Author Topic: College Essay - 430 words  (Read 1619 times)

Offline RiseAgainst

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College Essay - 430 words
« on: October 25, 2010, 01:35:57 AM »
Okay, so this is not a short story (even though the beginning sort of is). I was planning on submitting this as my college essay and I was wondering if you guys could help me make it better. Any suggestions are appreciated, thank you so much.


Mind-numbing terror gripped my nine year old mind as I sat in the passengerís seat of my dadís truck. I was screaming, tears leaving hot, wet trails down my cheeks. I tried to lock myself into the safety of the truck, but in my panic-stricken state, I had forgotten about the driverís side door. My dad gently opened his door, trying to ignore my desperate screams. I did not want to be subjected to her spiteful behavior, not again. After a lot of struggling, my dad removed me from the truck and drove off, leaving me in the care of my tormentor.

He later told me that was one of the hardest things heís ever had to do.

At this time, it was Christmas, and having to spend it with my mother was the worst punishment imaginable. This incident was not some silly childish tantrum. My mom has been a huge negative influence on me my whole life. From the time I was born she has acted as if she wishes that I were not around. I got used to living in fear that at any moment Iíll make a wrong move, and when I do, sheíll make sure I do not soon forget it. She used to smoke and drink all the time when I was a child. She finally quit smoking when I was about six or seven, but she still remains a heavy alcoholic.

Even before my parents got divorced, my dad was the one who raised me. My mom was rarely at home, choosing to get drunk with her friends instead of spending time with her family. When I was younger, this did not bother me. I was too naÔve to see my motherís absence as a problem, and she was not around enough for me to experience her malicious behavior.

Despite the fact that my own mother has made me used to living in fear around her, she has taught me something very valuable: to respect others. The idea of treating others as you would want to be treated has been reinforced in my mind. She teaches me this constantly through her negative behavior.

I have been a witness to and a recipient of my motherís unusually nasty attitude. I know that if someone were to talk to her the same way that she talks to everyone else, she would not like it.

However, receiving this constant ridicule has made me more aware of how I treat other people. I have actually become a much better person because of how my mom has treated me.

Offline irallan

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 12:14:32 PM »
Mind-numbing terror gripped my nine year old mind as I sat in the passengerís seat of my dadís truck. I was screaming, tears leaving hot, wet trails down my cheeks. I tried to lock myself into the safety of the truck, but in my panic-stricken state, I had forgotten about the driverís side door. My dad gently opened his door, trying to ignore my desperate screams. I did not want to be subjected to her spiteful behavior, not again. After a lot of struggling, my dad removed me from the truck and drove off, leaving me in the care of my tormentor.


The opening sentence jars to me and doesn't capture my attention as an opener should. Also you have used the word mind in the one sentence twice. It feels a little cliche-ish.  Also I wonder if the age should be brought in differently and a little later. This just feels to early and hard to engage reading as a nine year old. Also again the overuse of the word I at the start of sentences. as well as me and my.
 .Perhaps an example would be..-  Terror gripped mercilessly at my mind. Thoughts reeling as I sat in the passengers side of my dad's truck. Screams muffled within the cab, tears leaving hot, wet trails down my cheeks. Panic stricken and  desperate I lock my door, forgetting the drivers side in my haste. Dad gently opened his door, trying to ignore my pain. Even then at nine years old I knew I did not want to be subjected to her spiteful behavior, not again.
with much struggling he removed me and drove off, leaving me in the care of my tormentor.

In the sentence... After a lot of struggling, my dad removed me from the truck and drove off, leaving me in the care of my tormentor. from the truck could be left out as you have already set the fact she is in the truck.

Overall I liked it and think you give more of the emotion here which is good. I am a beginner myself so these are just a rough idea of what I see. Think you have good potential. Thank you for sharing this. Others will be able to give you better critiques. I think I learned more from critiquing your work than you will from my review.

regards...Iain
[
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 12:21:52 PM by irallan »
"You can take the boy out of the country...."

Offline RiseAgainst

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 02:48:34 PM »
Thanks Iain for your suggestions. The fact is that this is a story of my life, and that beginning part really did happen to me. I'm starting to realize that I use too many personal pronouns. Do you think it is a good essay for college submission? I changed the intro to some of the suggestions that you gave me, but I didn't use exactly what you wrote; I just based it off of it.

Offline daisydandelion

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 03:40:14 PM »
Hi there.
This is a story of your life?
This is just a suggestion, but rather that give your age straight away could you write as though it was a younger person writing. Then mature your writing as the story goes on and you grow?
The Lovely Bones read that way to me. In the beginning it read like a younger point of view, and then the point of view grew up.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Offline TaraMarkov

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 08:50:59 PM »
Hi, I am also in the college application process so I know what you're going through.

I understand that this focuses on your relationship with your mom, but draw the actual essay to focus on you. This should not be about your mom, but rather how your mom impacted your life. If your point is to prove to admissions that you are a kind hearted person who thinks about other feelings, then focus on that. Pick one moment, and explain thoroughly why that specific moment makes you this a more aware person.

Focus on yourself and why your mom inadvertently made you a better person.
Good luck with applications!

Offline irallan

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 09:18:48 PM »
Hi Rise. I had the feeling from this and your other post that you had a remarkable tale to tell. I am often told that  to write well write about what you know. The trouble you have and I is that what we know is often not acceptable to many "sensitive readers" . I get the feeling you are defending yourself rather than just telling the story. A lot of talk about voice comes up. I don't know this topic well but I feel a passive type of defensive voice here. It is hard to put this into perspective not knowing where you are coming from. Is this a reflection or the starting point for a continual timeline.

I don't know about college applications, but would expect more descriptive and emotive words and sentences as this is an emotive subject indeed and your character is central, experiencing it, not a third party describing it. I get the feeling that you are describing it all more as a reporter as if though after making the decision to write about this part of your life you are still hesitant to fully reveal yourself, raw to the reader. You seem still guarded.

I know that it is very hard to put into words the often surreal moments that being abused either verbal, sexual, or physical can bring and to bring the full reality of the experience to ones that don't know is difficult.

Writing to me seems to be 90% desire, the last 10% is all the various tools and tricks of the trade to be learnt to bring your desire and passion out. I think you have the desire. I also believe you have an important message to tell and the skill to tell it. You will find your own personal voice and confidence as you grow. Best of luck with your college applications. If you would like I can direct you to some sites that have many survivors of abuse personal accounts and life stories. This may give you a feel for some published works in this area of humanities "skeletons in the closet".

Warm regards...Iain
"You can take the boy out of the country...."

Offline Kowboy

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 11:11:40 PM »
riseagainst:

You've gotten some good advice. Keep plugging away. I like your intro hook, play with it a bit. I read some of my classmates work and yours is better than most I read.

Kowboy

Offline RiseAgainst

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2010, 12:50:32 AM »
daisydandelion - Well, it's a story of that part of my life, but essentially, yes it is. That's a really good idea. I'm in the process of tweaking the intro a bit. Thank you so much for your suggestion!  :)

TaraMarkov - I've been trying to figure out how I could make it more on how her behavior has effected me, but I'm not sure how to do it. It's confusing because it's more like my mental state where I just want to be the complete opposite of her. But it sounds stupid to put that in writing because there is no real reason why. There is no real event that changed my thinking. I just hate my mom and I don't want to be like her... I don't know. I would love to be able to do that, I just don't know how to say it... Thanks for your suggestion and I hope that your college applications are going well.  :)

irallan - Yes, it is true, I write from what I know. And I figured that some people can't handle the topics I write about, but I just figured I could throw them out there for anyone who wants to read them. The issue with voice in this essay is that I don't know how to open up more on paper. I'm guarded by nature. Asking me to open up more is a near impossiblity. It took a lot of effort just to write what I have. I would like to, but I think that this essay is as open as I can get...

Kowboy - Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.  :)

Tempered

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2010, 06:47:49 AM »
hello Riseagainst

I've been reading a bit of what you had to say, about your difficulties in expressing anger. There was this exercise I was asked to do once, where I would pick someone I loved very dearly and write instead about how much I hated them. It was hard to do, and I didn't like to do it, but it taught me how to breach the difficulty in telling things that bothered me. Like as you mentioned parts of your past life.

it might help

MrsButler

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2010, 07:22:16 AM »
I agree with Irallan on the age issue...it reads better the way he suggested!
Good luck with essay!
Alison :)

Offline rtoos

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2019, 04:33:45 PM »
Hey. To write an essay, there is no need to fully disclose the question, it is enough to simply state your own attitude to the problem under consideration, backed up with relevant quotes. It seems like there is nothing complicated in this, but if you take into account the fact that after school I work part-time in a cafe since I already finish school, I have a girlfriend, I just canít spend time on an essay. Guys, do you like this site https://studymoose.com/free-essays Could anyone find one that suits you on the list of free essays? Did the teacher suspect anything?

Online PIJ1951

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Re: College Essay - 430 words
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2019, 09:14:07 AM »
Free essays? Really? Anyway, I wonder if the person who posted the original piece 9 years ago is still around.

 ;D