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"Why is America the greatest country in the world?" COMMON APP PERSONAL STATEMENT - Solve a problem

daisyidk 2 / 2 2  
Oct 8, 2016   #1
Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

My initial reaction was confusion. As we drove down the unfamiliar street, -- a street more uncluttered and undisturbed than the kinds I had grown up to know -- I counted up to 15 American flags in less than 20 minutes. I wondered why people would need to be reminded of what their flag looked like so often. Was there an amnesia epidemic in this country? My father had somehow noticed my curiosity even with his eyes still plastered on the road.

"Why is America the greatest country in the world?"

I was taken aback. Rather than posing an actual question, he was looking for me to verify his preconceptions. America was quite the spectacle, a fantasy almost. But I hadn't yet accepted it to be the greatest country in the world. I hadn't seen half of the world yet so how could I know? I didn't have an answer for him, so he answered it for himself.

"It's the greatest in the world because it provides equal opportunities for everybody, unlike Nigeria" he told me.

His words processed in my head as I tried to come up with a quick reply. Once more, I was at a loss for words. My father continued,

"In Nigeria, it's all about who you know. Over here, anything is possible as long as you work hard enough."

I was confused again. But this time not on the topic of flags, but rather confused on why i was slowly growing irritated. Thoughts raced through my head that I would not allow to spill through my mouth. How could he denounce the country that gave him life? Why must he bring one country down to lift another country up? I came to realize my father had turned his back on our country; he had left it behind to rot. Nigeria might have had problems, but every country did, didn't they? I turned my attention again to the street and caught glimpse of more flags. I stared at each red, white, and blue emblem drifting in the evening breeze, boasting American principles of freedom and equality, a rich history, and the country's status as an international superpower. My confusion transitioned into envy. Indeed, America was a dream. I dreamt this same dream for my motherland.

On the first day of October, Nigeria's Independence Day, the people reflect on the state of their country and in place of the feelings of pride that independence days are intended to evoke, they are afflicted with feelings of dismay. Rather than to celebrate their past on this day, Nigerians pray for a better future.

In Nigeria, survival of the fittest is based upon how extensive one's networks are, rather than the actual skills of the individual. The country is run by people motivated by greed and consequently it fails as money falls into the wrong hands. The people are not treated as priority because these "leaders" only look out for their own best interest. Despite their country's independence, the people depend on themselves for their own prosperity and carry the nation on their backs. They are tired of being fixated in a cycle of corruption. They are tired of fending for a country that doesn't fend for them. So how do they cope? They refuse to be dragged down with their country, so they flee to "the greatest country in the world" or the likes, and never turn back. I wouldn't allow myself to be dragged down with her either. I will raise her up. The difference between my father and I is that I refuse to leave my country behind. I will turn back with more to offer than I left with. With more to offer than I would have if I stayed. Then I will take the necessary steps to reform her into what somebody will refer to as "the greatest country in the world".

halinhtrang 1 / 2  
Oct 10, 2016   #2
Hi Daisy. I was totally impressed by your essay as well as your patriotism. Hope your beautiful love will last long.
Best regard.
OP daisyidk 2 / 2 2  
Oct 12, 2016   #3
Thanks so much, Ha Linh Trang!

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