Peer Review by A. Penderwick (United States)

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college admissions essay? (please review, this is so important to me!)

By: gabimarie


    I’m the only brunette in a family of blondes. It’s not something that’s particularly noticeable anymore, especially as my parents and siblings get older. But it’s always something that I’m constantly aware of. Adopted out of foster care at age six, I have noticed the differences between my family and me more than I would like to admit.
    There’s a general consensus that adoption is good, and every child who has adopted needs to feel happy and grateful at all times. I don’t exactly agree with that. 
    I felt abandoned by my birth mom. At times, I even viewed the adoption as my fault. If only I had been better. If only she had loved me more. I constantly blamed myself for not being good enough for my own mother. If I wasn’t wanted by my mom, who would want me? I tore down my self-esteem, looking instead for validation from external sources. I would change personalities around people to be well-liked, and all of this was by age 13.
    I isolated myself from the people around me, never allowing anyone to get too close. As someone who didn’t have someone they could to turn, I turned to writing and music for solicitude. The artist on the radio was the only person who understood me, and my notebook was the only person who would listen to what I had to say.
    The difficulty was that the only place I felt comfortable opening up in was my writing. I didn’t know how to talk to the people around me or even my parents. I had no idea how to be vulnerable with them. I could write every emotion down perfectly on a piece of paper, and even make it rhyme with six syllables in each line. But I could never talk to my parents.
    What’s interesting about my childhood and the person I am now is that so much has changed. If my twelve-year-old self saw me now, I can’t say that she’d be able to recognize me. I’ve got nine piercings and I’m really outspoken. I don’t change myself for others anymore, and I’m taking steps to move forward from my adoption. I am so much more open with my parents, and I’ve realized that they fought for me, and they wanted me. And, when it comes to family, that’s all that really matters. 
    A songwriter is putting their heart and soul into the words that they write. Meaning is packed behind every syllable, and every note is necessary to tell their story. I can’t say that I know what my journey will look like. I have no idea what the end of my story is. But I want to write the end of my story the way I want. I want to write a song at the end of my life and be proud of each note. I want to look in the mirror in ten years and see the girl from middle school, the girl from high school, and the girl from college, and be proud. 
    Why Tulane? Because I want to be myself. I’ve spent so long pretending to be who everyone wanted me to be, and I don’t want to be that fake person anymore. As much as I’ve changed in the past few years, I know I’ll grow even more, and I want to grow alongside people who will support me in every step. I know Tulane will help me grow into the person my parents can be proud of. Tulane will help me grow into someone who I can be proud of, and that’s all I can ask for.

hi loves! so, i'm a senior in high school, and my dream school is tulane university in the US. this is the rough rough draft of my admissions essay. if y'all could leave a review or just put some feedback in the comments, that would mean the WORLD to me, as i want this to be as perfect as possible before applying November first. have an amazing day <3

Peer Review

It's a very vulnerable piece. You talk a lot about how you used to be scared of vulnerability, and had a hard time opening up, but you also talked about how much you've changed, and it's prevalent in this essay. You share a lot of personal insights and details that allows the reader to get to know you better. I think you could lean even more on this aspect, and really try to be as open and honest as you can.

I'd be interested to know a little bit more about how and why you changed. That's a big focus of this essay, and it'd be interesting to know what allows you to become more honest and outspoken. You talk about the fact that you have 9 piercings(so cool)- but was that something that came after you became bolder and more self assured, or was that a first step to getting there; making yourself look on the outside how you wanted to be on the inside?

Reviewer Comments

First and foremost, I want to say that this is amazing.
Secondly, I'd like to clarify something. I'm an incoming freshman in 9th grade, not entering college, so I have no idea of what the whole college applications process is like. I haven't even begun to learn about what makes a good college essay, and I have no idea what I want to study. Because of that, I probably won't have the best insights on this, but I wanted to review it, because any feedback helps. Please take my advice with a grain of salt, because I really don't know what I'm talking about, and it's already so great already. Amazing job, I hope that there's maybe a nugget of good advice in here, and I also hope you have an amazing college experience, wherever you go!