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"care & compassion for people" -CommonApp: Significant experience/ Topic of my choice


mariatateno 6 / 35  
Oct 26, 2010   #1
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. or Topic of your choice

I'm still unsure which it would fit in.


CommonApp Significant Event: THAI ORPHANAGE [updated]

Rewritten common app answer.
I still think I need a better 'hook' at the beginning.
All thoughts/comments are greatly appreciated!

I could not sleep. I blamed the humidity as I lay sweating on a worn out itchy mattress with a holey mosquito net framing my body. The other twenty or so children were still, their snores echoing in the unventilated stuffy room. That was my first glimpse of the lifestyle of so many other people in the world. The small bowl of rice and mushy salted cabbage that I shared with another girl did not fill me up, my growling stomach agreeing with me. The attitude of the children at the orphanage in rural Thailand where I spent two nights at opened my eyes to so many things that went unnoticed. It was not surprising that I had become complacent after growing up in my comfortable flat in central Tokyo, going to the same international school my whole life. I had heard of, and seen pictures of people living in derelict conditions but not for more than a second did I give thought to life outside my enclosed bubble until I actually experienced it myself. Yes, my two hour commute to school each way was tiring- so was the daily routine of making five packed lunches each morning for my family, cooking dinner every other day, grocery shopping, and walking the dog- these chores made up my constant complaining, yet this was all trivial and insignificant compared to the domestic chores the children at the orphanage were responsible for. I heard it all before, but the fact that I was a privileged child with so many opportunities before me did not register in my mind. Some did not have the opportunity to go to school, and the food was the same everyday, except for when the hen lay an egg and they would take turns getting the treat. I did not think of small daily details such as taking cold baths in rain water collected in a deep tin barrel, or using a candle to light the way when it got dark. My lack of knowledge and awareness has made me realise that I still have yet so many things to learn outside of the classroom.

With a renewed view, I want to make the best out of my opportunities. Growing up in a diverse culture has broadened my perspective on the way different people treat different situations. I do not need to be reminded of how lucky I am. I know of the basic human rights that everyone should be, but is not, entitled to. The lack of health care, especially, was something that stood out to me. Experiencing the decapitated living conditions, and exposed to the reality of what people do not have, yet their positive willpower getting them through each difficulty has made me believe in mankind. Inside of me, a strong sense of compassion and hope for people blossomed. With the determination and strong sense of will that dwells inside me, I know I can create a change for others. The importance of providing hope, along with my compassion and care for others has fueled my aspiration to work to improve the lifestyle of those less fortunate.

The experience has shaped me to be a more interested individual; my desire to learn more about social work and health care fueled by seeing first hand for myself the lives of others that shocked me into reality.

The compassion I have for people and fulfillment of seeing someone's lifestyle improve has led to me to consider a career in physical therapy. Although this is a long road, I believe my compassion for people will see me through, and my interest in biology- especially human physiology will get me a long way in this field. I aspire to open a clinic in a developing country that will lend facilities to Non Profit health care Organisations like medicine sans frontiers. Like Jackie Robinson said: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." I believe we are here to help others with the unique mixture of skills and abilities we are privileged enough to posses and gain over the course of our education and experiences. I hope to use my skills/expertise and gift of caring for people to impact someone else's life because "only a life lived for others is worth living." - Albert Einstein.

...

-->And i'm still unsure of how I should end it.
Somewhere in my essay, should I emphasis that I want to study health sciences and social work?Would this be necessary?
Also, I would like to incorporate one of these quotes into my essay, do you think it would make it more powerful?
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."-Jackie Robinson
"Only a life lived for others is worth living"-Albert Einstein
doyin1 8 / 18  
Oct 26, 2010   #2
i think t the end u should put-
because like albert eintein once said ''Only a life lived for others is worth living" and i believe we as humans are supposed to help others with the skils and abiity that we are privileged to have.

your essay is brilliant
it fits into the ''Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you''.
best of luck!!!!
OP mariatateno 6 / 35  
Oct 27, 2010   #3
thank you for your time and comment!!
i greatly appreciate it
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 1, 2010   #4
My dad took over, and it was a disaster.

You are funny...

The trains in Tokyo were, and still are, a nightmare.

I secretly liked it although I was constantly worried about loosing my brothers. ----- this is a very cool sentence. Make it this way, though: losing loosing

which I'd share out of pity with my other two brothers. ---- you have a great writing style.

Thinking back to that time, that week was when I first had a glimpse of hardship that I enjoyed. I did not realise back then, but I was brimming with care and compassion for people.

Health sciences and social work... a great combination. You should indeed mention this when you talk about wanting to open up a clinic.

I think it would be great to use both of these quotes in one sentence:

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives," according to Jackie Robinson, and Einstein said, "Only a life lived for others is worth living," so I feel good about my decision to...
ExplodingDonuts 1 / 11  
Nov 12, 2010   #5
This strikes me as really stereotypical. Also, there are some unnecessary details you could do without such as

"I realised realized that my constant complaining and pessimism towards the responsibilities my parents put on me such as making 5 packed lunches each day: one for my mum, my dad, and two younger brothers; . cooking dinner, and walking the dog, was insignificant compared to what the children in ___ orphanage were obligated to do daily."

"Now, at 17, I look on the bright side of things. "

"As the head of student council in grades 9 and 10 , I took on the responsibility of creating charity events and spreading awareness of various causes around the school.

It's pretty bland. You rehash some of your resume here too. Then you just toss some quotes that other people said. If you want to use this essay, focus more on yourself. Also, everyone says the "oh, I realized how fortunate I am" thing so you don't get any points on uniqueness sadly :(
OP mariatateno 6 / 35  
Nov 12, 2010   #6
yeah thats what I thought after writing it.
thanks anyway.

And the spelling's in British :P do you think I should change it to American? Because I grew up in a British school...
ExplodingDonuts 1 / 11  
Nov 13, 2010   #7
Ohh, totally didn't realize you were using British spelling, I was just poking my spell check on my computer. No worries then, I think either British/American will do.

"That was my first glimpse of the lifestyle of so many other people in the world. The small bowl of rice and mushy salted cabbage that I shared with another girl did not fill me up; my growling stomach agreeing agreed with me." Verb agreement, semi colon for two independent sentences that relate

"Experiencing the decapitated living conditions" - decapitated living conditions? You may want to choose a better adjective...I don't get it o__o;;

There are still a bit of extra stuff such as:
"The lack of health care, especially, was something that especially stood out to me."

"Inside of me, a strong sense of compassion and hope for people blossomed. With the determination and strong sense of will that dwells inside me, I know I can create a change for others. "

You say "strong sense" and twice and really, it doesn't say a whole lot. Don't tell, show! Not as in restating your resume, but focusing on a specific moment that you strongly remember from one of your charity events you ran or your trip in Thailand :)

I'm sorry if I sound a little harsh. I have read a lot of these same essays before and if you want to use it, you're going to have to make yours strong and distinctive since everyone says they have a strong sense of will/determination/compassion/etc. etc. so I've become a bit numb to it. You may definitely have the above mentioned traits, you just have to go a step further than the rest to transmit that message through your essay (especially in a commonly used and typical topic if you're determined to write about it)


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