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Lacking a parental figure, I grew up mature ; QUESTBRIDGE - Challenges


kuh8iee 1 / -  
Sep 26, 2013   #1
We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors caused you to grow?

I've never tried Starbucks until this past summer, I've never been to the movies with my friends until freshman year, I've never been to a school dance until prom junior year, I haven't received Christmas presents from my parents since sixth grade, I haven't eaten shrimp or bacon since sixth grade, I also haven't eaten McDonalds since I watched Super Size Me in eighth grade, and I've never received a grade lower than an A, until IB Physics junior year when I received my first B+ ever (88.7%).

I grew up sheltered because I attended a private school until fifth grade and I was a terribly shy person with two best friends and workaholic parents. Lacking a parental figure, I grew up mature for my age with a very independent personality and outlook on life. I dislike accepting help from others and my goal has always been to be as independent as possible. This came about from my parents' actions in the first ten years of my life. They weren't cruel or abusive, merely absent from my daily life. They were only home on Sundays, but they ran errands all day, and on weekdays, we would wake up at 5:30 A.M. and drive an hour to the city where they worked and where I attended private school. Everyday whether school was in session or not, my older brother and I stayed at my parents' nail salon in a small room, about 8' by 10', until 9 P.M. I usually read books to entertain myself; they were a large part of my early life and I worked my way through the city library, reading anything I could. My love of reading fueled my desire to learn and do well in school, encouraging aspirations of going to college.

This pattern continued until I started sixth grade and my brother graduated high school and left for college. My parents promptly sold their business, enrolling me in a school closer to home. They decided it was time to become more involved in my life and start acting like a family again. However, they were far too late; my independent streak had already been established.

Such long periods of isolation at my parents' nail salon formed a raging curiosity of the outside world and a very strong work ethic concerning academics. My parents expected good grades and even though they weren't there to enforce them, I strived to achieve high marks, genuinely interested in learning. Being alone also fueled my aspirations of traveling and seeing the world through studying international relations. I am fascinated by culture and how other people live on a daily basis because I've always wondered if anyone lived (or lives) like I did. Surely my childhood couldn't have been the norm?

Sixth grade was the turning point in my life. Not only was I attending a new school, but I also learned of a medical condition plaguing my paternal family, hypercholesterolemia. Genetics makes it hard for me to maintain normal cholesterol levels despite being skinny; it's much harder for me than the average person. Even if I exercise religiously (two hours of running and swimming each day) and combine it with a strict diet (cardboard fiber crackers, Fiber One bars and bland oatmeal, no shrimp, bacon or delicious artery clogging foods), my levels don't drop. Such high levels make me twice as susceptible to heart disease in the future. This new direction of my life showed me how to keep trying despite the odds and continue to fight back. My stubbornness and determination to try my best and never give up comes from fighting hypercholesterolemia for so long. I refuse to be reliant on medication and treatment, which is what I'll face in the future if I give up now, so I will always keep trying. This applies to everything I attempt, whether it's athletics, academics, or undertaking new hobbies like snowboarding or roller-skating. Despite falling and failing the first couple of times, by the end of the day, I could snowboard and skate without any assistance as a result of my persistence.

Had my parents not been absent from my life then I would have never learned to be independent and grow into it. If I didn't have genetic hypercholesterolemia, then I would have never faced a tough situation where giving up was not an option; I would have never grown to be hard working, determined or persistent. Despite my hardships, I've learned to build a bridge and get over them because, as cliché as it sounds, life is not fair. Since I can't change the circumstances, I'm going to focus on what I can change and I'm grateful for the way I developed into who I am today.
moonname 6 / 14 2  
Sep 27, 2013   #2
I really enjoyed your essay. I am not professional in English writing but I am almost good in analytical writing in my native language (Persian).

Firstly, the order of the paragraphs of your essay doesn't seem logical. Maybe the second, third, and forth paragraphs of your essay should be arranged in unique paragraph because all of them are focused on one point; in these paragraphs you want to describe the situation in which you grew up as a effective factor of developing your personality.

Another point is about the introduction. you mention a lot of experiences of yours along your life and it really attracts readers initially but it is almost vague. In my opinion, you should say something to show your reader what you really mean and what you want to say in your essay. it is an important principle to clarify exact object of your writing in the introduction.
dumi 1 / 6,927 1592  
Sep 29, 2013   #3
I've never tried Starbucks until this past summer, I've never been to the movies with my friends until freshman year, I've never been to a school dance until prom junior year, I haven't received Christmas presents from my parents since sixth grade, I haven't eaten shrimp or bacon since sixth grade, I also haven't eaten McDonalds since I watched Super Size Me in eighth grade, and I've never received a grade lower than an A, until IB Physics junior year when I received my first B+ ever (88.7%).

I like the way you give a start to it :)

I disliked accepting help from others and my goal has always been to be as independent as possible.

... I guess you better keep it past tense to let it flow smoothly, you are talking about the past.

This came about from my parents' actions in the first ten years of my life.

This was a result of my parents actions in the first ten years of my life.


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