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09/04/2019

Can someone give me advice on my Common App essay, please?

QUESTION
Can someone give me advice on my Common App essay, please?
Feedback on my common app essay?
Miles to Success
Drowning in my own sweat, the downpour of rain could not have made the situation any more comfortable. I felt like I was on an episode of American Idol, without the singing. The competition was fierce; the hairs of my arms began to rise, as my heart rate raced faster than the speed of sound. I was surrounded by girls, just like me, waiting to hear the news that would change our lives.
One by one, when someone’s name was called, eyes shifted to the soon to be lucky or not so lucky contestant. My friends and I would ferociously calculate our chances, ranking our foes’ skills and abilities. However, as an optimistic girl, I reiterated religiously that “this year is no different than last year”, and took deep breaths. Although I knew that our names were called in alphabetical order, the suspense was slowly strangling me. I needed to know if I made the team, I needed to know right then, right now. In anticipation and in the silence, it was my time, when I heard “Jamie Olesker”.
Knowing and sensing that all of the attention was on me, I awkwardly paced around the trailers to my final judges. In and out, thoughts erupted through my mind, that one word, the word that would define my success and future self esteem. “Sorry…”. Reflecting back, that word is all I can remember. After having an enjoyable season the previous year, not making the junior varsity soccer team seemed surreal, like a cruel April fool’s joke. For majority of my life, I had devoted much of my free time traveling throughout Virginia participating in soccer tournaments and camps. The lucid memories temporarily encompassed my mind until it began to fade. Naturally, I began to chew the skin inside of my mouth and hauled my body through the pouring rain, in humiliation, in denial, and in rage. Though my sympathizers shared my angst, I realized that holding my anger internally was vain, so it was my time to move on and seek new opportunities.
Running was never an activity that I excelled in, but I had done cross-country the previous fall so running long distance was something I respected. Still shaken, my confidence plummeted when I would see the familiar faces from the girl’s soccer team since they practiced inside the track on the football field. However, until one day at invitationals, my coach told me I was going to run in the 4x 800 meter relay. Two laps around the track are horrid but in a relay, I thought it could have been the death of me. All in all, my team placed second and I received my first medal. I finally experienced what success was felt like and with my head held high, I had nothing to be ashamed of.
Today I understand that sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers. I can admit that I prayed fervently to make the soccer team, but God puts certain obstacles in our lives for a reason. I believe the reason was for me to try a new activity, to go out of my comfort zone, and to meet new people whom I would not normally talk to. Reflecting back, I realize that sometimes things do not go our way, but you have to make the best of it because life is a learning experience, and that overcoming failures is the key to success.

Word count: 570

ANSWER
I’d rate this essay as an 9/10. You’ve done an excellent job with using descriptive words to display vivid imagery. You’ve also done a good job at making the reader feel your emotions. The essay is authentic, personal, and somewhat original. This essay is easily going to be in the better half of essays that college admission committees read, depending on where you apply.
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I think that you need to consider revising your last two paragraphs. The beginning of your essay is done so well, but the quality starts slipping as soon as you transition to the third paragraph.

The third paragraph needs major work. It’s very choppy and does not match the descriptive quality of your other paragraphs. For instance, you spent only about one actual sentence writing about your success in track and field. Also, the first and second of the third paragraph are out of place. You start out by saying that you weren’t really good at track, but then you jump to a feeling you had when you saw familiar faces from the soccer team. Also, cut out “All in all” and never use it again.

Consider revising this paragraph to emphasize your JOURNEY to reaching success in track & field. You’ve got like 80 more words you can use, so don’t be cheap!
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I also think that your conclusion/ending paragraph is sort of cliché. A lot of people write about how God made an impact on their life. Unless you’re applying to a religious university, this isn’t going to give you an advantage. Consider revising this to focus more on your personal lessons.
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Overall, you’ve got some minor grammatical errors. There are some instances where you’ve created run-on sentences by adding too many commas. For instance: ” Naturally, I began to chew the skin inside of my mouth and hauled my body through the pouring rain, in humiliation, in denial, and in rage.” —- I know what you’re trying to say here, but you may consider rearranging the sentence to give it a better flow.