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"the vivid gardens and foliage of Ethiopia" significant experience, its impact on you

abesha100 1 / 6  
Dec 29, 2010   #1
Hey, this is my common application essay answering the prompt:

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

I know its REALLY long. Any suggestions on cuts to the essay would be greatly appreciated :D
Any other criticism and help would be amazing!

It was a beautiful sunrise over the skyline of Addis Ababa. I looked outside the window of my dad's low-rise apartment building and saw the vivid gardens and foliage of Ethiopia blend in perfectly with signs of modernization. I gawked at a humungous high-rise being built right beside my father's building. I marveled at a Mercedes-Benz pulling in to the driveway of a mansion. I witnessed a city sky-line that could rival almost any. I almost forgot where I stood, mesmerized by the views of sheer beauty and affluence. I decided that on such a beautiful day, with such unexpected sightings, I should explore the country I hadn't seen since my childhood. I stepped out of my dad's building ready to take in what I just saw from a higher vantage point, but, instead, reality hit me. I was in Ethiopia. suppose

My walk began and I noticed that I had entered a land of stark and horrifying contrast: the obscenely rich, in plain sight of the dirt poor. The all pervading poverty was clearly evident as I walked down the street in Ethiopia. I couldn't fathom how anyone could fix it. I was heading back home when I froze in my disturbed horror at the sight of a disfigured woman broken in pure misery. The skin on her back was literally peeled off to expose her inflamed, crimson flesh, beside ivory white bone. She was crouching on the side of the road in agony, much too tired to cry. A swarm of flies were surrounding her gaping wound, as she was crouching, listless with no hope whatsoever, no help whatsoever.

The sight of her forlorn form deeply affected me, for an irrevocable shift occurred in my heart. I needed to help her; I couldn't just leave her without some sense of comfort on the street. I walked to a nearby market to buy a blanket. With blanket in hand, I swiftly trotted back to the woman who stared warily at me. I shooed the swarm of flies surrounding her wounded back away and covered her glistening wound with the blanket. I gave her the rest of the money I had in hopes that it could help her, even just a bit doubting if it would really help at all. She stared at me with a gaze of gratitude that I would never forget. I stared back knowing that my small token of effort would not even begin to meet the needs of the woman. The following day, the woman was gone. The fact that I never knew the suffering that she went through and will never know what happened to her was devastating.

Walking home, I realized the privileged cannot merely stand idle; what I had just witnessed convinced me that I had an obligation to help. This lesson began my commitment to service to society. Back in the US, I joined the NHS chapter in my school and have made service to my community an essential part of my life. Yet, I still longed to aid people escape the desperate poverty I witnessed in Ethiopia. That's why as Treasurer of NHS I have solidified plans to raise money for the poor in third-world countries through an initiative called "˘hange for Change." I am also volunteering for the ECDC African Community Center at the start of the new year in order to better the chances for success for African refugees and immigrants that face daily challenges as they establish their new lives in the U.S. The day I saw that woman changed my perspective on life.

That unforgettable day in which I was obliged to help that calamitous woman that experienced upon so much catastrophe would forever shape my goals. I knew I had to help the poor in Ethiopia and the world, somehow, yet I knew merely caring for their individual needs would never really positively influence world poverty. Moreover, this issue is deeply personal as I hail from one of the most poverty-stricken countries in the world; it therefore, affects my own family. My intimate connection with this issue gives me an inescapable viewpoint on this crucial matter. I have come to a conclusion that much of the problem can be attributed to political corruption through my ongoing quest to have a greater grasp on issue that is so personal to me. My objective is to study global affairs so I am able to further explore the intricacies of world politics and diplomacy. My ultimate goal is to enter the Foreign Service, enabling me to have a direct and proactive influence on the politics of corrupt third-world governments. The Foreign Service would be the perfect medium to help spread the ideals of human rights, equality, and democracy throughout the globe, so the poor will be able to speak out on their own. I plan to use my education in order to fight the much-forgotten battle against what has become a systematic and sad institution: third world poverty.

xelaint 3 / 9  
Dec 29, 2010   #2
I looked outside the window of my dad's low-rise apartment building and saw the vivid gardens and foliage of Ethiopia blend in perfectly with signs of modernization.

I looked outside the window of my dad's low-rise apartment building and saw the vivid gardens filled with foliage of Ethiopia blending in perfectly with signs of modernization.

I stepped out of my dad's building ready to take in what I had seen just a couple of stories higher, but I got a reality check... I was in Ethiopia.

I stepped out of my dad's building ready to take in what I had seen just a couple stories higher, but reality hit me. I was in Ethiopia.

first paragraph suggestions!
OP abesha100 1 / 6  
Dec 29, 2010   #3
Thanks!!! Xelaint!!!
But guys? Anyone? I really need A LOT of criticism...
The deadline is not too far ahead :(
OP abesha100 1 / 6  
Dec 30, 2010   #4
I really need help guys... My essay is really, really long... little over 800 words...
I've really tried to shave it down, but i can't seeem to think of anything else. :( HELP!
ANY critisim welcome :) be harsh please... i need it... lol

Also this is my extraciricular activity/work experience response... It was REALLY hard for me to work with the 150 word limit, so i used irregular syntax. Any suggestions?

again ANY criticism welcome, needed actually :)


Searching... It was under 30 degrees, freezing and I was searching...
It was the Blessfest an event to provide for the needs of the homeless held every Thanksgiving. I was in charge of providing the one thing that would last the homeless longer than the short day: clothing, specifically, men's jeans. I found a pair of jeans for each man that stood before me. One remains specifically poignant in my mind.

Still searching... So long... The man said that stop looking.
"I'll try to make due with what I have"
I wouldn't. Looking at his tortured face I knew I had to find a pair for him.
Finally, success my diligence was rewarded. I found his size! I would never forget what he said:
"You don't know how thankful I am right now... God Bless You"
His face showed a genuine gratitude that would fail to ever escape my memory.

hereonawhim - / 6  
Dec 30, 2010   #5
You are obviously a gifted writer, however, I have heard that it's better to lean away from the typical "I visited a country with poverty and it changed my life" essay. It's touching but it's not unique and although it reveals you are clearly compassionate and wish to make a difference in the world it does not separate you from all the other college applicants who possess these same traits. If you don't have time to rewrite your essay I would try to find a way to highlight qualities that make you stand out from the rest. Good luck! Hope I could be of help!
Mixta666 2 / 11  
Dec 30, 2010   #6
I like the essay, yes perhaps a tad bit too wordy, but to shorten it, avoid repeating yourself. You have mentioned twice that you want to help Ethiopia.

The last two paragraphs can be combined, as they both serve the purpose of explaining what you have done and what you wish to do.

At the end of your first paragraph you write' I was in Ethiopia. suppose. ' and just leave it there.
You can also reduce the amount of descriptions that you have. I understand the importance of vivid description in an essay to really capture the reader, but you can leave out some things.

You also say in your second paragraph, during your walk that you couldn't fathom how anybody could fix it, 'IT' I am taking to be the terrible state of Ethiopia and then proceed to draft out plans showing that you had a strong desire to fix it. This shows a contradiction of sorts.

Otherwise, well written out, well thought, I liked it :)
Comment on mine as well if you can,

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