Could you please read my essay and give me some feedback?
Here's the prompt:
Define global citizenship. As an aspiring world citizen, how would your Friends World education assist you in developing a broad world-view and cultivate global sensitivity?
And here's my essay:
Hearing my name from the teacher's lips was like a death sentence. My mouth would go dry, my hands would start shaking, and I would immediately lose all command of the English language. My days consisted of blending into whatever background was available. I tried hard in school, but not so hard that anyone would notice. I convinced myself that my best effort was just not good enough for greatness. I went through the motions: hard classes, honor role, extracurriculars, etc. I behaved myself and made sure that I stuck to my prescribed path. I wanted to be as normal as possible. Then, towards the end of junior year, I made a decision that changed my entire life.
In my senior year, I decided to try something completely different. I signed up for an experiential learning program called Senior Studies. The class spends its first semester learning about the Evanston community, examining its assets and needs, and establishing relationships with local charities and non-profit organizations. The second semester, each student does an independent study project combining aspects of community service, research, and creative expression. I went into the class knowing that it would be a challenge, but what I was not prepared for was the transformation that it would effect in my life. I soon began to let go of my own fears, to feel like a part of something. I saw the problems that existed within my community, and for the first time, felt like I could do something about them. Each and every person had something to say, something to learn from. We shared ideas, wishes, fears, and most importantly, experiences. As this took place inside the classroom, I began to take another look at the relationships I had with the people in my community. Somehow, every person I met, everyone I talked to, seemed to remind me of my personal connections in Senior Studies. For the first time in my life, I had the feeling that I could make a difference. That I had a friend anywhere I went. Everyone had something to teach me. Every community I went to inspired me. My life became about this new sense of exploration. The exploration of cultures, of people, of communities, and especially of myself.
As soon as I discovered this program, I knew that I had found home. And not the warm, safe, comfort zone kind of home, but the scary, difficult, challenging kind of home. The home that forces you to grow, to confront your fears, and to open yourself to learning and growing with completely different types of people. I love who I've become as a person through the Senior Studies program. I've never felt so accepted, so supported, and so independent at the same time. Every new piece of knowledge is like a rebirth. With every step I take into my community, I fall more and more in love with the people. I love the feeling of learning and growing and facing my fears. I am strongest when I can let go and trust and explore my environment in every respect. I really feel that I can examine and expand this part of myself at Global College. I think global citizenship is different from any other kind of citizenship in that its definition has nothing to do with a particular kind of person. It is a mindset. The feeling of connection between every person on earth, no matter their background, and the commitment to learning from everyone and teaching them in turn. Senior Studies taught me what it means to be an active member of my community. Through Global College, I can become a true global citizen.
Thanks so much for your help!
You've written a really great essay! I have just a couple of suggestions:
Then, towards the end of junior year, I made a decision that changed my entire life.
In my senior year, I decided to try something completely different. - This threw me for a moment, because you say "junior year" and then suddenly are talking about "senior year"; I had to re-read it to understand that you meant you made the decision in junior year to do something different in senior year. You could fix this confusion by saying, in the second sentence, "I decided that in my senior year, I would try something completely different."
It is a mindset. The feeling of connection between every person on earth, no matter their background, and the commitment to learning from everyone and teaching them in turn. - Technically, the second sentence is a fragment. You can get by with this in fiction writing, but here, you might want to change the punctuation like this:
It is a mindset: the feeling of connection between every person on earth, no matter their background, and the commitment to learning from everyone and teaching them in turn.
Best of luck in your studies!