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UT Transfer Essay "A": How can I improve the quality of my personal statement?


Good evening writers!

I have just finished my rough draft for the purposes of transferring to the University of Texas at Austin. Please keep in mind that the transfer essay may differ from the requirements set forth for freshman admission. One of my bigger concerns about this essay is its adherence to the prompt. I feel that I may have veered a bit off track, but overall I feel confident in its overall quality. Another big issue concerning my writing style is that I tend to be extremely long-winded. With that being said, I would greatly appreciate any advice or critiques that would make this essay better. Please be ruthless; I will not take offense.

And now for my essay:

Student's Sentence



I was young and full of potential, but void of personal goals or academic aspirations surrounding my "four-year high school sentence." My internal struggle boiled down to the necessity of being impactful from doing things that mattered. Inconceivable was the significance of my opinion of "To Kill a Mockingbird" or how efficiently I composed essay in a robotic five-paragraph structure. Unfortunately, this is the manner in which I plunged recklessly downhill through life until I was clipped by tragedy.

After returning home from an appointment with my doctor I promptly received an unexpected phone call. Tears weaved down my cheeks as I digested the bad news. At the ripe young age of 19 years old, my life was over. The next few weeks were spent prostrated in bed negotiating the ambivalence that coincided with being dumped by my high school sweetheart. Weeks later I arrived in San Diego, California anticipating solace to quell my grief-stricken heart: Compulsively signing the next five years of my life away to the Marine Corps. Enlisting would have been the best decision I made in my formative years if it was not the only wise choice that I had succeeded in making. Nevertheless, I turned out to be opulent manure for my drill instructors to foster what resembled decent human being.

Months later in Florida, a new challenge gave rise to prospects of opportunity fit for a newly minted Marine. Intelligence school was a test unlike which I had ever experienced, but it enthralled me; the difficulty of the training left me exhilarated, and when I was given a choice between a comfortable analyst desk job and a chance to break away from the pack, there was no hesitation when I chose the latter. My decision led me through years of daunting drills and instruction with arguably the best tactical operators on the planet. Here I was living a reality that was, at an earlier time, only a fantasy. Attrition claimed nearly two thirds of my class while eight of us went on to successfully campaigned for most respected title a Marine could ever attain, Recon Marine.

Over the course of the next year I was sent to many unique courses that resulted in crucial core value refinement. Deprived of food and morale for nearly a week in SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape) school fortified my spiritual constitution. Jumping out of planes in the dead of night in Airborne school endowed me with the ability to create certainty where none seemed to exist. Basic reconnaissance course was my first opportunity to teach and harbor the respect of older men; an extremely humbling experience. As a cadre, training newly inducted reconnaissance operators honed my ability to deliver precise information when being wrong could cost a good Marine his life while overseas. In the end, all of the experience culminated to form my central core belief there is not a shred of adversity that can derail a person's hopes and dreams; The only person that ever stood in my way was me.

Additionally, I seized multiple opportunities to learn firsthand how to triage and manage trauma from unique field medics called SARCs (Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman). The significance of my limited medical experience in the military laid the foundation for what I have dedicated myself to in becoming a medical surgeon, which was a prospect that had once seemed too outlandish for me even to consider.

At this point, everything I did in the past couple of years changed my entire way of life; the core of my being was modified in a way that my previous lifestyle was unsuited for, and when I returned home, the sedentary lifestyle sent me into a tailspin. I was not properly educated for a high skill job, so I threw myself wholeheartedly back into the family machine shop. This occupation, while being very technical, did not suit my unquenchable thirst for knowledge, leaving me exactly where I began.

Searching for an answer, I returned to school while remaining fearful towards my abilities to perform as a student, not without just cause. At the end of my first full college semester, it was shocking to me that I had been able to overcome academic challenges, with ease, what used to be the bane of my existence. Excelling in my coursework and looking forward to impending science classes, instantly my path illuminated. I realized what I was meant to do, how I could repay that which had given me so much. Service to my country made it possible for me to pursue the formerly impossible, so it seems only fitting to put the gift to good use. Earning my medical doctorate will allow me to give back to those in my community as well as fellow veterans, whose lives had been changed far more tragically than my own.

By the end of the Fall 2017 semester, I will have completed the most rigorous coursework that Weatherford College has to offer, so it appears that my current two-year institution has challenged me to the best of its ability. Personally, I have a strong desire to be around the best and brightest students so that we may elevate each other, but I do not want to travel to far. Attending UT Austin means that I do not have to sacrifice the quality of education while keeping my large family close to the ones they love most. Additionally, UT's reputable pre-health resources, coursework, and opportunities to engage in meaningful research will positively impact my competitiveness in developing a compelling case for admittance into medical school.

The University of Texas at Austin and I share a common vision now and will long after I walk the stage at Frank Erwin Center. That vision is found in the principals of the "Recon Creed," a vow that encompasses going beyond honor, courage, and commitment:

Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who went before me.

Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics --The title of Recon Marine is my honor.

Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission.

On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate.

Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart.
A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word and achieve what others can only imagine.
Swift, Silent, Deadly.


I stand supremely confident that with my moral values, standard of excellence, and proven zeal, my core values align precisely with what it means to be a Longhorn. Allowing me to accomplish my goals at the University of Texas at Austin will undoubtedly lead to meaningful positive outcomes. As a mature non-traditional student with a vast amount of unique experience, I relish the opportunity to extend my hand out to peers so that I may transcribe the knowledge that helped me transcend into the person that I am today. It is my hope that together we can all continue to make tremendous strides.

Apr 19, 2017   #2
Brian, in as much as this essay is highly personal, informative, it doesn't really offer the proper information that the prompt requires. As a transfer student, the instructions given to you are very clear. You are to only discuss what you have learned so far in your current academic institution, and where you see your studies headed once you become a transfer student. Actually, your essay should start from paragraph 8. Modify the paragraph to give a summary of your military service and its relation to your desired major. Explain how that experience, added to your previous academic training, and your forthcoming education at the new university will combine to give you the kind of academic experience that will result in your unique professional qualities upon graduation. By the way, don't recite the whole oath in this essay. I know that it belongs to the university you are applying to so merely referencing it is actually enough to get your message across. If you must, just pick one or two lines to present in the the essay. Putting the whole oath in there doesn't really accomplish anything. Edited in that manner, your essay will be better presented and allow for a better understanding of your character and career goals.
Thank you Holt. You answered the burning question most decisively. The cited material is actually from my Recon platoon itself, though I am not sure if that makes a difference. I am not supposed to dismantle the Recon Creed. If I mention it, I'm supposed to cite it all. So would it be better to just take it all out?

Overall, I'm catching your drift. Again, thank you for your services.


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