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'Stickers for Smiles' - Common App Extracurricular.. Shadowing A Doctor

theoneandonly 1 / 5  
Dec 31, 2011   #1
The topic is: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below (1000 character maximum).

I chose to write about shadowing the doctor, but rather than focusing on the skills I learned from it, I wanted to focus on how happy it made me to help others. I really tried to show, not tell. As you can probably see, I am really struggling with my ending. Please give me your honest feedback, no matter how harsh it is... I need it :)

OH and if you read+edit my essay, I will read+edit yours :) Thank you so much!!

Stickers for Smiles

I walked through the doorway, and received a familiar greeting; the sterile smell rushed through my nostrils as I looked around the brightly colored room. I expected to see distressed children and mothers trying to calm them down. Instead, all I saw were outdated magazines spread on a table, children's toys (that were probably infected with thousands of grimy germs) and a pretty receptionist behind the glass window.

I rushed to set my belongings down near the reception desk, and was off to the bathroom to wash my hands before the doctor I was shadowing arrived. I returned to see a petite, middle-aged Spanish woman and her son. The little boy was in agony; he held his tummy tightly, and cried softly to his mother, who assured him everything was going to be okay.

Though I usually waited until after the checkups, I knew this boy needed a boost of courage. I hurried over to him, and kneeled onto one knee so I was his height. His sad bear eyes stared back at me in confusion, until I opened my hand. His eyes lit up with excitement, and he smiled widely, as I revealed my surprise: stickers and lollipops.

I walked back to glance over the remaining list of patients for the day; six of the eight patients were sick visits. I caught myself smiling as I thought about the day. Not only was I learning skills from an experienced doctor, but I was also making kids smile.
Strawberry78 4 / 52  
Dec 31, 2011   #2
You should include the significance of this experience to who you are as a person. Right here it just seems you are telling a story.
OP theoneandonly 1 / 5  
Dec 31, 2011   #3
I definitely agree Strawberry78. Thank you so much for your input! Do you think if I add the significance of the experience to the closing it would be okay? I am going to work on it then I'll post an edited version. Thanks again!!

Does anyone have any other suggestions?
omo5031 8 / 33  
Dec 31, 2011   #4
Thank you for helping with my essay. With yours, I think you should try and convey more ideas concerning the influence the experience has had on you. They like that type of thing. Generally you did a good job with this piece here.
ashatan 4 / 25  
Dec 31, 2011   #5
the phrase 'grimy germs' sounds a bit awkward, you should probably substitute one of them, as well as the 'bear eyes'- a bit too sappy... other than that, it's a good essay, although if you decided to follow your experiences there, focus more on one event- instead of the 'pretty receptionist' and the views, focus on just that one little boy story, elaborate some- how in the end, the emotional comfort helped him as much as the actual physical care, something like that, and conclude with what you gained from the experience. Good job, and good luck!
basketball 7 / 35  
Dec 31, 2011   #6
Hi, I really like the ideas in your essay. With a limited characters of 1000, I think you should combine your first 2 paragraphs together (I would say your first paragraph are not a really helpful introduction). As many others said, your conclusion would be much better to write about the influence of your experience. Some suggested influence might be you learn the importance of patients' emotion, or even talk about young age patients? Also, you could broaden your idea( as I think is one effective way in admission essay) by saying something like shadowing job can teach you skills that you can also learn from books, lectures, but more importantly, you have access to real life situation like this one and that's what important. Just some suggestion, keep working on it and good luck with your essay :)
Chelo 5 / 13  
Dec 31, 2011   #7
I think it is well written, but it looks like a story and there is nothing about the significance of the experience, you should work on that
goldenmachine12 2 / 5  
Dec 31, 2011   #8
I agree. It's extremely well written, especially with the 1000 character maximum, but the impact needs to be clear. I was stated at the end, but maybe another sentence or so is needed to describe the influence it had on you and still fufill the 1000 character maximum. Oh, and just because I'm a sucker for detail maybe you could include more sensory details like in the opener. Maybe instead of "the brightly colored room" you could say what colour it is. But that's just me. good luck!
nikariotz 3 / 6  
Dec 31, 2011   #9
So everyone has pretty much already said it, but you need to include the significance/impact. The imagery is great, and maybe if it was your main essay, you could elaborate on it much more, but as it is, I think you could try describing something and then including its impact on you - how it made you feel/look at things, how it changed your perspective, etc?

Good luck! I'm working on this question right now (:
dmjackson 3 / 6  
Dec 31, 2011   #10
Overall it's very well writte. I could picture the boy in agony, I could smell the that sterile smell that you are describing. As far as your ending, you are headed in the right direction. Keep this sentence:

I walked back to glance over the remaining list of patients for the day; six of the eight patients were sick visits. I caught myself smiling as I thought about the day. Not only was I learning skills from an experienced doctor, but I was also making kids smile.

You should start this sentence with how the day continued to end the day for the reader. Then talk about how it is of significance to you and how this will help you or motivate you in college
omo5031 8 / 33  
Dec 31, 2011   #11
You still haven't talked about the significant of the experience, you should probably talk about what you learnt during this service- probably that encouragement makes people better...not neccessarily this but something like that. You did a good job but need to expand more on that part.

Good luck:)
Anxhela 6 / 28  
Dec 31, 2011   #12
I really enjoyed how you show rather then tell..
The end losts a bit..You use too many I's in the end, try to make it more effective, telling how that day was important to you but not being too monotonous.

Hope this Helps..can you help me with my "Why UPenn essay..Can you help me editing it?"

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