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TO THE RESCUE - essay for Harvard, Cornell, Yale



richardaddoThreads: 4
Posts: 20
Author: Richard Addo
   
Dec 28, 2010, 05:34am   #1
This is the essay I intend to submit to some ivies and other top tier colleges and I don't know if it is good enough. Please help me improve the grammar and tell me your overall impression of the essay, and suggest ways of making it better.

Evaluate a significant experience you have had and its impact on you.

TO THE RESCUE

"Wow! What a sight"? The sea stretched out before me, vast and beautiful, and because it was neither a holiday nor a weekend, Isaac and I were practically the only ones at the beach. We were both of fifteen, ready for a day of carefree fun.

That said, I was not about to enter the water, and Isaac's efforts to sway me proved futile. Sure, I had driven to the beach with every intention to swim for the first time, and perhaps meet some new people who also wanted to have fun, but once I had arrived fear, had drowned me. The reason was simple: earlier I had thought today might be the day to learn, but one look at the waves had dispelled any such notions. I was now resolved to stick to the sand, as I had found something new to explore. I enjoyed watching the little crabs making their burrows and playing together.
"Help!" I turned, suddenly jolted back to reality, and recognized the voice. It shot through again: "Help!" It was Isaac, unable to extricate himself from the fierce waves of the sea. I stood still, frozen in fear, as there was no one else around to help, and as for myself, I was terrified of swimming. Within microseconds, I had to make a choice, whether to go for help from elsewhere or to rescue him myself.
Right there and then I made a decision: I had to risk my life in an attempt to save Isaac's. I cleared my mind of every thought of insecurity and poised myself for action. The adrenaline rush as I dove into the sea was like none other I had ever experienced and everything happened so quickly that I do not recall how I managed to pass through the waves. I do recall, however, that while I had Isaac in my left arm, the water almost swept both of us away.

But the risk I had taken would not be enough. Once I reached the shore, I had to revive Isaac, who was now unconscious. I performed CPR, a procedure I had heretofore only read from my older brother's Integrated Science book. At first nothing happened, but I remained undaunted as I was not about to let my friend die in my arms. I repeated the procedure, again and again, until Isaac finally hiccupped and, miraculously, regained consciousness.

Never in my life had I taken such a huge risk. I hadn't known how to swim when I jumped into the water—but the moment, in a sense, taught me what I hadn't previously been able to learn. It was on this day that I realized there are times in life when I have to venture out and be prepared to bear the consequences, no matter what, and I have since tried to prove more courageous in my daily life, acting when I need to and without letting the fear of failure convince me not to. Even though I have taken certain risks and failed, I have never regretted daring because each effort has made me more audacious.

The experience also opened my eyes to the real importance of learning itself. The earlier me learned just because I had to get good grades so that my parents would allow me watch my favorite television programs. My day at the beach changed all that: had I gone to seek help elsewhere after bringing Isaac out of the water, he would probably have died by the time I returned. I had realized right then and there that knowledge pays off: by immediately applying what I had read from my brother's textbook, I had been able to save my friend's life. It was on this day that I realized that I needed to change my approach to learning, and today, I no longer learn for the numbers. From making my own water purification system to building a miniature electric generator, each time I learn something new, I consider ways of applying the knowledge to the real world.

Indeed, it's hard to describe the feeling after I revived Isaac. As an aspiring physician, I had experienced the joy of saving a life for the first time and Isaac would forever remember what I had done for him. It was a feeling that made me want to ingest any knowledge I happened to chance upon in the future, whether it pertained to my interests or not – for who knows what might pay off or prove necessary down the road. In a way, that's the beauty of learning, one never knows where it might lead.
It was that most unexpected of experiences that has proved perhaps the most pivotal moment of my life thus far. It taught me to face my fears, and to harness the power of learning. With knowledge, I am never powerless. With knowledge, anyone—even a scared fifteen-year-old boy in need of swimming lessons—can be a hero.


Thanks in advance.



clamchowderThreads: 1
Posts: 14
Author: MariaD
   
Dec 28, 2010, 05:59am   #2
But the risk I had taken would not be enough.
Confused. Isaac survived, right? This suggests he would have died.

I performed CPR, a procedure I had heretofore only read from my older brother's Integrated Science book
replace heretofore with previously

Repetition of risk: Never in my life had I taken such a huge risk
But the risk I had taken would not be enough.

Perhaps, rephrase?
The earlier me learned just because I had to get good grades so that
Prior to this experience, I would get good grades so that...

I had realized right then and there
Rephrase: I immediately realized

Indeed, it's hard to describe the feeling after I revived Isaac. As an aspiring physician, I had experienced the joy of saving a life for the first time and Isaac would forever remember what I had done for him. It was a feeling that made me want to ingest any knowledge I happened to chance upon in the future, whether it pertained to my interests or not – for who knows what might pay off or prove necessary down the road. In a way, that's the beauty of learning, one never knows where it might lead.
It was that most unexpected of experiences that has proved perhaps the most pivotal moment of my life thus far. It taught me to face my fears, and to harness the power of learning. With knowledge, I am never powerless. With knowledge, anyone—even a scared fifteen-year-old boy in need of swimming lessons—can be a hero.

Great last sentence! Just think you should condense this section and tie it up together better.

Love your essay :)




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