I want to start off saying that if you're thinking of taking a "break" from school FORGET ABOUT IT. It sucks. It sucks to keep your mind active and it sucks to get back in. One semester turns into two years. And no matter how much money you save something terrible will happen and snatch it all away. (Can someone say car accident without medical insurance?)

now that I got that out of the way, I just wanted to give some backround on this. I was going to have a more creative essay and have this (or some version thereof) be my cover letter. In an effort to reduce the work they have to do (and not play with fire), I decided to make this my essay... I'm not completely done revising it but I like the way it's going. I just want some imput. I really don't like how it ends, it's rather weak. erg. i'll just post.

_____________

This application package contains a variety of information on my qualifications. My grades, activities, hopes and dreams are typed and fit neatly into boxes. It categorizes my accomplishments clearly as academic or extracurricular. My first journey through this process, I believed it was more; that filling out the application gave away my life. But something is missing. If I was the person displayed in this application I would not have grown a day since February of 2003.

Being waitlisted from Northeastern was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I realize that sounds strange. Honestly, I can see now that I was not ready for college immediately after High School. I had experienced two years of it already, taking classes at Kent State University while still attending Marlington. Half way through my senior year, I rebelled. It was one of the worst things I could do, but it allowed me to reach an important point in my life. I was in no way appreciative and had no real understanding of the world beyond high school. Financial responsibility, full time work and living away from home were all foreign concepts to me.

In the last two years, I have worked consistently, saved less consistently, taught myself a number of things and traveled as much as my budget would allow. Unfortunately the real noteworthy accomplishments cannot be found neatly outlined on paper. Things people before me have discovered, but unique within me. Now I understand and appreciate a bit more about the world, from a number of different angles.

I want to go to Northeastern. I have read about New England, about Boston, and nearly everything I could find about the university. It is not just typing criteria in a search engine to find a “matching” school. I feel I would make a connection with Northeastern that I could not make with another college. It has the real world experience I was missing two years ago. Northeastern’s Co-Op Program has a unique apeal to me, more now that I have experienced a bit of the job market. Realizing ability in a chosen field without waiting four years to get a degree is an incredible opportunity that I would take advantage of fully. I have a lot in common with Northeastern, because education with experience is worth much more than education without experience.

___________
that's butchered at 405 words.

(Oh, by the way, I was wait-listed at NEU because I applied the day of the deadline without even proofing my essay. When I called they told me that I applied late and that's why I was waitlisted and had a "good chance" of getting called back).

HELP!

Also I completed a resume and that might go a ways in "explaining" myself for the last year and a half.
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[edit: made a bit of a change to the end. not sure i like it that much more but it improved it a bit.]

Anyone want to help me out here?
It seems more like a narrative of what you are going through rather than your essay. I can't speak for others, but I was waiting for you to post your essay. Have a look at the second top post in the forum. It was revised today. Please see the Personal Statement at Online Writing Lab.

Your narrative doesn't do much for me in terms of an application essay.

MountainHiker
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originally (a version of this) was my cover letter. I had written a very creative essay about diversity. I talked to a number of people that said 1) it was bad to include a cover letter, and 2) my essay should explain my gap.

I emailed the admissions office asking a different question three days ago and they still haven't gotten back to me, so I'm wondering what I should do. I'd also like to mention that I'm including a resume (or at least 85% sure I am) and I was under the impression you always have to have a cover letter when you submit a resume.

So I guess I'm asking what is your guys' expertise and what do you think I should do?

I'm really very worried about all of this. Please help!
Whynot,

We seem to inundated with these letters, so please forgive us for being abrupt.

The admission's place too is overwhelmed.

Please clearly articulate what it is your sending and wanting us to review. If we have to search carefully, we are apt to move to the next set of questions. And also, please be sure we have the same directions that you do.

If I were in your shoes, I'd follow their directions. If you are going into an undergraduate and your age is in the 18-20 category, I doubt many care about a resume. They are more interested in your school marks and letter.

Hope this helps.

MountainHiker
Okay, what I am wanting to know is if I don't make this my essay, how will I explain the gap in time?

You're right about the resume. I've been debating it for a while. They have no directions for someone in my situation. This is the essay prompt:

This personal statement helps us become acquainted with you in ways different from courses, grades, test scores,
and other objective data. It will demonstrate your ability to organize thoughts and express yourself. We are looking
for an essay that will help us know you better as a person and as a student. Please type a 250- to 500-word
essay addressing ONE of the questions listed below. Please attach your essay on separate sheets and indicate the
topic of your choice in the heading of your essay.
1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
4. Describe a character in fiction, an historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an
influence on you, and explain that influence.
5. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences add much to the educational mix. Given your
personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community,
or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
6. Topic of your choice.
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Okay, what I am wanting to know is if I don't make this my essay, how will I explain the gap in time?


This doesn't seem like a big deal to me. You took a couple years off. So what? Now you're ready to study. Simple as that. During the intervening time, you have reflected on your career goals and are more set and determined.

Now, you just need to pick an essay topic and run with it.

MountainHiker
I feel like I shoudl explain why I'm a better candadate for admission since I was wait-listed last time. I also felt like I needed to explain the poor grades I got the last semester of senior year. I felt like although this wasn't a great essay, it explained my situation perfectly. I guess I was willing to sacrifice my essay....
Hi,

In all honesty, your essay didn't do much for me.

While you think your situation of being a rebel is unique, it ain't. It's common.

What they want to know now is, do you have the maturity and the smarts to hack university?

If you have the maturity, then you've taken courses or whatever to prove that you are capable of performing at a high level.

Nobody really cares about the mistakes you've made. You're young and you will be given a lot of latitude. But you need to demonstrate that their investment in you (giving you a seat in university) is going to pay off. If not, they'll give it to someone else.

This is more university/career counseling than it is English.

Bottomline, your three paragraph essay didn't leave me with a strong impression that you put a lot of effort into your essay. I think you need to do better.

MountainHiker
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