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The Low Steps - Columbia Short essay


tavia528 2 / 7  
Nov 25, 2010   #1
It's suppose to be 1500 characters, this one is around 1300-1400.
I'm not sure if I fully answer the prompt. I've asked several people but some people say I do and some people say I don't so I'm really confused.

Also is writing about the Low Steps... superficial?

Prompt: Please tell us what you find most appealing about Columbia and why:

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer in the country. Out there everyone sat on the steps of their porch as they talked, read, or stared off into the distance. But then times changed, and bills piled up. So we moved to an apartment in the city. Everything about the city was different, but there was one thing that seemed to pervade: everyone still sat on the steps and talked. So I clung to that and I built my home around it.

Last year someone told me that I should apply to Columbia University.
"Where is it?" I asked.
"New York City. Just look it up, okay?"
"Oh. Okay, I will." I'll admit that I replied rather insincerely. I originally had no intention of going so far from home for college. But I said I would look it up and so I did. I scoured through tons of information, falling in love with everything from the core to the research, but not quite reaching the breaking point. I needed a push and I found it. The magnificent Low steps filled with so many different people talking, studying, eating, and watching people play games all around them. I could imagine myself sitting there on a nice day reading about quantum mechanics or Dante's Inferno. It gave me a feeling I hadn't felt at any other school I'd looked at. I could fit in, I could stand out, I could be challenged, and most importantly I could make a home.
floralcurfuffal 2 / 9  
Nov 25, 2010   #2
GREAT!!
love the use of steps at home and low steps. low steps reference is not superficial!
maybe emphasize the connection between the 'steps' a little more.
and elaborate more on what you find appealing. you only used 5 lines on actually saying what you find appealing!
OP tavia528 2 / 7  
Nov 25, 2010   #3
Thank you. :)
My only problem is I have enough room for maybe one small sentence.
I managed to take one sentence out to give me more room though.
tensplyr4eva 7 / 13  
Nov 28, 2010   #4
your writing is superb...i just have a couple suggestions. you could shorten the dialogue..something like "..that I should apply to Columbia University, in New York. I told them that I would, though quite insincerely--after all, I had no intentions of moving so far away from home"

something like that, maybe. ^
also, i'm a little worried that the admissions officer will think the reason why youre applying to columbia is basically because you like the campus steps (if i were to put this most bluntly). try to establish a connection between the academics or student life, perhaps.

i know you only have a limited amount of space, which is always tough, but those are just a couple suggestions.
good luck :)
OP tavia528 2 / 7  
Dec 8, 2010   #5
tensplyr4eva

That is exactly what I am worried about. I thought the topic would seem like I only like that steps.
someone told me that if I'm applying they know I must love the core, love the city, and appreciate the education, but I feel as though thats assuming to much.

But I don't want to say something that I can write for everything like "I like the diversity of "__", "The core provides a wide variety of classes and I feel as though I could learn to think new and creative as a scientist and expand my interests."

And this is where I get stuck.
wwd 1 / 8  
Dec 10, 2010   #6
I think your perspective is really creative! I just have one question...How can you be so sure that none of other schools has low steps? Because you seem to choose Columbia only because of the steps...

Good luck! : )
OP tavia528 2 / 7  
Dec 13, 2010   #7
Well, the low steps are specific to Columbia, I believe. They're in front of the Low Library and thus are called the Low Steps...

Its not that I chose Columbia solely on the steps, its more what they represent to me and because I was already into Columbia after reading about their curriculum and activities. It was the difference between Texas and New York that was holding me back. The steps kind of made it feel like home in a place that was far different from home. Which is why I find them so appealing.
ftfn 4 / 13  
Dec 14, 2010   #8
I think you should add something specic thing in Columbia you like for particular.
angeleyes 1 / 4  
Dec 14, 2010   #9
I disagree. I think this is an extremely well-written short answer and I think that the Columbia admissions officers would be flattered by the comparison/metaphor of what steps mean to you, especially since the steps are such a unique part of Columbia. (Not just the steps, but also what they represent). In fact, the metaphor would make the admissions officers respect you more for appreciating their intelligence, I would think.
cbsmallville 4 / 9  
Dec 14, 2010   #10
I have to agree with angeleyes; this is a great essay. I really liked how you compared both places, it shows how meaningful and appealing it is to you. I honestly believe that they would love it. great job


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