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Life journey and turning points (statement of purpose)

jmathews05 2 / 6  
Jan 14, 2010   #1
First and foremost is this a very rough draft and taking a new approach. At the end of the essay there are a few bullets, so bare with me. All feed back is greatly appreciated as the deadline for these essays are March 1st

Essay, draft 1

Let me take you back to my junior year, the year 2004. This was a very drastic turning point in my life. I was involved in a gruesome car accident the Sunday before Spring Break. Everything I had planned was put on hold for the next four months. In my accident my body was completely mangled. I broke my femur, my pelvis, my collar bone, and six ribs puncturing my left lung. I was bed ridden and confined to a wheelchair. During this time I developed a love for puzzles, brain teasers, and ____. I missed the remaining part of my junior year.

I returned to school the following year with a mere nine months till graduation. Just like everyone else, I could not wait - even though I didn't have any plans for college or a fancy job lined up. All I know is that my grades drastically improved the last two years (having to adjust to the grading system here compared to Canada) and like every 18 year old, I thought the world was at my feet.

After graduation my grandfather immediately asked, "What do you plan on doing with your life now son?" How was I to answer his question? I wanted of go to college, but it wasn't in my family's history. We didn't have the money for school. That didn't stop me though. That fall I enrolled at my local community college. (Better transition)I wasn't quite up to college level in reading or math. Trying to juggle a fulltime job and college I passed the two courses, putting me at college level. I enrolled the following semester as a full time student. I started with four classes, and slowly one by one dropped courses left and right. Before I knew it I was a college drop out. This was first time I ever quit anything. At the ripe age of 19, I was blinded by the materialistic items my job was fulfilling me with. I guess this wasn't my time for college. I wasn't focused or ready for the challenge that lay ahead.

I wasn't happy with myself for dropping out of school. I knew I needed to do something with my life, but still wasn't quite sure what. I enlisted into the United States Air Force. The process was quite extensive; screenings, interviews, tests, and meeting with the surgeon general about my prior injuries. He approved my waiver and allowed me to enlist. I shipped off to San Antonio for Basic Training on September 25th 2007. My time in the Air Force was cut short due to my injuries and requires I be medically discharged. During those two months I learned more about myself then I have the twenty years prior. I was taught about integrity, will power, and excellence in everything I do. I was taught how to work as a team, pay attention to details, and help others out. This was quite an eye opening experience. It could be said that it was a turning point, a time where I became more focused.

(maybe elaborate on some of these qualities a bit?)

Once again I was faced with the challenge and question, "What do I want from your life?" I had to rethink everything. With my family there was only one thing, find a job and work. They didn't much care to listen to my plan, or what I wanted to do. So I went back to my previous job doing then only thing I knew and not getting ahead. I was frustrated but sucked it up. When the economy fell apart it took a toll on the company being in the oil field business. That March the company announced a lay off. I thought to myself, if I got laid off it would give me a chance to open a new window and go back to school for good this time. (Were my prayers answered.)I was one for the seven which got laid off. I wasn't affected as much as one might think. I had a game plan. I was determined to succeed this time. I was going to be the first person in my family to go and graduate from college. I completed all the necessary forms, applications and financial aid packet for the summer semester. I enrolled in six hours, to maximum they would allow for a summer semester. I couldn't wait for school to start. I was like a kid during Christmas. The night before the semester finally rolled around I couldn't sleep with anticipation and excitement. I didn't know what I had in store for me but I was determined to take it head on and conquer anything. My first semester back was a struggle getting in the grove of learning, studying and taking notes. I pulled it off though. After the six weeks and when grades were submitted I pulled off the unthinkable. I brought home two A's. At this point nothing my family could say would take away my determination, my focus, and my will to succeed at being a college student.

(break this into smaller paragraphs possibly)

Through the course of six years, having ups and downs, having things happen not as planned I am highly motivated, extremely focused, goal driven, and ready to take anything on that lies in my way. I am applying to the College of Natural Sciences seeking a degree in computer science. I am a great problem solver, fast thinker and won't stop working towards the final outcome. Computer science is about problem solving, and with my history of problems and how I over came them I feel I am a strong candidate that will succeed at accomplishing the task at hand. I have the ability to pay attention to detail and the dedication to press forward until a specific solution is found. I love brain teaser and puzzles. I love a challenge that requires me to think outside the box for a solution.
ziyad_ziyad 3 / 8  
Jan 15, 2010   #2
done well Joshua !

But i think you want to make your introduction more academic by adding a PROPER thesis statement which will be an excellant outline for your essay! and then you might end up changing your body paragraph

overall the essay is OK
OP jmathews05 2 / 6  
Jan 15, 2010   #3
Thanks for the input, I will continue to edit this, shrink it down and add more insight why I want Computer Science. I will also formulate a strong introduction. Thanks again
OP jmathews05 2 / 6  
Jan 15, 2010   #4
I have been working on this all morning. I haven't tackles the introduction as suggested but here are my current changes. Still needs some work as noted by the bullets at the end

- Talk about my love for puzzles as a child
- Talk about having to pay attention to details in military
- How I love how computers are constantly evolving (opening paragraph)
- Mention why computer science, what made me choose computer science (opening paragraph)
- Add little ties from closing paragraph back into main story
- Condense, edit, trim, critique,
- Stay focused on topic at hand
- Mention things I do in my free time, photoshop, brain teasers, reading, writing, gym, ect
- Do I need to pick just 1 or 2 really significant events instead of a running history?
- Computer science because it is ever evolving, drastic change in environment, that experience relates the computer field
- Math and science strong points
- Setting goals, achieving them, and setting new ones, self confidence
- Rather go to school when ready, rather than being told I need to
- All my struggles has made me the person I am today. (elaborate, details and examples)
OP jmathews05 2 / 6  
Jan 15, 2010   #5
Any other suggesting would be greatly appreciated.

Rapoch, thanks for the suggestions. I will take everything into consideration and continue to critique and edit this a few more times. I'm worried that it might be wordy? Also do you think I should keep the events, my accident, trying school, working, attempting air force, then going back to school, or pick one even, elaborate in that and tie it into why I am more focused now then before??
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 19, 2010   #6
I missed the remaining part of my junior year. --- when you write this sentence, it establishes a theme for the essay. In the reader's mind, this seems to indicate that the essay is going to be about how you missed much of jr year. But actually, I think you have something more to express, too, so try to capture it in a sentence and use that sentence -- a sentence worthy of your essay -- to end the first paragraph.

This is important not just for this essay, but for any time you want to convey a point powerfully through writing. When people talk about the structure of an essay, it is about the thesis statement. Let the essay be like a target with thesis statement at the center. It's the core. It and the rest of the body of the essay mutually support each other, making a deep impression in the reader's mind.


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