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"balance; my father did not die in a car accident" - Personal Information Essay

cmcd 3 / 11  
Nov 24, 2010   #1
I really think I need help for this essay, especially my last paragraph. I didn't dwell too much over the topic and just wrote about past experiences a bit. Some critique on structure and phrasings would be greatly appreciated!

Prompt: There may personal information that you want considered as part of your admissions application. Write an essay describing that information. You might include exceptional hardships, challenges, or opportunities that have shaped or impacted your abilities or academic credentials, personal responsibilities, exceptional achievements or talents, educational goals, or ways in which you might contribute to an institution committed to creating a diverse learning environment.


Although I may still wish it true, my father did not die in a car accident like I used pretend when I was a child. We all keep our secrets, hopefully for good reasons. I kept my father's existence a secret from my life because I was ashamed. I did not want people to know where my father was or what he did because, frankly, I wasn't so sure myself.

It is only through my mother that I learned of what happened. I suppose he was not ready to father a son, nor was he prepared to provide for a family. That is the excuse I give myself for why he left us. It may be hard to imagine recalling memories at the age of four, but I can remember the day my father left. He gave us that same smirk that he always made and said "I'll see you on Friday, I promise," as he boarded the 7:30 train and took off.

He moved to Bangladesh that same week and, after my parents got divorced, he never wrote or called again. He never even paid for child support, which was especially difficult on my mother since she was still trying to pay off college loans. I tried to lessen my mother's burden by helping her with work and by comforting her whenever she needed it. Life was not as flawless as my innocent mind had believed, and I started to close off relationships and keep to myself. The only real comfort that I ever found was in self-expression. I picked up the guitar when I was around fourteen and I haven't been able to put it down since. The more that I excluded myself to the world, the more comfort I found in music. My grades started to suffer, but I cared the least.

It was only thanks to my mother that I found balance in my life once again. As I matured, I learned that the key to success was to take things in small doses and to never obsess over anything. I used to feel that it was my fault that my father left and that I was causing my mother all her stress. Then I found that, through balance, things seemed to appear in lighter tone. I found that I could help my mother with her work and still have time to fit my life around music and school. By the time we moved to Texas, my grades had taken a huge loss, but I was prepared to bring them up to speed.

The educational system here in Texas is a lot more competitive than the school districts I knew of in New Jersey. Competitive or not, being distracted for two years of high school can be a huge disadvantage when joining a new school. More than just grades, however, I felt as if I didn't really fit in with the society in general. After my mother got laid off from work, the last place I would have expected to be was Texas. Nonetheless, I became accustomed to the lifestyle over time and I also began to work much more efficiently. My grades started to pick up and helping my mother became less of an issue.

Although I may not have had the head-start that I wanted to achieve during the first two years of high school, I believe that I have put forth enough effort to be worthy of going to college. I know that I have the potential to be very successful in life and I hope to keep my dedication towards education burning for years ahead. At the University of Texas, I will put my best foot forward and I will not worry about personal distractions because I have learned how to control my emotions and balance my life.

meg0114 - / 3  
Nov 24, 2010   #2
The first part is really well written I believe. The end is a bit hasty; you spend a lot of time detailing everything that's happened and then -BAM!- like a bomb you drop the conclusion, so yeah maybe revise that a bit, add some details... Hmmmm you might want to add more about how you will contribute to the university.
OP cmcd 3 / 11  
Nov 24, 2010   #3
You're right the ending was a bit hasty. Thanks for the input I think I'll need to revise my last paragraph.
OP cmcd 3 / 11  
Nov 25, 2010   #4
If anyone else could edit my paper and give me a few ideas about how to fix the essay it would really be great. I'm getting a little stumped on what to add to it :(
OP cmcd 3 / 11  
Nov 25, 2010   #5
I've changed my paper around a bit and hope that this can be my final draft. Again, any input would be really great.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Dec 7, 2010   #6
When you put 2 sentences together as a compound sentence, use a comma before the conjunction:
My grades started to pick up, and helping my mother became less of an issue.

This essay has very well structured sentences, and it makes me want to know about the significance of this act of denying that he had left and pretending that he had died in an accident... dies by accident instead of leaving on purpose. I think you should write more about that at the end!


Also, at the beginning of the essay I think you should introduce the idea of learning to balance your emotions in a way that has benefited you many times -- and knowing that the balance came from having to cope with the sad situation.

That way, when you talk about balancing your emotions at the end, it will complete the idea you introduced at the beginning.
dlanki - / 24  
Dec 7, 2010   #7
great essay.

i like the way it flows and the varied constructions. I am sure you will have an exallent chance of admission.

Hey, please look at my essay, it need serious work.

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