Thursday, December 11, 2008

College Essay: What is my potential? - Fifth Draft

Have I reached my Potential?

This past year as been full of visiting universities and hunting for my potential as if it was a tangible object that could be worn like a pin on my shirt – of seeing all these different possibilities around every corner. All of this wonder, while at first making me feel lost, has allowed me to find an answer to this question.

Simply put, yes I have reached my potential – the potential of my high school self and the potential to stand out and excel on whatever campus I may be going to in a few month’s time. My potential has been deeply correlated within everything I’ve put myself out do.

Take my work with computers and technology, especially with the XO machine used in the One Laptop Per Child Project. I led the development of a student wiki guide since most of the documents on the machines are for developers – an experience that led me to grapple with the severe rift that divides education levels around the world and help dispel it. This work lent itself to my consideration of the graver issues world poverty possesses. I’m still amazed at how it truly holds the potential of solving an issue larger than itself and manage to cross into many different areas of interest. Its own prospects can’t be limited to merely one sphere, much like my own.

Yet, despite all of this and countless more experiences that have made me more than capable of adding charisma and worldliness to any college student body, I’ve learned some thing about the very nature of potential. Potential is not a fixed value that once it’s reached can then be shelved and forgotten. Instead it behaves more like a variable, and it is with that new found knowledge I must answer with an equally resounding ‘no’ – I haven’t reached my potential. As I chased after it, I saw that with the more I did – the more that my accomplishments stacked up – my potential shifted and morphed itself into something grander than what I was originally possible just days before. I see that it was the driving force behind my own development and why it couldn’t have just kept still and how it became a complete and utter hunger to learn. If it did come to a halt, I wouldn’t be ready for what is to come. It is that determination that has gotten me to this point.

And perhaps, this is what it means to attain my potential. Knowing that now that I’ve grown to the best of high school self and it is only through college I’ll discover an older and wiser me; that the bar of accomplishment will also rise and it is my job, not only as a student but as a human being, to always keep up with it. This is my potential, and while its not the pin I first thought I was after, it is something that I am much more proud of – something that will no doubt manifest itself and flourish within the walls of your classrooms and impact your school at large.


  1. Good progress. There are a few minor wording issues to work on, but I think it's changed for the better.

    One thing that comes to mind is that there's a little ambiguity towards the end of paragraph 3. You say "I’m still amazed at how it truly holds the potential...", but it's not clear what "it" refers to. I guess you're referring to the XO laptop, but the sentence feels awkward because it follows you talking about your work and world poverty, so "it" could be one or the other of those.

    Also, you can reduce your word count by 1 more word in paragraph 4 just by turning "some thing" into "something".

    Finally, there's a small grammar issue in paragraph 4 with "...into something grander than what I was originally possible...".

  2. Fixed them. Thanks a lot. Is there anything else I could shorten?