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Reflective Essay On This School Year: "Closed Doors Are Not The End"

Babiix 1 / 2  
May 6, 2009   #1
Can you read, revise it and give me back your comments and all?

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Closed Doors Are Not The End

In their life, everyone has at least missed an opportunity and has faced some misfortune. "When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us" said Alexander Graham Bell. When a person is closed-minded, they don't see the opportunities or potential in any given situation.

When a person has a closed mind they tend to close outside thought, and their own as well. Coming back from Vietnam during the summer of '08 I've experienced the worse summer ever. Not only have I wasted my entire summer doing nothing, but I came back just two weeks left of summer before school was going to start. Two weeks came in close, and it was time to board the plane to new my school. As I got on the plane I was scared, and hesitant. I kept thinking to myself was going to Scattergood Friends School, a boarding school in Iowa the right choice? I've lived in California all my life, where it's okay to wear tang tops, shorts, and flip flops in the middle of December. And when it gets below 60 degrees here, I cry silently on the inside. I didn't know if my choice was the wrong or right one anymore. But I have opened a door, and because I've opened it, I just had to go through. By the time I got to Scattergood it didn't seem as bad as I thought it would have been. It was a completely different lifestyle I was used too, I didn't mind it, but after a period of time I realized that I just didn't fit in. Compared to what I was used to, everything was completely different. Day by day my dislike of Scattergood started to become worse, and worse. I just wanted to leave. Being in the middle of nowhere with a whole bunch of corn made me realize that would have to choose to find a different door fast, or I would stay walled-in.

When a person makes a decisions it tends to lead to happiness or regret. Being in such a different surroundings to the ones I'm used to I felt like I was not putting enough effort into my life. I felt apathetic at this point in my life. I know I am capable of much more, but I get overwhelmed too easily. Things in my life were changing. The way I looked at life was just different from before. I've opened this door, and I just had to go all the way. I couldn't just run back to the other door. To distract myself from being homesick, I've started to reach out to my community. I began to volunteer at several nursing homes and Local Foods Connection, a nonprofit organization. The worst habit would probably be not speaking. Up until now I was always one of the quiet students with nothing to say. You would find me in the back corner of the classroom observing everything around me. Now, I'm slowly beginning to speak up and voice my ideas, question, and observations to other people. I just had to adapt to my environment or, I wouldn't survive. In my mind it was like the survival of the fitness. I grabbed every chance and opportunity I could get a hold of to make the best of the remaining year, because I had to remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that I've had. After I started to think like that I thought being at Scattergood Friends School as more as an opportunity, and a path that I just had to manage to get through in life.

"Wake up and chase your dreams" one of my closest friends told me, and my triumph over closed doors in the past year makes me think she's right. The city, that's where I really belong, but I felt like I was slipping away and not ambitious enough for my own dreams. I tried my best not to look back, because it was my decision to go through this door. I tried my best to be optimistic, because it's not always going to be this grey. I was physically strong, but emotionally weak. I found out Harvard and Stanford's Secondary School Program last year, but the programs were mainly for juniors and seniors. I encountered them once again during mid-November, and I decided to just apply. Whatever happens happens, because life changes continuously every day. Though I was barely holding on I stilled chased my dreams. By chasing my dreams, I learned to be true myself. I didn't run away even though I was scared. Though dreams are easy to let go, they leave marks to the soul. Sticking out a year at boarding school has taught me not to let go of my dreams, because to live without dreaming is hardly living at all.

Taking one path over another changed the course of a person life. At this point, new pathways are opening in my life, and I realize that taking one path over another could change everything. "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference" "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. I am now in front of two different paths, and I'm deciding to transfer to middle college, back at home. I know that me choosing to transfer yet again is not such a good idea, especially since I only have one more year of high school, but I'm miserable at boarding school. I want to remember the last year in high school fondly. I think I'll be happiest, if I finish my last high school year at middle college. Towards the end of April I received my acceptances letters from Harvard and Stanford's Secondary School Program and to BP fashion board. I really didn't think I would get accepted to any of them. My life seemed to be turning around, and falling into the right place. With these new opportunities that will change my life, I'm going to find my own openings to my new path of life.

Through this entire school year with all the tears I've shed, and the bitter sweet memories that I won't ever forget I've come to realized that high school isn't everything. I've been so caught up with what I thought I wanted, and what was truly important to me. I still don't know what I truly want, but I have a hint to what I aim for. I'll always have two doors in front of me so whatever happens, is all based on my decision.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
May 6, 2009   #2
The essay is thoughtful and fairly well-written. I'd suggest revising throughout by using stronger verbs to replace the ones you currently have. For instance,

"Two weeks came in close, and it was time to board the plane to new my school. As I got on the plane I was scared, and hesitant. I kept thinking to myself was going to Scattergood Friends School, a boarding school in Iowa the right choice?"

Look at those horribly weak verbs -- 3 instances of "was," a "got," and "keep/think." Not exactly attention grabbing. You might revise it to something along the lines of

"Two weeks later, I mounted the steps to the plane, trembling with trepidation -- was attending Scattergood Friends School in Iowa the right choice?"

You could probably make it even better with a bit more thought, but even this is a considerable improvement. The three major verbs are "mount," "tremble," and "attend," with only one "was" in there, and that necessary for the question format.

So, if you go through the entire essay and revise along these lines, you will have a much stronger essay.
OP Babiix 1 / 2  
May 7, 2009   #3
Thank you~
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
May 7, 2009   #4
Great! And if we strengthen your opening paragraph, the whole essay will be better received. I had an idea for this opening line:

In their life, e Everyone has, at one time or another, experienced misfortune or missed opportunity.

After that first sentence, and before the quote by Alexander Graham Bell, write a sentence that asserts that events that seem unfortunate can often turn out to be for the best.

Use commas when you quote people:
open for us, " said Alexander...

Add one more sentence to the end of the first para, and make it the thesis statement. Make it a sentence that tells the main theme of the essay -- captured in a single sentence.
OP Babiix 1 / 2  
May 7, 2009   #5
Thank you~
But I turned in my essay already.


I'll put it in, in the revision.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
May 8, 2009   #6
Ah, you get to workshop this essay a bit, then, do you? It's always nice when teachers let you do that, and turn the essay writing into a living learning experience, rather than a husk dessicated by the stress of worrying about your mark.

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