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Common Application (Additional information)------The destination of my journey


answers: 5
Dec 12, 2009, 10:34am   #1
I plan to add one essay in the Addional Information part of the common application. This one is my first draft. I may have made some grammar or structure mistakes. Please criticize me or give me some constructive suggestions.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR ANY HELP!!!!!!
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The destination of my journey

Life is nothing but at home, go out and back home.
-----Ancient Greek Philosopher


I stepped on the plane to Cambridge, ready to enjoy a wonderful summer camp.

Two years ago, when I, for the first time, went abroad, I was excited and nervous. Questions burned in my mind, but I lacked answers. Would people accept someone from another culture to sit at the same table? Could I find topics to discuss with them? Would my host family be nice? My eyes stared at the marshmallow-like clouds floating outside the flight, while my mind tried to visualize the front door of my host family's house.

SEE BELOW
Dec 12, 2009, 07:30pm   #3
Overall, I think you've done a good job with this essay, but I notice that you're planning to submit it under "additional information." To the best of my knowledge, the "additional information" section is generally used to address issues that do not fit in any other part of the application- for example, adverse circumstances that might explain a sudden drop in grades (a death in the family, unmedicated depression, and so on). From what I've heard- and I may be wrong- people do not usually advise submitting an additional essay under the "additional information" section, since the Common Application already provides room for an essay. However, I suppose that the choice is up to you.

Other comments:
"Two years ago, when I, for the first time, went abroad, I was excited and nervous. Questions burned in my mind, but I lacked answers."
I would put this in the same paragraph as your first sentence, which doesn't really warrant its own paragraph anyway, and say "It was my first time abroad, and I was excited and nervous. Questions burned through my mind." There are simply too many commas in your the first sentence ("Two years ago [...] nervous"), and the part about lacking answers is implicit in your statement.

"I had not prepared for this."
This sentence would sound more natural as "I was not prepared for this."

"However, I frowned to this idea."
"Frowned to" should be "frowned at."

"Since I was an only daughter at home, the center of the whole family, parents seldom required me to cook myself."
"Parents" should be "my parents", since you're talking about your situation specifically, not about all only daughters and their parents.

"I determined to impress them with this delicious Chinese dish."
"Determined" should be "was determined." Also, "them" is ambiguous- are you referring to your host family?

"My friends "thumbed up" after tasting my soup and even urged me to teach them the secrets to it."
I know that you've put the colloquialism in quotation marks already, but I have actually never seen the expression "thumbed up" used before. Perhaps you should say "My friends gave me a thumbs up after tasting my soup", or something similar.
Dec 12, 2009, 07:36pm   #4
Thanks so much for your advice.

Well, originally, I did not plan to write an essay in the additional information section until one of Brown students told me she wrote her experience abroad in this section. So I did the same.

No matter what, thanks so much for your correction.
This was a really great read and also really easy to get through while still sounding intelligent and knowledgeable. You did a really good job at bringing me in with the imagery; the sights, sounds, and even smells.

The only thing else I have to say is why not consider submitting this as your regular essay on the common app? That is of course unless you feel more strongly for the essay you're already submitting for the common app. Whatever you decide, in reality it could go either way; the admissions committee could see it at you trying to show off and adding the extra might annoy them seeing as how they are already most often overworked as it is. Or it could work out in your advantage and they could see it as you showing real committment to the school and a real desire to go there. In the end you never really can tell how they're going to take it but it's better to take a chance that will set you apart from the crowd than to decide no and be just "safe", which translates as boring. So I say go for it!

Also if you have any time could you please take a look at my admissions essay. I'm bugging out over it when I really should be getting it in, so any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks a bunch and again, good job.
Jan 2, 2010, 12:45pm   #6
Could Anyone Please look at my essay. I have revised it a lot. Thanks sosooooo....much..
Can I cook?

CZ...CZ...CZ...
The water was boiling now, but I had no idea what to put into the pot first: tomato or egg?

Two years ago, when I, for the first time, went abroad for a summer camp, I was so nervous. Question burned in my mind, but I lacked answer. Would people accept someone from another culture to sit at the same table? Staring at the marshmallow-like clouds floating outside the airplane, I tried to visualize the front door of my host family's house.

After a twelve-hour flight, it was a sunny afternoon when I finally stood in front of Mr. Glen's house. He was a plump English man with a big smile on his face. Upon my entrance, people from different countries who lodged in this house all come to greeted me at once. I had not prepared for this. Awkwardly sitting around the long table, I silently listened to their suggestions for this week's culture exhibition, an activity held by Mr. Glen every Saturday to know the unique lifestyle in every country. Noemi, a Swiss girl, loved cooking. She advised every one of us to cook a dish from our countries for Saturday's dinner. Almost everyone agreed and passed the proposal without hesitation.

However, I frowned at this idea. Since I was an only daughter, the center of the whole family, parents seldom required me to cook for myself. I could count on one hand the times I used pots and pans. Yet as the only Chinese person in this host family, I had no options. Checking online the steps to make my favorite tomato and egg soup, I bought the required ingredients, vinegar and sesame oil, and practiced repeatedly. I was so happy that I gradually mastered the recipes timing and could finish this dish without boiling the tomato to a rush.

That Saturday's dinner was really unforgettable. Bibimba, Spaghetti, Fried and Fish, when my sight stopped on my Tomato and Egg Soup, I was so surprised to see its perfect rapport with other dishes on the table. My friends "thumbed up" after tasting my soup and even urged me to teach them the secrets of it. Though still a novice in cooking, I shared my first cooking experience with them.

I can answer "yes" to all of the previous questions now: I finally find my position around the table. I finally learn that only one who keeps the integrity of his or her mind can be accepted by others. Just like this Tomato and Egg Soup. Its populace was a result of its unconformity, its unique Chinese cooking characteristics. Living after my own mind, I not only can find my position around each table I attend, but more importantly, I learn to grow up in this process--I can cook now.

Water was still boiling, but I already knew my choice.



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