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My roots in Algeria - Barrett Honors College application essay


ylaimeche 1 / 1  
Jan 26, 2010   #1
This is anapplication essay to get into the Honors College at the university I got accepted to. Please let me know what you honestly think about it. NOTE: This is a VERY rough draft!

Prompt: Barrett is comprised of students from diverse backgrounds with distinctive life experiences and rich cultural traditions. Reflect on how you will contribute a unique perspective to our community of scholars. Be specific.

Three years ago, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel back to my roots, to Algeria. The trip was eye opening to say the least. I was suddenly very aware that I take a lot of daily acts for granted. Taking a shower was no longer a daily habit due to the fact that water was scarce and was not always guaranteed to flow when you turn on the faucet. People were staying up until one or two o' clock in the morning waiting for the water to come. Water is an essential part of life and these people would sacrifice a lot to get it. Despite their daily hardships, I was thoroughly impressed by their optimistic and positive attitudes. My grandma never once complained about the situation and was always in a good mood. I believe that every student adds a different flavor to a community with their experiences, practices, and backgrounds. At Barrett's Honor College, I hope to come together and share my experiences with others and grasp the opinions and beliefs of others, all the while broadening my learning horizon. I hope to provide a different perspective to other scholars and maximize my learning potential at Barretts.

I'm still trying to figure out the rest. Any suggestions are welcome!

linmark 2 / 328 7  
Jan 27, 2010   #2
Your essay didn't tell me what makes YOU diverse - aside from your Algerian background. The only distinctive "life experience" was the daily hardship, the optimistic and positive attitudes you experienced on your trip (and your grandmother's good mood.)

I am sure you could write more about the village you visited, your Algerian relatives and your rich cultural traditions. Finally, don't forget to reflect on and give specific examples of how you will contribute a unique perspective to the community.
OP ylaimeche 1 / 1  
Jan 27, 2010   #3
Easier said than done, but thanks for the input!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Jan 28, 2010   #4
Here is a great example of a situation where an essay would be better off without a certain sentence:

Three years ago, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel back to my roots, to Algeria. The trip was eye opening to say the least. I was suddenly very aware that I take a lot of daily acts for granted.

If you cut that sentence, the essay becomes so cool, because you carry the reader right into something you were suddenly aware of.

At Barrett's Honor College, I hope to come together and share my experiences with others and grasp the opinions and beliefs of others, all the while broadening my learning horizon. I hope to provide a different perspective to other scholars and maximize my learning potential at Barretts.

This is nicely written, but it is very general. Do you have a specific plan? If so, I bet a sentence about it would be fascinating.


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