3rd essay

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by hulaboy9614, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. hulaboy9614

    hulaboy9614 New Member

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    How crucial is it to write something in the 3rd optional essay? If I left it blank would it look bad?


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  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I can't say I know the actual answer.... but why would one pass up an opportunity to impress?
     
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    +1

    Stop messing around here for a night or two and write your best essay
     
  4. Dad

    Dad Member

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    +1 :thumb:
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Here is how I see it. The essays are comparable to you taking an exam. Now if your high school English teacher gave you extra credit for doing the third exam, would not you write it to boost your grade?

    The answer should be yes, because in the end the AFA wants that kid that academically goes the extra step.

    I remember our child asked if he should do it? Our answer was YES! Otherwise in our opinion he was taking the easy route and the AFA is not an easy route so get used to it now!

    We were also the mean parents that did not allow him to re-use his MOC essays. He had to write new ones for each MOC. You never know if they talk and if they do talk you don't know how much they share with each other.
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Holy Cow Pima! We were those same mean parents! No shock there, I guess.
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Seriously Meghan, are you planning not to write this??

    What possible reason could you have for not doing it?
     
  8. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    I'll tell you why she might not want to write it. Some of the essay prompts are not appropriate for some people. To write it would be to "BS" your way through it. I know, I've "BS'ed" my way through lots of essays.

    What do you write about when asked about a particular hardship you've overcome... when you have done the right things, and luckily come from a hard working, successful family? Do you write about the time the cable TV was out for two days? Or maybe they were out of Captain Crunch at the store and your parent made you eat Rice Crispies!

    Some of the questions were devised to identify kids that have overcome obstacles. Not all kids have significant obstacles to overcome.

    So, to defend the OP... write the essays that are meaningful to you. I have doubts as to the importance placed upon most essays anyway. With thousands of applications to sift through, I seriously doubt leaving off an optional essay would have any bearing at all. In fact, "BSing" could have the opposite effect as you intend.
     
  9. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Haven't had to overcome some obstacle? What about writing essays when the prompt doesn't apply to your situation? Don't have an obstacle? Go out and make one. Imagine something HARD to do, get it done, write about the experience.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    They can see through BS, let's be real they read thousands every year.

    If the worst hardship in your life is losing cable for two days, than you have been blessed.

    When I was 17, here is my list of hardships, that now seem like nothing.
    1. My classmate that I was friends with was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 15. I knew her since I was 10.
    ~ Uncommon for many HS kids, but very few HS seniors don't graduate without a death.
    2. My parents divorced when I was 16. We were affluent, until the lawyers got their noses in it. I went to college on MERIT.
    3. My brother is an Albino..rare again, but my life was about understanding how to treat others equally regardless of their skin or medical deficiencies
    4. I was the girl that was friends with everyone, but never fit in ONE clique. It was lonely on Friday nights because although everyone liked you and would eat lunch with you or hang with you in study hall, they were not asking you to go to the movies. You were not in their immediate clique. You were on the fringe.

    So, if you had to BS your way through it, than God Bless. However, if you are truly honest, somewhere in the past three years of your life your heart was crushed and you thought you would never get over it.
    ~ Not talking about breaking up with your boyfriend of a year....talking about when your broke up you lost your social circle that you had known and how it changed you. Be honest friends take sides,and the one that appears to have more popularity aka power in HS wins!
    ~ Not talking about how you twisted your ankle and were on crutches for two weeks, but how you realized how hard your life would be if you were permanently disabled. How you had to rely on others to complete the simplists tasks of getting from one classroom to another. Getting into a bathroom stall and shutting it closed for privacy when you can't contort your body with the crutches and your leg.
    ~ Not talking about the divorce, that is 50% rate in the country, but how you protected and cradled your younger sibling that didn't get it....or your BFF since elementary school, that has to move because their folks are getting divorced and are now selling the house

    The idea that life has been all roses is not something I was blessed with. NOR my kids.
    My kids have parents that are happily married for 26 years, but they have faced hardships as ADAF children. Dad being deployed. Attending at least 8 schools since 1st grade. Not one graduated without a death or paralyzation in HS. Grandparents dieing, etc. etc. etc. etc.

    If they looked inside and asked was there a moment life changed for them in a small part, I am sure they wouldn't need to BS!

    Maybe I am Debbie Downer, or maybe I believe that no kid in HS lives the perfect life 24/7/365. That there is something they felt at school or home so small that impacted them personally and changed them to be a better person.

    Again, God Bless if you were able to live with no pain for the first 17/18 years of your life. Not being sarcastic, I mean it...you are blessed, because as a parent I remember every time I sat next to my child while they cried over what they thought was OMG, and it was never cable or Cap'n Crunch. It was more of I swear I study and study and I am still not getting it or I thought they were my friend and now....

    They got over it, and I hope that because I was there they took my words to heart and became a better person. They saw that you just have to keep fighting for it, and eventually it will work out. Good or Bad and from there you move on. Deciding how you move on from the bad is a great insight of the person you are reviewing. Even if it means you had to eat rice krispies instead of Cap'n Crunch it tells me something about YOU
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  11. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Write the optional essay - it is in your best interest. See the following excerpts from the NROTC website at NC State University Visitor page/ information. I think it applies in this case as well. http://naval.dasa.ncsu.edu/visitors

    "A selection officer looking at two similar student applications side-by-side (one where a student took the time to provide extensive detail, and one where a student only did the minimum and did not spend the time) will be apt to give much more consideration to the detailed one."

    "Though the second essay is considered “optional”, if you decide to skip it, don’t plan on being selected for the scholarship. The “optional” caveat is a method to measure your motivation level – same reason you want to provide detailed information!"
     
  12. AlexT

    AlexT Banned

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    You don't have to BS your way through the essay. Everybody suffers hardships. Don't get caught up in the "traditional" definition (e.g. suffering a major loss, divorce, severe injury). At lot of people at 16 or 17 haven't experienced these hardships. But you experience hardships in other things that can show your character.

    If you are involved in sports...have you had to play or run with an injury? Don't forget, pain and discomfort a significant hardships. Have you been on a long hike where you thought you couldn't make it but ultimately did? Have you run a marathon or half marathon. What drove you to finish the first time you did it? Did you run one in adverse conditions that made you miserable? Did you take a class in which you began well behind your peers and managed to overcome and excel?

    Bottom line, I think, is to highlight an episode where you faced significant challenges or obstacles (hardships) that would have prompted the "average" person to quit while you continued on and completed whatever it was that you were trying to accomplish.
     
  13. Missnj

    Missnj Member

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    Yes--you lose points for not writing the "optional" essay. It's used to identify people who will put the time and effort into writing something and to give them a better chance than those who just say, "Eh, I don't feel like it."


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  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I have a daughter who might consider camping to be a hardship. Or even, a hotel which lacks indoor golf.

    Surely you have had SOME hardship, even if in the eyes of Eternity, it may seem minor.

    Did you have to turn in a friend who you found cheating on a test?

    Have you had to share a room with six older sisters? (Don't laugh! THAT'S h.a.r.d.s.h.i.p. I know!)

    Have you had to give up dinner with your beloved family every Friday night for three years so you can tutor the illiterate in your neighborhood?

    Did you lend a library book to a friend, who then lost it, and YOU had to pay the fine?

    Did you break your arm in second grade and miss the school Christmas pageant?

    Did your mean parents prevent you from driving at 16? Did you have to walk home from basketball practice every night? Did no one come to your band concert?

    Surely, you can find SOMETHING to write about.
     
  15. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Maple,

    I know that was an over the top illustration, but the fact still comes down to one thing for me.

    Why not write it?

    The idea that they may or may not fill it with BS is not part of the equation, now is it?

    None of us sit on the boards, and none of us should state anything as a fact regarding how they perceive if a candidate writes a third essay.

    Opining on why or why not is different. If the candidate that really did not want to write a third essay and reads a post from someone like you, than they have rationalized to their self that it isn't needed. It is their justification if a candidate that was going to write a third, well than, it reinforced why. If they are in the middle, than that is when it comes down to IMPO on how bad you want it. Want it bad enough, you will give up a night on SAF and FB, or playingPS4 online.

    In the end it is the candidate that gets the TWE looking in the mirror and coming to terms with answering the question...what if I submitted that optional essay? Would that have raised my WCS enough to win the appointment? They and they alone will have to live with that what if.
    ~ Just me, but if I can say I gave 110%, than I will be able to get past the what if faster, than if I had to say IF I wrote that third essay, than maybe, just maybe I would have the BFE!

    Are any posters here willing to say that they won't ask that question come April? Be honest there are going to be a lot of TWEs in March and April. THOUSANDS of them.
     
  17. hulaboy9614

    hulaboy9614 New Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. I asked the question out of curiosity, I had already started the essay. Just simply curious as to what people's thoughts were.


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  18. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    I'm going to disagree and say that I would not come grasp at straws just come up with something to fill the space here. I personally think it looks worse to list something as a hardship that is trivial. I don't think it shows lack of motivation if you do not fill it out. DD did not complete it last year and was awarded her scholarship early in the cycle. Our Navy Scholarship Coordinator reviewed the application for both her and my DS and did not encourage either of them to fill it out.
     
  19. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    Oops. This relates to NROTC scholarship, which had a similar question. None-the-less, I would have responded the same regardless of the application if the question relates to hardships.
     
  20. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I don't know. I think I would still try to answer the 3rd essay. If nothing else, state that you don't believe that you have suffered any true hardships. However, you tackle adversity, challenges, etc by doing <something>, then show some examples. Or maybe you've helped someone else through a hardship (friend losing a parent, someone you know went through a tough surgery, etc.) and explain how you helped that person.

    I guess I believe that you shouldn't let an opportunity to stand out pass you by.
     

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