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Monday, December 16, 2013
Jealousy-Good Starting Point for an Admission Essay
"Jealousy feels rotten, but is often a great signpost for what we want".~Kathleen Buckstaff, author.
Buckstaff suggests that exploring feelings of jealousy can help college hopefuls really get a sense of what they want. It's like a backdoor peek into your real hopes and dreams. It's what you want but might not want to ask for.
By its nature, the essay is designed to woo its reader. Students don't mind talking about who they are and what they want, so long as it's framed in a positive light. This can be a twofold problem. An essay that tries to dazzle can sound insincere. It might also be a bit yawn-worthy.
In some ways, that's because our goals-just like our self-perception, is so often tied up with a need to please. This is especially true when you're at the cusp of a new educational experience. You're going to college or grad school because, in a way, there's something missing. Some hole or weakness or void you want to fill with higher education. Third-level education isn't generally just a repository for the bored.
So, just perhaps, what you say you want from life, isn't what you really want. What's the thing you're afraid to admit you want? Power? More money? A better job than your best friend? You may decide not to put pen to paper when it comes to your basest desires, but even tapping into them might help alleviate some writer's block.
Even more importantly, it might highlight the gap (or overlap) between what you want from your education, and what the educational institution wants from you. That's the sweet spot. And if you can manage to exploit or explore it in your essay, you may have just found a way to stand out from the crowd.
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