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Michigan Essays (diversity, economics, setback)

chickpig 9 / 26  
Jan 3, 2009   #1

I'd appreciate your help to proof-read these! (: Thanks for you time and effort!

Short Answer 1 (approx. 250 words)

"We know that diversity makes us a better university -- better for learning, for teaching, and for conducting research."
(U-M President Mary Sue Coleman)

Share an experience through which you have gained respect for intellectual, social, or cultural differences. Comment on how your personal experiences and achievements would contribute to the diversity of the University of Michigan.

It amazes me how people in this world can lead such simple yet happy lives. An overseas community service trip to Khao Lak, Thailand lent me a fresh perspective.

Coming from a fortunate background, I had little idea how the poor actually lived. After spending a week in Khao Lak, I realized that the sea gypsy community desired very simple things in life, making happiness very easily achieved. Although the people lived in small, cramped attap houses, their close-knitted community bonding allowed them to lead happy lives. Simple acts of sharing farmland and equipment and their occasional traditional dance gatherings defined their happiness.

Their strength and joy despite their dire plight touched my heart and gained my respect for their social and cultural differences.

Aside from that impactful experience, coming from Singapore with an Asian identity and culture, I hope to contribute to Michigan's diverse student body by sharing our way of life.

With my experience in the Singapore Armed Forces, I hope to share my views from a different perspective and add a creative spark to student discussions. As a Chinese, I will also embark on a cultural exchange with the students at Michigan, by telling them more about festivities such as the Chinese New Year and Mid Autumn Festival. Having been very involved in community service, I hope to spread the spirit of volunteerism in Michigan by organizing a volunteer festival. I also intend to infuse into the Michigan community some of the scouting values that have been inculcated in me, that of trust, consideration and courage.

(259 Words)

Short Answer 2 (approx. 250 words)

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA): What led you to choose the area(s) of academic interest that you have listed in your application to the University of Michigan? If you are undecided, what areas are you most interested in, and why?

It was love at first sight. I fell in love with economics from the very start. I have a passion for economics which was ignited in Junior College.

I am particularly interested in economics because to me life revolves around economics. Every day, we see and make use of economics, whether in making choices bearing in mind opportunity costs or in purchasing goods and services involving demand and supply. Economics is a beautiful subject which forms the foundation of how we work, live and play.

However, what's really driving me to pursue economics in college is my passion in community service. Economics can positively change people's lives through its influence. Economics is powerful; good economics can bring nations from poverty to prosperity while poor economics can cause huge financial turmoil. Drawing inspiration from my community service experience, I acknowledge and seek to reap economics' huge potential of uplifting the living standards of people.

Looking at the dire state of the less developed nations, I hope to find sustainable solutions to kick start some of these collapsing economies to alleviate them from long-term poverty. I also intend to look into improving the widening income disparity within some of these nations and amongst other nations in the world. Given the opportunity, I will apply what I have learnt by pushing for sound policies, thereby creating positive socio-economic change which could improve the lives many people.

Given my passion for the subject and for the community, coupled with my aspiration to enact positive change, I intend to major in economics in Michigan.

(259 Words)

Essay (approx. 500 words)

Describe a setback that you have faced. How did you resolve it? How did the outcome affect you? If something similar happened in the future, how would you react?

One of the major setbacks that I had as a student in Junior College was that of not being elected into the Board of Directors of the Interact Club. I was severely disappointed, because deep down, I held great passion for the club. Throughout the course of the election, I had put in my best and had come up with many great ideas which I wanted to implement through the capacity of board member. The thought of not being able to contribute as much as I would have liked to saddened me greatly.

Over the course of the next few days, I pondered over the elections and nailed down the key reason for my running. I was running because I had passion for the club and wanted to serve others. I realized that, even without being a board member, I could still do what I wanted. I told myself that if I were truly passionate, I would still continue to contribute as eagerly despite the setback. My passion motivated me by telling me to follow my heart and do whatever I really wanted to do - - and that not being a board member should not restrict how much I could contribute. During the next few weeks, I continued to actively contribute to the club just as much I previously had. Over time, the club realized that I was not doing it for anyone- I was doing it out of passion, the passion which burnt in me. Not only my peers but also my seniors and teachers were inspired and touched by my positive attitude.

Two months later, one of the elected board members relinquished his position due to personal reasons. The majority of the club and including the teachers then recommended me for the post. I was surprised yet glad that over time people had shown much greater support for me to be in the board. I was happy that my passion had increased my standing in the eyes of my teachers and peers; this passion had led me to influence others positively. I showed my sincere appreciation to the club and went on to serve in the best of my capacity.

Now that I have gone through such an experience, I know that if something similar were to occur in future, I would follow my heart wherever passion would take me just as I did so. I believe that nothing is a stronger motivator than passion; nothing is a stronger influence than passion; nothing is a stronger inspiration than passion. Passion gave me persistence and determination, subsequently creating wonders by turning the setback around.

Moving on, I intend to learn from my setback experience, take passion with me and have it applied to my time in college. May the lessons learnt in this setback help me overcome all other obstacles that I may face in college!

(478 Words)

keyurjain21 4 / 12  
Jan 3, 2009   #2
Ryon's essay seems better..


Their strength and joy despite their dire plight touched my heart

I am particularly interested in economics because to me, life revolves around it.

dats all i can say for NOW ! good luck
r991183878 6 / 19  
Jan 3, 2009   #3
I messed up in that last part!

Looking at the dire state of the less developed nations, I hope to find sustainable solutions to kick start some of these collapsing economies, alleviating them from long-term poverty
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 3, 2009   #4
"which I wanted to implement through the capacity of board member" could be changed to "which I wanted to implement as a board member." Likewise, "I believe that nothing is a stronger motivator than passion" could become "Nothing motivates as strongly as passion." The fewer words you use to express yourself, the stronger your writing.
OP chickpig 9 / 26  
Jan 3, 2009   #5
heyyy heyy, actually I'm not looking to cut down further on the word count here. It's alright if it exceeds now because it's not the final version. I can cut down on the word on my own later. I'm looking more for your comments and suggestions on the essay as a whole.

Please help me out! thank you so much (:
OP chickpig 9 / 26  
Jan 4, 2009   #6
Could moderator please help? Thank you! (:
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Jan 4, 2009   #7
You do a great job of starting out with sentences and phrases that grab the attention. The way to improve these in subsequent revisions is to ask yourself what the main theme is, and then apply this format to each essay:

Say it.
Explain it.
Say it again.

That way, each essay will be a powerful expression of a single idea, with every sencente supporting your theme.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 4, 2009   #8
Actually, I wasn't suggesting you be more concise to cut down on the word counts. I was suggesting you be more concise because conciseness itself is generally considered a stylistic virtue.
OP chickpig 9 / 26  
Jan 5, 2009   #9
sure, now i get it. thanks (:

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