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Posts by kstevens
Joined: Nov 25, 2009
Last Post: Nov 27, 2009
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Nov 25, 2009
Undergraduate / "I'm not a quitter. I will never be" - USC essay [4]

USC's speaker series "What Matters to Me and Why" asks faculty and staff to reflect on their values, beliefs, and motivations. Presenters talk about choices they have made, difficulties encountered, and commitments solidified. Write an essay about an event or experience that helped you learn what is important to you and why it is important.

"Daddy, why was I born two years before you and mommy got married," I asked my father one night after dinner. My young mind never anticipated the answer I received soon after, the answer that brought me to tears years later, and the answer that would change my entire outlook on life. At age eleven I encountered the fact that what I had known to be my other half and my roots for the beginning of my years had merely been a lie. I realized that my biological father had quit, given up on me. My world was shattered, but after I put all the pieces together, I promised myself that I would not duplicate his mistake. I knew that this experience would influence my decisions for the remainder of my lifetime, the decisions that would mold the path to my future.

My biological father left my mother when he realized that she would rather sacrifice his support than abort her child. Since then, he has never once contributed anything to my life. He has never once shown an interest in meeting me or caring. Consequently, I am left in pain. Everyday I wonder where the other half of my roots resides. I wonder if I have any other siblings roaming the earth at this very second. I wonder how much longer it will be before I truly know why he just quit.

It is strange how those individuals who aren't in your life can influence you the most. It is also strange how somebody's actions can have the exact opposite impact on you. Over the course of my high school career, there have been numerous times when quitting appeared to be the best solution to my quandaries. The epitome of which can be observed in my continuance of Girl Scouts throughout high school and my resulting attainment of my Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest level of Girl Scouting. As my social life began to grow, the idea of Girl Scouts didn't seem as "hip" as it once was when I was in second grade, but a hidden conscience urged me to carry on. This hidden conscience, I would like to call the "good" counterpart of my biological father, the opposite of a quitter. Through his spiteful actions to both my mother and myself, a change was thrown upon me as if his mistake had been my own.

Everyday of my life, my decisions reflect back on this mistake. When those closest to me recommend that I desert a hobby of mine in the effort to vanish the stress, I simply respond with "I'm not a quitter. I never will be." What most people will never understand though is the story behind these words, the words that I will forever live by. They are more than an excuse to be "an overachiever", or whatever they call it. They are more than eight words that one may speak under pressure. These words are the way I choose to shape my future. These words are who I am.

As I continue to grow through my lifetime, I learn that the struggles and burdens present in life are only there to help you discover yourself. I have found that what can at first seem like your worst nightmare, can quickly turn into your sweetest dream. As a child, finding that I had been deceived my entire life, seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen. However, as I progress into my future, I learn that it will probably be the best dream I will ever know.
Nov 25, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #1: Thou art General! [10]

This is a very creative way to answer the prompt and the metaphors are great.

But I think you should try to clearly state your "dreams and aspirations"..

But very good.. Please critique mine :)
Nov 27, 2009
Undergraduate / Which of these four topics to choose for UC prompt #1 [5]

I think either one or two would be the best. Definitely not three and not so much four.
I think that three would just make you seem like you are jumping all over the place in your essay.

One would probably be the most original if you could find some way to tie it back to your dreams and originality is probably what they are looking for.

Please read mine and critique! :)
Nov 27, 2009
Undergraduate / UC Prompt #1: Planting the Seed [2]

UC Prompt #1 - Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

When I was young, I used to sever saplings at their trunk and replant them in the soil assuming that they would keep growing as if nothing had disrupted their life. For some reason, the concept that a seed was vital for growth had not yet processed in my immature mind. When I came back the next day to find my baby withered, I thought nothing of it but to plant another using the same method. It wasn't until years later that my mother taught me of the seed, the body that gives rise to a new individual. She taught me that once the seed grows into an adult tree, it produces new seeds that may choose a path for life as they wish.

I was born and raised in __________, California, population 3,600. In this small town in which I dwell, the freedom to choose, at my age, is rarely existent. The barriers this small town presents me with often close my options. Unlike most college bound students, the options given to me are limited and there is virtually nothing I can do about it. In my world, the high school I choose to go to be not a question, for it is the only public high school in my town. In my school of 400 students, the curriculum I must choose between is usually not a hard decision either. With only one teacher teaching each subject, one honors course, and one foreign language, the decisions are simply made for me. However, one choice I do have is the way I choose to plant my seed of the future.

My seed consists of everything that I am: a determination to be successful in everything that crosses my path, an aspiration to be involved in those extramural activities that will fill the gap of my limited educational options, and an ultimate dream to have the freedom of choice in my future. Upon realization that this was the life I wanted to lead, I planted my seed and have been growing ever since. My world of narrow option has provided the future I strive for, a future of choice. The seed I have planted for myself will guarantee numerous branches of option and opportunity so that my years ahead will not be restricted to the ordinary, but open to the optimum.