwest.

Also, I'm a little confused as to why you initially praised my essay and then proceeded to condemn it as "inappropriate". The point I'm making in my essay is that, while the academics are challenging and interesting, there's not enough intellectual stimulation outside the lecture halls. Instead of people being genuinely interested in learning for the sake of learning, they're interested in checking boxes on resumes and walking out with a degree and into a six figure salary.

What I feel I'm conveying in my essay is that I recognized there was a problem (everything i mentioned above), I tried to rectify it by challenging myself, joining clubs and attending seminars and lectures (which I gave specific examples of), but eventually came to realize that my efforts didn't result in much satisfaction. The conclusion I ultimately have come to is to transfer, as I feel transferring will allow me to get out of this bubble and out into discovering an environment that's conducive to learning and filled with students equally committed to learning.
chalumeau /  
Mar 15, 2012   #5
Also, I'm a little confused as to why you initially praised my essay and then proceeded to condemn it as "inappropriate".

I still admire your writing skills. Please don't take my "inappropriate" comment out of context. I assumed you were sending a letter

to your current school after being accepted by another institution next year. As you didn't want them hounding you to stay, you wanted
to silence the nannygoats before they began their incessant bleating. However, the purpose of this essay is quite different. You intend to
submit it as an application to another school. That being the case, I would advise you to remove some of the "I can't stand it here anymore,"

comments and replace them with "these are a few of my favorite things." Would you drop a class before adding a new one? No.

Instead of people being genuinely interested in learning for the sake of learning, they're interested in checking boxes on resumes and walking out with a degree and into a six figure salary.

You'll find people who fit this description on every campus. You're interested in persons who don't fit this description, or intellectuals as some would say. You're disillusioned with college campus life and the trappings of a small-town atmosphere. Are you attempting to transfer to a much bigger school? You'll find different problems: drug dealers, class inaccessibility, and long lines. If you've already made the determination that you prefer these problems to the problems inherent in a small-town college campus, then you'll be successful at your next institution. If not, I would advise you make such a determination.

More importantly, what is the question?


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