College Essay

kalifornia (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago

Hey everyone. I want some feedback on ideas for a college essay, I wrote my rough draft today and showed it to my girlfriend who thought it was pretty bad. Haha.

While i could post the whole essay, i think i’d rather give you guys an outline and you can give me feedback on if my ideas have potential:)

Since this is a college essay, i pretty much need to aim for a story of how i changed, and grew as a person. I wanted to write about both the Sandy Hook Shooting, and Zen-Buddhist meditation. My rough draft talked about how i came to fine compassion for Adam Lanza, despite his tragic fallout. I came to accept that he is human like all of us- and hate is not the appropriate response. my ending was weak, i intended to relay how meditation helped my realize that compassion and connection should be felt to all humans, and thus Adams fallout helped me find that connection with others.

My girlfriend said my essay spoke to much about Adam, and not myself- and that Buddhism and the shooting have no connection. I believe these two ideas can be skillfully merged.

Any ideas? What improvements could i make? Or am i just on the wrong track and should scrap my essay?

If you think my idea is just plain stupid, what other essay could i write about in respect to meditation. I know it has changed me as a person, but it seems like a boring topic by itself.

February 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm
Taylor Little (71) (@tlrlittle) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

I don’t think your idea is stupid, but I think you need to be thinking about who is going to be reading this. I really doubt they will be able to connect, well you’re idea is original and would stand out, I think it is too controversial to take the chance that they will see it the same way.

Maybe you can write about why you went to meditation, and how you used it to learn, where it has brought you, and where it might lead you. Honestly I think meditation is unique enough on it’s own, how many people do you know who meditate? You can mention Lanza if you feel it was an important part of where meditation has brought you, I wouldn’t make it the focus of my topic though.

It kinda sounds like your just making it important for the sake of making the essay stand out when you say “I believe these two ideas can be skillfully merged.” Don’t force it if it’s not real, if it is feel free to add it though.

Hope this helps, in the end it’s your essay so don’t listen to me or your girlfriend, go with your gut.

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Taylor Little (71) (@tlrlittle) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, You might also consider going to school in Canada, most don’t require essays, SAT’s and are like 10% of the price of american schools (assuming your from California)

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Heed them, HEthen (91) (@heedthem) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@tlrlittle, Is there no international tuition rate in Canada? I imagine if there was that it’d make the school more expensive.
Are there high-ranking schools in Canada -especially, higher than US? I know US is not top-notch in education mostly.
And is it necessary to be a Canadian citizen? How hard is it to become a citizen?

Sorry, I’ve been considering moving to Canada for/after graduate work :)

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Heed them, HEthen (91) (@heedthem) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, Yeah, I think what he said is pretty right. It feels too forced. You should use Sandy Hook as supporting detail, not a huge component of half the essay. Break him into maybe a third of your argument.

Then I suggest choosing at least one other key argument. Let’s say, the Dalai Lama. Write about his practices and the types of people who come to talk to him for personal advice all the time. Scientists, Christians, Atheists, news reporters, all kinds of publicity from people you’d think weren’t interested in some little man who cracked the happiness recipe.

Then make the other third a personal anecdote or comparison of your old behavioral patterns and specifically how meditate has helped with each one.
Then back it up with scientific evidence from periodicals or peer-reviewed work from a psychology perspective on how they have found said benefits from repetitive use of meditation.

Boom.

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Taylor Little (71) (@tlrlittle) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@heedthem, True there are international rates, still though you’d probably be paying half the price of american schools. Depends where you look though, I went to montreal because McGill is one of the most prestigious schools in the world. Honestly though if you’re just starting school my recommendation is that prestigious schools are just more competitive and based on teaching yourself, that was my problem. Teachers their are only concerned about their research and not teaching you. And where you get you’re bachelors doesn’t matter, it’s what you take from it. Wait for the prestigious schools till you want do research. I think you would get a lot more from a smaller college. Prices at Concordia where I ended up went something like this 8k international, 4k citizen, 2k resident.
As far as becoming a citizen I was born there and moved to the states so I can’t speak much, however Canada is historically known for taking in immigrants and I’m sure is one of the easiest to naturalize into, although that may be changing in the next few years.

P.S.- I really like what Heed Them said, if you can show them that you can find PEER-REVIEWED science articles from a legitimate resource(not just an article referencing one) I think they would freaking jump all over you. I wouldn’t over do it though, one reference is probably enough

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Taylor Little (71) (@tlrlittle) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, Meant to tag you in that last one

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kalifornia (10) (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@tlrlittle, Yeah, i ended up writing my roguh draft on about 2/3 Lanza, and 1/3 meditation. I think i may try and cut that part out, or at least reduce its significance. meditation is unique and thats why i need to include it- but the shootings can add a bit of conflict and climax to my essay, which is good. I’ll deffinitly try and reduce it. I’m writing a few drafts so i have time. Thank you!

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kalifornia (10) (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@heedthem, I’ll keep that in mind. While i like the idea of Lanza, he does distract from my argument. I may try and include the Dali Lama, who is less controversial and more inspirational. My only problem with focusing on meditation is how borring it can sound without action to back it up. Thus the shooting stood out as a effective way to draw attention. Hmm. I’ll definitely rework my essay to include the Dali Lama. Thanks!

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kalifornia (10) (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@tlrlittle, While i have never considered going to school in Canada, i find that i’m all set with college requirements. my SAT’s are in the 2000’s, and i’m aiming for 2200. My GPA is 4.2 and i have a nice set of extracurricular’s. Now, i want to go for Pre-med, but i’m finding that doctors wages are going down every year. So i am uncertain about my future.

Price wise though, i’ll drop whatever loan i need if it means going to a school with more prestige and rigorousness courses- and less parties. I find myself very oddly allured to parties and i don’t want that distraction.

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Alex (345) (@staylucky) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

“No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.”

― Ernest Hemingway

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