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University of Florida: Undergraduate essay on life experience

daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 17, 2009   #1
Hello wonderful people,
This is my first time posting, so I apologize for any rules broken beforehand. I would appreciate any criticisms of my essay, I feel that it is rough or incomplete in some areas, but I can't remedy it myself.

In the space provided, please write a concise narrative in which you describe a meaningful event, experience or accomplishment in your life and how it will affect your college experience or your contribution to the UF campus community. You may want to reflect on your ideas about student responsibility, academic integrity, campus citizenship or a call to service.

The month after I turned seventeen should have been one of the most miserable times of my life. It was summer, I was eager to spend time with my friends, to explore my little town. Instead I found myself traveling to St. Petersburg for a relatively major surgery.

Before I was admitted to the hospital, my family and I stayed in the Ronald McDonald House, and my mom continued to stay there while I was in the hospital. There are two feelings that I will always associate with the house: hope and heartbreak. Life was so different in the small world of the house; it became incredibly vivid, desperate even. The worries of the house were not caused by school or unpaid bills, but instead by a daughter's cancer., or a brother's bone marrow transplant. In our room was a journal in which some of those that had stayed there before us wrote of their time at the house. There is one entry in particular that I will never forget, a letter from a grandmother to her recently deceased granddaughter. It made me understand that my own plight was trivial compared to what others went through every day.

Everyone who worked at the house was a volunteer. They were there day after day, always willing to help and to listen. As I talked to them it dawned on me that these people were taking care of our every need, and sacrificing their own time to do so. Spending just a moment or two with the volunteers reshaped me; I wanted to help others and to exceed expectations by doing so.

To say that my surgery and satying at the house changed me would be an almost comical understatement. It is always better to see the predicaments of others than to wallow in your own inconveniences. I learned that life could be so much more beautiful than I had cared to believe before. I became grateful, climbed out of that hole of self-obsession that is so easy to fall into. Life is different now, I am determined to not let any misgiving weigh me down, but instead make me better.

It is so easy to complain, to whine. I hated the green walls of my hospital room, hated the broken television. Hated that I was too tired to even sketch, too spent to move my legs. In my own mind I was a tragic case, someone who deserved pity and coddling. Yet, at the end of the week, I realized that my troubles were nothing. I was still the one who went home.
brood910 5 / 14  
Oct 17, 2009   #2
I think this is one of the most emotional essays I've ever read.
Like EF said, you should try a new title.
OP daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 17, 2009   #3
Thank you for replying.

When you say emotional, do you mean sappy? The last thing I want is for an essay that comes across as corny. I am slightly worried about the grammar, (I can be comma-happy).
OP daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 18, 2009   #4
Also, I was rereading it, and do you think I should put some more stuff about UF in it?
Jpaz330 1 / 1  
Oct 18, 2009   #5
Although you have a wonderful and emotional anecdote, you didn't mention anything about how you can contribute to the UF campus. That is what their main focus is about.
OP daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 18, 2009   #6
Thank you for that tip, at the end of the second to last paragraph I added this sentence, which I believe will tie in UF nicely.

"This is a gift from the house, a mindset that I plan to take with me to the University of Florida, and throughout my studies."

What do you think?
OP daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 18, 2009   #7
Is there anything that should be changed? I'm pretty well satisfied with theessay, but I still feel like something is...off.
OP daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 18, 2009   #8
Goodness, I know I'm commenting on this a lot myself, but I NEED HELP!

I feel the transitions aren't smooth enough, any tips?
EF_Stephen - / 264  
Oct 18, 2009   #9
The writing is excellent, and the added bit about UF is good too.

Think about this: the people reading your essay are probably really tired of reading essays, but they are not oblivious to what is between the lines. You don't have to explain everything in every minute detail--they'll get it. They'll know what you mean.

I think that all you really have to do is clean it up a little--check for errors. The content is outstanding and I think you've told it with just the right touch.
OP daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 18, 2009   #10
I'm almost happy with it.
Thank you so much!
I took your advice and cleaned it up. I got rid or some typing errors, and took out some useless sentences.
OP daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 19, 2009   #11
Are there any glaringly obvious grammatical errors?
joshgesa 1 / 4  
Oct 19, 2009   #12
This is an unbelievably moving essay. Now, I am questioning my own. My only recommendation would be as the others have said, to tie what this experience did for you and how it will affect you and your life at UF.

Also, it would be great if you could critique my essay. It is titled "My Life as A Quadratic Equation" - UF Admission Essay. Thank you.
OP daniamxg 1 / 16  
Oct 20, 2009   #13
Okay, I'm hesitant, but I think I'm almost done.
Thanks guys, and thanks in advance for any insight on grammar.

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