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"My Sister" - Common App Essay


jackhags69 1 / 5  
Dec 10, 2011   #1
This is for my common app essay. the prompt is Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. Writing is by far my weakest aspect and I need serious help! please! i will be sure to help with any of your essays if you can provide some input on mine. My goal is to attend a competitive university (ie Northwestern, Brown, Rice) so i need this to be great:)

On March 11th, 2001 my mother Molly gave birth to her fourth child. She was expecting another perfect delivery, yet this one was anything but. My new sister Abby was born compromised. Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and her small lungs couldn't find the strength to breathe. My mom didn't hear that "new born screech" that she describes as her favorite sound in the entire world. The silence was deafening, and immediately the doctors on scene went to work on the fading new born. Abby was rushed to Minneapolis Children's Hospital by ambulance.

As she arrived it seemed like that would be the last place Abby would venture. Luckily Dr. Baisch, a pediatric critical care intensivist, was there. It was then that Abby's chance of survival seemed bleakest, and Dr. Baisch made a decision that changed my life. In a high risk last ditch effort, he attempted to insert a central line into Abby's jugular vein in an effort to get her stabilized. As he made the incision into her minuscule vein, it seemed like the world had stopped. Abby's small chest no longer moved with its rhythmic up and down breathing cycles, the calming beeps of the heart rate monitor stopped and flat lined, and it appeared Abby's little seven pound body had stopped too. Dr. Baisch wouldn't give up. He began to pump on Abby's chest, which was about a quarter of the size of his skilled but gentle hand, while he simultaneously pushed air into Abby's lungs with a BVM resuscitator. Abby finally took a breath and the monitor beeped; Dr. Baisch had saved my sister's life.

To this day, Abby's smile continues to be a daily reminder of how Dr. Baisch saved both my little sister and saved all the joy Abby has brought to me and my family. Each time I see her happy face, or hear her laughter, it instantly gives me the determination I need to be the best I can be, just like Dr. Baisch. Abby's birth provided many changes in my life. It impacted my sense of determination, compassion, and encouragement. This change can be accredited to both the closeness I now share with Abby and to Dr. Baisch. After saving Abby, Dr. Baisch became a significant role model in my life. I look up to his deep sense of compassion, and attempt to match it by helping anyone I can every day. I respect his determination, and now doing my best includes never giving up. I am extremely thankful for his positive influence, and I now strive to have the influence on others that he has had on me. Although my dream is to one day graduate from medical school, I know that as I am preparing for the next step in life that my parents, my siblings, and Dr. Baisch have provided me with the qualities I need to be successful in absolutely anything I choose to partake in.

admission2012 - / 481 90  
Dec 10, 2011   #2
Hello,

This is a heartwarming story, but it does not properly answer the prompt. You do not connect the experience to you. The event happened and you were told about it afterwards. Its more about what happened to your sister and your mother. Granted the resulting relationships with your sister and the Dr. have impacted you greatly, this prompts wants to know how an experience which has happened to you personally, has helped shape who you are. Had the prompt asked for a significant event, this essay would be perfect. But, it clearly asks for an experience which implies an event which explicitly includes you.-admissions essay advice
collegecat 2 / 19  
Dec 13, 2011   #3
I agree with admission2012; the essay is a means of telling more about yourself, letting colleges get a glimpse of the person behind the application. You should focus more on how this particular experience had an impact on you.
collegesearcher 3 / 20  
Dec 13, 2011   #4
I think this essay is quite touching; I really relate to it as my brother too had birth complications, though not the same as your sister's. However, I feel that, with a certain amount of formatting, had you not mentioned the topic, a reader might think that this essay is an answer to topic #3 of the Common App: Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence. I think you should personalize it more, without losing the sentiment. Also, try making the title a tad more creative. Maybe something like "Abby's First Breath". Just a thought :)

Great work :)
OP jackhags69 1 / 5  
Dec 13, 2011   #5
Thank you so much for the responses! this site is great! and yes, I just realized that I wasn't fully answering the prompt and actually switched it to the 3rd topic as collegesearcher suggested. It makes a lot more sense here after some minor editing. And I love the title idea:) I've changed up the essay a little and thanks to you all, I am much more confident in it!
DinoSawyer 4 / 5  
Dec 13, 2011   #6
Do you wan to post the revised essay?
OP jackhags69 1 / 5  
Dec 13, 2011   #7
Here is the essay with a few changes. Do you still think it is too impersonal? and i changed the prompt to Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

Abby's First Breath (I like the title!)
On March 11th, 2001 my mother Molly gave birth to her fourth child. She was expecting another perfect delivery, yet we soon learned that things don't always go as planned. At birth, my little sister's umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and her small lungs couldn't find the strength to breathe. My mom didn't hear that "new born screech" that she describes as her favorite sound in the entire world. The silence was deafening, and immediately the doctors on scene rushed Abby to Minneapolis Children's Hospital by ambulance.

When she arrived it seemed like that would be the last place she would venture. Luckily Dr. Baisch, a pediatric critical care intensivist, was there. It was then that Abby's chance of survival seemed bleakest, and Dr. Baisch made a decision that changed my life. In a high risk effort, he attempted to insert a central line into Abby's jugular vein to get her small body stabilized. He made the incision into her minuscule vein and at that moment everything went dull; it seemed the world had stopped. Abby's small chest no longer moved with its rhythmic breathing cycles, the calming beeps of the heart rate monitor stopped and flat lined, and it appeared that Abby's little seven pound body had stopped too. Dr. Baisch wouldn't give up. He began to pump on Abby's chest, which was about a quarter of the size of his gentle hand, while he simultaneously pushed air into Abby's lungs with a BVM resuscitator. Abby finally took a breath and the monitor beeped; Dr. Baisch had saved my sister's life.

Abby's smile continues to be a daily reminder of how Dr. Baisch saved both my little sister and the incredible relationship I now share with her. Each time I see her happy face, or hear her blissful laughter, it instantly spurs about inspiration in me as I recall Dr. Baisch and his courageous actions. In fact, the event has completely shaped me. Ever since Abby's birth I have been able to use this example of incredible benevolence, determination, and daringness as a model to look up to and follow in my life. I have deep respect for Dr. Baisch's compassion, and this attribute has been an important catalyst as I am discovering my fervor in helping others. I idolize his determination, and now doing my best includes never giving up. I am extremely thankful for his boldness, and the ability it has given me to reach out of my comfort zone. More than anything however, I want to replicate his impact. I will now forever aspire to have the influence on others that he has had on me. Although my dream is to one day graduate medical school, I know that as I am preparing for the next step in life that my parents, my siblings, and Dr. Baisch have provided me with the qualities I need to not only be successful in anything I choose to partake in, but to truly make my own impact.
OP jackhags69 1 / 5  
Dec 14, 2011   #8
any thoughts on the revision? Ill be sure to read anyone else's essay! also, I decided I liked the old intro instead of the new piece about things going as planned... but let me know if the conclusion works:)
arnela123 2 / 13  
Dec 14, 2011   #9
hi,
This is a great start, but try to outline your ideas on a piece of paper. It worked for me!
1st outline - your topic which should be your introduction- that will have a readers eye. briefly mention the dilemma

2nd- body paragraph 1- what is the dilemma you faced, how you felt (think deep)! Mention a quote that you will never forget!
3rd- paragraph 2- Now the impact it had on you, how it changed your world, in a better way.

conclusion: brief mention of the experience you had/ dilemma and then focus on the future. sum it all up.

hope this help, because it helped me a lot and i chose the same topic.!
collegesearcher 3 / 20  
Dec 15, 2011   #10
Oh that was beautiful! Really moving :)

One tiny correction:
When she arrived it seemed like that would be the last place she would venture. When she arrived it seemed like that would be the last place she would venture into. or just change venture to "enter" or 'cross the threshold of" (for a more dramatic effect) ;)

Also, "daringness" is not a word! You might like to use "dauntlessness"/"intrepidity"/"audacity" or maybe even "never-say-die attitude" instead :)

The title sounds good :D

All the best!


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