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College Essay: Topic B - An Issue Of Importance - With A Free Essay Review



Topic: Choose an issue of importance to you—the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope—and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." T.E. Lawrence was dead on center when he said this about dreams. To make dreams possible, one must act on those dreams and so few attempt to make any action. Dreams are meant to be chased after and we let them slip by for one of two reasons: we're told we can't do it or we give up too soon.

Every kid wants to grow up to be the President of the United States of America or an astronaut. Many don't make it as far as starting a career in those fields. These kids were told they simply "cannot do it" or "it's not possible." Parents relate to their children that they need to be more realistic. In response, these children throw away their dreams, their aspirations, for something more "attainable." Doing so sows a seed of self-destruction within themselves. The question of "what if" haunts these minds for years to come.

Until the very end, a dream, a goal, should be followed. Even if it looks as if the goal will end in disaster, keep striving on; occasionally, a hurricane will leave a house still standing. The game isn't over when the opposing team scores more, but when the timer runs out: and the timer only runs out at the time of death. Most people, children and adults, seem to think when one stumbles and falls, that's the end of things. They could not become a rock star, so music is no longer a part of the life they live. Professional basketball did not go their way and now they sit on the couch; goals and dreams become Shakespearean tragedies.

Among the unrealized dreams and goals, there are those that go on to become reality. These dreams are brought to life because the dreamer decided "you may not be able to do it, but I can." Rather than sitting down to listen to the age-old impossibilities thrown around at them, these dreamers did not give up, did not rest, until everything they had was spent. What do they have to show for it? Everything they could ever dream of and more: the satisfaction that comes with an achievement.

When the end comes to the end, one has to choose between chasing a future and getting a few experiences under the belt or settling for the future chosen for them. A dream may not always come to fruition when sought after, but knowing it was not meant to be outweighs the nagging feeling of wondering if a life could have been something more. Bruce Lee could not have been more right when he said, "A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at."

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Essay Review

I like the Lawrence quotation, but you do seem to be misinterpreting it. Lawrence speaks of the danger of the dreamers of the days, while you seem to take him to be encouraging such dreamers. Your essay then, naturally enough, goes on to the extol the wonderful characteristics of dreams and dreamers and decry the voice of pragmatism. You do that well enough, but it is a bit of an old, oft-told and, since we're rhyming, not especially bold story. An essay that discussed the virtues of dreams in the context of a recognition of the dark side of dreaming - well that might be something interesting.

It's probably not true that every kid wants to grow up to be the President of the United States of America or an astronaut. That's probably not even true of every American kid. I realise there's irony in your exaggeration, but irony is dangerous, which is to say, risky (i.e., you risk not being understood, and then shot). You have a tendency (I suppose one might call it) to make statements whose truth is a bit exaggerated or at least colored by pessimism, as when you imagine the consequences of dreams frustrated by pragmatic parents; perhaps only readers of sublime simplicity will assume that you really mean that a kid told to abandon his hoop dreams will spend a life sitting on a couch, but when you reach for a stark opposition between the noble pursuit of dreams and the ignoble pursuit of everyday comforts, I think you give up the opportunity to demonstrate your appreciation of the nuances of the issues you discuss, and I suspect that would be something worth demonstrating in a college essay. (You might check out, by the way, the documentary called precisely “Hoop Dreams” if you really are interested in the issue of pursuing dreams.)

The college essay, in any event, is not a good place to lecture, so don't tell your reader to "keep striving on." That said, keep striving.

Best,

EJ.
Submitted by: sowens
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