/ 'I attempted to start a conversation' - common app essay
hello, please be brutally honest, I need to submit it by tonight.
This is the personal essay for the common application, I chose the option to talk about a significant experience in my life and its impact on me.
Does the essay show my personal qualities? Does it flow well? please be very honest!! I need good critique! thanks!! =)
It was a weekend when my mother told me. She called me to her and asked excitedly, "Would you like to live in the United States, Diana?" "No!" I replied. We had just celebrated Christmas at my aunt's house and memories of all the fun I had with my cousins lingered in my mind. "What about Silvanita?" I asked, growing more anxious by the minute. "Would she come with us?" I couldn't bear the thought that my cousin and I would be separated. Though the room was dark and quiet, light emanated from one corner where a bunch of flowers stood on the table. I gazed at them in an attempt to cast aside the worries that were rapidly filling my head and heart.
When we arrived in the United States, we were met by my dad and his brother's family at the airport. My cousin Miguel offered me some of his Goldfish crackers. Having traveled all day, I eagerly tried the American snack. In a second I was struck by how artificial and mass produced that little Goldfish cracker was. Thus began my first experience with "culture clash" - I would experience something new and my mind would instantly transport me back to Peru - to the many things that were familiar and natural to me.
As the new kid in school, communication and connection took on greater meaning than ever before. I would look at my classmates and know in my heart that we could be friends. But when I attempted to start a conversation, I became mute. My inability to speak English alienated me at a time when I desperately needed friends. In an unconscious effort to connect, I began to see those things that I longed for - a stranger would suddenly transform into a family member, buses turned into combis and the gray clouds were Lima's sky. My body was in Virginia but my mind and soul were still in Peru.
With each wave of nostalgia, my resolve to control my emotions grew stronger. I was tired of remembering places, people and moments that were absent from my new life. I decided that I would transform those details that made me different into strengths. Each night when the world grew quiet, I would lie in bed and write. Words of pain, fear, frustration and longing came crashing down, often accompanied by silent tears, onto the paper.
As time passed my love of writing emerged and grew stronger. Every night, regardless of the confusion and chaos swirling through my home, I would devote time to writing. I forged a space where I was free from other people's perceptions of me. Words like Latina, Hispanic, Immigrant, and Different shrank in size when compared to myriad alternatives that I could use to create my narrative. Courage, Empathy, Communication and Connection were words that repeatedly penetrated my heart and reminded me of my values as I worked to navigate high school.
"Al que quiere celeste que le cueste", my mother would tell me whenever I grew frustrated by life's challenges. "If you really want something, you have to work for it." I internalized this belief and wove it into the fabric of my life. The harder I worked, the more confident I grew in my abilities. I grew to love my English classes which gave me opportunities to present my writing before an audience. Conversations sprang up and suddenly I was no longer that girl who stood mute, frustrated and alone. I was a young woman who, through the craft of writing, had the opportunity to engage with others.