Essay To Get Back Into College

I'm trying to get back into college, this is my readmission essay. The requirement states that the student shall express the reasons they feel ready to return. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Dear Admissions Counselor;

After being placed on academic probation following the fall 2008 semester I chose to leave the university lacking the desire to continue being a college student. Self-improvement has been my mission the past two years and I will convey why I am ready to be a student at SMU again.

I entered SMU a very unhappy person. I was significantly overweight, self-conscious and felt inadequate so I distanced myself from campus life and missed out developing the friendships and habits that successful college students enjoy. Academically my focus was lacking, I was never serious about declaring a major and took classes more on availability rather than degree progress utility. During the fall 2008 semester I stretched myself rather thin between an off-campus job and school and my performance at both was unsatisfactory. I needed to make several changes and thought it best to leave while doing so.

My two years away were the most illuminating of my life. I broadened my horizons and engaged in hobbies I never previously had the opportunity to enjoy. I camped, fished, visited several historical landmarks, I began exercising and eating better and as a result lost one-hundred twenty pounds (two-hundred fifty pounds to one-hundred thirty pounds) which re-energized me and greatly improved my self-esteem. Socializing and being positive comes much easier to me now. I took up reading and writing as a form of leisure and discovered that learning can be quite enjoyable which got me interested in returning to school. Being on my own and having to work several jobs to support myself made me realize I can accomplish much more in life with a college education and am now motivated to do reach that end.

I have always been fascinated by American History. As a small child, my grandparents regaled me with stories of life during the Great Depression. I found the characters in their tales to be vibrant and unforgettable and was compelled to learn more. Most of my favorite books are about U.S. Presidents and wars that featured significant American involvement; I have gained insight about the events and people that shaped America's character and values from those works. The history classes I took at SMU were the most enjoyable of any I have ever had so I will pursue a degree in the field. Declaring a major I have great interest in will make me a much more committed and productive student.

Re-acclimating to school after a two-year break will be difficult. If re-admitted I plan to meet that challenge and make my next tenure at SMU successful by living on campus and not working any off-campus jobs. This will enable me to completely focus on taking fifteen to eighteen credit hours per semester and be primed to earn my degree at the end of the fall semester of the 2013-2014 academic year. My long-term objective is to obtain employment with a historical society helping to educate the public on the significance of the past. Getting an internship is vital to that objective and the most competitive in the field normally mandate that a candidate have an overall and major-specific GPA of 3.0 to be considered. History is a writing and research intensive major so grades are dependent on being proficient at both so I plan to have at least two drafts per assignment evaluated at the writing center to help maximize the quality of my papers. My plan is to intern with a historical society next summer and I am aiming to meet the GPA requirement by the end of the 2011-2012 academic year.

I have learned a great deal from my experiences and have made many positive strides as a person. I am excited about my future and committed to seeing my plan for success through. If given another opportunity I will do everything in my power to be a better student. Whatever you decide I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be heard.

Alexander. Try to be more positive in your first paragraph. Maybe just note that your college or academic career was interrupted due to personal reasons. The numbers should be spelled out two or twenty-one, etc. Actually you need to focus on the positives at this point in your life, motivations, desires, goals. Discuss the positive of what you have accomplishments. I would suggest rewriting the first 4 paragraphs... work a bit more on the last two. Then resubmit to this forum. focus on the positives.... they want to know why they should admit you, goals, strengths, etc. Don't focus on the negatives in the past (hoping they don't have a disciplinary action file on you and it was just academic as far as the school knows).

Good luck

and I betrayed their faith in me by acting in a cowardly and selfish manner.


I think this might be what allison is referring to when she says to be more positive. I don't know if I agree! I understand why she sad that... I too felt that it was a little too dramatic. Yet, when I think of the psychology of admissions stuff, I think probably that really gets the reader's attention and has the rhetorical appeal of "pathos." Do you know what that is? I think the self-depreciation in the first paragraph is quite eloquent, actually, though I also want to agree with Allison! I am conflicted! So go with your intuition.

I had always been an advocate of taking the path of least resistance, never setting goals, rarely studying, avoiding anything I believed I could truly fail at until I knew nothing but that comfort zone of cowardice.


Here is the part that I think should switch to being positive. You can keep that first paragraph gloomy for pathos purposes, but for the rest of the essay get positive!

Here is your challenge: infuse this with a clear vision of the future and show that you are driven to achieve several (at least 5 listed in the essay) short term goals, all associated with one overarching goal. What is your overarching goal?! No goal, no motivation. Be specific, envision the future, and share that vision in this essay as the aspiration that drives you to excel and succeed.

Small stuff. It's a business letter so the salutation needs to be followed by a colon. If you are sleeping with the admissions officer, a comma is okay.

I would say that you stretched yourself rather thin, not thinly.

I have always been fascinated by American History, as I child my grandparents regaled me with stories of life during the Great Depression.

This sentence should be recast as I have always been fascinated by American History. When I was a child, my grandparents regaled me with stories of life during the Great Depression. As you have it, it is a comma slice. Unless the admissions person has an English degree, it probably won't hurt you. But I would still fix it.

My greatest challenge will be re-acclimating to school after a two year break, if re-admitted I plan to meet that challenge and make my next tenure at SMU successful by living on campus, getting involved in student organizations, not working any off-campus jobs, and taking advantage of any academic help available.

This should be two sentences. Put a period after two-year break. It's another comma splice.

Honor the privilege is a little much for me. How about I will do everything in my power to be a better student?

Glad you have gotten your life together. Good luck at SMU.

Small stuff. It's a business letter so the salutation needs to be followed by a colon. If you are sleeping with the admissions officer, a comma is okay.


Ha ha... great stuff here, Eric! Thanks for the time you are spending at EssayForum!
What's the catch?

:-)

Thanks to all that have helped so far. I feel this essay has gotten a lot better.

After being placed on academic probation following the fall 2008 semester I chose to leave the university lacking the desire to continue being a college student.

I think this is a more comfortable read....

After being placed on acacemic probation following the fall 2008 semester and lacking the desire to continue being a college student, I choose to leave the university.

Looking good, but how about one more sentence, a short sentence, at the end of that first paragraph?

Make it a sentence that captures, at least a little, the spirit/theme of the essay... the main message for the reader to remember.

You've got a semicolon after the salutation. I think that means you might be willing to sleep with the admissions officer. Seriously, Alexander, make it a colon. :::: That's your best shot of getting back in.

As a child, my grandparents regaled me...

The phrase as a child attaches itself to the nearest noun. In this case, my grandparents. Because that isn't what you mean, you should be recast the sentence: "As I child, I was regaled with tales of life in the Great Depression by my grandparents. You are the one who was a child.

Good luck. Hope they let you back in. You seem like a decent fellow.

Made a few minor adjustments to reduce wordiness and first person references then submitted it last Friday, got the readmission letter today. I will be returning to SMU this fall. Thank you Allison, Kevin and Eric (before submitting skimmed through previous posts and made the salutation change you advised) for your help, you guys made this possible by providing the best essay advice I have ever received. Will certainly be returning here often for feedback.

You've got a semicolon after the salutation. I think that means you might be willing to sleep with the admissions officer.


What?! I have never heard of a semi-colon having a secret meaning like that, ha ha... that is good advice, though. In a formal letter, use a colon. In an informal letter, use a comma. You never need to use a semi-colon.

:-)


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