Help edit my college entrance essay?

Reply Mon 29 Sep, 2014 03:29 am
Topic: describe a historical figure, person of fiction, or work of art that has influenced you. Describe that influence

The Shrinking Violet

Timid: feeling or showing a lack of courage or confidence; easily frightened. I never acknowledged it, or perhaps I never cared to but I have been shy as long as I could remember. Each year in school I was the kid being pulled aside by the teacher to be asked, "Are you OK?" and "Why aren't you talking to the other kids?" Right up to high school I almost never started conversations with others. I was always mousy girl so afraid to ask for what I wanted or to simply meet someone new that was frequently asked to speak up. The girl with the "little voice." I was the girl too shy to order my food, to speak to the guy who asked how I was doing today but in the midst of all my daily self-alienation I met Tsukimi.

Tsukimi Kurashita, the protagonist of Aiko Higashima's popular anime Princess Jellyfish is a fictional character of the two-dimensional kind who has inspired me greatly. Tsukimi is an eighteen year old otaku (otaku: an avid collector or enthusiast esp. One who is obsessed with anime, video games, or computers and rarely leaves home) who moved to Tokyo to pursue a career in illustration. She moves into a woman only boarding house with women just as otaku and awkward as she is. Tsukimi tends to have trouble communicating with guys and also exhibits fear of the "stylish," people who dress well and are socially radiant. In just eleven episodes I watched Tsukimi grow. I grew with her. I not only understood all of her small yet insignificant defeats but shared them with her. I felt the nervousness in my stomach when someone new spoke to me. I too felt intimidated when a radiant social butterfly flew my way. I was like Tsukimi. Tsukimi's experiences were my experiences and seeing her progression inspired me to be different.

Through Tsukimi I was comforted by the fact that I wasn't alone. I was faced with the realization that many other people have trouble in social situations too. Watching this anime and watching Tsukimi opened me up in ways I couldn't imagine. Through Tsukimi I found them courage to speak in my classes, even if only a little at first. I even joined some clubs and activities. Tsukimi showed me that it was OK to play dress up and feel beautiful for once. She showed me how to be confident. Tsukimi showed me that it was OK to be an otaku and that it's alright to embrace it. That I should embrace it. Tsukimi taught me that it is OK to show my silly side, that I should talk about the things I love. Through Tsukimi I learned I shouldn't let my fears limit be that no matter how hard it was to reach out today that it only gets easier each time and that i should keep reading towards a brighter tomorrow. Without Tsukimi I don't know if I would have grown the way I did over the years. Would I have sat there in lunch? Would I have gone to that sleepover? Would I have contributed my thoughts to that class discussion. These seem like such trivial things but each of these things teletext one of the many baby steps I took to come out of my shell. Through Tsukimi I found the power to break free of the shackles of shyness. Tsukimi Kurashita gave me the power to not let my shyness dictate my life. She helped me find myself, love myself as Briana the silly otaku who builds computers and plays video games. The girl who finds peace in art and new adventures through literature. College is an entirely new journey for this girl and although I am nervous and will be on my own soon I hope to greet new experiences with open arms. I hope to embrace every challenge as a new beginning with how that this caterpillar will one day become a radiant butterfly herself.
Reply Mon 29 Sep, 2014 06:42 am
It's a good essay and it flows well. You lay out a premise, you bolster your arguments, and you come to a convincing conclusion.

A few things.
  1. This screen character is, by definition, two-dimensional. I don't think you need to say that; it's redundant.
  2. What's an otaku? Unless you're applying in a country or at a school where this term would be well-known and understood, you'll need to either define the term or not use it at all. According to Google, the definition is, "(in Japan) a young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills." In America we'd probably say nerd or computer geek.
  3. The caterpillar analogy is a good one but maybe present that mini-premise a little earlier. Truth is, I had initially thought that otaku meant caterpillar, until I looked up the term.

Otherwise (and these are mostly nitpicks, really), your essay looks terrific. Best of luck in college!
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Reply Mon 29 Sep, 2014 09:01 am
Thanks a lot (: your tips were very helpful
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