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'beautiful haunting experience' - UF Application


ManarN 2 / 4  
Oct 23, 2011   #1

Lebanon Experience



It was big, red, and shiny. I looked at it with a wide-eyed wonder, and hopped on it as soon as I could. Riding a bicycle was a new concept to me, and I was extremely eager to learn. My exuberant elation, however, led to my dismay as I fell countless times onto the unforgiving concrete floor. A spiteful hatred built within me and I refused to get back on what was then considered to be my enemy. That was until my father uttered those same words that resonate in my head today: "Darling, the darkness doesn't do anything but give you the chance to light a candle." And that is what I did everyday from then on. I lit a candle.

When life gives me an opportunity to cry, whine, and groan, I give a complacent shrug and do something about it. One time this has taken place was during the summer of 2006. My family and I were in Lebanon, completely oblivious to the cataclysm that was about to take place. When the first bomb was dropped, panic engulfed the nation, and took hold of my family. Yet, just when I was about to lose hope, that familiar song chimed in my head: "light a candle". We moved fast and found a safe place to stay, and I made it my goal to help at least another family make it through the darkness that held the country in shackles.

While driving around the broken streets of Lebanon with my family, I ran into the Nassers, a family whose home had been destroyed by a bomb. I invited them to come live with us for a while until they found a place to stay. They had a daughter my age named Renna. Not only has she become my best friend, but we now look back on what should be the most terrifying days of our lives, and smile. I found a feeble sliver of light in one of the darkest of situations, and turned it into an omnipotent ray.

I am stronger now. Because of that beautifully haunting experience, I know I am capable of anything. When people ask others about a girl named Manar, they get the same answer: Oh, she is the one that is always smiling. Whether I have strenuous exams, projects, or homework, I continue to walk around with a smile on my face and do all I possibly can to thrive through these times. In fact, I see them more as opportunities rather than burdens. I am also more responsible now. Though somewhat unorthodox to think about, I do believe I have gained intellectual competency, integrity, and assiduousness from this incident due to figuring out all the things in this world I have yet to learn. After all, these are what I consider to be the most important traits in a student.

With every task I receive, a soft shadow of my experience in Lebanon is cast over me, reminding me that even through the most difficult of situations, there is a way. This shadow, I know, comes from the candle I have learned to light every day of my life. I am a changed person. These experiences have made me the student I am today, because now, despite all the agonizing pain and stress that school perpetually lays upon me, I know that there is always a reason to smile.

AHHH its supposed to be 400-500 words and this is wellllll over 500 hahaha, and i feel like i talked way too muchhh. And i used "I" too much. And i'm just kinda meh about the whole thing ahhh :(. Anyway, ANYY suggestions are welcome. Thank you so much in advance :)
leviator 7 / 39  
Dec 9, 2011   #2
...get back on what was then considered to be my enemy.

get back on what I then considered to be an enemy.

When you're talking about the other family, and your best friend, do elaborate a little on the experiences you shared, both negative and positive.

Also, talk more about the problems you overcame, and why the experience was haunting, specifically to you. This could be a vivid explanation of the fear and misery you felt.

I do believe I have gained intellectual competency,
how did you gain intellectual competency?

The candle metaphor is good. You should use it in one of the middle paragraphs as well.

I think your essay is really genuine and nice to read. Just make it a little more descriptive. Good luck with the rest of your application! :-)


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