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Absent parents / Taekwondo - I cant decide which essay to use for my common app essay...

srirams 2 / 6  
Dec 6, 2008   #1
Essay #1

On a seemingly ordinary day in India, my whole life changed. As a child, I went through various tragic experiences that most kids never have to experience. One such tragedy took place when I was three years old; my mother was killed in a train accident. Even though he was physically alive, my father died that day as well. He became an alcoholic and a workaholic. While my father was mourning, my grandparents pampered my brother and me so we would not miss a mother's love. Although I was only three years old, I still felt the impact of my mother's death and since then, I have not been able to be close to anyone for fear of losing them.

Because of both my parents' absences in my childhood, I grew up with no restrictions. As a result, I became unruly, and completely spoiled. Although my grandparents were with me, they did not try to control me. I used to bully other kids in my school and get into a considerable amount of trouble. However, there was a reason for all my misbehavior: I wanted attention. I wanted my father to play with me and talk to me. But, he was still in shock and was not able to take care of my brother and me.

However, on one Friday night in India, I saw a light in my father's eyes, a light of hope and happiness. When he introduced the woman he brought as my mother-to-be, I was a little confused. Although I was happy that my father seemed more lively, I did not understand why we needed anyone else. Unlike the rest of my family, my step-mother did not pity me. In the beginning, I hated her for this. However, as time progresses, I grew to appreciate her perseverance against my stubborn attitudes. For example, I used to never do my homework or keep my room clean. After my step-mom came into my life, I improved. Although I do not always like how my step-mother tries to teach me, I understand her good intentions.

Also, other than improvements in activities, I have become a better person because of my step-mother. As mentioned previously, I used to bully other kids because I wanted attention from the kids and the teachers. With my step-mom, I feel less insecure and I feel that I can finally open up to others. My relationship with other students as well as my family members has improved tremendously over the last four years and I give the credit to my step-mother.

After six years of living with my step-mom and moving to America, I can say that I have become a completely different person. Sometimes I think, "What if my mother had not died?" and "What if my dad had not married my step-mother?" What kind of life would I have had? Through these questions, I have come to realize this: my mother's death brought sorrow and my step-mother's arrival brought happiness. Although I would have loved to have known what my real mother was like, I love my life right now and would not change anything. Because of these experiences, my life will never be the same and I would not have it any other way.

Essay #2

My life has been a roller coaster of events, some good and some bad. However, they have all worked to shape me in a positive way. Growing up in a poor environment, I endured many hardships. As a result, I have become a tough yet sensitive person. At that time, this was a problem for me because I found it hard to control my erratic emotions. Because of my mother's death, my relatives felt the need to pamper me and thus, I was allowed to do whatever I wanted. Subsequently, to get attention, I got into fights at schools and created trouble for all the students. For the most part, those fights were initiated by an insult of my mother. While I believed that I was doing the right thing by protecting my mother's reputation, other children and families were getting hurt.

Yet, after coming to America, I realized that I needed a different way to release my emotions. Therefore, I joined a Taekwondo class. Taekwondo is a martial art that involves techniques that can be used as defense or offense. Through these classes I have learned to control my anger and use that anger in a good way. Now, when I feel angry or upset, I practice taekwondo to let out my feelings. In addition to that, I use my anger as inspiration for my work. For instance, my step-mother and I have several disagreements about how she treats me and how I live my life. When I feel angry or frustrated after a fight, I delve into my homework. This helps me channel all my negative energy and anger into my work. Although I may still lose control every now and then, I have learned that the best way to resolve a situation is by calmly thinking it through.

Taekwondo, especially, has been a life changing experience. I joined martial arts to find some sort of relief from all the anger I felt towards the world, other people and myself. I was lucky; by practicing martial arts, I became a humble and calm person. Once, I was conceited and I intimidated girls my age because I was stronger than them. Thus, I became known as a bully and an outcast. However, on the first day of martial arts class, when I saw the black belts practicing, I realized that there were people stronger than me and I finally felt that I belonged somewhere.

Although I cannot change my past and what I have gone through, I can change my future and how I will react to others. Through the various experiences in my life, I have learned to forgive and be forgiven. Also, I have realized the gravity of my bad actions and how they affect not only my life but also the lives of people who surround me. Do I regret my misbehavior in the past? Yes, I do. But, instead of dwelling the past, I live in the present and strive to make myself a better person.

Also, i would love it if someone could proof read them...

Thank you very much!
mgrand64 - / 2  
Dec 7, 2008   #2
What are the requirements for the essay? I like the first one better. The second one would require quite a bit of editing.
OP srirams 2 / 6  
Dec 7, 2008   #3
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

I also liked the first one but i felt that it wasn't focused enough...
vkwang 7 / 16  
Dec 7, 2008   #4
"One such tragedy took place when I was three years old; my mother was killed in a train accident. Even though he was physically alive, my father died that day as well." <~ i was a little confused after reading this, i thought there was a typo that meant that your mother was still physically alive

those are both really good essays
OP srirams 2 / 6  
Dec 7, 2008   #5
alright thank you!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 7, 2008   #6
You have to choose one with your intuition, I guess. The essay you choose may have consequences that reach far into your future! Perhaps you could combine them, incorporating the best parts of both into a single essay.
OP srirams 2 / 6  
Dec 7, 2008   #7
Thank you everyone. I think I will choose the one with the martial arts because it incorporates my the effect of my mother's death as well as martial arts.
YQN - / 1  
Dec 18, 2008   #8
If you find it really difficult to combine them, I suggest you to use the second one.
Because it reveals more about you~
Good Luck~
Kobe24 5 / 9  
Dec 20, 2008   #9
It might be better to leave a blank line between two adjacent paragraphs
ilcmc /  
Dec 20, 2008   #10
Well, from a fellow peer's perspective, I think the first one is a lot more revealing to your character, especially the background you come from, which is extremely important. Like previous posts mentioned, go with your intuition, but always have in mind: Which one is me?

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