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QuestBridge College Prep Personal Statement (500 words)

shiet1 2 / 3 1  
Mar 22, 2014   #1
I need it to be really descriptive within 500 words.
Here's the prompt: 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?

Being a first generation college student is like being taken up in a plane, being given a parachute, and being asked to jump alone. You strap on the parachute because it was given to you, but you don't know how to utilize it land successfully. Senior year you make the jump alone. Other people have instructors, parents to show them how to jump, open the parachute, and so on. You plummet to the ground, flailing, trying to find hold onto empty space, shouting questions that echo with no answer and try to avoid seemingly inevitable failure.

I remember the moment I realized I was going to college. I took the ACT in ninth grade and scored a twenty-nine. That is not a top-notch score, but to me it was my ticket to a future. Growing up in the Tennessee public schools means growing up where higher education takes a backseat. Most students go onto technical school or the local community college; some go to the state school down the road. Many don't go anywhere at all, cutting off their potential in high school. I thought I was going to be one of those kids. A four-year college degree was expensive, even at a state school. Then I got a twenty-nine. Suddenly I saw I was not bound to follow the path of my peers, the path of my parents; I could pave my own path. I looked into AP courses that my school offered, stayed in the honors program, and studied rigorously to keep straight A's. I started researching colleges, looking at rankings, programs, statistics, and financial aid. In that moment, I realized I could go to college and became determined to do so; my ACT gave me my parachute.

As my junior year approached, I came to another realization: I was about to jump out of the plane. My ACT gave me a parachute but still no help. College was a secret code, with letters like CSS and FASFA. I went to my guidance counselor, and he dismissed me with a harried flick of the hand. I began with what I knew: I researched colleges on my own; I could research how to get into colleges on my own. I poured over tutorials, YouTube videos, and blogs dedicated to helping first generation students like myself, learning what it took to be a successful applicant.

Being a first-generation student has been my greatest challenge and advantage. The challenge of finding the determination to go to college and navigating the college process is formidable for first generation students, however, without that challenge, I would not be who I am today: an independent student. I work hard after school to save for college; I study rigorously to make the grades I need for scholarships and admission. Truly, if I had not had the pressure and challenge of being a first-generation student, I would not be the knowledgeable and well-rounded applicant I am today: it is my greatest advantage. I can make the jump alone.
LissaMaw 1 / 2  
Mar 22, 2014   #2
I think its pretty good,it is very descriptive too,so i think u have thoroughly met that requirement. And i really like the intro,it keeps it interesting

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