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Overcoming An Academic Challenge - With A Free Essay Review



In my junior year of high school, I felt the effects of AP classes and an overweight schedule take its toll. Having eight classes from Monday to Friday, soccer outside of school, and family issues around second semester, my grades slowly but surely went to bad measures. I knew junior year was most important when it came to colleges, yet I didnít do anything to raise my grades. It wasnít until two Fís and a D came in the mail that I realized I needed to do something about this. I wasnít going to let all my work and achievements Iíve worked for since seventh grade go to waste.

And my struggles didnít end there. Around this time the high school counselors were meeting students to determine next yearís classes. When I met with my counselor to pick my classes we had conflicts. She wasnít going to allow me to take three of my classes desired due to my low grades. I assured her I would have them higher and in stable condition by the end of the semester, but she persisted that until then, I would not be enrolled in Calculus AB AP and Latin 4Honors. It was up to this semester to determine my classes for next year and my future after high school whether I would be able to attend a four year university.

Starting in April I set my priorities straight and cut back on soccer and friends to make more time for academic studying. Iíd go after school to my pre-calculus teacher to complete my homework in class and get better help. Rather than hanging out with my friends at the Block, I would arrange study groups with other studious classmates at the library to prepare for AP Biologyís test on molecular genetics and heredity.

I was determined to get those horrid grades up, but struggles at home intensified. My relatives created major problems with the city police, and every other day at two in the morning my parents and I would have to go to the police department to take my cousins home. If it wasnít my relatives causing mischief, it would be my duties at home that occupied my time. Coming home late from school the dishes were left unwashed, my mom waited for me to go wash laundry, and my younger brothers and sister asked for help on homework. Of course, it was not hard to do these things, but it was tedious.

Finally, with my parentsí understanding, they let me focus on my classes to study and get those grades to a satisfactory level. My mom did the washing with my dad and even took their time doing my chores. Meanwhile I stayed after school tutoring a second year Latin student, benefiting both her and me.

After hours of studying and nights not sleeping my grades ambled higher and higher until I had successfully achieved a C in pre-calculus. However, I didnít perform as well as I thought I would in AP Biology and Latin 3, but the passing grade proved to be eligible for a four year college. I am content to have raised my grades from an all time low, the lowest they have ever been, and now I am proving myself by maintaining a 3.7 GPA with the classes I know I can perform well in. _______________________________________

ESSAY REVIEW

At the end of the first paragraph, you tell us of your determination to improve your grades. Then, in the next paragraph, you return to talking about the problems you were facing. Then in the third paragraph, you tell us of your actions to improve your grades. Then, in the next paragraph, you return to talking about the problems you were facing. Then in the fifth paragraph, you tell us of your actions to improve your grades.

I think you are creating a repetitive pattern here, and I think what you really want is a simple narrative of challenge followed by meeting the challenge.

Now imagine if you took the third paragraph and made it, with whatever necessary changes, your penultimate paragraph. Imagine if you also deleted the last two sentences of the first paragraph and the first sentence of the second paragraph. In that case, I think, your essay would have a more logical structure, or at least a more linear and more compelling narrative. (The bit about going to the police dept. every other morning to pick up your cousin sounds, well, a bit bizarre and unbelievable, but otherwise the narrative would be pretty compelling.)

You also need to address some of the word-choice problems. I've heard of heavy schedules but never overweight ones. I've also never heard of ambling grades or grades that might be in a stable condition or grades that went to bad measures. Those are the weirdest word choices, but you also mistake "persisted" for "insisted" at one point. You also use the expression "all time low," which is fine as long as you don't then add a tautological clarification ("the lowest they have ever been").

Finally, I was a bit confused by your last sentence. It sounds like you are saying that you are keeping your grades up by taking classes that are easy for you, though I would guess you didn't really want to suggest that. Beyond that, in just a few sentences, you go from talking about a C in pre-calculus, and worse (?) in Latin and Biology, to a 3.7 GPA, which came as a bit of a surprise, and perhaps deserves more comment than "I am proving myself" - something, for instance, more suited to a story about overcoming a challenge; something about how you have continued this year to work hard and so on.

Best, EJ
Submitted by: j.garcia73
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