The best college admission essay I've ever read in my life..





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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: The best college admission essay I've ever read in my life..
By seven on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 04:58 pm: Edit

I picked this up from PR and I am very impressed. I wonder where this kid had gotten into. Do you guys think this guy got a hook at HYP?


A small WAR of MIND


I still vividly remember those thousands of fans cheering, pounding, yelling and flashing with their cameras in an Olympic stadium in Seoul, Korea in 1988. Watching those spectacular images on a small black and white TV, my father sitting next to me murmured to himself about how the world had changed, how the world was now collaborating, and how the society of Korea was changing. His awe of the reflection was due to the change in his past society. Yet, the image was a positive sign of Korean society opening to the world, adopting foreign cultures, having a rapid growth in economy and leaning towards industrialization.

As I grew, I witnessed gradual changes in the society, from the concrete streets to the image of people. I noticed more automobiles starting to appear on roadways, more English letters were being inscribed on advertising signs instead of Korean characters, more people were starting to wear suits, more black asphalt surface covered over muddy streets, modern architecture replaced the old traditional Korean architecture, and more independence and freedom had taken the place of strict cooperative heritage. The excessive fumes of modernism had permeated the image of Korean heritage and cultural values.

I found myself in the midst of this evolving society. Growing up in a poor, old, traditional Korean family, it was my daily routine to deal with physical hunger and coldness. My father was yet to adopt the rapidly growing modernization. He did not have any education or the skills to be part of this industrialization. He often swallowed his anger and frustration with his beer bottles, smoked his despair with his cigarettes and he used his fist on me in an attempt to reach satisfaction. He had become dependent and indifferently self centered. He never worked and he never showed a sign of adopting these social changes. The society needed knowledge, power, and a workforce of educated people to continue this industrial economic growth. Schools and workplaces had changed due to the evolution. Extreme pressure in schools grew and aggressive competition grew endlessly at workplaces. Students followed books and strict education without a vent through which to visualize their dreams. Many of them lacked liberal arts education, which would allow them to create, to think and to be independent. Many were still trapped between Korean traditionalism and this new modernism, hesitating on their life decisions. Almost every day, I came home from school with legs and hands sore from being beaten up with sticks by teachers. Always having to worry about myself physically and financially, education was only a minor thing to me. However, I was changing in my own way every moment. I had become violent and disloyal. I finally had lost faith in myself.

In 1996, I finally dropped out from my middle school and started up as a gangster. I ran away from my house with a promise that I would never return. I ended up getting into many meaningless fights on the streets. I burglarized stores, shoplifted, bullied kids, and got addicted to drugs. I slept in vacant houses, sometimes even on the street in the cold night of winter. Sometimes, I was physically and mentally so tired that I was unconscious of my being and my life. I ended up hanging out at police stations. I got back home but my father treated with me with his cold violence. There was no one in my life who accepted me with a smile and comfort. There was no place called home for me either because I did not find a place to seek comfort and warmth. I ran and ran away again until I was somewhere else. I had to run for my life without knowing what was out there and where I would end at. But I knew one thing straight that I was there wherever I went. After years of a running life, I was finally somewhere.

In October of 1997, my brother and I immigrated to the United States following a sudden call from my mother who was living there. She was the mother who ran away from my family when I was only a bud learning life. She was the mother who left me with all the physical pains and agonies. She lived in a haggard house with many parts falling. There were drug dealers, homeless people, and gangs hanging around. I often heard gunshots and sirens with police lights flashing through the windows. Surrounded by people who had become weapons, only to hurt others mindlessly and physically, it was the time that I had to make a life decision. I had to make a decision that would change my life forever and it was a decision that I would never regret for the rest of my life.

I sat down and thought for days and months. It was time to lose my temper and anger. It was a decision for forgiveness over hate, hope over despair, and dreams over failures. I started back to school in October of 1997. In the beginning, I had many troubles controlling my bad temper. I had difficulty with attitudes, learning school materials, getting help, dealing with the unfamiliar English language and people of different values and backgrounds. Many times I was isolated and most of the time I was in despair and the pain of loneliness. Even as I struggled every moment, I was determined to strive. Even though I was tired and tempted to give up all I had gained, I stood up again to be the best I could be. I had to be strong for my mother and brother, whom I love and whom I will take care of and lead towards the right direction. The war in myself finally started. I had to fight myself and my past in order to progress, to learn, to struggle, to try, to get up from failures and to better myself.
Even if one day, the society that I belong to might change, the people around me might change, and the world might change, I will not change and I will never get lost again. I now have a map called "dream" and a compass called "heart." That was the reward for the victory in my war. I, not as a Korean, not as an American, not as a product of a culture, and not as a product of a society, but rather as a person of humanity, the greatest experience that I have encountered in my nineteen years of life is the power of hope, love and dreams. That is the power I have lived for and that is the power that I will touch others' lives with. I will inspire, aspire and encourage others on the way for the possibility.

I might now struggle with small physical obstacles standing in my life, but in the next chapter of my life, I shall excel. I will overcome any personal or academic barriers to unlock the door to my ultimate potential and possibilities in life. I do not believe there is any such thing as impossible. I now have the power and strength to determine who I will be, rather than letting my fate determine who I will be. I am ready for any mighty challenges. I will face them without any fear and hesitation. I will fight to be the greatest I can be in my small war for another victory.

By qwr on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 05:22 pm: Edit

too generic at the end, i have read a lot of the essays with almost the exact same last two paragraphs.

the first part doesn't exactly say much, unless he paints a picture of the "new self".

By Willx on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 05:35 pm: Edit

That essay was fantastic. It definitely shows the author's good will, background and observation on his enviornment, time and society. It's very very well written and this kind of essay is what HYP adcoms look for in an applicant. Well done. Nice job!

By hi on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 06:00 pm: Edit

the society bit is almost a direct ripoff from Kokoro, or any other novel written by contemporary writers in developing nations.

no originality.

By cookie on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 06:03 pm: Edit

it's very well written, excellent as a matter of fact, but I can't "feel" what the author is saying. he writes so well, yet i can't believe him. i hope he succeeds, but he should be a little more passionate.

By . on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 07:47 pm: Edit

cookie that essay rips yours into shreads. The passion he exhibited is on a level far beyond anything you shall reach

By Bigparoxysm (Bigparoxysm) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 07:52 pm: Edit

How does this essay compare to my essays?

By cookie on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 08:45 pm: Edit

., i respect your opinion. i guess it's my low sat scores that turn you off.

By awer on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 10:20 pm: Edit

no, remember when you posted the essay under another name, people still thought it was ••••?


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