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Common App - The catastrophic Japan Earthquake

bballkings15 1 / 7  
Nov 13, 2011   #1
Hey guys I plan to use this as my common app essay.

I know it need lots of work so please help me as much as possible and I will return the favor!

Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

The catastrophic earthquake that hit Northern Japan this year affected the lives of many people in a way that can't be described. It has affected mine as well, but in a positive and encouraging way. It helped me find my identity that I had always struggled upon.

Born in the states but raised in Japan for my early childhood and living in the states ever since, I wasn't sure whether I was American or Japanese. After the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, I knew it made me realize who I truly was. When I saw pictures of giant waves that swept away cars, homes, and entire buildings of the country I once lived, my heart shattered. I had never been so heartbroken before. It made me realize I was Japanese.

When I first heard of the news, I was extremely worried for all my family and friends that lived in Japan. In fact, my grandparents were severely affected by the incident. Although they were not injured, the house was moderately damaged. The explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant gave off strong enough radiation that my grandparents had to evacuate for several days. In times like these, I knew I had to do something. Many people around the globe were donating and I felt the warmth of those people. One notable person was professional Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa, who is only a few years older than me and committed to donate all of his 2011 tour earnings to the earthquake relief efforts. His donation has been huge to Japan and inspired me to do everything in my power to help those victims of my home country. So I proceeded in some fundraising of my own. At the annual Cherry Blossom festival in Philadelphia, my fellow Japanese friends and I set up a booth and taught origami and sold t-shirts and wristbands to the people at the festival. We raised a total of over seven hundred dollars.

Through this tragic incident not only was I able to solve my identity crisis, I was also able to take part in a great deed by making donations to a country in need.
breakingRenee 5 / 11  
Nov 13, 2011   #2
This essay sounds really good but i think you should probably include a concluding statement about how it helped your identity issue... maybe something like " now I know I'm a Japanese American because although I'm far from home there will always be a little piece of Japan in my heart." or something like that
ElyGeoSav 1 / 7  
Nov 24, 2011   #4
I agree with breakingRenee. You need more a conclusion. Also, explain why it made you identify as Japanese. Because your heart broke when you saw those pictures? While important, many people's heart broke when they saw the disaster, whether they were Japanese or not. You'll have to be more specific.

Nice choice of topic though! I also want to write about identity in my essay, but I think you have a much better story to back it up haha

Also, hope your grandparents are doing ok!
rosemarimalu 3 / 13  
Nov 24, 2011   #5
Hi bballkings 15,
I would just change "the" to "their"..."Although they were not injured, their house was moderately damaged"

I would reword this to say "Many people around the globe were donating and I felt the warmth of those peopletheir help ."

Other than that I think your essay is pretty solid. Good luck!

-Rosemari Malu :)
gkim2719 - / 6  
Dec 12, 2011   #6
I say yay, the sentences give the reader a sense of being pulled into the story more and it's a good dramatic touch, but just change the first sentence, "Cars being tossed around like toys..." to "Cars were tossed around like toys"-it sounds less awkward and fragmented
Jose03 - / 3  
Dec 13, 2011   #8
It's only in Japan because Japan has actually built the infrastructure required by putting thousands of seismographs around the country to detect early seismic waves (P-waves) that come before the main shaking (S-waves).

Until other countries install the sensors, they can't have a useful earthquake early-warning system.
hfdz7 1 / 3  
Dec 13, 2011   #9
your answer sound convincing enough

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