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"Acne Struggles" - UC Prompt 1, "Guidance Through Control" - UC Prompt 2

BluFiascoStarr 1 / 1  
Nov 27, 2010   #1
Hi. I've rewritten both prompts many times and I think I'm satisfied with my topics. But I need feedback on these rough essays. Thanks for the help.

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

I pretended I couldn't listen to her, but the young girl's loud whispers unintentionally struck me every second she spoke to her father. The whispers were louder than the booming engines of the bus we were in and continued to get louder. "Daddy, look at his face! Do you see it? Look at it! It's so red!" I continued to look towards the front of the bus, eagerly waiting to escape this insecurity and get off on my stop. But at that point, I could've settled with any stop.

My acne problems began in sixth grade and continued to get worse. I became more self-conscious of my acne, checking my face everyday before school to make sure all the giant white toppings on the brightly red zits were removed. My bathroom became more crowded with acne relief products. Neutrogena. Pro-Active. Clean-and-Clear. They all claimed to cure this disease everybody stares at, but none of them worked.

My acne continued to get worse in high school. Everywhere I went, I felt like everyone stared at me. I felt more insecure about my looks. I didn't make eye contact with others and I used my hands to try covering up some of my acne. Even in basketball practice, people would tell me my nose was bleeding whenever I got hit on the nose. But it wasn't. Even my friends tried to persuade me to buy chips for their fundraiser by telling me my face couldn't get any worse. Even my closest friends constantly called me "zit farm." I wanted to hide my face from the world.

But the longer I grew acne, the more I realized my complaints weren't helping, but blinding me from this very world I wanted to hide from, which I see consists of many people who experience far more troubling problems. I had always been so obsessed with my acne that I never bothered to look out the bus window and see all the other problems people face. I realized that problems faced in life are what make life beautiful. And the beauty of life is to overcome these problems we all face. So I began to help others overcome the problems they have. I began to mentor struggling freshmen students to prepare themselves for college and the future. I helped my local church by organizing materials and events. I even paint-sprayed 100 digits of the unlimited digits in the math term "pie" on my school's building during campus cleanup to promote the learning environment of the students. And as for me, I learned that to overcome my struggle with acne, I must accept it for who I am, not for what I am.

I continue to ride the bus, and I see the peoples of the world looking to solve problems by attending college. To encounter this atmosphere at your University, that is where I want to stop next.

Prompt #2: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

I stood parallel to the ground on the edge of a sixty-foot cliff, sweating through my gloves as I held the rope tightly. One crucial mistake and my life would come to an end; my mind furiously raced with regret for joining this Camp Coca-Cola program, as this activity of rappelling brought me over the edge, literally. I quickly grasped onto the rope with both hands, trying to pull myself back to the haven of flat land and ignoring the instructor's warning of doing so. I lost control as I fell to my right side but stayed attached to the cliff as my hand was pinned down between the tightened rope and the cliff. But the rope soon came loose and I rapidly fell, thinking that I was going to die. Luckily, the fireman's belay below the cliff tightened the rope fast enough to stop me over halfway through my descent. I realized that this mistake was due to my timid action and that I need to control myself in rappelling as well as life.

Self-control was highly needed in my first two years of camp. The abundance of foreign activities overwhelmed me as my Los Angeles city roots found it hard to thrive on Wyoming soil. As I took the reins of a 1,000-pound horse for treks across rivers and mountains, hiked for miles going up and down hills with a fifty-pound backpack pulling down on me and dozens of needle-and-thread grass tips stuck in my socks pushing against my skin, and interacted with people across the city despite my timidity, I knew that managing myself was the only way to move forward.

The first two years of camp readied me for the third, when the name changed to C5 Youth Foundation. Instead of the usual month of summer camp, a week was set to canoe 72 miles of the Missouri River. No showers. No beds. No problem, I initially thought. But now I had to control others; as one of the leaders of the arduous journey, I had to decide what routes to take, where to sleep, and how to live. I would scream across the river to my lazy peers to speed up and to watch out for rocks and tell them to limit themselves when eating the limited supply of dried food and water. I never knew governing others would be so hard. The burning sun and one hundred mosquito bites I received on the first day didn't help either. And yes, I counted.

As the group approached the 72nd mile, the counselors and campers thanked me for guiding them as they knew the goal of seven days would've been extended without me. I then became aware of how others weren't in control of themselves.

The concluding and fifth year of the C5 program approached; the directors proposed to the Los Angeles school district an ACT Now summit, where the students in C5LA design and organize presentations about college to help high school students of all grades across the city. It was approved. From the summer to November, in the midst of schoolwork and college applications, we researched and prepared to help students in a school district where only half the students graduate high school. During the summit, we became confident, teaching others and influencing their future decisions. And after each of my workshops, the students applauded and thanked me and my group. To my surprise, I had helped and influenced them to try harder academically and to make good decisions. It is after five years of C5LA when I learned that through my control, I can help others take control of their own lives. Knowing this brings a smile to my face.

As I reflect on my years in C5LA, I see how I needed the control of camp for me to take control of my own life. One program, one group, one person can really make a difference.
Laurenne 2 / 5  
Nov 27, 2010   #2
Hello :) Your first prompt caught my eye...

You did a fairly good job in the developement of you essay, but there were a couple of areas that were unclear.

This confused me:But the longer I grew acne, Are you trying to say the longer that you've had acne?

Even in basketball practice, people would tell me my nose was bleeding whenever I got hit on the nose.
Maybe you could rephrase it: Even during basketball practice, after a ball to the face, people would tell me my nose was bleeding, when it was not.

I also think that your last sentence could be rephrased.

Good luck on your admissions.
DDH35 3 / 3  
Nov 27, 2010   #3
The first prompt was engaging with the opening, but I would fix the first line.

I pretended I couldn't listen to her to I pretented I couldn't hear her,

Everywhere I went, I felt like everyone stared at me -> Everywhere I went, I felt like someone was staring at me. Or something more descriptive like I felt like a museum exhibit.

Overall, it was pretty good. Be sure to emphasize what you want to do when you grow up, not necessarily just attending the college.
j1ngye 2 / 4  
Nov 27, 2010   #4
i think you should improve the last sentence with more passion about why do you want to stop at a college giving more details about the problems :)
OP BluFiascoStarr 1 / 1  
Nov 28, 2010   #5
Thanks everybody for the feedback..helped alot in my revisions

Home / Undergraduate / "Acne Struggles" - UC Prompt 1, "Guidance Through Control" - UC Prompt 2
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