So I think this might be too long, and let me know of any grammatical errors or bad content.
The striking contrast of black, white, and red in the viewbook was my first encounter with Swarthmore. However, as I discovered Swarthmore, family history came alive. Swarthmore is the green campus my grandmother remembers from growing up in Drexel Hill. My great-grandfather and his family sat in silence at Friend's Meetings in Lansdowne; he is buried in the Friend's cemetery there. My grandfather, on a different side of the family, grew up in Chester and my mother was born in Springfield. I never would have known this rich history without Swarthmore College.
I think the second paragraph has to be better organized...for some reason, I feel like it jumps from one thing to another.
The striking contrast of black, white, and red in the viewbook was my first encounter with Swarthmore. However, as I discovered Swarthmore, family history came alive. Swarthmore is the green campus my grandmother remembers from growing up in Drexel Hill. My great-grandfather and his family sat in silence at Friend's Meetings in Lansdowne; he is buried in the Friend's cemetery there. My grandfather, on a different side of the family, grew up in Chester and my mother was born in Springfield.
I never would have known this rich history without Swarthmore College. <- don't really need that part, I think :) you basically explained that through the second sentence.
Unlike my ancestors, my own upbringing has not been concentrated in one area. I was conceived in China, born in Nebraska, and have lived in Mexico on two occasions. Despite these facts, I am not fluent in Chinese or Spanish. I want this to change and Swarthmore College has the language program I wish to learn from. I have discovered from interviews that Swarthmore professors are literal wellsprings of knowledge and personal experience. I am captivated by Alan Berkowitz, your Chinese professor. My interests lie in international relations; Swarthmore's International Relations program is world renown.
These programs are the specific, concrete reasons for my interest. <- it's self-explanatory that these are your reasons (why else would you include them?)
My motives expand far beyond the concrete. I live in rural Nebraska; a wholly Republican, conservative, religious, and agricultural society. These characteristics are not inherently negative, but in conjunction, can suffocate the new and unusual. Swarthmore attracts me because I sense a progressive environment where my ideas will be more than a single voice fighting the wind, but college where individuality, creativity, and social awareness are nurtured. (the latter part doesn't seem to make sense?) I crave an atmosphere where people labor to cultivate an equal society, protect the environment, and question set standards. As a college, Swarthmore does just that. GPAs are not the highlight of the college experience; legitimate learning is the focus. Swarthmore's size guarantees access to professors. Okay the last sentence is good because it gives a reason why you're attracted to Swarthmore, but it seems random and not connected to the rest of the paragraph... :(
Personal growth is also fostered through student organizations. <-line is kind of random. There's no transition into this.Mock Trial dominated months of my high school career, as I pored over affidavits and formulated cross examination questions. I have competed at state and national levelsand believe that competing at the collegiate level would be an exquisite challenge. As for the student activist organizations, I am overwhelmed. I am an avid vegetarian, have helped to organize Earth Day in my home town, and have attended marches to protest the infringement of Native American rights. The breadth and depth of the organizations is inspiring; I could see myself spearheading efforts on behalf of Amnesty International, the Animal Rights Coalition, and Earthlust.
Be more specific about this paragraph...it just seems like a list of organizations so far. What exactly did you find inspiring? Why do you want to continue this in college?
From great to small, Swarthmore is enchanting and where I wish to call home for the next four years. The graduates are dazzling, the students unique, and the more one learns, the more there is to love. Initially, I knew that Swarthmore attracted me as a school. Now, Swarthmore has grabbed my heart as thecollege of my dreams and the home of my ancestors, a society of caring and motivated intellectuals that I desperately want to join. I see in Swarthmore the tools to sculpt students into pioneers of the future. I possess innovation, drive, and dedication. I offer the raw materials and hope for the tools I need to create a masterpiece.
I'm not too fond of the last sentence...it can work, but it needs to be fixed a little bit.
Overall, I liked reading your essay...I really liked how you tied in your family history and your own background. I just think it needs a little work, but I think you did a good job!