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'The Perks of Being Literate and Self-Honesty' - PERSONAL ESSAY

hanakml 2 / 19  
Dec 29, 2011   #1
I'll read yours!!

The Perks of Being Literate

I've always been a bit odd. Some people have even gone as far to say that my elevator doesn't quite reach the top floor. Yes, I'll be honest, my mind does wander astray one too many times a day; and I'll be the first to admit that the word 'habit' doesn't quite suffice for my daydreaming tendencies, which have transformed themselves into more of a lifestyle. In my elementary school days, I was the girl that sat in the back of the class, too shy to utter more than a few words every hour or so. And my timidity didn't end there. It followed me back home like a lost puppy on a cold, rainy day, permanently appending itself onto my personality. Even my own mother found it difficult to carry on a conversation with me before I inched back into my shell that became more of a home to me than my actual physical residence.

I never really understood why I was so introverted. It's not like I didn't have anything to say. Thoughts were constantly buzzing around in my head and I held a strong opinion on practically everything. But something in my mind kept my ideas fettered within the bounds of my skull, refusing to loosen its clutch. I felt ensnared, almost feeble. And it wasn't like I couldn't ask someone for help; the only problem was there was not an ounce of courage or confidence in me capable of doing so. My life, it seemed, was doomed.

But then, I discovered The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, the book that would ultimately change how I live my life. To be honest, at first I didn't have a clue why this novel, out of the other powerful, influential ones I had read, impacted me so much. I found myself reading the last few pages in tears, but still, I didn't have any idea why. It wasn't until I put the book down, closed my eyes, and reflected on my own life that I realized the book was about me. Everything the main character Charlie did, said, thought, and believed mirrored my life perfectly. Charlie lived his life within himself; I lived my life within myself. Charlie struggled to speak his mind; I struggle to speak my mind. Charlie stood on the sidelines as life passed him by; I stood on the sidelines as life passed me by. I was forced to acknowledge my own flaws and fix those that were preventing me from becoming who I really am.

To sum it up, I've learned that in order to be honest with myself, I needed to be honest with others. It dawned on me that the reason why I was so reticent and afraid to be myself was because, as shallow as it sounds, I was worried what others would think. I was constantly trying to win the approval of those around me, so much so that I lost the approval of myself. I had become a sheer shadow of my true personality, my true thoughts, and my true beliefs. Now, I live my life for me, not for others. Because as clichï as it sounds, I'll only live once; so why not make the most of life while I actually can?

Please let me know what you think and be 100% honest. I'm desperate!
& I'll read yours too if you would like (:
Mauru23 3 / 16  
Dec 29, 2011   #2
Wow, I loved it! It's really great. I love your wording and the lesson learned. Really not too sure about what's wrong :)
Check my revised essay please?
anshikav 4 / 19  
Dec 29, 2011   #3
I LOVE LOVE this essay. You had great details and it came off personal and fresh!
OP hanakml 2 / 19  
Dec 29, 2011   #4
Thanks you so much! It really means a lot!
pjw7109 7 / 23  
Dec 29, 2011   #5
i like the ending!
it can sound pretty cliche but you did good job not making it too cliche!
i love the personal tone:)
Jennyflower81 - / 690 96  
Dec 29, 2011   #6
Hi I will point out a few things that could sound better:

:timidity: This word seems to not fit with your description, or you could choose a different word, but continue with that topic and idea. I like the way you describe your "shell" but I'd like to know a little more about your personality- use a few stronger words to emphasize your personality.

And it wasn't like I couldn't ask someone for help; the only problem was there was not an ounce of courage or confidence in me capable of doing so.

This may sound better: "I could have asked for help, but..."

But then, I discovered The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Excellent point! Here is the focus of the entire essay- how your ideas/personality changed, and you transformed.

To sum it up,
saying this is unnecessary

Nice essay, very interesting, good luck in school!
OP hanakml 2 / 19  
Dec 29, 2011   #7
Thanks Jenny for the feedback, but I'm a little confused as to what I could replace 'timidity' with. I originally had shyness there, but it seemed a bit too repetitive since I had said I was shy in the previous sentence. Also, where do you think I can emphasize my personality more? Should I change a few things around to do so, or make the essay a bit longer (even though its already over the suggested limit).
OP hanakml 2 / 19  
Dec 29, 2011   #8
also, does anyone think the title's a bit corny? should I leave it, change it, or completely eliminate the title all together?
elephant1 2 / 16  
Dec 30, 2011   #9
Your essay is lovely. But I am not sure if the title goes along with the message of the story. I understand what you were trying to do, but I think you should change it.

Good luck!
OP hanakml 2 / 19  
Dec 30, 2011   #10
Thanks for the feedback! I think I'll just leave out the title all together.
gotpho 4 / 19  
Dec 30, 2011   #11
I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who could make cliches work better than you! And this is a compliment. The prose flows really well, it doesn't sound forced at all; This essay has a very natural feel to it. The one critique I have to point out though, is that you made a little repetition at the end.

because, as shallow as it sounds,

Because as cliché as it sounds

Over all.. this essay was brilliant. It was a bit cutesy, mainly the first paragraph, and made me go "(≧∇≦) D'aaawwww sho cuutteee"... forget you just read that... but I think that the lightheartedness only serves in your favor.

Mind helping me make my essay sound just as good? :D
Kielbasy - / 7  
Dec 30, 2011   #12
Change "struggle" in the third paragraph to "struggled" to maintain parallel sentence structure. Besides that, your essay is great! The topic behind it is very personal - it'll give colleges an idea of who you are and how you've developed as a human being.

- - - - -
Check out mine, if you would, pretty please:
OP hanakml 2 / 19  
Dec 30, 2011   #13
thank you so much! I'll take a look at yours too

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