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"Coming From Bushwick/Background Influences" Common App Personal Statement

ant518 1 / -  
Dec 4, 2011   #1
I know it may seem cliche and sort of depressing, but I would still like some feedback please

Is there really an American Dream? In 4th grade I was taught that this was the promise of the possibility of prosperity and success. Now that I've grown up and faced reality, I have witnessed that it's actually an American Tragedy. Growing up in Bushwick, a low income neighborhood in Brooklyn with an infamous reputation, has showed me that if you don't have what it takes, no matter how hard you struggle, your dreams will be shot down. I don't want my future to be another casualty.

Although both of my parents wanted a successful future for their children, they weren't able to fully achieve that because they didn't complete high school. This has showed me that education is an obligation in the society we live in. It has motivated me to transcend the average student in my city by earning outstanding grades. Although my dedication to school may have been stressful at some points, I overcame that obstacle by remembering why I am doing this. I want to show that just because I'm from Bushwick doesn't mean that I can't make it.

Living in Bushwick is a definitely challenge, whether it be paying for rent or trying to eschew local gang activity. However living here is not the only challenge I face. My desire to increase my knowledge on various topics has led to take rigorous courses. Despite peer pressure to drop them, perseverance pulled me through. As well as teaching me the subject, they have thought me the importance of time management, which can be used in almost any aspect of life, but most importantly in college. These challenging courses, which were optional, showed me that I shouldn't take the easy way out in life.

But being from Bushwick does not define me, my experiences do. I was part of the First Marine Cadet Core, the Cadet program in my school, in my freshman and sophomore years of high school. In being promoted to the fourth rank, I've developed and learned the importance of many qualities such as discipline, initiative, motivation, and endurance. These traits have benefitted me not only academically, but in everyday life as well. During the summer of 2011, I worked with children in a YMCA. As a counselor, I learned the importance of responsibility and being a role model. When a camper in my group told me "I want to be just like you when I get older", I knew that despite my background, I can still be a source of hope to someone of a different background. It made me feel like I was doing something right, like I was on the right path for success.

So welcome to a world where dreams become nightmares, a world where the American Dream seldom exists. People rarely succeed. But I will not fall into that category. I have never let my fear of failure overcome me in my past nor will I let it now. I refuse to end up like the other unfortunate people in my neighborhood who did not get to chance to succeed. My life and past experiences in Bushwick have shaped who I am today, and who I will be in the future. Attending college is my only hope of reviving the American Dream.
maroon5 9 / 57  
Dec 7, 2011   #2
Good essay...However u do come off as someone who has a very negative outlook on life at whenever u mention the American Dream...the only other objection i have to this essay is that it's very broad...u begin by relating the difficulties of growing up in an impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhood and how u persevered and pulled through...This is a very good content for any essay and u could just stick to it and elaborate on how your experiences have shaped your perception and traits; while there is nothing wrong with talking about the cadet program and the YMCA, i just feel as though they try and take the essay in a different direction( this is not a bad thing at all if you had enough words left to justify both aspects)...other than that GOOD LUCK AND GOOD JOB

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