Thank you so much for the input! My class rarely provides constructive criticism because people are afraid of hurting others' feelings. Basically, everyone just encourages each other to keep doing what they're doing. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it isn't very conducive to growing as writers. Of course practice is rarely a bad thing.
I think that the more I expand on those paragraphs the more they'll diverge from cliches, at least that's what I think. I've mostly written poetry and short paragraphs so far.