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"Recon" Significant experience Common App Essay - Critique and help in shortening?


saturnslight 1 / 1  
Oct 29, 2010   #1
Common App essay for SUNYs Binghamton, Stony Brook, and University at Buffalo. I'm also considering using a variation of this essay for University at Pittsburgh.

Recon:
The swelling of music, the quickening of the heart, the close up of changing expressions, are these all not the classic traits of the life-changing epiphanies we always hear about? As someone who grew up immersing herself in the world of literature, television, and film I've lost count of the times I've witnessed that grand scene. I used to wonder if my profound moment of clarity would ever come. Elizabeth Bennett, Harry Potter, and Rob Gordon all got their moments, where was mine?

It turns out that my moment wouldn't come in the beautiful marble halls of Pemberley nor would it come in the shadows with a vow to kill the Dark Lord. Instead, my moment of realization occurred three years ago in the dank space of my school's locker room. My friend had made a seemingly casual comment that I rebutted with such intensity that it surprised us both. There was no dramatic music or dazzling lights leading up to the moment, only my voice surprisingly firm and strong, assuring her "No, not all U.S. soldiers support the war and Bush." Her implication to the contrary was such a rudimentary assumption of the war and more importantly, the men and women fighting for our nation that it left me annoyed at her. Truthfully, I had just faulted my friend for a comment I have made before. That realization of a slight but significant change in me marked what I knew was my first step in growing up. In that instant, the adolescent bubble that I didn't even know was trapping me had been burst.

It wasn't hard for me to trace the origin of my long awaited epiphany. Earlier that year, I watched 'Generation Kill', an HBO miniseries book adaption. The miniseries chronicles reporter Evan Wright's experience with 1st Recon Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. While 'Generation Kill' did give me a deeper understanding of war, a growing attraction to men in uniform, and an overall great viewing experience, these were just supplements to the fact that the men of 1st Recon had propelled me to change my worldview.

As I watched 1st Recon roll through one Iraqi town after another, my self-made world was crumbling. Each Iraqi town was not only another moral dilemma for the on screen soldiers to deal with but also another blow to my self-centered worldview. Unbeknownst to me, I had created a faux world around myself where the only matters of importance were my friends and family. I had assumed that anything without a direct correlation to me was no value so for issues like the war; I simply took the opinions of the people around me. In hindsight, this was not only selfish but also extremely ignorant and wrong of me. 'Generation Kill' enabled me to not only realize that there were thousands of soldiers giving up their lives for me, merely to have me overlook their sacrifices but also that there was an entire world out there that deserved my attention.

Three years later, I can't honestly say that my not so exciting epiphany has led me to a great love or saving the world from Voldemort. I can't even say "I put on my superhero uniform everyday" like Sgt. Rudy Reyes can but I strive toward it. I recognize that I'm an active member of this world and will take any opportunity to change it for the better.

Any comments and criticism are appreciated! This is roughly 580 words so I want to shorten it but am not sure what to cut. Also, would this qualify for significant experience or should I choose topic of your choice?
EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Nov 4, 2010   #2
I really like your opening paragraph!

It turns out that my moment wouldn't come in the beautiful marble halls of Pemberley, nor would it come in the shadows...

There was no dramatic music, were no dazzling lights leading up to the moment, only my voice surprisingly firm and strong, assuring her "No, not all U.S. soldiers support the war and Bush."

... and more importantly, the men and women fighting for our nation, that it left me annoyed at her.

Truthfully, I had just faulted my friend for a comment I had made before.

In that instant, the adolescent bubble that I didn't even know was trapping me had been burst.Cool sentence!

Each Iraqi town was not only another moral dilemma for the on screen soldiers to deal with, but also...

Unbeknownst to me, I had created a faux world around myself where the only matters of importance to me concerned my friends and family.

I had assumed that anything without a direct correlation to me was of no value, so...

I can't even say "I put on my superhero uniform every day " like Sgt. Rudy Reyes...
OP saturnslight 1 / 1  
Nov 7, 2010   #3
Susan, thank you so much for the help! I've always had difficulty in figuring out where to place commas so your help is appreciated!


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