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"patience" - I understood the true meaning and the benefits of maintaining it. UVA supplement essay!


st21 3 / 10  
Nov 6, 2009   #1
Describe the world you come from and how that world shaped who you are.

Long days were spent crowded in a single floor with four siblings and my parents. Having to sleep on the floor because there was limited amount of space, I had a challenging experience at my old house. The life that I lived for over sixteen years of my life was a testing one; everyday there was a new issue to overcome. One day it would be an issue regarding who got to use the desk first for their homework or on other days, who got to use the bathroom first. This was a time where I saw all my friends moving into new bigger homes while I stayed at my old small house. Jealousy was not the feeling I felt but a sense of weariness as in why my family was not worthy of a bigger home. Every time I brought up this issue, my parents repeated the same word "patience". My endurance was tested to its limits, getting to a point where I almost accepted I was not going to get a bigger house. But it was that breaking point where everything seemed to turn around. The prices of houses dropped to an all time low and my parents bought a house, where my siblings and I finally had rooms that we could call our own. From the moment I set foot inside my new house, I understood the true meaning of patience and the benefits of maintaining it.

How is this?

Criticize away!
theAbraham 3 / 16  
Nov 6, 2009   #2
Here are my broad observations.

You use a lot of commas which denies your essay of any flow. Try reducing your comma usage and rearranging words to make everything more smooth.

Also the word 'struggle' may be too powerful to describe inconveniences like waiting for the shower and finding a workplace. I feel like your over dramatizing some simple annoyances anyone from a large family encounters.

Try trimming this essay down, and then focus on your lesson in patience. For example, tell us more about how you felt when your friends got better homes, what did you accept would happen when you almost gave up and how did you feel when you finally got the new home?

Hope this helps, spend a lot more time tweaking the content of this essay. Good luck!
mmmargarita 10 / 79  
Nov 6, 2009   #3
As theAbraham said, the biggest problem is the comma usage. Almost every sentence is a comma splice, which quickly gets frustrating for the reader and takes away from the impact of your experience. Fix the comma splices and everything will sound 10x better.

Having to sleep on the floor because there was limited amount of space, my experience at my old house was a struggle. Your experience didn't sleep on the floor, you did.

Every time I brought up this issue, my parents repeated the same word every time , "patience ". This patience was tested to its limits; I was getting to point where I almost gave up on patience . Try to cut down on the repetition.
OP st21 3 / 10  
Nov 7, 2009   #4
Thanks for the amazing input. I do get a little comma happy sometimes, hahaha. I revised the essay, I took off 20-25 words while removing commas and elaborating on my feelings.
mmmargarita 10 / 79  
Nov 7, 2009   #5
Much better! A few more suggestions:

Jealousy was not the feelingpossibly change to emotion to avoid repetition? I felt but a sense of weariness:as in why my family was not worthy of a bigger home? .

Also, is there a word limit on this essay, and how close are you to it? If there's any extra space, you could elaborate more how on your experiences shaped you - more about how you apply your hard-earned sense of patience to other areas of your life?
OP st21 3 / 10  
Nov 7, 2009   #6
Unfortunately there is a "roughly" 250 word limit, the essay right now is like 240 ish.

But thanks for all the help, I greatly appreciate it!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 8, 2009   #7
One rule for good, powerful writing, is to avoid using the passive voice. That just means instead of writing:

Long days were spent crowded in a single floor with four siblings and my parents.

You write,

I spent long days crowded in a single floor with four siblings and my parents.

Or...

Long days passed as I lived on a crowded single floor with four siblings and my parents.

Wow, that must have been crowded indeed! I like the ending; I like what you did with the concept.


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