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UT Essay Statement of Purpose (The Cosmic Number)


leeznon 1 / 6  
Sep 30, 2009   #1
ESSAY: The Cosmic Number

The sun was asleep and it was the moon's time to shine. Looking around, with an endless array of stars soaring above my shoulders, the scenery was unfamiliar yet mesmerizing. For the first time in my life I was "light-years" away from my parents, embarking on a new journey and getting a sense of who I would become. At the time, I didn't understand its significance; I had no idea that such a thing could change my entire thought process. I had no idea that an amusing riddle would be a critical factor in my development as a person.

At the age of eleven, I visited various parts of California with an organization called People to People Student Ambassador Program. I have many enjoyable memories from the trip, but there is one moment that stands out which has greatly impacted my life. One night, as I huddled around the campfire with my fellow student ambassadors, a counselor challenged the group with a riddle. "10 equals 3, 3 equals 5, and 5 equals 4. Four is the cosmic number." We were given more examples, but everyone, including myself, was clueless. No one could solve it.

I was bothered by not knowing the answer, and had continuous thoughts about it. I spent hours trying to decode the riddle, but had no success. After multiple attempts, I decided to take a different approach to the problem. I wrote the riddle on a sheet of paper while spelling out each number. With my new method I found the answer instantaneously. I noticed that the second number is the amount of letters used to spell the first number, and eventually leads to the "cosmic number four" because four is the only number that matches its length.

The "cosmic number" was the first riddle that fascinated me, and it was the building block for my interest in riddles and problem solving. It wasn't the world's most challenging riddle, but it taught me to think in different ways. Previously, I was a one-dimensional problem solver, but I learned that creative thinking is equally as important. At an early age, I learned how to think outside the box and use creative problem solving skills, which is needed as an economics major. Over the years, I've further developed these skills, and riddles have been contributors to enhancing my thought process.

My interest in riddles has played a factor in how I look at things from different perspectives; I am always looking to solve the unknown. As an economics major, I need a wide range of skills from logical to creative problem solving in order to make predictions and decisions. I believe that I possess these abilities, along with many others. At the University of Texas at Austin, I will use my leadership, responsibility, discipline, perseverance, and problem solving skills to better the community, peers, and myself. I have many goals and aspirations, including attending graduate school at McCombs School of Business. I believe that I would be a strong asset to the university.
TimMill 9 / 63  
Sep 30, 2009   #2
Good. A few critiques:

"light years" either don't use the quotes or change the word, is cheesy as is.

"I have many enjoyable memories from the trip, but there is one moment that stands out which has greatly impacted my life."

App people don't care about the other memories... don't bother mentioning them.

"which is needed as an economics major." why is that? Give an example.

"I will use my leadership, responsibility, discipline, perseverance, and problem solving skills to better the community, peers, and myself. I have many goals and aspirations, including attending graduate school at McCombs School of Business. I believe that I would be a strong asset to the university."

This doesn't relate to your essay- it's fine, but out of place.

Good, just needs a little work!
OP leeznon 1 / 6  
Sep 30, 2009   #3
Thanks!! I wrote this essay last night and I know it's not very good, so I'm looking for as much help as possible.

I wanted to use "light years" instead of "miles" because Cosmic is in the title of the essay and because the first paragraph has some references to space. Still think I should change it?

"Which is needed as an economics major" was kind of answered in the conclusion (I think) when talking about "creative problem solving in order to make predictions and decisions". Should I still add WHY in the 4th paragraph?

"I will use my leadership, responsibility, discipline, perseverance, and problem solving skills to better the community, peers, and myself. I have many goals and aspirations, including attending graduate school at McCombs School of Business. I believe that I would be a strong asset to the university."----Yeah, it's not related to the essay, but I just wanted to put it somewhere in there. Any suggestions on how to make it flow better?

I'D APPRECIATE SOME MORE CRITIQUING PLEASE. I NEED AS MUCH HELP AS POSSIBLE!
OP leeznon 1 / 6  
Sep 30, 2009   #4
Anyone else?
katurday 3 / 6  
Sep 30, 2009   #5
"At the time, I didn't understand its significance; I had no idea that such a thing could change my entire thought process. I had no idea that an amusing riddle would be a critical factor in my development as a person."

Are you going for repetition here? If not, I would change it so your words don't sound over used.
OP leeznon 1 / 6  
Sep 30, 2009   #6
I was going for repetition on that part but does this look better?

"At the time, I didn't understand its significance; I had no idea that such a thing could change my entire thought process, that an amusing riddle would be a critical factor in my development as a person."

Should I just get ride of the second "I had no idea" or leave it?
OP leeznon 1 / 6  
Oct 1, 2009   #7
I submitted it last night. Thanks for everyones responses, I appreciate it!


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