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an asian family -UC personal statement: Describe the world you come from [...]


Juniper_Jumper 5 / 39  
Nov 23, 2009   #1
Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

By the time I was seven, my sister had already graduated. All I ever heard was her greatness. My parents would always say, "you should be more like your sister. Look at all her medals!" And it was true, when we moved only two years later, we had to throw away two boxes of trophies because she just had too many.

As a seven year old, and a seven year old from an asian family at that, all I ever heard was get into a good college. At seven years old, my bar was set for me and my parents would always point out to me that she went to a great college with a merit scholarship. That was my life. I was embodied in this atmosphere of nothing but success.

I grew up like this, being a kid only when I could sneak a few moments of television when my parents weren't home. Otherwise, I was in my room doing math problems. My dad would check for quality and quantity every night. If it wasn't 500 problems solved with a minimum 95% correct, it meant a smack on the head and an extra hour of piano practice.

That was who I was when I entered high school. Freshman year I did everything I did everything I was told to: come home, give a report on how school was going including daily reports on pop quizzes and tennis. My parents were very concerned with my education. They would constantly advise what extracurriculars I should do and I was reprimanded for having too much or too little.

Regardless of the rigidity of my family life, I came to love the clubs. It was at these clubs and organizations I met the jocks of the tennis team, the select group of newspaper, the "nerds" of Academic Decathlon, but nothing could have prepared me for Speech and Debate.

They were not your ordinary kids you saw at lunch. Speech and Debate was made by the "Hill" kids. They were your weird ones, the emo, the hippies, the rednecks. Many of them were not even in the International Baccalaureate, whom I've been most accustomed to. Needless to say, when practice first started, it was awkward because I had my predispositions against them. 'Why was I here? Wow, I'm so not cool anymore.' I thought to myself. But as practice went on, I was incredibly surprised to discover that they were very talented people, despite their appearance.

I became good friends with them and went along with their wacky ideas like the Panda dance. But the real shocker came during Tin Foil Hat day. All day we wore tin foil hats: bowlers, Lincoln stovepipe hats, and so forth. Afterwards, I went along with tennis to an away match. On the bus ride, a senior varsity member said, "You're friends with those people? Man, and I thought you were cool." I was shocked, not because he would say something like that, but I was selfishly thinking, oh no. I'm not cool anymore. But then I turned around to see the rest of the varsity team taking turns wearing it and having a good time. It was then I realized, it's okay to be different. I didn't need to be the typical asian kid who took a lunch box to school, or be a tennis jock, or anybody but me.

But after three years of knowing these people, it's hard to change who they view me as. But with a tin foil hat in mind and no boundaries, I hope to find myself in college. I aspire to define myself over the next four years, and the question is only where. I really hope it would be at your campus.

Any comments/editing would be appreciated! And it's a bit long, so suggestions on cutting it down would be also welcome! Thanks!
longyue 1 / 17  
Nov 23, 2009   #2
I think you honestly tell readers ur genuine confusion about defining yourself and your hoping to

discover yourself in college. however, you spared so many words only DESCRIBING ur

surroundings, but abandon the important point "how these things shape who u are". my suggestion

is focusing on how two seemingly opposite views stimulate your motivation to challenge

yourself in the future. When you could forget about others' definitions of you and respite the

conventional ideas, you have grown up and found who you truly are.

This is just my opinions. Take whatever u want.
HelpPls 5 / 23  
Nov 23, 2009   #3
"As a seven year old, and a seven year old from an asian family at that"

-It might be just me but this sentence is a bit awkward.

"I grew up like this, being a kid only when I could sneak a few moments of television when my parents weren't home."

Are you sure you want to say this? It might make adcoms think you're a little irresponsible.
nkhattri 6 / 33  
Nov 23, 2009   #4
By the time I was seven, my sister had already graduated. All I ever heard was her greatness.
-- By the time I was seven, my sister had already graduated and all I had ever heard of was her greatness.

And it was true, when we moved only two years later, we had to throw away two boxes of trophies because she just had too many.

--It waswas true, when we moved two yearse later, we threw away two boxes of her trophies because she had too many. -- Don't start a sentence with AND.

As a seven year old, and a seven year old from an asian family at that, all I ever heard was get into a good college. At seven years old, my bar was set for me and my parents would always point out to me that she went to a great college with a merit scholarship. That was my life. I was embodied in this atmosphere of nothing but success.

As a seven year old from an Asian family, my bar was set for me by my parents who would consistently point out the importance of getting accepted into a great college with a merit scholarship. Growing up, I was embodied in atmosphere that strived for nothing but success.

- I think adding the "from an asian family at that", is cliche. Many asians apply to UC colleges, and it's cliche to say.

STOP. using stereotypes in your writing. It does nothing to advance your meaning or to bring clarity in your essay.

Regardless of the rigidity of my family life, I came to love the clubs. It was at these clubs and organizations I met the jocks of the tennis team, the select group of newspaper, the "nerds" of Academic Decathlon, but nothing could have prepared me for Speech and Debate.

They were not your ordinary kids you saw at lunch. Speech and Debate was made by the "Hill" kids. They were your weird ones, the emo, the hippies, the rednecks

- get rid of it, EXPLAIN the stereotypes, don't just show, EXPLAIN.
TimMill 9 / 63  
Nov 23, 2009   #5
Hey Juniper Jumper

Your essay is good. It portrays you in a good light, past-academic wise, and it demonstrates your humanity.

You have three very distinct ideas, though, and they don't tie together too well. First, you've got your sister, then, your parent's merciless competitive drive, third, your speech and debate club. Your sister, especially, doesn't tie in with your essay, and you don't really clarify how she shaped you.

Also, you demonstrate that you have years of practice doing math problems and tons of schoolwork, but you don't truly demonstrate any personal will to succeed- how do the adcoms know that you wont stop working once your parents aren't there to force you?
OP Juniper_Jumper 5 / 39  
Nov 23, 2009   #6
Wow, I'm sorry for the premature comment, I didn't refresh my page so I only saw one comment. Thank you very much people!


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