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"Life reel" + "Religious journey" - Stanford supplement and Common app


arnold1992 2 / 2  
Dec 31, 2010   #1
Please review/revise my essay and point the flaws if you will Thank you!
Common app essay
Life reel

I love movies. Ever since I was little, I have always been fascinated by movies. All kind of different movies portray different life aspects. Movies are stories that illustrate people's lifestyles, desires, and beliefs. There are two types of movies, the ones that directly associates with my immediate life and the ones that teaches me about lives of others in the rest of the world. And both intrigued my desire of creating my own "movie".

"What is your favorite movie?" is one of the top ten questions I get from people. My answer has consistently been "Titanic (1997)". I still remember the first time I watched Titanic when I was seven. It was the time when movies were still in VHS tapes. It was on a Saturday night when my huge Taiwanese family gathered at my grandparent's house for a family dinner. After the dinner my mom pulled out the movie Titanic from her purse, she was telling everyone that Titanic had got all kind of positive reviews and how it has set the new Box-Office record. Later on, the whole family gathered around the timeworn television and experienced what James Cameron has to offer. As a child, I was amazed by the movie even though I did not understand half of the English conversation, and subtitles really don't help when you are only seven. After watching the movie again and again, I began to see something beyond the movie itself; I saw the journey, the love, the adventure, and the reality of life come together to create a movie that appeals not to one type of viewers, but to a diverse audience. "This," I thought, "is what I want my life to be."

After fifteen years of watching movies I had a message drilled into my brain: if my life is a movie, I do not want my audience to walk out on me, I want it to top Titanic's record, to be the greatest hit ever. So I decided to make an adjustment to my life to add some dramatic effect in my movie: I moved to America. I thought it was an unprecedented idea of changing my life, but soon on I found out the move was a cliché. This lesson has a major impact on my perception of creating my own movie. All of the primo movies in the movie industry have something that gives the audience a deceptive illusion, which makes them feel like they are part of the story instead of just a viewer. I reviewed all the preeminent movies, and found out that it's not about the cast, the place, or the special effects that make them exceptional. It is a common element that is in them, an irresistible and original story line.

I compare my life to all the different momentous movies, while doing that it gives me the aspiration of wanting my life to be like them not the story itself but to have the same impact they have on people. I yearn to strike people's hearts in the way that mine has been struck, to share with others the beauty, the serenity, and the hope of life. Most important of all, I wish to walk through the path of life feeling alive. I strive to receive applause at the end of my movie, and to make people walk out the theater filled with complexion of emotions. Now I engage in opening my eyes, ears, and heart to discover all the other movies of life rather than blindly following the status quo ante.

Stanford supplement
Required Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.


My religious journey is rather exotic. I was raised in a Taiwanese Taoism family where my families are all Taoist except my dad who has always been an atheist. I have been exposed to all sorts of Taoism beliefs as a child, but I was never fully committed to it. Later on in my life, I started to question about religions, which would eventually lead me to reconsider my religious beliefs.

I never discuss my religious beliefs with anyone before I came to America. The main issue was how most of the people I encountered were all biased on religious beliefs, and people got offended when I questioned their faiths. When I finished my sophomore year, I decided to try something new: exposing myself to a whole new culture by attending a Christian School in Minnesota. It was at this Christian School where I started to be more open with my religious beliefs. I met a couple friends who are neutral on religious subjects. We started out talking about how Christianity likes to challenge scientific theories yet neglects it's own contradictions. We tried to talk to a couple theology teachers about our questions, but the only answer we would ever receive is to have faith in God. We would leave the room as confused as we walked in.

Later on we developed a theory about religions: In order to fully comprehend any religion, one must have faith, but what is faith? It is the simple belief without logic and reasoning. My questions still remain unanswered even today, but what I have learned is how I must be open to all the voices to seek the Veritas.
OP arnold1992 2 / 2  
Dec 31, 2010   #2
Thanks for pointing out the flaws, and Veritas means the truth in Latin, it's not a quote. I'll definitely take a look a yours but I have to finish my last supplement for stanford, I'll probably end up staying up whole night anyways. And again thanks for your help


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