Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations
Please read my essay and let me know what you think of it. ANY criticism/critique is welcomed.
It is a rough draft. Let me know if the first couple of sentences comes off arrogant. I think I'm going to need to change my ending as well.
Thanks in advance.
I was homeschooled until I basically became a full time college student when I was sixteen. When I was younger, I snowboarded competitively and traveled all around the world in order to compete. Neither of my parents has ever been to college. All of these things have helped shape my dreams and aspirations. However, none of these things has had as much of an influence on my dreams then that plastic box with a cathode ray inside it that is currently sitting in my living room.
It is rather ironic that television, which is often accused of inhibiting education, was the catalyst which first sparked my academic interest. As a young homeschooler, my mother always encouraged me to watch educational television. I never really had a preference as to which kind of educational program I liked best until I stumbled upon a show called "The Universe." The show, as you might have guessed was all about the universe, and that first episode that I watched was about light. During the episode, physicists attempted to explain all of the amazing properties of light, including its wave-particle duality nature. How could light be both a wave and a particle at the same time? It puzzled me, but it only made me want to learn more. From that point on, I was hooked. I kept following the show, and getting tired of waiting a week for each new one to come out, I forced my mother to pay for the science channel, which to my delight, had numerous other similar shows. I watched these programs constantly, learning more and more about science. I loved everything I watched, but nothing fascinated me more than quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics contains some of the most strange, profound, and difficult concepts to grasp, but that is exactly the reason why I love it so much. It makes me think, and I love to think.
Before I became so interested in science, specifically physics, all I cared about was snowboarding. It had always been my dream to one day become a professional snowboarder, but living in Pennsylvania, which is definitely not known for its winter resorts, I had to travel a lot both to compete and train, which was is in large part the reason why I was homeschooled. Academics at that point in my life were peripheral; Snowboarding came first, academics second. However, once I discovered how intriguing and interesting science was, I immersed myself in its greatness. Science to me became more exciting then traveling to New Zealand, France, or Switzerland, which are some of the places where snowboarding has taken me. I began to love science so much that I wanted to share my newfound knowledge and enthusiasm with people. I began a volunteer job teaching young people at the Davinci science center in hopes that I could show kids just how amazing science can be. Through this job, and also tutoring science and mathematics at the community college to which I attend, I have realized how much I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people.
The moment I watched that first episode of "The Universe," I was placed in a desert with nothing to quench my thirst with but knowledge. Each year I get older, it gets harder to quench this thirst. It is almost as if I am progressively stuffing more and more saltine crackers into my mouth. There is nothing I enjoy more than learning, and attempting to explain the complexities of science. Whether I want to be a teacher or not, I do not know, but what I do know is that I love physics. Saltine crackers are not that bad either.
Be careful right here:
...as much ----> as
of an influence on my dreams then as that
...stuffing more and more saltine crackers into my mouth. ---hahah, great, weird humor here. You need to mention Saltine crackers at the beginning of the essay, too... just use it to make that comparison about the thirst for knowledge in physics at the beginning of the essay, perhaps at the end of the first paragraph.
The snowboarding theme is not developed quite enough. If you revise ONE sentence about snowboarding to make it more directly apply to the change you underwent as you embraced physics, that will probably be enough to make it perfect. Right now the snowboarding theme seems almost irrelevant to the main idea of the essay, but you connected it by using it to show that you started to love science even more than it, which is pretty good. Try to make it symbolize something, though, or perhaps use it as a reference point in your thinking about physics... snowboarding is all about physics.
Thank you so much for your responses on my essays. All your comments are very helpful.
I know you are probably very busy, so if you don't have time to read my modified statement, no worries.
When I was trying to rewrite my personal statement with your comments in mind, I ended up changing it a lot, but still kept most of it the same. I think this version is a more honest depiction than the last. I really want to put snowboarding into my personal statement because it was such a big part of my life, but I cant find a direct way to relate it to my ultimate goal of wanting to be a physicist (probably because it is not directly related). So what I did was use it as part of a progression which ultimately lead to me discovering what my dreams actually are. If you have a chance to read it, let me know if this one is better than the last.
Again, I greatly appreciate all of your help
To my parents, especially my dad, doing well in school was not particularly important. Neither my mother nor my father have received a college education. In fact, my father does not even have a full high school education. When I was younger, I aspired to be a professional snowboarder, or maybe I should say my father aspired for me to be a professional snowboarder. My father has always loved winter sports, so maybe he was trying to live his life through me. Although I did really like snowboarding, I did not love it. What I really loved was learning about the world, and eventually my thirst for knowledge took over my life.
I was very good at snowboarding. I competed on the national level, and traveled many places to compete and train, including New Zealand, France, and Switzerland, which was in large part the reason why I was homeschooled for so long. Snowboarding has played a large role in my life, and I am lucky to have gained such amazing experiences from it. As I got older however, I realized that snowboarding, as with any sport, cannot be relied on to make a living. Both my parents work very hard and long, but still have trouble making ends meet. Seeing the financial troubles my parents had was what initially drove me to pursue academics. So in the 10th grade, I started to put a lot of effort into school, and stopped competing in snowboarding competitions to my father's disappointment. This moment marked the beginning of my journey into maturity. I did well in all aspects of school, so I was not really sure what I wanted to do, that is until I saw a television show called "The Universe." The show, as you might have guessed, was all about the universe, and that first episode that I watched was about quantum mechanics. The concepts puzzled me, but it only made me want to learn more. From that point on, I was hooked. Apart from continuing to watch the show, I got my hands on any books about quantum physics that I could. I began to love all aspects of science, but I knew physics was what I wanted to do. The primary reason for pursuing an academic life soon went from financial reasons, to just a pure love of learning.
I began to love science so much that I wanted to share my newfound knowledge and enthusiasm of the subject with people. I began a volunteer job teaching young people at the DaVinci science center in hopes that I could show kids just how amazing science can be. Through this job, and also tutoring science and mathematics at the community college to which I attend, I soon realized how much I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people.
The moment I watched that episode of "The Universe," I was placed in a desert with nothing to quench my thirst with but knowledge. Each year I get older, it gets harder to quench this thirst. It is almost as if I am progressively stuffing more and more saltine crackers into my mouth. There is now nothing I enjoy more than learning, and attempting to explain the complexities of science. My initial goal of pursuing academics for finical stability has been replaced with one of loftier nature. My ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD in a field of physics, and use that to contribute to society in some way whether it be by teaching, or innovation. However, getting a decent paying job would not hurt either