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"A New Beginning" - Common App essay

sooperman 3 / 10  
Dec 18, 2010   #1
This is my common app essay. Please critique and advise. Thanks.

A New Beginning

I felt like the air was being sucked out of my lungs and the ground was getting closer and closer. It seemed like my mind was separating from my body and it was getting harder and harder for me to breathe. I fell from the roof of my house trying to catch a stray kite. Kite. Flying kites has been an escape route for me from reality. My fantasy was to touch the sky!

My father had to sell the only car we had to pay for my hospital bills and then things went spiraling down. It seemed like a picture, a drama, unfolding itself with me being a passive actor or a nightmare, where I was stuck and could not do anything. I hit bottom when the financial crunch came to our doorstep.

It was fall of 1999, life became very hard for me when my dad came to my room, as I was getting ready to sleep, to tell me that his business was not doing well and he could not pay for my tuition fee. His next words shattered my world that I will not be able to go to school. At first I couldn't comprehend what he meant, but it finally dawned that it was a simple fact that my father with his failing business could not support five children.

As a child I decided to sell my toys and get a job to help my father financially. But in reality I was helpless sixth grader, stuck between devil and the deep blue sea. Since being so young I could not get any kind of job in Pakistan, unlike other countries, where face saving is a practice still observed in a closed society. Where I lived it was not possible to go and mow lawns or wash cars to support my father.

For five long years I suffered quietly seeing my friends moving ahead in life while I was home not really doing anything constructive. All I did was fly kites wishing I was the kite up high in the sky, taking a bird eye view of the world, rather being stuck in a situation where I was

I roamed around uselessly with my street friends. I was exposed to unsavory street life before my time.
Then like a bolt from the blue, a family friend told my father about Lahore Learning Campus, my current school, where I got admission on need bases. I was a 17 years boy when I was admitted to 6th grade; this new school was even tougher for me to adjust. First, my class mates were around 13 years old. Secondly, I was butt of all their jokes; they mocked at me, whenever I scored A's or excelled in any other competition, since I was older, they thought it was easy for me to achieve. They were oblivious to the pain I suffered and how hard it was for me to come back to catch my dreams.

Today I am in control of my life and it is in my hands. I work hard and sacrifice my time for better and positive things that can make me change this world. I was nominated Deputy Head Boy for the school, a beginning where my personality underwent a metamorphosis. Performing in school plays, presenting school in competitions, winning sports matches was one aspect, the other was my goal. I still remember my mother's crying face, when I was awarded with the shield for academic excellence and Principle's role of honor.

I have learned to adapt and adjust when faced with a challenge. Life has taught me lessons; if you have faith in yourself then you can achieve your dreams. I am a survivor, walking down the memory lane was not an easy experience. My enthusiasm to learn, desire to experience and will to try again and again has helped me to change my life. Today as the Head Boy of school, I love helping juniors, especially those who do not have a can do attitude.

I now strongly believe "If you've never failed, you've never lived": and I Bilal Mahmood has learned to live.

KATaylor 1 / 4  
Dec 18, 2010   #2
On the whole, a good essay. You deal with something tough and personal without asking for pity, and that's an accomplishment.

There were two sentences that stuck a little bit; first, the kite in the first paragraph was a little odd - its a good metaphor, but I wasn't sure at first whether you'd actually fallen off a roof or not.

Secondly, the practice of face saving in a closed society - does that mean you would have lost face if you worked? It's not quite clear to me...

Last, the final sentence (which is an excellent one) should read "I, Bilal Mahmood, have learned to live."

Good luck :)
OP sooperman 3 / 10  
Dec 18, 2010   #3
Thanks a lot Taylor. I'll make the changes:)
OP sooperman 3 / 10  
Dec 18, 2010   #4
Well actually i was from a rich family. In my society, students do not customarily work for their living.
MFitzgerald - / 5  
Dec 18, 2010   #5
Dear Belal,

I don't do complete essay revisions here, but I've edited your introduction below. It now reads with a greater sense of poetry and dramatic tension:

"The kite danced in the sky just above my outstretched fingers, and for a moment I felt lighter than air. But this illusion was merely ephemeral: suddenly the ground was getting closer and closer, as the air was sucked out of my lungs, and it became harder and harder for me to breathe..."

Martin F.
amazingA 8 / 35  
Dec 18, 2010   #6
unfortunately this is not how it works...you cannot simply go to other people's threads and ask them to give your essays feedbacks without you reciprocating them...you did not provide any feedback on my essay but simply asked me to read yours..this is not only selfish but annoying at the same time...so go back to the all the threads you have commented on without actually helping people and provide some real advice..only then will you get feedbacks
OP sooperman 3 / 10  
Dec 19, 2010   #7
Is it? Thanks for such a nice message. I'm a new user here who didn't know the way.
you're the only who got my message and you can continue to do your thing. =)
OP sooperman 3 / 10  
Dec 19, 2010   #8
Dear Martin,
Thanks for the edit but that does not sound like my work =)
OP sooperman 3 / 10  
Dec 19, 2010   #9
Any other advice?
Jayzee 3 / 12  
Dec 19, 2010   #10
Yes, Lun khao :P
It's the best advice ever :P
OP sooperman 3 / 10  
Dec 30, 2010   #11
Dear Jayzee if you dont have manners, eff yourself

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