100% of 1 Students
Hi Paul -- Thanks for submitting this question. This is a good first draft and some parts are quite strong. As you edit, I suggest focusing on a few things:
1) Tone when discussing community college: Though I understand that it felt "monotonous," "stifling," and "woefully basic," this comes off as negative. I would lighten up on the language.
2) Take ownership of your experience: In particular, the phrases "my potential as a student was not being nurtured" and "this institution can do that for me" place the onus for your success/happiness on the school or the teacher. This doesn't make it seem like you're owning your future success and could make you seem demanding. Always consider the audience. The people reading this are going to be school administrators or professors. You want to make them feel good about the possibility of bringing you in, not concerned that you're going to come to their offices saying that they are not doing enough to make you happy. Based on our exchanges, that doesn't seem at all likely -- you seem like a passionate student and hard worker -- so no need to put that in their minds through your language choices!
3) Narrative structure: You say in the second paragraph that you went to CC for an academic scholarship. I'd pull that up closer to the start, where you talk about your AP HS experience. I think the narrative is more compelling if you go chronologically, starting with saying that you've always be interested in high levels of academia but made a sacrifice for the sake of the scholarship/family finances, and then talk about not fitting in in CC, then onto Hackathon, and then the bit about how you seek challenges and adversity and are looking to transfer to a univ that pushes students to reach academic greatness.
4) Grammar: I appreciate your flair for dramatic, emotive writing, using the model of connecting phrases instead of full sentences. E.g. "To boldly go where no man has gone before." But I would be cautious how much you use this on the application essay. Review each sentence to make sure it actually is a sentence. Cut ones in half, or edit or use semi-colons when you've joined two full sentences together. E.g. "I have always challenged myself academically, I have taken advanced placement and honors classes throughout high school." > "I have always challenged myself academically, taking advanced placement and honors classes throughout high school." or "I have always challenged myself academically. I took advanced placement and honors classes throughout high school." or "I have always challenged myself academically; I have taken advanced placement and honors classes throughout high school." For the series of phrases you use to describe your vision of a rigorous school -- I think this is effective but I wouldn't use that approach anywhere else. People might allow you to break rules, but only if they're convinced you know what the rules are.
5) "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people": This is completely up to you but, in my opinion, great minds also discuss events and people. This quote has always struck me as being narrow-minded and a bit misanthropic. I'm sure there are other quotes that get across the same message about the value of ideas without insulting those who care about current events or people. Again, just my opinion. This is a style choice, as it does work narratively and grammatically.
6) Final sentence: I'd rethink this a bit, as your current ending doesn't quite pack the punch you want it to and isn't a full sentence. This is your chance to leave them excited about you and your potential. What is the dream of what you would do in CS? Do you want to express your enthusiasm for their creating the type of enviro that allows students like you to grow, learn, develop, thrive and contribute back to society?
Hope this is helpful! Let me know if you have questions.
100% of 1 Students