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one last critique for college essay plz??!!?

the topic is: A range of academic interest, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds 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.

Here is the essay:

The wind rushed past me and the smell of falafel floated up to the heavens. The brightly lit stores beckoned with hearty tunes and offers of the lowest prices of the season. The sounds of laughter tinkled like glass in the air. No, this was not another weekend spent in New York City as many may assume. In fact, this was one of the many days spent on the Boardwalk in Alexandria, Egypt.

My trip to Egypt for a second summer was an enlightening experience. The customs there are very different from those of Americans. For instance, when my family and I would visit my aunt, it was a natural, if not necessary, thing to kiss her on both cheeks. The affections Egyptians show towards each other differs from the stand-offish manner between, for example, parents and teenage children in the West. Here in America, very few teenagers would rather be locked up in detention with their most hated teacher than be caught dead kissing their parents on the cheek. This is proof that expressing love towards your family publicly and privately is more crucial in some cultures than others.

In addition to learning about different family values, I learned about social dos and don’ts. For instance, in Egypt if a girl had a conversation with any guy that was not a relative, her behavior would be frowned upon. In contrast, here in America if a girl was seen talking to a guy, it would be completely normal. Now although humans are adaptable to different environments, it took me quite a while to adjust to this social policy because I am a very social person. Of course, one slip of the tongue and I was seen as a wayward girl. As challenging as it was, in due course I learned to bite my tongue and receive the respected glances of adults and peers.

Finally, even something as important as education differs in Egypt than it does in America. For instance, high school lasts for only three years in Egypt. Now although that may sound like a dream come true to many American students, it is a nightmare for students in Egypt. High school becomes more competitive than it does here and the students feel the pressure from parents, teachers, and society. They scramble for high grades in three short years and pray that their hard work will pay off in the end. Unlike here in America, their grades in high school are the one thing they can rely on to get them into colleges. This gave me a new appreciation for the education system established in America.

This experience definitely opened my eyes to another culture. To think that I would have grown up in such a fascinating culture made my trip to Egypt all that more worthwhile. Gaining knowledge of the customs, social mannerisms, and even education was just an added bonus to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Such an experience helped me develop as an individual by opening my eyes to the varied ethnicities of the world. This is part of the reason I am anxious to explore college and embrace the diversity that comes with college life.

3 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hey- a few things I caught were these:

    Paragraph 1: "not NYC as many may assume"- I think you should say "as you may assume" or "as one may assume" because I don't think "many would assume"- I didn't, I was waiting to see where it was.

    Paragraph 2: where you say that "very few teenagers would rather be locked up in detention...," don't you mean something else? You're saying that the teenagers would prefer kissing their parents, the same as in Egypt, and I think you mean that they'd rather be in detention. You would have to say that "Most teenagers", or "Many teenagers" would rather be locked up in detention, do you see what I mean?

    Also, the use of the word crucial when talking about showing affection seems off- how about just that expressing love publicly and privately is "more the norm" in some cultures than others, or "more accepted"? ("Crucial" just takes the point to another level that you're not adressing here, whether or not the love expressed is needed or not)

    Paragraph 3: You seem to be formal in parts of your essay, and casual in others. Mostly, the essay seems to be trying to be more formal, and using the word "guy" doesn't fit. I would suggest either loosening the tone of the essay, or coming up with another word, like boy or man, although neither of those seem perfect.

    Last paragraph: When you say "To think I WOULD have grown up in such a facinating culture...", do you mean COULD have? Because by saying "would have", you're saying that you were meant to grow up there but something kept you from that, and you haven't gone into any detail about how you were supposed to grow up there, so that doesn't fit.

    Hope this helps!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    It would require a good deal of time to discuss this for you. You are talking "about," not being descriptive. Alexandria was a hub of learning and culture at one time. By the time Napolean arrived it was a good sized fishing village.

    I am not a writer so accept it as someone taking the time to give a small clue for improvement. I would hope. Look at the difference and compare perhaps it wil help you edit some in your present essay.

    Good luck.

    I sat down at the cafe outdoor table. The first thing I noticed was the falafel aroma, that food so common and unique to areas of the Mediterranean. That first year I had actually learned to tolerate, and then like it. The second thing I noticed was the young man at the next table. His profile stunning. And as I observed him, I caught sight of the book he was reading, The History of Alexandria. I turned to ask him about the book, for I had recently had to read such a history. Yet I observed his distance, a cold but inviting look. The cold stares of others at the tables ran a shiver up my spine. I had forgot what I had learned on my first visit. You only speak to males of the same family, your family.

    One forgets so easily cultural differences. How could I redeem myself? Did it matter? And, I wondered, did Mark Antony and Cleopatra have the same difficulties when they walked the streets of Alexandria on rare occasion? How difficult it all seemed. Perhaps there is much in the old addage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Then, I thought, when in Egypt, do as the Egyptians do, with sincerity and they will make allowances for your ignorance.I understood, I was the cultural ugly duckling among swans. And, I understood, in another light, "To every bird its own nest is charming." I had been transplanted into the cultural nest of Egypt. I sensed the mystery and mentality of a culture so very different than that of my American life. I had grown and was appreciative.

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  • Linda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Since I first learned to swim, my passion has been surfing. I practically grew up on the beach, and spent most weekends hanging out with friends in the sand. By highschool, the sun had branded my skin a deep bronze, which I feel is my medal of dedication. When I was 15 I started to learn how to make my own boards.

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