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I'M A THUG-Common App Essay-My FIRST draft.


yee 6 / 39  
Dec 30, 2008   #1
ummmmm Sorry for posting so many new versions! I'm just paranoid. Well, please more feedback is welcome. You guys are my only revisers, so, that is why i posted my essay like 239230 times. Thank you for your time!!

OH AND- My friends have been telling me that the mask references at the end of the essay don't seem to fit or its inappropriate, i guess, because it makes it seem like i am someone who wears masks and im not showing my genuine face. what are your thoughts??? any suggestions??

I Used to be a Thug

Someone once told me, "Looks don't matter," and I once thought so too.

All the merry days of my youth were slowly deteriorating before my eyes. Princeton Review fearlessly displaced Harry Potter while Garfield ate his way past maturity. A new and frightening world was emerging before me, but every ounce of youth left in me promised all was for the better. So, with a sense of reassurance, I journeyed out into this 'better' world called high school.

A sigh of relief wiggled through my body and escaped into the air as fourth period finally came to an end. It was lunchtime and I was still in one piece. I could not wait to tell my parents their nasty myths about high school were entirely and surely wrong. Well, seniors did look like evil overgrown mutants, but they were gentle creatures to us humans. Lunch was well spent bickering with close friends, but a sense of uneasiness continued to hack away at my appetite. I wondered, "Could this be it? Was this the new world I was so afraid of experiencing?" Just as I was about to answer, the warning bell rang, prompting all students to migrate to their fifth period classes. I peered down at my scruffy, wrinkled piece of paper: 5. English 1 Honors. With a slight chuckle and boost of optimism, I asked myself, "How bad could this be?"

The classroom was a bit larger than most, but other than that, nothing was out of the ordinary. Shakespearean posters lit the grimy walls and important looking books lined the countless shelves. Disappointingly, my observations were cut short by a frail looking lady claiming to be our teacher. Shortly thereafter, the rituals began. Mispronunciations headed the sporadic giggles and nervous looks from students whose names began with X's and Y's. Uncaring of their mishaps, I lounged comfortably in my chair waiting for a three letter name to be called. Moments later, I heard, "Han?" I shouted, "Here!" Just as the last letter rolled off my tongue, the rituals stopped. Laughter halted and students no longer looked nervous for themselves, but for me. The teacher looked up from her roll sheet and slid her glasses down to the edge of her nose. Her freaky stare unleashed tingles down the ridges of my spine and onto the ends of my toes. My cheeks burned with embarrassment. The outline of her mouth gradually began to move, but I was so dizzy I could barely make out the words. I replayed the words in my mind and realized she had asked, "Are you in the right class?" She had just welcomed me to the new and fearful world I thought I had successfully avoided; the world of judgment.

Minutes later, I leaned toward my seatmate and whispered, "Why did she ask me that?" He looked straight into my eyes and answered, "Because you look like a dumb, scary thug."

Since that day I tried everything to alter my physical image because looking like a thug was not exactly the image I was striving for. Months of hair modifications, wardrobe exchanges, and facial expression classes decisively paid off; I was a brand-new man and not a clean cut thug. However, I still struggled with the 'dumb' part of the equation. How could someone plainly look dumb? Completely clueless, I analyzed my face. Even that provided no answers because the mirror did not gorge on a basketful of giggles at the sight of my supposedly dumb face. Unless my parents were willing to invest in a full face Albert Einstein makeover, I had no hope. I was destined to be that 'dumb-looking kid'.

After weeks of introspection, I devised a plan. I had to live, breathe, and radiate intelligence in order to rise above nature's judgment. I had to create a fa├žade that I knew everything. With no time to spare, I began studying the classics, the calculus and all the other subjects in the realm of intelligence. I worked the intricacies of the human mind, ultimately convincing myself I was the smartest man alive. During everyday conversations, I refuted the arguments of others and quoted Jefferson on a frequent basis. I went from a 'dumb thug' to a 'Renaissance Man'. Even my Sunday school teacher began to take notice for he described me as 'surprisingly thoughtful and well aware of the world' in my yearly Christmas card. I had seized the day. I had triumphed.

Despite all these accolades, I felt unsatisfied. I felt as if I was fooling myself. I felt I was putting myself on a pedestal and forcing praise from others. Had I come this far simply to reverse a faulty judgment? Was I an insecure teenager hanging on the words of others? The answer was no and no.

Through this experience, I discovered myself and many other treasures to be cherished forever. It is true I wore a mask of intelligence, but I soon realized it was a mask I already had that I simply neglected to wear. Moreover, I never had the courage and motivation to explore the far-reaching boundaries of intelligence. The world of judgment proved to be as dangerous and conniving as I had predicted, but now I was a seasoned warrior of the land free to roam about as I wished. Lastly, I discovered the empowerment that I can receive from others, because without them, I would not be sitting here telling this story.

So, looks do matter...only if they yield some sort of self epiphany.
lrnsmith09 5 / 11  
Dec 30, 2008   #2
Wow, to me this is a really well written essay, it flowed really nicely. Can't you just put it under the personal statement topic in the essay section?
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 30, 2008   #3
well thank you! im guessing its going to be either topic of choice or Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. but im not sure yet.im hoping you EF will help me decide!
JohnDavid 1 / 14  
Dec 30, 2008   #4
This is very well written, I LOVE the structure.
I couldn't find any mistakes or awkward sentences.
This could work well for the significant experience and its impact on you.
I'll look this over again tomorrow, after a good nights rest, and tell you if I would change anything else. (its 2 am, I should be sleeping)

Good luck.
paradox 6 / 17  
Dec 30, 2008   #5
LOL

Good essay though.

Whats the title of the essay or the essay question?
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 30, 2008   #6
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. but im not sure yet.im hoping you EF will help me decide!

Any criticisms?
kim1234 3 / 16  
Dec 30, 2008   #7
this is a funny, well written essay LOL
I love how you use words cuz they all flow nicely
well, I'm sorry that I can't criticize your essay...it's really well written.

Good luck
fanynoh 1 / 4  
Dec 30, 2008   #8
This is a great piece...I like your humor...and the words used were not too difficult to understand...the admission officers need not search the dictionary...hehe..on the length of the essay, I would say it's a little too long so maybe you would want to cut down some...

nevertheless, great job!
n00bl3t 3 / 30  
Dec 30, 2008   #9
Nice well written piece. It is long, but I hardly noticed because it was very entertaining to read. Good Job Han.
ashwin17 5 / 14  
Dec 30, 2008   #10
I agree with n00bl3t...
The essay does seem a bit long with 925 words, but I felt like I had to finish it... I don't think you have to worry about it...

In the first sentence though, it might sound better if you delete the second "once". But still, it's really good. I like the way you incorporated humor and rehorical questions into the essay.

Personally, I think it fits great with the prompt "Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you."
tofu 3 / 20  
Dec 30, 2008   #11
This is great! The length doesn't seem to matter after you start to read it. Your writing style is so engaging that it doesn't seem so long. Great for a first draft, better than my final!

PS: My last name is Han. Yayyy! :D
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 30, 2008   #12
Tofu, lemme guess you're Korean? haha

thank you all so much for your feedback it means a lot!!!!!!! :)

Kevin, Sean or others care to share their takes on the essay??
tofu 3 / 20  
Dec 30, 2008   #13
Yeah :D But I don't know any other Korean with the last name Han.
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 30, 2008   #14
Oh really? Well I'm from Southern Cali so Koreans are definitely in the mix.
abcdefg 3 / 7  
Dec 30, 2008   #15
how do you look like a thug if your Korean? haha

And yeah the essay length is fine. I think some of the vocab is a little to much at times. I dont know. LIke after 4th you migrated to 5th. Haha thats just me
t3h50 2 / 7  
Dec 30, 2008   #16
4th paragraph, (one starting with "The classroom was a bit larger than most")

"The outline of her mouth gradually began to move" --> I think you left out that word.
Red3 - / 5  
Dec 30, 2008   #17
I like it. But your epiphany is very cliche' : "I discovered myself and many other treasures to be cherished forever. It is true I wore a mask of intelligence, but I soon realized it was a mask I already had that I simply neglected to wear."

It is not in the spirit of the rest of the piece. I would work on it, it has very good potential.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 30, 2008   #18
Someone once told me, "Looks don't matter," and I once thought so too.

That sentence above is powerful. It is provocative, and makes me want to know what you mean!

Okay, so you write brilliantly, but I think you use "incur the wrong way at the end.

Through this experience, I discovered myself and many other treasures to be cherished forever. It is true I wore a mask of intelligence, but I soon realized it was a mask I already had that I simply neglected to wear. Moreover, I never had the courage or motivation to explore its far-reaching boundaries. The world of judgment proved to be as dangerous and conniving as I had predicted, but now I was a seasoned warrior of the land, free to roam about as I wished. Lastly, I discovered the empowerment that I can receive from others, because without them, I would not be sitting here telling this story.

So, looks do matter...only if they yield some sort of self epiphany.

Maybe "yield" is better?
pandora 6 / 19  
Dec 30, 2008   #19
sounds like you went through a thesaurus and replaced all those words lol
imike 3 / 20  
Dec 30, 2008   #20
Great essay. Very good flow and structure. I don't see why people are complaining about your vocab use, seems like you use these words on a regular basis and if you do, theres no reason why you should water down your vocabulary.
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 30, 2008   #21
Thank you so very much guys! I took every suggestion into consideration! Thanks everyone!!! Red3, any creative suggestions??? I swear I am having the worst writer's block. I knew it was cliche, but I couldn't see it another way. And Kevin, yield does seem a lot more simple and straightforward so i decided to change it thank you!
flio191 2 / 14  
Dec 31, 2008   #22
The mask thing works, it makes sense where you're developing how you created a face for yourself by "radiating intelligence" then how you felt unsatisfied.

You could edit it this way:

It is true At first, it seemed I had been wearing a mask of "intelligence," but I soon realized it was not a mask, but a direction I had grown into. Moreover, It seemed that I never had the courage and motivation to explore the far-reaching boundaries of intelligence. The world of judgment proved to be as dangerous and conniving as I had predicted, but now I was a seasoned warrior of the land free to roam about as I wished. Lastly, I discovered the empowerment that I can receive from others, because without them, I would not be sitting here telling this story.

Take me with a grain of salt: this is definitely not my style of writing, but I would get rid of those "moreover" and "lastly" -because it takes away from a sense of definitiveness (it's the wordiness).

good luck!
ilikefood 2 / 7  
Dec 31, 2008   #23
This comment won't be useful toward your essay, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading it as a person.

Your intro was amazing.

Your story was amazing.

Your last sentence kicked ass.

I kind of skimmed over the last paragraph, because I'm assuming that's the whole self-evaluation thing for those admission officers.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece, and I wish you the best of luck. Or maybe you don't need it because you write so well. (:
hanson3566 4 / 11  
Dec 31, 2008   #24
can anybody please go see my essay and give some advice for my essay, i need it in 2 days(48 hours).
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 31, 2008   #25
thank you guys for your generosity!
flio thanks for that input, man. i think that would be a nice flow to the ending.
im taking any suggestions! dont mind any harshness!
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 31, 2008   #26
any moderators/dedicated members of EF care to share their two bit??
Linnus 6 / 89  
Dec 31, 2008   #27
Well written essay. Didn't see anything wrong with it. It does feel a bit long though.
LW Trojan /  
Dec 31, 2008   #28
Take me with a grain of salt: this is definitely not my style of writing, but I would get rid of those "moreover" and "lastly" -because it takes away from a sense of definitiveness (it's the wordiness).

I don't necessarily agree. I think the use of transition words allows the paper to flow...it sounds great!
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 31, 2008   #29
is the 'epiphany' ok or is it too cliche??
dsacks 10 / 19  
Dec 31, 2008   #30
The answers were no and no
quack09 2 / 23  
Dec 31, 2008   #31
ur a conformist
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 31, 2008   #32
lol we all are. the simple fact you're applying to prestigious colleges deems you a conformist or even the fact you're applying to college period. :)
quack09 2 / 23  
Dec 31, 2008   #33
lol but u show it in ur essay...
OP yee 6 / 39  
Dec 31, 2008   #34
yeah, and I address it by saying,"Was I another insecure teenager hanging on the words of others? The answer was no and no." I'm saying that they empowered me to experience a world I was not accustomed to, which is the world of intelligence. Also, me conforming to their judgments made me better not worse. Conforming isn't always bad. People who believe all conforming is bad are obviously people who think they are perfect...
sk8rgal666 2 / 27  
Jan 1, 2009   #35
I love how the forum became a bickering fest!
I really enjoyed your essay, there wasn't much that jumped out at me and I was definitely intrigued by the intro
Good Luck
OP yee 6 / 39  
Jan 1, 2009   #36
thank you so much! haha it was a bickering fest for a little while :)
flio191 2 / 14  
Jan 1, 2009   #37
No problem! Would you mind reading mine? It's really short.
It's called (or at least the moderators changed the title to) Illinois essay - "I have never 'discovered' nature"
quack09 2 / 23  
Jan 2, 2009   #38
yea i guess, good job

wut colleges are you applying too?
OP yee 6 / 39  
Jan 2, 2009   #39
ummm cmc, pitzer, emory, cmu, uva, bc, and some other schools, ucs too.
LW Trojan /  
Jan 3, 2009   #40
I think this essay is one of the best I have seen so far, nice job!


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