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Kiwis Cant Fly. I read that in a bird book once. Common App Essay


Kiera9473 2 / 4 1  
Sep 22, 2017   #1
This is my essay for the common app. My mind is completely blank trying to make this better so any help counts. I really wanted it to be creative and really captivate the reader. I just wrote this so it isn't a final draft. Im applying early decision so I really need to get this completed soon! Please help!

Prompt:
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.


Kiwi's can't fly.

I read that in a bird book once.

The flightless ratite roams with useless wings. A bird that can't even fly. That's like a fish who can't breathe with gills. The thought that all your life, you have been just trying to find a use for the things on the side of your body that are defined as "wings"- although they aren't wings, to you their just a waste. They call these things a gift..although, whose gift was it given? Certainly not yours. What are you gonna do with them? Flap them to only never move, to never start? My whole life I believed I resembled a kiwi.

I remember my 5th-grade graduation like it was yesterday. I'm sitting in the front row, waiting for my cue to give our graduation speech in front of everyone. I go up, read whatever my teacher wanted me to read, and give the best of luck to each of the student's future. My teacher looks at me and says "Kiera, what are you gonna do when you grow up?" I couldn't find the answer. One boy believed it was his destiny to find the first aliens on Mars. One girl believed she was meant to cure cancer.

I don't know what I was meant to do. I had no clue what my purpose was in this world.

I hated this answer and I swore to myself I would find one for this question. So, I tried to learn anything-anything at all. I looked deep into myself and the world to find something I wanted to look forward to for the rest of my life. I once taught myself Japanese thinking I was meant to be a translator. I taught myself archeology and the creatures going extinct, the kiwi for example. I learned how to cook and write a cookbook. I learned how to draw, to write, to juggle...

And I loved them all. But I needed one thing to be considered a "purpose".

What even was I looking for? An excuse? Why did I even need a purpose, a reason to say this is exactly why I'm on this Earth? In church, I learned that we have already been given our future. It's like little kiwi wings that are stuck to our body. But, what good is this if we don't know how to fly? What good is it if we don't even know what these things are, we are brought into this world searching for the answer? What good is it to trouble ourselves to find what exactly we need to use these wings for? Maybe we don't need a purpose at all. Maybe the kiwi's wings are just there to force them to question their existence. Maybe it's just an excuse to confine ourselves to only one way of life, a mindset that if we don't find an exact purpose in this world, then you're nothing but useless.

What does a kiwi do anyway? It doesn't fly, so what is its purpose? I learned a lot about myself searching for my own. I learned that I let standards get to my head, to make me go crazy and question my existence. But more importantly, I learned that I was determined, open-minded and had more than just one "purpose" to offer the world. While also searching for the answer, kiwis learn that they're nocturnal, and can sing majestic calls that pierce the New Zealand air. Although they can't fly, they are known as the most "honorary bird".

I eventually found what I wanted to pursue in my life. Art was exactly what I was looking for. But I don't want to limit myself to just that. That doesn't have to be my sole purpose. I want to conquer the world with my little kiwi wings in the process.
pds2027 2 / 3 1  
Sep 22, 2017   #2
Awesome essay (coming from me, a New Zealander)! just a couple grammar/spelling mistakes I noticed...
Kiwi's should be kiwis
'to you their just a waste' should be they're
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,535 3447  
Sep 22, 2017   #3
Kiera, a 5th grade event that doesn't even show a continuous and related growth process in the essay is not an applicable response. The prompt specifically asks you to represent a "period of personal growth" in your presentation. Therefore, you need to point to an event that has you starting out as one thing at the beginning, slowly realizing certain things towards the middle, and then, a new understanding of yourself in the end. Think of something along the lines of:

1. I want to dance but I don't know how to
2. I enrolled in dance lessons
3. Through the lessons, I learned I do not have a sense of rhythm
4. I worked hard to develop my sense of rhythm
5. I began improving as a dancer with the slow development of my sense of rhythm
6. I came to realize the importance of rhythm in the art of dance

That is the type of narrative that this essay requires you to present. It has to show a series of progressive events and a realization / lesson learned on your part in relation to a specific event or activity.

I have to say though, that the essay that you wrote is pretty good and should not go to waste. Maybe you would like to consider using this essay for the open topic prompt instead. You can easily formulate an original prompt based upon what you wrote and then use your personal prompt to describe the essay discussion.
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Sep 22, 2017   #4
I think this is an OK start and I like your writing style and tone, but there is much room for improvement here. I disagree with Holt in that I think talking about this 5th grade experience is completely appropriate and it does answer the prompt in part. The prompt is asking for an event or a realization that SPARKED a period of personal growth and it is entirely plausible that this event sparked that for the writer. We know that students become really inquisitive about the world, society and its regulations around the 4th, 5th or 6th grades so this is in line with that. The major issue I see with this essay is that you don't show much progression. Although the prompt is asking for a spark, the admissions officers want to see how that spark, has ignited into a flame since then. How have this level of inquisitiveness continued on throughout your life and how has it benefited or hindered you, but most importantly - aided your personal growth. As a former admissions officer at an Ivy League school, I know that students that answer these prompt in a multi-dimensional way are the ones rewarded with the admit. - Admissions Track


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