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Bump in the road/Environment influenced me

alexabishop 1 / 5  
Oct 24, 2009   #1
Hey, this is my personal statement for UCF. The minimum is 500 words and this is pretty much it. Feel free to critique me on how specifically to make them better! (But not longer "/). Thanks in advance, guys!

Prompt: If there has been some obstacle or "bump in the road," in your academic or personal life, please explain the circumstances.

It was in fourth grade that I noticed things out of place- my father sleeping at his office, my mother crying when she thought I was occupied, hushed fighting after I had been put to bed. These stray occurrences foreshadowed a malevolent divorce that led to a faulty and, later, nonexistent relationship with my father. The initial "bump in the road," my parents' divorce, became a ceaseless hill. At first, it was a war of custody. Naturally, my three siblings and I lived with our mother at home and visited our father every weekend at his new house. But this did not satisfy him. He made the decision to use us as a weapon to debilitate our mother. As a young child, I had no awareness of his manipulations. After a couple years, many sessions with a counselor, and finding out that my father had cheated on my mother for the entirety of my life, I lost all respect for him. I came to the resolution to no longer see him and break all communication with him. Though this may sound austere, I feel I am far better situated to succeed in life with him out of my life. My mother is more than capable of parenting me and leading me in the right direction. She is the paragon of a mother, a father, a best friend, and a role model.

Prompt: How has your family history, culture or environment influenced who you are?

"The music is all around us, all you have to do is listen." And I have been listening long before I can remember. The language of music has been part of my background, my environment, my culture, and my roots for my entire life. My first memorable contact with music was at 5 years old when my parents purchased a Yamaha Grand Piano and an old Baldwin standup piano from a garage sale. My sister began to play on the Grand immediately but I was prohibited from merely going in the room since I was so young. Even as a beginner, her music was beautiful, and it disseminated throughout the entire house. Only after much begging and payment in chores was I allowed to approach the lesser of the two music-makers. I then had to work my way up to practicing on the Grand. Even at a very young age, piano has taught me the value of hard work, and I am now a very diligent, determined worker in everything that I do. Music has also shown me that joy comes from small things. After a stressful day, I may sit at the piano and play my emotions to the core whether my outlet is Rachmaninoff or Bach, or I may sit in my room listening to my favorite music groups. Having such adulation for music has led me to a path of optimism and happiness. As a pianist, I must assess music at first sight- What does this mean? What can I do to enhance the sound here? My analytical side has amplified to every aspect of my life and benefits me in numerous ways, most of all in school. Having music in my life has greatly influenced who I am and contributed to my pool of qualities.
shirleytse 5 / 17  
Oct 24, 2009   #2
Your essays are pretty good. For the first one, I think you should elaborate more on what was so inspirational about your mother because I think you focus more on the negative things your father did, so the last sentence doesn't really flow with the rest of the paragraph.

Only after much begging and payment in chores was I allowed to approach the lesser of the two music-makers.

I'm not reallly sure what this quote means.

Otherwise your essays are fine, but ease up on the SAT words a little.
OP alexabishop 1 / 5  
Oct 24, 2009   #3
Thank you for replying! But the prompt is about the "bump in the road," so should I still add more about my Mom? And does some of the vocab sound forced?
shirleytse 5 / 17  
Oct 25, 2009   #4
Yeah,I think you should add another sentence or two toward the end explaining how she replaced your father and how she's a role model. And the vocab does sound a little forced.

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