This is my first application essay and I'm testing the waters with this one. Just wondering what I should improve or change and whether or not I should stick with this one. Here is the essay prompt
Pepperdine's scholarly community equips students with a liberal arts education anchored in Christian values. Our commitment to integrating faith and learning challenges our students to understand that the gift of knowledge ultimately calls for a life of service. With this commitment in mind, please respond:
Tell us how the integration of faith and learning can prepare you for a life of service, and discuss the impact service-learning can have on the renewing of your mind, spirit, and community.
And here is my essay : )
May 12, 2008 - this dark date remains etched into the minds of literally millions of victims who had suffered the effects of a 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Sichuan Province, abruptly and without warning. During this period and for the following few months, dozens upon dozens of relief support teams were sent into the severely damaged area. I was fortunate enough to join one of these relief teams; we headed down south to a remote village that had been ruthlessly damaged from the quake.
I witnessed a countless number of events that tore my heart out. The elderly, the children, the fathers, and the mothers - no one was able to escape the raw horror of the aftermath of the earthquake. However, I was also able to see a lot of good. I saw people of the highest professions - many of them devout Christians - come together in commitment to share their acquired knowledge and skills to aid the victims.
These people - doctors, lawyers, scientists, and engineers - all used their talents to serve others while some of them even used this incident as an opportunity to share their faith with the Chinese people. They were not only equipped with the knowledge obtained from each of their fine educations, but also were devoted, as Christians, to using both aspects to their fullest. They understood that "each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:10). From this event, I gained a valuable piece of wisdom - that the learning I am currently pursuing now combined with my faith and devotion is vital in preparing me for fulfilling the plan God has for me.
Growing up as a missionary kid, I was instilled with the values and experiences of a life of service from a very early age. I was aware of the many trials it presented but I was also conscious of the amazing sense of happiness it brought me. Knowing this, I wanted to embark on my own journey into a life of service; my current dream is to use my unique experiences living in a multicultural background and an accomplished profession in the near future to go into impoverished third world countries, particularly Africa or Southeast Asia. There, I am willing to provide relief and supplies to areas in need, all the while showing the people the loving nature of God through my words and actions.
"It was not until I had returned to Beijing a few days later, due to my upcoming school year, that I realized just how simple the answer as." I think you need more trasition of how you find out the solution to your question. Just the return to Beijing is not conceivable enough about yout trasition.
If you can find a better story, you had better abandon this one since you did not answer the prompt very well, which asks "How the integration ..." You need to emphasize both "How" and "integration".
I think the premise of your essay is great -- your background is unique and colleges love diverse, dedicated, and helpful world citizens. However, you didn't answer the prompt! That's alright, I also had major difficulties with this essay -- I also did a narrative like yours -- but ended up changing it since it didn't fully answer the question.
Here's the skinny: Pepperdine is a liberal arts school of both faith and education. They are basically asking you how this combination of faith in something higher than yourself (i.e. God) with an education (or learning in general) can ultimately lead you to the life of service -- whether that it is in your career, in you dreams, in your family, with Christ, whatever it may be.
Do you get it?
I would really appreciate you checking out my Pepperdine essay if you have a chance! Thank you.