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My Biographical Essay for QuestBridge: my vision will become my reality


sunkistgirl 1 / -  
Sep 19, 2010   #1
Hi! I am trying to do my best with this essay for QuestBridge. Please be honest. No sugar-coating for me please! Any feedback would greatly help me. Thanks!

Biographical Essay



We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors caused you to grow? (800 word limit) *

Is there such a thing as control? Having control over everything is an illusion. Nobody has the power to control who the parents are, the birthplace, or another person's actions. However, it is up to me to use what I cannot control to discipline myself and to grow stronger. It's decided by me to live my life to the fullest no matter what others may say. This is my vision, my story and no one else's. Once I figured that out, I realized that there is no limit to what I can do in order to achieve my aspirations.

My mom also had many dreams, yet she had to put them on hold. Mom had my brother Darius and me to take care when she was eighteen. My dad was twenty-two, and he dropped out of school and joined the navy. We never lived together as a family, but I had settled into a rhythm. My rhythm was destroyed one day when Daddy cheated on Mom. As a result, my half-brother Jaquan was born. My mom took Darius and me away, and we went to live with my great-grandmother. This started a long chain of broken promises. Daddy promised that he would see us every other weekend. However, we saw him less and less. It was devastating he didn't come because I would be thrilled to see him. Whenever I did see him, I had to deal with his girlfriend Angie and her daughter Jasmine. Angie tried to force me to call her mom and to call Jasmine my sister. To this day, I have never called her mom or Jasmine my sister. When I get older, I don't want my kids to go through the frustrations that I had to deal with. There will be absolutely no kids until I am married to someone that I know I can trust.

When I do marry, I want to have a home. A home is place where I can be an active member of a community and settle down. I haven't had a home since Mom married my stepdad Charles and moved us to Northern Virginia. I was adjusting to my new life; I was even accepted into a math and science program. After four years though, I was uprooted once again. We moved to Georgia into a three-bedroom apartment because Charles's job transferred him. By then, our family had three new additions -Romeo, Delilyah, and Adrianna. We lived in that apartment for about a year until Charles was laid-off. Since no income was coming in, our family moved in with his aunt's family in North Carolina. There was twelve people living in her trailer, it was chaotic. Thankfully, eight months later, he found a job with IBM. We moved back to Georgia into the house that we are currently renting. I don't want this for my future family. Having to readjust repeatedly after being uprooted abruptly is exasperating.

I love to travel and experience new things, but it's hard for me to resettle. I have a hair disorder that causes me to be bald on the sides of my head. When I was young, I was harassed often. I would run home crying to Mom and not want to go back to school. I loved to learn, but the comments people made hurt. My brother Darius used to taunt me too; his remarks hurt the most because he was family. I also didn't do the things that a "typical" black girl did. For example, I read a lot and tried to speak grammatically correct. People would say why are you talking like a white girl? You think you are better than us? No, of course I didn't think that at all. I was just a girl with a big heart that loved to learn. Because my heart was so immense, it was easily broken by the derisions I received. I continued to do what I liked to do though, and even found good friends that like to do some of the things I did.

Every challenge I have faced has made me the person I am today. I am a strong, black female with many passions. I'm not afraid of doing things that are not considered "black". I treasure the fact that I can step outside of those boundaries. I am proud that I'm not perfect nor have had a perfect life. I have accepted the way I look and will embrace it. Every obstacle was placed before me for a reason. They were here to help me grow. Being in control over everything is an illusion. However, if I believe I can, then there is no limit to what I can do. My vision is set, and one day, my vision will become my reality.

ershad193 14 / 337 5  
Sep 20, 2010   #2
However, it is up to me to use what I cannot control to discipline myself and to grow stronger.

What do you mean in the highlighted part? In what context are you using the word stronger? What aspect of your personality do you discipline?

There will be absolutely no kids until I am married to someone that I know I can trust.

I think the paragraph ends on a better note if you leave out this sentence.
If you do remove it, change the first sentence of the next paragraph accordingly.

There waswere twelve people living in her trailer; it was chaotic. --- note that I replaced the comma with a semicolon

ShaKayla, I'm not sure if I identified your theme correctly. First, you talked about the uniqueness of your attitude towards life. You followed it up by describing some experiences. However, I couldn't see how those things are connected. In the fourth and the fifth paragraphs, you went back to the initial premise. That's why I couldn't identify a single unifying theme.

So what's your theme?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Sep 21, 2010   #3
No sugar-coating for me please!

hahaha, not even a little?

It's decided by me to

Don't use this structure. This is what they call "the passive voice" and in this case it is really unnecessary.

I decide to ...

Having control over everything is an illusion. ---if you write this, you need to also give a sentence that tells how someone can be having an illusion that they are in control of life.

Having to readjust repeatedly after being uprooted abruptly is exasperating.

Yes, but you don't want to spend your whole life in one place, do you?

Because my heart was so immense, it was easily broken by the derisions I received. I continued to do what I liked to do though, and even found good friends that like to do some of the things I did.----here, I love the first sentence, but the second sentence should be changed to say something different; in addition to saying what you did, also let the last sentence of this and other paragraphs help to answer this part of the prompt:

How have these factors caused you to grow?


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