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What a Wonderful World: UVA/ surprised, unsettled, or challenged


ChristianB 5 / 22 1  
Oct 26, 2013   #1
Here is one of my UVA supplements! The topic is "What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?"

I'd like opinions on a couple of things. First, is it a good topic? I'm concerned it might not be that appealing to admissions counselors.. Also I really don't like the way I end, so I'm trying to change that a bit. Any feedback on the topic itself, how the overall paper is, and any grammar errors etc., will be much appreciated. Thank you!

I fling myself into bed after yet another day of having my life controlled by depression. Using the last bit of energy I have in me, I reach to my bedside table and turn on the radio. As I turn it on I hear the graceful whistle of a flute accompanied by the soothing vibration of a trumpet. These instruments are joined in by the gravelly voice of Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World."

The song immediately triggers an emotional response, and as my soul absorbs the beautiful music and powerful lyrics, I begin to weep. I cry not because of the harshness of the world but because of its goodness. I cry because for so long, I've not been able to see the world as the incredible place that Louis describes. I've been sheltering myself underneath a canopy of despair, covering my eyes with a blindfold that blocks out all light, and binding myself with chains that rob my freedom.

But as I listen to this song, I see a vivid image of the wonderful world Louis sings about. I see the vibrant roses, the clear blue sky, and the friendly people with warm smiles. I even see hope for the future that's reflected by the babies' growth. As these images rush through my head, I leap out from the dark canopy, rip off my blindfold, and tear off my chains. I'm finally able to see the world as a wonderful place.
JayuPatel 1 / 7  
Oct 26, 2013   #2
I like your essay but honestly, I'm not a big fan of the topic. Especially because I have never heard that particular song.

binding myself with chains that rob (me of) my freedom.

But as I listen to this song (the song continues), I begin to see a vivid image of the wonderful world Louis sings about. I see the vibrant roses, the clear blue sky, and the friendly people with warm smiles. I even see hope for the future that's reflected by the (I think this should be a) babies' growth. As these images rush through my head, I leap out from the dark canopy, rip off my blindfold, and tear off my chains. I'm finally able to see the world as a wonderful place.

***I meant from under the dark canopy
&
***tear of the
&
dont start a new sentence.

....rip off my blindfold, and tear off my chains i'm finally able to see the world as a wonderful place.
OP ChristianB 5 / 22 1  
Oct 26, 2013   #3
Thank you for your suggestions, I really appreciate them! :)

I have one question. When you say that you don't like the topic, do you think that admissions counselors won't like it either?

Also, you should listen to the song, it's truly beautiful!
patryan5045 1 / 2 1  
Oct 26, 2013   #4
"yet another day of having my life controlled by depression" sounds a little too intense. Hopefully, it isn't that bad; but even if it is you might want to tone it down. I wouldn't want an admissions counselor to know my life was controlled by depression on a daily basis. I think it is good that you end on a positive, hopeful note.
OP ChristianB 5 / 22 1  
Oct 26, 2013   #5
patryan5045
Okay, so I'm actually talking about this as it happened like three years ago. I think I need to make that more clear.
jfang 1 / 10 3  
Oct 26, 2013   #6
It's very well-written. I agree with what the people above said about mentioning depression. It's a sensitive thing and admission officers usually don't like hearing about it.

About the topic: was there a list to choose from, or did you make up your own?
If this was from a list, I think it's fine.

The ending line is a little too dramatic. Obviously, you can't get over your depression in one day, just because of listening to one song.

You should write something like "I begin to see the world as a better place." Something that shows the admission officers that you're in the process of changing, but aren't perfect yet.
poptarts96 1 / 4 2  
Oct 27, 2013   #7
I really like your essay. I think it's okay to mention depression as long as you show how you overcame it, which you did. I think it'll show the admissions officers that you can pull through any thing that lies ahead. I know it might sound picky, but I think you could use adjectives different from beautiful and powerful. You could elevate your diction. I feel like they are used too often, but then I know its hard to keep under the 250 word limit.

".. a blindfold that blocks out all light" kind of sounds redundant
"but as I listen to the song.." maybe However, as I continue to listen... maybe just to give you more words for future use

I like it overall all the suggestions were me just being picky :)
sthakur 2 / 22 7  
Oct 27, 2013   #8
I just posted an essay on the same topic for UVA! I personally like your essay in that it's honest and has a positive ending. But my only concern is that college admissions don't like looking at essays about grief and depression. It's very well-written though!
JayuPatel 1 / 7  
Oct 27, 2013   #9
Well Depression is a risky topic but I think it's okay to mention as long as you show how you overcame it, which you did. I think you have just the "right amount". You mention something that has a huge part in your life but you also show that you don't let it define you.
Lydmeister 6 / 17  
Oct 27, 2013   #10
I would sneak in an explanation about how this depression episode happened a few years ago, you learned from it, you're a stronger person now because of it, etc.

I disagree with the person who said the song was a bad reference because they didn't know it. Admissions officers tend to be very well rounded, cultured people. Almost anyone will recognize the chorus of the song. It works perfectly!

If the world limit is very small then what you have is fine, but if not then I would try to include a bit more about yourself. Spell out how the song inspired and motivated you!
OP ChristianB 5 / 22 1  
Oct 28, 2013   #11
New "What a Wonderful World" UVA Supplement

Hello! A couple days ago I posted an essay that mentioned my past depression, and based on some people's comments I took that out of my essay. Please read this new essay and tell me what you think. First of all, will the admissions counselors like it? Is it overall a good essay? Are there any unnecessary parts or parts that I should expound upon? Then of course any grammar mistakes. If anyone thinks it isn't good, please let me know. I still have a little time to change it before the deadline. I'm applying as an out of state student, so my essay needs to be absolutely great!

Here is the essay: "What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?"

I flung myself into bed after another emotionally straining day. "I hate him," I thought as I imagined the person who murdered my friend. Unable to get out of bed, I reached over to turn on my radio, and as I did so I heard the graceful whistle of a flute accompanied by the soothing vibration of a trumpet. These instruments were joined by the gravelly voice of Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World." Immediately I started weeping.

At first I cried out of self-pity and sorrow, but with each tear that trickled down my face, I felt as if I were shedding my pain and exchanging it for hope. Since Philip's death I had been sheltering myself underneath a canopy of despair, covering my eyes with a blindfold that blocked out all light, and binding myself with chains that robbed me of my freedom.

However, as I listened to this song, I began to see a vivid image of the wonderful world Louis sings about. I saw the vibrant roses, the clear blue sky, and the friendly people with warm smiles. I even saw hope for the future that's reflected by the babies' growth. As these images rushed through my head, I leapt out from under the dark canopy, ripped off my blindfold, and tore off my chains.

At that point in my life, I needed that song more than anything else. Although hearing it didn't heal me from the pain of my friend's death, it did give me a new hope in the goodness of humanity. I realized that with all the cruelty and pain in this world there is so much more kindness and happiness, and to me that's what makes this a truly wonderful world.
Pahan 1 / 1,906 553  
Nov 1, 2013   #12
Yes, I think you do not need any help ....lol :D
For me, this is a beautiful piece of writing. You have presented it very creatively and it flows beautifully. So I think this is a very good response and you've done a very good job.

What you've done is fine, but just another thought from me;

Although hearing it didn't heal me from the pain of my friend's death, it did give me a new hope in the goodness of humanity. I realized that with all the cruelty and pain in this world there is so much more kindness and happiness, and to me that's what makes this a truly wonderful world.

Although this song couldn't heal my wound of loosing my friend completely, it did open a window for me to see the bright side of our existence. It made me convinced that with all the cruelty and pain in this world, still there is so much more kindness and happiness making this place truly a wonderful world.


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