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Something important that didn't go according to plan (MIT admission essay) - feedback

DrunkLurker 4 / 18  
Dec 30, 2011   #1
Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?

Is the story clear enough? Is it described coherently? Any piece of advice or criticism is welcome.
One of specific questions: when we got back to the camp I was still carrying Daria on my back, so "they took Daria away from me" means that she could walk what little left without my help, with support of others. How to describe it in a way that won't make the reader think that someone robbed me of my backpack (and would it create such a feeling at all?)?

"Have you seen Daria? She still hasn't come back"
"Wasn't she with you?"
"We had a fight, so I went back first"
"And you just left her out there?!" I shouted as I rushed off into the woods.

It was evening of the first day of our camping trip. We had set the camp at the Volga river bank, far from civilization, and the group had split into pairs to search the area for resources. Daria was one of the newcomers who met the wilderness for the first time.

By the time I found her, sitting against the tree and crying, the sun had already set. A brief inspection showed that Daria had sprained her ankle while trying to find her way back and couldn't walk any further. Thus, we decided to stop for the night with intention of retracing my steps after the darkness lifts. But as I stood watch at the campfire, a light rain erased all traces I left upon coming. In the morning we started walking in the direction that seemed like it would lead us to the camp. However, it was not before the next sunset that we have reached Volga, about 30km upstream from the camp. But at least then we knew where we were and where we had to go.

As we have finally reached the camp on the following morning and they took Daria away from me, my legs finally gave way and I fell on the ground, shaking from head to toe. The group turned to me with puzzled expressions. "I just realised how scared I was," I said with a forced smile. "Took you long enough!" one of them laughed as he helped me stand up.
deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 30, 2011   #2
1. maybe they took her from my arms
2. who was the group, who is Daria?
3. Your essay gets really interesting when you are lost in the woods. Try to elaborate on that.

Hope this helps.

Would you like to check out my essay?
OP DrunkLurker 4 / 18  
Dec 31, 2011   #3
1) But how to rephrase it? Would "...and they took her off my back..." work?
2) The group consisted of about 15 people, some of which (including Daria) joined our "core group" for the first time. But I figured that describing the whole group wouldn't serve any real purpose cause other people are only briefly mentioned by their common actions.

3) I tried, but further elaboration takes me 150 to 200 words over the word limit (I am already at 285 with 250 being the upper limit). How do people even squeeze anything into 250 words?

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