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Religion holds a lot of mysteries where the world would never know - CommonApp Essay Prompt 3

altran16 1 / 2  
Oct 14, 2015   #1
Essay Prompt 3: Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

Note: My English is poor, I'm not a good writer or have a creative thought. I make a lot of grammatical errors like using present tense when it should be past tense. Stuff like that. Really appreciate if you guys would help me.

In my essay, I try not to get too technical into religion or shove religion down reader's throats. Tried to avoid using words like "Lord" or "God" if you guys know what I mean.

Religion holds a lot of mysteries where the world would never know. Roman Catholicism was the religion I was born and raised in. Inherit the traditions and practices that was passed along from my mother. Every Saturday night, my family and I would go to church; we sat, we prayed, and we listened to our minister. After that, we just go home, back to our normal daily lives. I never speculated the reason my family goes to church when I was young. Church has always been long and dull for me. And I could not understand the passages from the Bible the priest would read or I chose not to listen. "Why did we choose this religion?" "How would this religion help us?"; all questions I would ask my mother about our religion, but would never get an answer for. Since I didn't have any of these answers, I would have no interest in my religion. My faith started to decay as my curiosity began to grow.

The challenge I faced for my entire life was the religion I was forced upon. I never really had a decision to choose what religion I wanted to follow. My mother loved Catholicism exceedingly since it helped her during rough times throughout her life. She wanted the best for me to follow the same path she took. But taking that path made me question where I was and if it's the right choice for me.

To challenge my religion, I had to test my connection to Catholicism. I wanted to understand what the religion really means to me rather than just attending church and obeying my mother. I went to a Christian/Catholic summer camp that help adolescents reach their potential in Christianity; my choice of going because this camp will help me decide whether to believe or not believe. The camp was very life-changing; It helped clear my vision on how I see my religion, answered my questions why I should believe, and repaired my connection.

Looking back on the judgments I had with Catholicism, I regretted on how I felt before but yet appreciated that I challenged myself to learn the religion on my own. I understood why mother picked this religion and wanted the family to follow a religion that helped her during difficult times. Instead of doubting my religion, I wanted to build a better connection with Catholicism and grow my faith.

aikoashiya 1 / 39 26  
Oct 14, 2015   #2
A common misconception that people have with college essays in general is to answer the prompt with a topic and expound upon the topic. However, what you should realize is that these admissions officers are looking at these essays to get a better picture of you, as a person, and therefore your essay needs to be more about yourself - likewise, it would be great if you had a unique experience that no one else has experienced, however the reality is that many students do not have much unique about themselves from other candidates. A better way to approach this is to really invoke your voice and writing style into your essay and include a lot of personal details to make what appears to be a rather bland essay as something that is actually unique.

Furthermore, you do indeed have a lot of grammar errors, and I suggest you send an essay to your English teacher for some revisions. To be blunt, there are a lot, and I'll leave it to the more experienced users of essayforum to assist you with those.

The essay as a whole really just shows what Roman Catholicism means to you, but you need to show/demonstrate qualities of yourself through your challenging of the religion (revolve your essay around you, not your religion).
OP altran16 1 / 2  
Oct 14, 2015   #3
I don't know what to do at this point. Just to let you guys know, I'm very irresponsible. A college that I'm looking at has a early action deadline by Oct 15, which is tomorrow. My mom wants me to send my essay before the early action deadline so I can have a better chance to get into that college. If I don't send it before by that deadline, my mom is going to panic and believe I won't get anywhere in life.

Before seeing your post @aikoashiya, I went to my English teacher to revise my essay. He fixed the grammatical error of the essay and told me the essay was on topic and ready-to-go when it's fixed. Literally thought that my troubles were over until seeing your post and put two and two together that the essay isn't going to be good for admission officers to know who I am. Right now, I'm indecisive if I should not send my essay and take regular decision deadline to fix my essay a little bit more or send my essay to not disappoint my mom. I really need opinions about this and I know I need to take college seriously.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 14, 2015   #4
Andrew, now is not the time to panic. Don't fret about how your mother will react if you miss the early action deadline. Be more worried about what will happen if you submit this essay and then still don't make it to the university of your choice. You won't be able to apply for regular admission this semester anymore. If you really want to make sure you have a good chance at admission to the university, then don't submit this essay. If you don't feel that it delivers what the prompt requires then do not submit it.

Instead, have a talk with your mother and tell her why you decided to not apply for the early action admission. Tell her that the time isn't right and that the essay you prepared was just something that you were not comfortable with submitting. She of all people should understand that these essays are part and parcel, and sometimes, one of the deciding factors, of your admission to your university of choice. So don't rush it. Tell your mom there is still time for you to apply for admission and you will take your chances with a better written essay through regular admission. What is the use of running after a deadline when you know the document you will be submitting will not help your chances right? I am sure your mom will see the logic and reason in your decision. After all, she may choose the university, but you are the one who has to apply for admission.

Now, as for your topics, I would definitely not use religion as a topic. It is just too explosive and debatable a topic for this type of essay. If you don't mind, I have a suggestion for your topic that just might work for you because you are currently experiencing it. Why not discuss this crossroad that you are facing at the moment? Talk about challenging your mom's belief that by not applying for early action, you will not get into her university of choice. Then tell the reviewer how you resolved the issue. That is, I am assuming that you will be applying for regular admission instead.

The facts of your essay already exist at this moment in your life. So use it. Write about it. You will find it easier to write because you actually have to live with it at the moment. When you write about something that truly happened to you, it makes it easier to write the essay. By opting to write about your desire to challenge your mom's idea that you won't get into the college if you don't have early admission, you also pose a challenge to the reviewer to consider your application seriously for regular admission as well. After all, you already challenged your mom's belief, maybe he can give you a helping hand by seriously considering the merits of your application :-)

Of course that is just an idea I came up with to help you out. It is up to you if you want to use it or not. Definitely, do not submit this essay if you feel it is not what will help you get into the college. Talk to your mom. She will understand as long as you explain it properly. Have her read my post if you think it will help you explain your situation to her :-) Maybe she will receive the information better if it comes to a disinterested party ;-)
OP altran16 1 / 2  
Oct 15, 2015   #5
Thank you for replying Louisa,
I talked with my mom last night. She panicked. Didn't go out so well. Showed her your message, didn't take it to heart and still wants me to apply early action. Screamed at me for doing stuff last minute, that all the essays I made sucked, and that she doesn't care anymore and I won't go to college if you don't apply early action... But what I did was I didn't send it, and I'm going to take regular decision and face consequences for disobeying my mom.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 15, 2015   #6
I'm really sad to hear that Andrew. While I understand your mother's point of view, I also know, from experience, that parents tend to panic and see the worst case scenario for all their children's actions in school. I do not believe that your essays suck as your mother does. Instead, I believe that your essays have room for improvement. Improvement that comes with the proper guidance from other people while writing it and your belief in yourself, that you can write an essay worthy of admission to college.

Like I said, you already have your answer for the prompt at this very minute. You can use this experience to explain the belief or idea that you challenged. Why you chose to do it, and if you would do it again when faced with the same situation in the future. You have an interesting story to tell at this point. One that a reviewer just may remember because of the stand that you took regarding your college application. You should thank your mom for being the over reacting, panic stricken parent that she is. Tell her she gave you fodder for the perfect essay :-)

If you mom won't support your move for regular admission, then rest assured that we here at the forum support you. When it comes to college, parents can't really be of much help. This is the time of your life when they have to either loosen the reins or totally let go and allow you to decide which college to attend, why you want to attend it, and when you will be attending. You are on the road to independence at this point. Of course your mom won't be comfortable with your decision :-)

Write the response to the prompt now. Then post it here, I know that I will be here to help you fix the essay and make it as memorable as possible. I'll work with you on it for as long as it takes. BTW, your mom also gave you an experience that can be used for the common prompt relating to "transition from childhood to adulthood" and other supplemental essays.

Don't worry about going the regular application route. You have the same chance as the next future freshman at getting into college. What matters is that you want to go to college. Not when you will go to college. Early admission doesn't mean anything if you are not yet emotionally and intellectually prepared to go. So take your time. College applications are nerve wracking enough without having to deal with an unreasonable parent. Don't let her get to you. Just apply to the colleges and show her that you will get admitted. It doesn't matter if it isn't her college of choice. What matters, is that you got in. It does not lessen the impact of being an incoming college freshman if you do not get into her school of choice. You will still go to college. That is the bottom line for you.

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