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My Interests In Columbia - With A Free Essay Review



“What is most appealing to you about Columbia?”

Attending a private Islamic school most of my life until 10th grade, I was never exposed to diversity. It was not until my experience with Model UN and traveling to different places for debates and conferences that I realized the diversity colleges contain. Out of all the colleges I attended for Model UN conferences, Columbia University is the one that appealed to me the most. Although I attended a small private school for the first two years of high school, I had always wanted to discover a college that possesses a different yet cordial environment and that is what I found at Columbia. Through the Model UN conference I was able to explore Columbia and conversing with my two chairs I was able to understand what Columbia is really about. One of the chairs was an Indian girl while the other was a chinese girl from London. These two girls' experience at Columbia University along with their different backgrounds appealed to me. I have always wanted to have an experience where I am able to meet people with different backgrounds and they told me Columbia is filled with unique people as well as programs. Certainly that experience and the conversation I had with those two girls left an indelible impact on me. Through conversing with them I learned about the remarkable debate team at Columbia and I can imagine contributing my knowledge I have gained through Model UN to the debate team at this university. Also, from my experience shadowing a Lawyer I can contribute in the debate team. (should I include or does it sound like i am trying to brag.) I deem Columbia as the right college for me because it is located in the place I was born. I value my own community and want to experience both Columbia and mine. Considering most of my family living in New York, staying close to them is very important to me. Going to Columbia will not only allow me to stay near my family but experience the diversity I have always wanted to. As a Muslim Pakistani girl I think I would fit right in to the diversity which appealed to me most when I first visited Columbia University.

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ESSAY REVIEW

For such a short essay, you tend to repeat yourself quite a bit. On the one hand, this gives your essay definite focus; there's no mistaking why Columbia University appeals to you: you want to go to Columbia because you values its diversity, and you value its diversity because you've always wanted to experience diversity. On the other hand, despite its focus, your essay appears fairly shallow. It's fine that you want to experience Columbia's diversity; it's even okay that you want to experience it because you've always wanted to experience diversity. But why have you always wanted to experience diversity? You don't answer that question. Instead you repeat in various ways the bare fact that you are interested in diversity: you met Columbia students from different background, and you've always wanted to meet people from different backgrounds, people who told you that there were even more people from different backgrounds, which is great because you’ve, well, always want to meet such people. I'm afraid that all seems just a little banal to me. So instead of just articulating and rearticulating your desire for the peculiar experience you think Columbia affords, why not explain it: Why are you interested in diversity? What is its value for you in general? What's its value in a university setting? What do you expect or hope to get out of the experience you imagine you will have at Columbia.

Now you do add that you are interested in the debate team. You say you learned about "the remarkable debate team," and perhaps you just mean that you learned of its existence, but if you learned something specific, you may as well mention it. By the way, to answer your parenthetical question, if you are concerned about "bragging," you can always mention your relevant experience in the context of an aspiration (aspirations are naturally a bit more modest); i.e., something like "I hope I can use my experience doing X and Y to contribute to the debate team."

Finally, I began by mentioning the "focus" of your essay. If anything detracts from that focus, it is the reference to the debate team and to the fact that Columbia is near your home. There is nothing wrong with including those facts, but perhaps the best way to do so would be to subordinate them to the fact that appeals most to you: "Although I am interested in X and Y, what appeals to me most is Z," or just: "Many aspects appeals to me. X appeals to me because etc. Y appeals to me because etc. But what most appeals etc."

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Hope95
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