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How should I start and conclude a 250-word essay on my university experience, and what are the essential parts?

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Why not set up the essay about your experience at the university as a comparison/contrast essay? You could introduce the essay with a reflection upon your dreams and anticipations of what going to college would be like. Then, your thesis can build upon the similarities and differences of your imaginings about college as compared to what your actual experiences have been. In doing this, too, you can inject some humor with narrative examples, or brief stories, about funny experiences in the cafeteria or on other parts of campus, the first day of a class, etc.  Here is a sample of a narrative example:

At last, the long-anticipated day came and I arrived at what would be my home-away-from-home for years. Excited at first, incredulously, I began to miss the sister I loved to torture when evening came and my victim was not around. What would I spend the time doing now? Glancing around my miniscule dorm room in which I had already put away my clothes and other personal belongings, i sought occupation. "Oh, the television!" I thought. So, I flipped through channels, but while I did this, there was a chill crawling up my back. I was alone, and I was afraid of tomorrow. Worse than this, I actually wished I could talk about this to my sister.

Don't be afraid to employ amusing anecdotes that genuinelly make fun of yourself. Professors often enjoy a departure from the serious and the affected attempts of students to try to impress them with profound observations. The ability to laugh at oneself is a talent, really.

(See the link below for instructions on a comparative/contrast essay.)

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