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the children full of hope (COMMON APP ESSAY)


godlover 2 / 7 1  
Sep 21, 2014   #1
Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

It was 12:05 AM on November 24, 2010; I ran down the stairs excited- for it's been 5 minutes since I became a teenager. I thought maybe I'd encounter a cake or at least some birthday wishes, after all everybody knew I've been waiting for this day for the past 6 months. But all I see is my dad, surrounded not by party decorations or a cake for me but by beer bottles.

"What?" he yelled.
"Nothing." I whispered as I ran back up in tears.
He's done this every day for the past thirteen years; I didn't know why I expected something different that day.
My dad later became the reason I lost it- lost the trust I put in others. I used to find cigarette packets in my dad's pocket all the time, but he would lie, claiming that he only used it to store change in them. I trusted him enough then to not even open it. He used to bring lots of lottery tickets home. When I asked him where he got them, he claimed that he found them in the trashcan in a gas station. I respected him enough to believe him.

What at first were just lies from my dad began to become reasons for self-doubt. Maybe it was my fault that he acted this day. Maybe I'm just not a good enough daughter. He brought out the insecurities in me in ways that became unhealthy. As birthday by birthday passed, I still kept looking for that one day when he wished me and celebrated with me. I only wanted his love- for it would be the greatest present of all.

When nothing got better, I tried to stay away from home as much as possible by engulfing myself in other activities. I was tired of coming home and feeling worse about myself day by day. As I went from one activity to another, one day I found myself at the Children's Cavalry Home with my fellow Student Council leaders. It was a home filled with children who were abandoned by their parents, but not a single one was sad. The smiles on their faces were larger than others I've ever seen; they had a certain perspective on life that is so innocently resilient, that living and helping them with activities becomes more of a lesson for the helper than the helped. Soon, I started to spend hours and hours to look after those kids. Receiving the love and support from me, they tended to share their happiness with me.

From them I learned to stop looking at myself through my dad's eyes, but rather through my own. I became stronger than I've ever been before- now you see me looking ahead and focusing on the future rather than getting held back in the present or the past. I guess, everybody has somebody like my dad in their life- somebody who will stop them from their goals, from their future, and from being who they are. But, it is one's responsibility to look past it and react healthy to the setbacks.

Now, I stopped running down the stairs for every birthday looking for happiness through my dad- for I learned to create happiness through myself.
summerlilac 2 / 8 3  
Sep 21, 2014   #2
This is a great essay! You demonstrated your growth and maturity as well as the strength to overcome obstacles. I love how your voice really shows through the words. It would be even better if you could add just a few more examples about how your realization has changed things so your essay has a strong resolution.
nicolezmh1997 6 / 30 8  
Sep 21, 2014   #3
I love your essay very much!
Your realization and emotion are quite sincere.
I could read through your passage and visualize that you are a strong person who could overcome difficulties now.
Yet, I think you could make your essay more effective by adding more details about how you changed yourself, how the experience of seeing smiling faces of those kids inspired you to create happiness by yourself. And, you could add another example about how you could able to create happiness by yourself.

For example, you could show your care for others by saying that ' I started to spend hours and hours to look after those kids. Receiving the love from me, they tended to share their happiness with me. ' After that, you could elaborate on "I find true happiness by helping others go through those obstacles."

Well, I am just telling a very rough and normal example. I do think that you could discover similar example to show your internal change. I think more evidence could make your essay look effective, sound, and sincere.

Kerp working :)
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Sep 22, 2014   #4
godlover, this is a very good essay. The essence of the essay which is learning to trust only in yourself in order to find inner happiness is a strong one that everyone must learn to achieve. However, the lessons that you learned are mentioned only towards the middle and ending of the essay. In this sort of essay, it is always best to set an introduction to the topic or topics to be discussed early on, usually in the introduction of the essay.

So I would like to suggest that you try this. Write an introduction that talks about how you lived your life being disappointed by the person you should have been able to trust the most, your father, and how because of him you were unhappy most of your life. Then tell the reader that you came to this emotional conclusion on your 13th birthday etc., By adjusting the essay that way, the admission officer will be able to get a clearer idea of what to expect and what the essay will be talking about rather than waiting till almost the end to find out. Remember, admission officers only have a limited amount of time to read an essay. So you need to get that hook into the essay in order to keep him or her glued to the paper. By introducing the main themes early on, you may accomplish that.

I know that I am asking you to revise the paper in a major way but I truly believe that doing that will create a very strong foundation that can carry the rest of the paper to the very end. I hope you consider my suggestions seriously :-) I look forward to reading a revision if you do decide to write one ;-)
OP godlover 2 / 7 1  
Sep 28, 2014   #5
Hi, thank you so much for your help. Is this better I really don't know how to approach the introduction. I was hoping you could give me some advice on how to make it better?

Ever since I was a little kid, I have lived my life being disappointed by the person I should have been able to trust the most- my father. Because of him and his actions, I was unhappy most of my life. I tried to deny it- for I didn't want to ruin my "perfect" family, but I finally accepted the root of my misery on my 13th birthday.

It was 12:05 AM on November 24, 2010; I ran down the stairs excited- for it's been 5 minutes since I became a teenager. I thought maybe I'd encounter a cake or at least some birthday wishes, after all everybody knew I've been waiting for this day for the past 6 months. But all I see is my dad, surrounded not by party decorations or a cake for me but by beer bottles.

"What?" he yelled.
"Nothing." I whispered as I ran back up in tears.
He's done this every day for the past thirteen years; I didn't know why I expected something different that day.
[...]
JessieCarpenter 1 / 10  
Sep 30, 2014   #6
Great essay, thanks for sharing here I had never found any correction, I love the way that you had written.


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