Help with personal essay ?

Fri 27 Nov, 2015 03:07 pm
Hi everyone, i'm new to this site, i joined because i want to post my college essay.

In South Africa we don't have to write a personal statement or any essay for university/college, so i was hoping to get an opinion?

New York University is my dream school.

I also desperately need financial aid, as there is absolutely no way i could afford attending NYU.

I would very much appreciate any help/comments/opinions !

I also need to get my first essay down 200 words, i think it is currently around 830 words and it needs to be 650. I would love any opinions on editing this rough draft !


Sit spins, laybacks, bielmanns and axels. For the first time typing those words out, i now realise how truly in love with figure skating i am. The crisp feel of the ice when my blades have just been sharpened, the speed, the freedom i feel. I am in my own world of self expression.

But my body couldn’t handle it.

Just under two years ago i was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a chronic connective tissue disorder affecting my entire body. There is no ‘cure’. Only pain management as the option.

I began figure skating at the late age of twelve. I had to catch up very fast if i ever stood a chance at making it. I worked incredibly hard. I was a perfect role model for figure skaters and was told of the immense amount of talent i had. i was progressing at lightning speed and my coaches were pushing me beyond what i could have expected. Yet the outcome was a disastrous amount of pain and injuries. Why me?

When i began skating my family and school life was, in to say the least, a grand mess. I had just moved from a town i had grown up in for eleven years, where I was happy and had plenty of friends at school, yet i had failed to notice what was happening surrounding my family life. My mother was often ill in hospital. To me, this was the ‘norm’. In 2008 my Mother and I moved in order to be closer to my Aunt and Grandmother for support. The new school i joined didn’t seem to be working out in my favour either, i started to get bullied, but i didn’t even realise it, and neither did my family. Only now when i look back do i see how strong i was. Skating was my escape.

I am completely and utterly infatuated by skating, and it has been immensely difficult to let go of. I love the thrill, the danger, the beauty, the artistry, and that moment when i finally get something right after months of practicing. I love the smell of the ice, i love it when i am sore the next day knowing how hard i have worked. I love finishing a session completely soaked from falling so much. I love putting a program together and being able to express myself to music while still completing the technical elements. I loved being able to perform to my favourite musical, Chicago. I love the uniquenss of the sport, i love feeling so utterly exhausted and yet content from practicing, i love the fluidity, and most of all, i love that skating has made me stronger.

I have come to realise that mourning belongs not only to a lost one. I lost my Aunt to cancer in 2012, i didn’t mourn for almost two years, only to have an emotional breakdown later. It's identical to losing skating. Skating was my dream. I’ve had to let go. I still have moments of denial, where i think maybe, just maybe, if i do everything right i’ll finally be able to make it my career, only to subsequently injure myself again. My inner child doesn’t want to give up on the dream, my older self knows the consequences.

But i will never let my inner child give up, she knows better than i do what i am capable of. My inner child knows i love self expression, art, creativity and helping others.

Nothing will ever fulfil me in the same way that skating has, but i have finally deciphered that is the point. Stopping skating competitively has allowed me to discover new parts of me i never new existed. I began a youtube channel and discovered my passion for makeup, fashion, psychology, writing and cinematography. I discovered that i love the beach, recording covers with my friends and even baking. In my life i have been searching for something to fulfil the need that i lost with skating.

That need has now been fulfilled, but in a completely different way.

I know i will never be able to accomplish what i want to in my skating career, and that i'll always have to be very careful with my body.

But in all honestly, i’d rather feel thrilled and in danger, than safe and bored.

From a young age I knew i was a thrill seeker.

Skating thrills me. I know New York University will too.
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Fri 27 Nov, 2015 08:57 pm
I'm on a tablet so it's hard for me to type. A few things leaped out quickly.

'how much in love with I was'

Egad, not only is it wordy, it's clunky. Try, instead, 'how much I loved'. 3 words cut and it already flows better.

Another area is adverbs. Don't say things like 'very bad', say 'horrible'. 1 word is cut, the meaning is retained, and the prose is tighter.

That's what I could gather from a very quick cursory read.


Repost after some editing and I'll see whatever else leaps out at me, okay?
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