A Life Changing Visit to a Nursing Home

Submitted by Lucy Anne on Fri, 10/23/2015 - 16:41

This week for writing class, we have to write a college essay. (Don't ask.) This is the prompt for the college I chose, Hunter College: Tell us about a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and how it impacted you personally. (250-600 words)
I wanted feedback because the teacher said that would be good. I have to send this in by tonight, so just in case anyone happens to read and comment. Main thing is: pretending you are a college administrator or college paper-reviewer, what did you learn about me through this? What is the main personality you get from this? It would be helpful to know as I did have a few traits in mind.
And I probably will take this down after today. It's okay if no one comments...don't want to be pushy.
But writers, keep the cycle going...Homey, Erin, Maddi, Sarah Bethany...you're next! :) Let's keep making this a website full of vast writings!

*UPDATED essay
I waited with my parents stiffly, feeling as cool as the air-conditioned lobby. I did not expect to feel attached to this Christian nursing home. In fact, I thought we would never visit it again. Or so I thought. But when on the way home, I surprised myself and my parents. I said, “I think…” I paused as I recalled the many times I told others I wanted to become a teacher. “I think I could see myself being a nurse.” Little did I know the significance of visiting that nursing home. Indeed, it propelled me on a three-month journey of wrestling to understand whether I should become a nurse or a teacher.
When we got back home, my parents enrolled me into a program called CollegePlus, a three month program designed to help discover my God-given life purpose in order to choose a career. I protested. Could three months of coaching and of intense questioning truly help me decide? But as the next month passed, I learned about my interests, gifts, and I crafted a life purpose statement. Though I learned that I needed a career that focused on relationships, when I reached the last chapter where I had to choose a degree, I did not know. Since teaching and nursing both focused on people, I was on a seesaw. One day I would say I wanted to be a teacher, and the other day, I wanted to be a nurse. At that point, my coach told me to rest from filling out the chapters. “Ask nurses,” she said. “At least you know you want to develop a relationship, to make a difference. So ask.”
In that month, I grabbed every nurse I met, soaking in their experiences. I asked questions on their day-to-day experiences and courses needed. But most important, I asked, “Do you get to talk to them about God?” When all of them said ‘definitely’, I lit with excitement. I wanted most of all to love and care with those I worked for. Nursing fit that desire exactly. I would get to visit many people each day, caring for them physically and hopefully spiritually. Slowly, as I saw how nursing fed my desire for deep relationships, I hopped off the seesaw.
It is almost startling to think about how one experience at a Christian nursing home has changed me. I left the facility with a fresh possibility, spent a few months confused, but as I began talking to other nurses, discovered how I could touch people’s lives through nursing. With peace I now can say, “I want to be nurse”. Also, I am motivated like never before to visit children’s hospitals and nursing homes to sing, to play music, and to talk with the patients. Finally, I marvel at how nursing tied with the life purpose statement that I had written even before deciding. Part of it stated: “No matter where I am or what I am doing, I will use my gifts of creativity, encouragement and sympathy to spending time with peers, teens, and children who do not know Jesus, need encouragement, or are searching for the Lord.” If such a seemingly everyday visit to a nursing home could inspire such a journey of discovering myself, how much more can result if Lord Willing, I daily visit hospitals or nursing homes as a certified nurse.

Author's age when written


This is an essay from a young woman who has the humility and wisdom to seek counsel from others to make an informed decision and knows what her needs are (pertaining to a career in relationships with an avenue for her to worship her God). It shows motivation, passion for interests, and a clearly defined, number one goal. I think this essay shows you as a desirable student for the college to accept; you are clearly going there not on a whim, but with purpose and focus.

Make sure you emphasize that you are fulfilling the assignment: this is about a significant experience and how it impacted you personally. While I think you covered that well, I have gotten a few professors who seem to be very demanding on specifics like that. But this is for admissions, so I don't know. As an example: your essay outlines a continuum of experiences, over the period of a month; are they looking for one major example, or a highlight from that time period of talking to the nurses? Maybe one particular conversation with a nurse stands out. And it impacted you academically such that you decided on nursing, but how did it impact you personally? Were you at peace? Did you gain confidence as you felt like you were beginning to see what God has in store for your future? Did it change you in any way as a person?

I hope this helps! I never had to go through an admissions essay so I'm really just trying to throw some ideas in for you.