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'never made it to the finals round' - What Matters to you and Why? - Stanford

insanesoul81994 10 / 30  
Dec 28, 2011   #1
Could I get advice/suggestions for this essay? Thanks!

In the 1968 Summer Olympics, John Stephen Akhwari represented Tanzania in the marathon. At the start of the race Akhwari fell, creating a severe cut on his knee and dislocating the joint. He continued running and finished last among 57 other runners. When asked why he did not stop, he replied, "My country did not send me 10,000 miles just to start the race; they sent me to finish the race."

One of the results of my hydrocephalus was an extremely tight muscle in my left leg, causing me to walk with a severe limp. Even after enduring casts, leg braces, Botox shots, and acupuncture, my orthopedic doctor told me that I would never be able to walk normally. As I grew older, I was dismayed to learn that my hydrocephalus and leg condition prevented me from participating in most sports. Nevertheless, I told myself that I would not be limited by what I could not do. A part of me did not want to settle for the outcome predicted by a doctor's diagnosis. I shared this passion with my parents and they agreed to sign me up for Tae Kwon Do. The challenges that I faced in Tae Kwon Do with my leg condition were immense. Because I could not kick properly, I constantly felt like I was behind the rest of the class. For five years I struggled, but my leg gradually grew stronger. I entered many sparring competitions, and finally earned my black belt degree. In my sophomore year of high school, I joined the cross country team with the same desire to change the person I was destined to become. Again, I started at the rear of the pack, and even was questioned by my coach whether I really wanted to run in Cross Country. Yet I never gave up and participated in every single race.

I never made it to the finals round in any of my sparring competitions, nor did I place first in any of my races. Yet my severe limp disappeared, and I came out of Tae Kwon Do and Cross Country having learned that I should not settle for simply starting the race. Achieving success is important. But what far outweighs success in my eyes is knowing that despite the odds that are against me, I can still finish the race knowing that I gave my all.

Strawberry78 4 / 52  
Dec 28, 2011   #2
Try connecting your first and second paragraphs better. Overall, it is good, but needs a little work.
omgskl 1 / 4  
Dec 29, 2011   #4
It's really good, through your personal experience you really got your message out.

however, the flow between sentences might need a bit work, especially between paragraphs. insert some transitions and see how it sounds.

overall i really like it!

check out my commonapp essay too =]
karissa_a16 4 / 94  
Dec 29, 2011   #5
I would like to see a detailed account of a specific incident where your leg condition was a major obstacle, maybe one tae kwon do match in particular? Then you could relate your final message. Please help with my NYU one? Thanks!
Strawberry78 4 / 52  
Dec 29, 2011   #6
Try connecting the quote from the first paragraph into how you view yourself today.

Please help me on my UPenn essay please.
OP insanesoul81994 10 / 30  
Dec 29, 2011   #7
Thanks for the advice guys, I'll definitely take a look at your essays. The problem that I have with a specific incident is that I'm limited to 2000 characters.
arbrelibre 5 / 27  
Dec 29, 2011   #8
This is really great! There's nothing that I would change because it's a very nicely worded personal anecdote. So, in this essay what matters most to you is your resilience? That's just out of personal curiosity though.

Good luck with your application and hope to see you at Stanford next year!

Mind going over my Feminism essay?
sarahbee 1 / 49  
Dec 29, 2011   #9

The challenges that I faced in Tae Kwon Do with my leg condition were immense. (i think you should take that out because it is understood that your challenges came from your leg condition)

other than that it was very good!

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