Sh!t happens- VERY personal essay





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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: Sh!t happens- VERY personal essay
By Entropie (Entropie) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 01:54 am: Edit

here's my UC essay #3, and I'm NOT titling it "sh!t happens", don't worry. Please give me your impressions on the essay, and some advice on how I could improve it.
I edited it from another essay, basically it's shorter now.


The moon glowed solemnly as I gazed at it with my back pressed against the back seat of the car. It disappeared and reappeared, trying to keep up with us while we raced around the curved mountain path. Something was wrong; I could feel it, but I didn’t know what bothered me.

I grew up in Mexico with my father, in a polluted industrial town. According to him, my mother abandoned me. My father was rarely home, but I learned English, Spanish, and basic mathematics from him. Because school was not mandatory, I grew up isolated in an apartment building while my father worked. A desire to explore lured me outside, and against my father’s will, I decided to venture out. I was running my fingers across the fence of the city park, watching the children play, when I unexpectedly felt myself lifted into the air and thrown into a black car. They dropped me off in the city and told me to wait near the sidewalk. Minutes later, an unfamiliar woman approached me, and hugged me, overjoyed, saying “I found my baby, I found my baby”. She was my mother.

I learned that I was kidnapped at the age of 4 by my father; everything he told me about my mother was a lie. The memory of the moon following me, and that nostalgic uneasiness, deluged my mind. I returned to the U.S in a surreal state, as if I were in transition from sleep to wakefulness. With psychological therapy and support from my mother and stepfather I adapted rather quickly and attended school, for my first time, at the age of 9. It was not until the later part of my sophomore year that conflicts between my stepfather and me became unbearable. We agreed that I would live with relatives away from home, which is where I am now.

Surprisingly, that transition was more challenging. I became numb from the shock, but I concealed my feelings from my new guardians. Misery beset me for what seemed like an eternity; school, friends, and interests became meaningless. It wasn’t until the middle of Junior year that I noticed I was destroying myself with my apathy and insensibility. I was determined to change my attitude, knowing that a similar incident had occurred before and I was able to persevere.

Gradually, I stabilized myself. I used my conflicts, not as hindrances, but as pathways to resolving my problems. Conflict provided me with the independence, patience, and perseverance that I applied to my daily life. For example, work, tutoring, and academics became distractions from my self-pity. I support myself financially, instead of depending on my guardians, with the money I earn working as a tutor. Determination and focus in school, brought my GPA from 3.2 to 3.9. I undertook a major project--establishing the school’s table tennis club--using my leadership and interests.

The inconsistencies in my life have shaped my personality. In spite of conflicts that are known to often be emotionally destructive, my characteristics indicate the opposite. Isolation during childhood has instilled within me an insatiable desire to explore and learn from available resources. Time alone as a child has contributed to my introspective nature; it has given me the ability to evaluate situations in unique ways. I view the world with curiosity and interest, observing joy and aesthetic qualities in nature and beauty.

In hindsight of those years of disorder, I look not with a sense of disappointment for myself in the past, but with a sense of maturity and independence that I had been developing since I was young.

believe it or not, it's only 600 words long. Or is there something with the word count on my computer?

By Fruitios (Fruitios) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 03:11 am: Edit

ooh, I really liked it. I thought your personality was conveyed through that essay very well. NICE!

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 08:20 am: Edit

You've done a very nice job of revising your work. The essay now highlights your character, emphasizing your resiliancy over adversity. It doesn't linger on the lurid aspects of your story, but emphasizes how you've overcome some major challenges.

By Enlightenment (Enlightenment) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 08:27 am: Edit

Very impressive, I like it

By Wharton1986 (Wharton1986) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 03:18 pm: Edit

very nice.

By Entropie (Entropie) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 09:27 pm: Edit

cool, i just had my teacher review all my essays, and she liked them too. I'm sending them in tomorrow before it's too late.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to read and give feedback. :)

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 09:32 pm: Edit

Good luck to you!


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