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'The Underground Home' - Michigan Essay Critique


DoctorAn12 2 / 3  
Oct 19, 2012   #1
Please be as critical and as honest as possible. Thank you.

Describe the unique qualities that attract you to the specific undergraduate College or School (including preferred admission and dual degree programs) to which you are applying at the University of Michigan. How would that curriculum support your interests?

The Underground Home

"Moses! We know you're in there! Open up!" my "friends" roared. Having been exposed, I locked my door and pressed against it to covertly conceal myself from their field of vision. My new adversary added, "So this is where he lives. His parents must be beggars or something." I shut my eyes and sighed with depression. My confidential secret was in the open, and there was nothing I could do to mitigate it.

Residing in a basement for ten years has been extremely difficult to acknowledge. Being thankful for my life has got to be the hardest mountain I have had to climb in my seventeen years on planet earth. As a matter of fact, I believe I am still reaching for the apex of this mountain. Over the course of a decade, this one question made me as bitter as a steamy cup of ginseng tea.

Why me? That was the question. Unfortunately, my dad was the answer. Having the authority of head pastor of a small church, my father had no palpable source of income. My mother steadily balanced two jobs at times to provide oxygen for the family. At times like this, I pleaded with my father to quit the ministry and get a job. Any job with a salary would have sufficed. Whenever friends from church or school would ask to come over, I would regretfully reject their requests. Afterwards, I would curse under my breath. More importantly, I would curse my father. The father-son bond had been strained, but one incident during junior year really ignited a conflagration of my relationship with my dad.

"What! Why would you buy a $100 meal for a group of homeless men at the shelter?" My mother was filled with sullenness and anxiety as she interrogated my father for more information, but I had heard enough. I stormed into my prison-cell of a room and began to weep. I never realized that teardrops could be so salty. The family and the church were both financially struggling, yet he had the audacity to spend scarce resources on an incidental dinner. I looked down at my clothes. My sweater was a hand-me-down from my brother Aaron, and my jeans came from a donation box. My cantankerous emotions flared up to its zenith.

As I prayed, my resentment placated. I looked at my clothes again. They were second-hand, but otherwise clean. I had a home to go to every night. I had the luxuries of an indoor bathroom, an adequate bed, three square meals a day, and a family that genuinely loved me. I thought over my father's actions. Yes, he did spend money we did not have, but I understood the message he was trying to get through. The $100 dollars meant more to them than it did to us. My father's benevolence showed that someone cared for them. As I began to pray, my mind came across Proverbs chapter 22 verse 9, which says, "Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor." Another teardrop rolled down my cheek, but this time, it was a tear of veneration.

I aspire to continue to overcome internal and external challenges with a University of Michigan education. The strict standards as well as the amiable Ann Arbor community will only bolster my foundation to build my future upon. My personal dream is to assist penurious students as well as the homeless and disabled community so that they will be able to overcome the labyrinths in their lives.
fleurebelle95 1 / 3  
Oct 19, 2012   #2
I like the idea of your essay, but not how you only mention how it connects to the university at the end. This essay is convenient in that it can be used for pretty much any school with a "Why us?" prompt, but I feel like each college will want you to tailor your essay a little more to them. You're not really answering the prompt; it asked for why you are interested in University of Michigan and what you are interested in doing there, none of which you answered in depth.

As for the technicalities of the essay, I thought it really flowed well and was quite eloquent! Can you use it perhaps for a different prompt?

Read my essay, please?
jsnelson - / 1  
Oct 21, 2012   #3
I agree that your essay is interesting but it does not answer the prompt. It seems closer to answering the other prompt, about the community in which you belong. The promt specifically asks about the unique qualities in the specific college at U of M to which you are applying and how the curriculum supports your interests but you don't mention the program to which you are applying.


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