Hello! I would love some advice and/or edits on my admissions essay. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
When planning my large-scale East Coast college tour in the summer of 2010, Johns Hopkins University had just barely made my list. My mother had recounted disenchanting stories staring an overly competitive, anti-social student body in a dangerous city. She alleged it was a pressure cooker, a sink-or-swim environment, and that the school was indifferent to undergraduate students. However, when it came to writing my college tour list, I considered Johns Hopkins obvious strength - academics - and added it to the list in the tenth and final spot.
Upon visiting the campus, I was pleasantly surprised that the stereotypes about Johns Hopkins were unfounded or outdated. The area surrounding the Homewood campus put my mind at ease - calm, student oriented, and relatively safe. The students I saw on campus seemed unexpectedly friendly - a student I had just met even offered to show me her room to see a typical dorm at Johns Hopkins. They raved about undergraduate research opportunities and the personal interest professors take in students, which appealed to me because of my research background. Nevertheless, I had reservations regarding how comfortable the university would be for me. Would someone a little nerdy, a little free-spirited, and incredibly quirky fit in? Despite these concerns, the excellent impression of the school quickly moved Johns Hopkins up to the top of my college list.
My time at the XYZ College has been a period of growth and self-exploration. I have developed a more accurate understanding of what I need from and desire in a collegiate environment, and I firmly believe that Johns Hopkins is the right fit.
Johns Hopkins appeals to me because it is set in a vibrant urban environment amidst the Inner Harbor, the Maryland Science Center, and local cafĂ©s. It fits my desire to engage with a diverse student population from all 50 states and from 71 nations, enabling me to interact with countless cultures, worldviews, and life experiences. However, what solidified my decision to apply were the comforting words of a close friend, [Name Removed to Protect Privacy] - a freshman at Johns Hopkins, who assured me that there is no typical Hopkins student except that everyone is kind, friendly, and genuinely interested in their studies. She guaranteed me that I would fit in flawlessly with the student body, perhaps more so than she does. She explained that everyone with passion has a place on campus. I would make mine in a sorority, with the Baltimore Rescue Mission Clinic, and in the lab.
Above all, the university fits my academic interests perfectly. Johns Hopkins encourages individual growth through a self-directed and research oriented approach, something that specifically appeals to me because my preference for a more individualized educational experience. The university also offers a wide variety of courses in my intended major - neuroscience - such as Cognitive Development, Neuroscience of Decision Making, Synaptic Function and Plasticity, and Psychopharmacology. These courses coupled with research opportunities working with neuroplasticity induced by environmental factors including drugs and brain injury with Professor Gorman and Professor Baraban would enable me to explore my interest in the external factors that effect neuronal patterns associated with decision-making.
I would leave out about what your mother has heard about the school. You don't want the school to think that you had doubts about them even though you are applying.
First, might I say that this piece of writing is a pleasant surprise. It was my pleasure reading this. I am not sure what the prompt is for this essay though, you failed to include it so I can at the most only give you general, supportive critiques.
Proceedingly, your worked flowed rather effortlessly. I, however, suggest that you may relax on the "5 cent words". Let me explain what I mean by that. I am personally from Baltimore, Maryland born and raised and though JHU campus, students and staff may be superb, the area which it lies is far from "vibrant". The local cafes are nothing too special so I'd imagine you're not from a city or metropolis to make you think otherwise. The diversity of JHU is viable, albeit such "diversity" lies with a great deal coming from Asians (including Indians). People are people no matter where you go (there are good, bad, and those somewhere in between) so I'm not sure how effective it is including your friend's selling point because that within itself is a vast generalization to paint everybody at JHU as if they are unanimously congenial.
As you continue to desctibe the school as being "perfectly" in accordance with your wants and needs, you fail to really talk about you. From this writing, an uniformed audience has no indication of why the school should take you. Sure, you loved to be at JHU, but who hasn't that has desired to work in the scientific field? Sure JHU has exactly what you want, but what do you have to offer? This piece though a fun read lacks a specified touch whereas you even speak of the school objectively calling it by name, Johns Hopkins, instead of this University or even embellishing and saying "this wonderful University of my dreams", etc.
In all, I hope you are able to absorb the criticism and make the adjustments needed to perfect this good piece of work. I leave you with the following, with respect to JHU being synonymous with country in this instance, as JFK once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
Best of luck to you, take care.
You should state what are your contributions going to be at the university more compared to the people. That will grasp their attention. Although the part of your mother seem to have a certain flow, but I'm afraid if the admissions board would think otherwise. Hope I helped somehow, humble views. Good luck! :)
Help with mine please?