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College personal essay: What does home mean and how it affected me?

Wardo Saverin 1 / -  
Nov 15, 2018   #1
Essay prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

"East or west, home is best"

A proverb used by people who travel a lot to express homesickness. However, I didn't spend more than 24 hours outside home before I was 14, I rarely traveled, and I continued to love this proverb for no reason better than I just loved home. In fact, I wasn't a sociable person fearing to face crowds. Big family gatherings usually made me uncomfortable. I liked to think that whatever happens or wherever I go, there is a home to return to.

Having no siblings to share this home with was a double-edged sword. I had all the care and love from my parents. They prioritized me above all and offered me everything selflessly despite any financial hardships. However, I was growing up egocentric and introvert to some extent. Being at the top of my class at elementary and preparatory schools intensified this feeling of self-centered.

Major changes happened when I Joined (School Name) school. Being in a boarding school, I had to delay my return home to be once a week. I was anxious at the beginning of grade 10 due to the absence of this - once thought - eternal asylum. Learning depended mainly on presentations and group projects. This meant a lot of crowd-facing. I still remember my first presentation when I was nervous struggling to pull the words out of my mouth. Indeed, the first weeks were the toughest. Two main pillars that had sustained me have just disappeared: my home and my parents.

Eventually, I adapted to this new environment. In fact, I believe now that joining this school was the best decision I had made. I had new friends with similar interests. Some even had the same problems that occurred to me. We helped each other to get over obstacles. Surrounded with intellectuals and caring friends, I felt home again. My self-esteem and confidence were greatly improved. I became more easy-going, open-minded and able to express myself. Instead of avoiding facing others, I was proud to represent my school and enjoyed presenting my projects. This personal growth and maturity were necessary for my future career. Exploring different fields, I developed a passion for biology, neuroscience. By the end of grade 11, I was well determined to pursue liberal arts education in the U.S and started preparing my college application. But the wind blew against my wishes.

Once on a Monday, I went with my mother for her annual medical check. This Monday was meant to be a regular event except it wasn't. After scanning, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was stunned by this news. The thoughts that she might be absent from my life shocked me. Memories from my old home clouded my head. A cascade of emotions burst in my mind that I couldn't contain. I had to delay my career plans of course. As much as it was sad to stand by her in illness, it was also a substantial experience. Seeing her getting better after a surgery was reminding me of how she and my father helped me with my first shaking steps into school. I thought of how it was great to be part of a HOME.

Following this hardship, I regained control of my life managing to graduate with a GPA of 4.00. I did my best taking standardized tests. I was ready to pursue a better future not just for myself but for the sake of my family who did their best raising me.

After three years in high school, I still believe that home is the best. But this home doesn't have to be stationary. In fact, it is a dynamic abstract concept. Wherever we thrive, feel happy and surrounded by a family, is a home for us. A home that we can share where we can count on each other to get over the misfortunes of life.

Holt - / 7,546 2001  
Nov 16, 2018   #2
Wardo, the essay was really going well in terms of discussing your personal growth and understanding of others before you suddenly, and I mean abruptly, introduced your mother's illness and your desire to study in the U.S. into the last part of the essay. Those two topics feels tremendously out of place and threw the whole "period of personal growth and understanding of others" discussion through a loop. The essay became confusing as it suddenly discussed a non-related topic. Almost 80 percent of the essay is on point discussing how you developed as a person and learned about others during your time at boarding school. I feel that you should simply focus your discussion on that and close it with a self realization in reference to personal growth and how you came to understand how the other people live and how to get along with them. Leave your mother's diagnosis out of it. It has no place in this essay.

However, if you feel that you want to focus the discussion on your mother's illness in relation to a period of personal growth, forget the understanding of others as it doesn't apply to this case, then revise the essay to use the diagnosis of your mother as the overall theme of the essay. From beginning to end that should be the focus of the discussion. Don't just suddenly throw it into an already established and enlightening presentation as you did here.

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