I'm submitting my UNC application Saturday, so I really need some feedback for my essay. Please point out parts of the essay that are weak, awkward, etc. While grammar is important, I'm really looking for advice on how to improve some of the weak parts of my essay. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you!!!
The water droplets rattle as they crash against my windshield; at last, I pull underneath the overhang to escape from the hurricane-like downpour. Enjoying the powerful gusts of wind, Nathaniel is in no rush to leave. However, after being blasted by one last breathtaking gust, he reluctantly abandons the storm. As he is driving up his ramp, he enthusiastically exclaims, "It's such a wonderful day outside!" His cheerful attitude towards such terrible weather condition makes me smile, and I tell him, "I don't quite know if I would say that it's a wonderful day. I know that you long for this type of weather, but trust me, it makes driving horrendous." He relents, but by his radiant expression I can tell that he is overjoyed about the ongoing thunderstorm. On our way to his physical therapy appointment, Nathaniel gives me an in depth description of the mighty storm brewing in the Gulf. The storm is getting ready to unleash its fury on Baton Rouge, and Nathaniel is very optimistic about the possibility of missing a couple days of school. Just as my meteorologist friend finishes his weather prediction, we arrive at his clinic.
Inside, Nathaniel's doctor leads him to his office, and as I watch Nathaniel disappear down the hallway, I find myself pondering how our unique friendship developed. Several months ago, Nathaniel's mom approached me and asked if I would drive her handicap son to his physical therapy appointments every Monday. My first thought was that I'd be happy to do it. I didn't know her or her son that well, but I knew that she worked a full time job, her husband had just passed away, and she definitely needed some extra help. Before I told her yes, however, I began thinking about how I would have to give up the one thing I valued the most: time. With this thought rushing through my head, I became somewhat disgusted at my selfishness. It's true that I'd have to push back the schoolwork I would normally do during this time, which inevitably means I'll get less sleep; however, this is such an insignificant sacrifice if I'm truly able to help a family already experiencing hardship. Without further delay I accepted the opportunity to help the family.
My hesitancy to become Nathaniel's driver revealed to me that although I had always enjoyed helping people, I only did so when it was convenient to me; I was never truly sacrificial in my service to others. This, however, is not surprising given that I live in a society in which each person is his own top priority. Being influenced by this individualistic philosophy, I always pursued what was in my best interest first, and I served others with my leftover time. I quickly rejected this philosophy, and instead began to imagine a world where each person genuinely cares more about others than he does himself. Of course this is an unattainable and idealistic outlook on life, but I've still determined to adopt this mindset for myself.
Since I adopted this mindset, I've experienced an incredible change in my life. I'm no longer held in bondage by the desire of selfish gain; I have a newfound peace that is both pure and genuine; and I've even developed a wonderful lifelong friendship. All of this allows me to fulfill my passion of helping others, and in doing this, I experience a joy and happiness that I would never be able to experience if I were bound by society's self-centered philosophy.
With these thoughts, Nathaniel comes back from his appointment. Smiling, I lead him to the car, and we talk about his favorite eras in history.
Awesome essay--very much so improved from your first draft (I had read it, prior to making an account, hahah).
The only thing I would suggest is maybe tweaking the last line. It's a huge jolt to go from the paragraph regarding your philosophy about life, etc., to Nathaniel coming back and speaking about history (especially after his enjoyment of weather is established earlier in the essay). I completely understand wanting to end back with your anecdote, but it feels like the last paragraph before is so strong and then there's this orphan line that isn't weak, but it just doesn't feel 100% right. Definitely not 100% wrong though either!
Good luck with your application! I'm applying to UNC as well!
Thank you for your reply!
I know. That is the only part of my essay that I'm struggling with right now. I do want to incorporate him in the final part of the essay, but I don't want there to be a huge jolt that comes out of nowhere.
Good luck with your UNC supplement! I'm trying to finish that up too.
What do you think of this as my new final paragraph?
With these thoughts, Nathaniel comes back from his appointment, smiling as always. Outside, the rain has been reduced to a soft trickle accompanied by light breeze of cool air. "Let's sit outside for a few minutes before we leave," I tell Nathaniel. Enjoying the pleasant weather, we finish our conversation from earlier.
I like it! I also really like the mentioning the weather again at the end, especially how it's more pleasant, like the conflict from the beginning of the essay has been resolved.
One super minor thing I also noticed just now-maybe change one of the "adopted this mindset" phrases to something different? It's not really noticeable but it is so close together that it's close to being repetitive.
Really though, your essay is awesome! Good luck :)