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UChicago - (Extended Essay) Outgrowing Being Short


luminousx 3 / 32  
Dec 27, 2009   #1
Please read and critique! This is the extended essay question for the University of Chicago.

Essay Option 2. The late-eighteenth-century popular philosopher and cultural critic George Lichtenberg wrote, "Just as we outgrow a pair of trousers, we outgrow acquaintances, libraries, principles, etc. . . . at times before they're worn out and at times - and this is worst of all - before we have new ones." Write an essay about something you have outgrown, perhaps before you had a replacement - a friend, a political philosophy, a favorite author, or anything that has had an influence on you. What, if anything, has taken its place?

"Five feet and a half," she said, and scribbled away on her clipboard.

"What?" I stared at the height rod incredulously, hoping for her to recheck. But the nurse motioned to the chair, telling me to sit. Pouting like a five-year old, I complied.

I am five feet and a half inch, and I find that hard to believe. I have always felt myself to be an inch taller - in fact, I can swear I am an inch taller. I mean, I indulge myself with a glass of milk every morning! In elementary school, when students were expected to line up by "size order," I always stood toward the front. When the class photos that my parents ordered arrived, my dad would always ask, "How come you are the shortest one?" I would always retort with a "No, I am not! Look at her, and her, oh what about her?" He had the same question every year he looked at my class picture and I would always ask myself, "Why am I so short?"

I felt different from everyone else, everyone else who was taller.

However, once I entered high school, I realized that height was only a physical aspect - it provided no insight as to who I really was. Those long, slender supermodel legs that I used to covet became meaningless to me. "Short" was no longer a vocabulary word which I used to describe myself. In fact, I have outgrown the thought of being short.

When I paid less attention to my height, my confidence level grew immensely. I spoke up more in class, adding my input to a lively discussion or answering a question to prove my knowledge. I also took more initiative during group assignments, and was always supportive toward my group members. There were numerous times in U. S. History, Yearbook, and Biotechnical Engineering when I was asked to present my ideas to the class. Courageously, I stood up and walked to the front. As I scanned the various ethnic faces around the room, I saw one thing in common: they were all listening.

My seed of confidence had sprouted. I never hesitated to seize an opportunity so that even when I failed to reach my goal, it did not matter; at least I tried. Whenever there was a dispute between friends, I tried to mediate by trying to understand both sides. I eventually joined more clubs in school and became more involved in leadership positions. Gradually, I become brave enough to perform. Our Yoga final exam was to enact a dance that comprised of all the poses of yoga that we have learned. I was daunted at first - imagine, dancing in front of a whole class! But as I practiced, I realized that confidence was the underlying act. Confidence brought respect. I no longer saw myself as short - I embraced it. After all, it was what made me, me.

A few days ago, I was at the train station with a friend I have known since junior high school. Having used up all the money on my MTA metro card, I proceeded to refill it. As I stood on my tiptoes to reach the microphone at the ticket booth, I heard my friend chuckle. "Cute," she said with a twinkle in her eye. "Thank you," I replied with a smile. "Thank you for the compliment."

yatindrahp 2 / 2  
Dec 28, 2009   #2
I think that you chose a pretty good topic. However, I feel that the main problem is you need to better describe what you are overcoming and what you are replacing it with. In addition, you need to show how you overcame your old mindset or persona, one of insecurity, and replace it with one of self-confidence.
sbdaiquiri 8 / 21  
Dec 28, 2009   #3
Going off what yatingdrahp said, you can give more specifics as to what happened after you overcame your self-conciousness of your height. Describe a falling out you friends had and how you helped them sort things out or how you obtained a particular leadership position. Maybe add before those anecdotes what you would have done or would not have done before you became very confident.
pmurray62 8 / 26  
Dec 28, 2009   #4
A few days ago, I was at the train station with a friend I knewI've known since Junior High School. Having used up all the money on my MTA metro card, I had to refill it. As I stood tiptoeon my tiptoes to reach the microphone at the ticket booth, I heard my friend chuckle. "Cute," she said with a twinkle in her eye. "Thank you," I replied with a smile,(.) "Thank you for the compliment."

Overall, I think this is one of the stronger essays on this website. The University of Chicago seems to be a factory for turning out great admissions essays--so far I've loved almost every one of the UChicago essays on EssayForum. That being said, I'd like to congratulate you on your creativity and the way you handled this prompt. Something about your writing shines. It's simple yet deep at same time. I wouldn't fret too much about what the above posters said, but that's just my opinion.
mjellma 6 / 26  
Dec 28, 2009   #5
As I stood tiptoe to reach the microphone at the ticket booth, I heard my friend chuckle. "Cute," she said with a twinkle in her eye. "Thank you," I replied with a smile, "Thank you for the compliment."

just a minor granmmar error.

"Short" was no longer a vocabulary which I used to describe myself
sounds a bit off.

I think that the idea is very strong, but I agree with the others that you should better expain how you overcame you problem.

Thnx for looking at my essay earlier. I Appreciate it!

Be sure to post a new draft of this essay if you plan on working to improve it. Then Ill help more with the grammatical things.
m126531 4 / 11  
Dec 28, 2009   #6
the revised essay is really really good.
good choice of topic
and i like how you showed your transformation
jyu104 14 / 46  
Dec 28, 2009   #7
The revisions allowed it to evolve. Try to find other ways where you can show more about you.


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