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University of Washington Coalition essay: "Tell a story from your life..."

ziyuzhu12 1 / -  
Oct 15, 2017   #1
1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

Here is my unfinished essay. Feel free to give me any feedback, grammar corrections, and content. Thanks!!!

participating in DO-IT Program

At almost halfway through high school, I started to deeply contemplate about my future, especially about going off to college. I was simply lost at the time; there were no path built in front of me. To make matters worse, I was introverted, judgmental, and feeling trapped in my own comfort zone. It wasn't until my occupational therapist started guiding me through some grueling paperwork application and collecting letters of recommendation that I knew everything started to change for the better. During the summer of my sophomore year, I had the great opportunity to be part of a kind and distinct community that helped shape me who I am today.

The first time I heard about the UW DO-IT Program, I didn't know what it stood to be. My occupational therapist informs me about the program in an enthusiastic tone, and all I said was "Very cool." Except that I didn't recognize how important this opportunity was for me. Summer came around the corner very quickly. The first day to be truly "away" from my parents came and I knew it wouldn't turn out good. It was a hot afternoon. My mom packed up my belongings and we headed out for Seattle. I was feeling all tensed up. Once I arrived in one of the dorm lobbies at the university campus, I was greeted by a lady who was in a wheelchair and who was an amputee. Instantly, I felt I was forming deliberate judgments in my mind, and I quickly questioned my character. Having a physical disability myself, I constantly felt ashamed of my own: I didn't want to have anything to do with my disability and the disability of others. Through my own perspective, I knew that having this mindset was not appropriate: I had to relinquish my way of thinking.

As subsequent days went on at the UW, I got to know more students with the same goals and purpose. I felt a great sense of inclusion: I had great conversations and great time with my friends I bonded with. I began to form a positive mindset that I am just like them; I am no different from my friends with disabilities. It goes without saying that the most influential to me were the staff.
madiefarts123 5 / 11 1  
Oct 15, 2017   #2
While reading the essay, I couldn't find a focal point/thesis statement, Zhang. I understand that this experience must've changed the way you perceive yourself and others around you now, but it is not coming very strongly in the essay. You said you have a physical disability, why not just focus on that and your encounter with the lady? It will not only provide a focal point, but it will focus on one specific story too. Also, in the end, you're telling about the great conversations and time you spent with friends at the program. What was so great about the conversation? What ideas did you talk about? What experiences did you tell each other that made the conversation very interesting? I think your essay will be more impactful if you brainstorm your ideas on a notebook, make a timeline of the events which happened at the program, and then select what is it which you really want the admissions committee to know.

I hope it helps. :)

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,062 4260  
Oct 16, 2017   #3
Zhu, a true character building event in your life needs to replace the story that you are telling here. There is no development of your character in the story aside from a short mention of you thinking that you were judgemental of the special needs female. Think of this essay in terms of the more popular common app prompt regarding an experience that connects with your failure. how you dealt with it, and what you learned about yourself from it. That is the better and easier to understand explanation for the approach to this prompt. As the reviewer, I need to know who you were before, why you entered into this situation, what happened during your time in it, how that affected you, and who you are today in terms of character or mindset that evolved from that experience. The story you told doesn't carry any meaning for the reader. Maybe you just did not present it properly. Regardless, the story you chose was not strong to begin with. So think of some other life changing event that led you to develop a stronger character in order to deal with the events that unfolded.

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