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Stanford Undergrad Admissions - What matters to you and why? -- Trusting myself


jaybee 5 / 5  
Dec 29, 2011   #1
Prompt: What matters to you and why? (2000 character max.)

Hello (: My original essay was much longer, but to adhere to the maximum character count, I nearly halved it. I'm not sure if it is as cohesive and makes as much sense now as there are literally chunks missing. Please tell me what you think. Thank you!

At 5'2" and weighing 90 pounds, I was one of the most petite dancers performing, and it seemed I was destined to be one of the girls used as a flyer to be lifted into the air. Once suspended by a single leg, my other leg would transfer to the 2 rows of steps, formed by the hands of 10 girls, their arms fully extended and above their heads. The girls had to watch and follow my feet, so that when it came time for me to take a step, a hand would suddenly be there, holding my foot, acting as a stepping stone. But what if there wasn't a hand there when my foot was? I couldn't look down, as with dance, I had to make it look effortless and beautiful. I had to keep my chin up, twist my neck to face the audience, have a huge smile to mask my horror, point my toes and kick my knees, land properly, and get into position to join in the dance routine of 100 girls seamlessly. As my steps lingered, heavy with worry, I could hear their grunts of pain beneath me. I stepped, and there was only air. My leg plunged downward, and I fell to the ground, landing on my still-extended leg. Their voices of concern reinforced that I could trust them, and if it took a brutal fall to do it, so be it. Ignoring the pain, I got back up. But for the next few weeks, practice hardly improved.

On deck behind the curtains, I could feel the anticipation from the audience's voices. I told myself that I was light as a feather, that I was invincible, and no one in that audience was going to see me fall or even falter. Over 20' in the air, I delicately extended my arms outward, smiled at my audience, and sassily kicked like any true '20s flapper would.

After I learned to trust the girls when I fell on my leg, there was still something missing - a trust of another kind. If I did not have it, I would have been stuck, weighing down on the people relying on me, and life's stepping stones would prove to be too daunting. That day, I told myself to fly, and I did. What matters to me is trusting myself.

1994/2000 characters
Snowflakes 1 / 8  
Dec 29, 2011   #2
Maybe cut out a bit on the technicalities in the beginning, and focus more on your conclusion. How did you trust yourself? How did it change you? Show why trusting yourself was so important, and how it'll continue to be important in helping you succeed and 'fly'.

Otherwise, I think that this is a strong story. Love your humor and imagery!

Just go through everything and make sure that every sentence is relevant to the point you are trying to get across. With a character limit, you don't want any unnecessary details weighing you down!

Could you also take a look at my essay?
sarahbee 1 / 49  
Dec 29, 2011   #3
i agree with the above poster. the technicalities should not be focused on as much. your conclusion has the makings to be very powerful so if you elaborate on that a little more then your essay should be great. hope i helped!

if you have a chance, could you please look at my Rice Essay please?
postscript94 5 / 14  
Dec 29, 2011   #4
i agree with snowflakes, this essay is extremely descriptive but your ending needs to be further developed beacause that's where the answer to the prompt is.

a few wording suggestions:

At 5'2" and weighing 90 pounds....

I was destined to be one of the girls used as a flyer to be lifted into the air . this part is slightly repetitive
angaduday 4 / 4  
Dec 29, 2011   #5
The essay does somewhat explain why trusting matters to you but does not explain how you got to this conclusion exactly....
ashatan 4 / 25  
Dec 31, 2011   #6
It's a great essay in answering the topic, and certainly very unique- but I'm still not entirely sure what you are doing specifically- is it a specific style of dance or sport? you might want to name it...other than that, and the few errors I already saw corrected in the other responses, it looks to be an amazing essay, and definitely answers the prompt in a very interesting and personal matter. Great job! Good luck!
TheLeader 2 / 36  
Dec 31, 2011   #7
Great job on your essay. It really shows you have a strong heart for dancing. About the Hulk Hogan thing, I'd suggest against it because what if the AO didn't know who he was? It's a risk I wouldn't recommend you to take. You could instead say something like "not even a olympic power-lifter...". Let me know what you think after you revise your essay after nr554, ashatan, and my recommendations. I'll check it out again right after!

Please check out my essay(s) too :)
2011college2011 - / 2  
Dec 31, 2011   #8
You have a lot of good details, but I dont see how you arrive at ur conclusion at the end. You might want to talk more about how does dancing lead you to trust yourself instead of just giving descriptions.


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