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My UCF undergraduate admissions essay...I am dying to go here critiques?


Jennameister 1 / 1  
Jun 28, 2009   #1
Prompt:Why did you choose to apply to UCF?
What qualities or unique characteristics do you possess that would allow you to contribute to the UCF community?

I choose you. I would love to tell you some sob story about how I finally overcame adversity...but I cannot because I don't possess one and frankly I don't have too many bumps in the road either. I am a lucky and fortunate young woman who from up until this point has suffered minimally as I live in a stable family that has provided me with role models who have made me the person I am today. My grandmother, who is an avid philanthropist as she played a significant role in the creation of a successful hospice organization, has instilled in me a yearning to play a part in the community and work to make a positive difference in people's lives that need it. I have filled this need through my involvement in programs such as Lift Me Up, which I participated in with my sister Emily, who currently attends UCF. At Lift Me Up, I had the opportunity to assist children with special needs in receiving therapeutic horseback riding lessons, which is one of the greatest feelings in the world as I am assisting in making a significant difference in the life of someone less fortunate than I have been. I admit that I am incredibly lucky to have everything that I have: my health, my family, and the financial ability to go to whichever college that I choose to attend. I choose UCF because I love the atmosphere, I love the campus, and I love the idea that I could continue to make a difference in my community through programs like "Volunteer UCF" that would provide me with the opportunity to get involved. What I hope to bring to UCF is a well-rounded person who has lived in many different regions, been exposed to many different people, and comes from a stable background and as a result embraces diversity and attempts to make the absolute best out of all situations.

EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jun 28, 2009   #2
Why lead with what you can't say? One strength is your community work. You allude to others in your conclusion. Undoubtedly, you have other characteristics, talents, or experiences that you will bring to UCF. Use the space where you now talk about not overcoming adversity to talk in more detail about what you have done, the talents you do have, or what you will do at or after graduating from UCF. Do continue to mention your sister, though, as some universities like to accept siblings. And it doesn't hurt to mention your grandmother's philanthropy, as this will give them the idea that your family is a good prospect that they should cultivate by accepting another sibling.
OP Jennameister 1 / 1  
Jun 28, 2009   #3
Thanks so much for the advice!
Alright I tried to change it...is this better? I'm really having trouble with this...

I am an extremely fortunate young woman who has faced few bumps in the road as I was brought up in a secure family that has provided me with role models who have made me the person I am today. One role model that has had a huge influence on me has been my grandmother, who is an avid philanthropist as she played a significant role in the creation of a successful hospice organization. Due to her work in the community, she instilled in me a yearning to play a part in the community and work to make a positive difference in the lives of people that need it most. I have filled this need through my involvement in programs such as Lift Me Up, which I participated in with my sister Emily, who currently attends UCF. At Lift Me Up, we had the opportunity to assist children with special needs in receiving therapeutic horseback riding lessons, which is one of the greatest feelings in the world as I am assisting in making a significant difference in the life of someone less fortunate than I have been.

I understand that I am so incredibly fortunate to have everything that I do: my health, my family, and the financial ability to go to whichever college that I choose to attend. I choose UCF because I love that I will be sharing the college experience with my sister, I love the campus, and I love the idea that I could continue to make a difference in my community through programs like "Volunteer UCF" that would provide me with the opportunity to get involved. What I hope to bring to UCF is a well-rounded person aiming to smooth the bumps in the road that others face.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jun 29, 2009   #4
Still, your lead is weak. What, I wonder, makes you want to start with such a dull and uninformative statement? Most college applicants are relatively fortunate. Again, think of what makes you stand out from the crowd. What skills, experiences, characteristics, or talents will contribute to the life of the campus community? What will you do with your degree that will contribute to the wider community?

The problem, as I see it, is that you've got the "hard luck story" model of essay in your mind and, since you don't have a hard luck story, you feel compelled to harp on the degree to which you are fortunate. Set that model aside and write an entirely new, fresh, vivid essay that focuses on what you will bring to and do with your education at UCF. Start, for example, with a story from your volunteer work or a quotation that summarizes your attitude toward life.
Mayada 6 / 96  
Jun 29, 2009   #5
It the intro is the problem here.. then why don't you say that the challenge your facing is a life with no challenges, and no opportunities to take risks. You can elaborate in that point and start off it..

To be honest, when I look back at my life, I've been most creative only when a challenge came before me in my life. I feel sorry for the ones who have no challenges to force them to think out of the box.

lol, you can quote me. I'm Mayadah Alhashem, a 17 year old.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jun 29, 2009   #6
You could just delete the first sentence, and that would help a fair bit. You still wouldn't have the strongest opening sentence in the world, but at least you'd be getting to the meat of the essay sooner.

Also, why do you want to make a difference? What other programs have you volunteered with? Which ones are you interested in joining at UCF? At the moment, I get the impression that the volunteer program was something you joined out of a combination of family pressure from your sister and your grandmother and your need to have a volunteer experience for your university applications. That may not be the case, but your lack of specifics and your repetition of vague, hallmark-y sentiments sort of gives that impression.

So, either replace the generalities with specifics, or try again with a different approach altogether. Do the former if you really did enjoy your work with the program, and the latter otherwise.


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