This is my common app essay, well one idea
any help would be greatly appreciated.
"This way!" the coyote muttered, in words that were as cold as night. My parents obeyed. They carried with them nothing but pride and a suitcase filled with dreams. The summer heat burned their legs that were already covered in thorns. They knew it would be at least one more day until they'd be in America, they would do whatever it took. The long, treacherous journey through blazing heat was made solely out of love. My parent's greatest love was family. They made this journey for us, for our dreams, and for our futures.
My mom had to drop out of school in sixth grade, in order to take care of her brothers and sisters. She had always wanted to be a lawyer, but was now cooking dinners instead of winning cases. My mom is the smartest person I know. Her ability to retain knowledge is unlike any other. The way she deals with percentages would impress anybody in the field of math. She gets lost in her books and reads day and night. She has taught me that reading can take you anywhere. She has been to Ancient Egypt and kicked the dirt of the Great Pyramids. She has met Leonardo Da'Vinci and smelled the fresh pastel of the Sistine Chapel. My mom loved school but her door to learning was shut when her mom left her alone, to care for her brothers and sisters. School for me is a privilege, the privilege she didn't have. I learn, and explore for her, so that I can take advantage of the opportunity that was stripped from her.
My father spent three years in college and suddenly was confronted with a choice. He had to choose between finishing his degree in engineering or succumbing to the perils of manhood by taking a high paying job in order to provide for his newborn child. My father's selfless personality put himself in a desert and his family in a warm home. Upon arriving, my father settled in at a job at El Rancho hotel. He was a housekeeper. With three years of college under his belt, a housekeeping job seemed insulting. But my dad sacrificed his pride for us. He never failed to feed our family the love that at times went unnoticed. That is to say we never thanked him for his sacrifices. My dad's heart was not in housekeeping, he belonged in engineering. He worked hard and made his way up the company until a job opened up in the planning department. He got the job and taught me to never give up. His dedication to work makes me realize that with hard work you can surpass even the worst situations. I've learned that greatness cannot be achieved without sacrifice.
My father told me to "study and it will all pay off." This statement seemed wholly contradictory to me considering he had spent three years in college only to be housekeeping for some portion of his life. But nevertheless I listened and obeyed. My parents showed me that any aspect of life is feasible, and they give me the strength I need to conquer whatever task I am confronted with. For many, education is taken for granted, to my parents and myself school doesn't just mean a higher paying job it means a higher state of mind. My parents would have done anything to be in school but were unable to because of several circumstances outside of their control. I have the opportunity to continue my schooling and to open doors for my future children. They came to this country for my future, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make the most out of what they gave me.
My parents have given me an opportunity that I hold so dearly to my heart. They have taught me that perseverance is by far the greatest trait one can possess. Ambition is not only about action but also about patience. Although situations may not seem pretty en media res, ambitions are what fuel us and keep us focused and determined. My parents sacrificed everything they had for family, for love. For that very same reason, I'm willing to make any journey, at any cost. I want to repay my parents, and let them know that their hard work did not in fact go unnoticed. I want to realize my dreams and fulfill the ones that were lost.
I think this essay is very powerful and complete.
However, I felt like you talked too much about your parents. Although I understand that it is necessary in order to convey the burden you feel to make up for what your parents suffered through, the essay could have been more about you and what you have actually done to "make the journey". Writing about what your parents suffered through is good, but it may backfire for the admissions officers if they think you are playing on their sympathies - the parts of the essay that are a bit melodramatic ("The long, treacherous journey through blazing heat was made solely out of love.") - worsens that effect and makes it sound a bit whiny. Overall, I think this essay could be more than just a list of injustices if you talk more about what you have done.
The way she deals with percentages would impress anybody in the field of mathematics and science. She gets lost in her books, reading day and night.
Nice, I am happy for you because you have such a great mother, and I'm happy for her because it must make her feel so good to read this essay.
This statement seemed wholly contradictory to me considering he had spent three years in college only to be housekeeping for some portion of his life.---> ah, and I see your father has wisdom, too. Well, many of us have college educations but fail to get our dream jobs. Life is hard, and the economy is in rough shape.
Anyway, some very wise people like the late James Mitose believe that the job of a custodian or cleaner is the best job one can have. It is spiritual work, cleaning.
That first paragraph does not do enough to develop the story about their trip to America. It is better not to include the dialogue at the start (i.e "This way!") it is better to focus paragraph #1 on expressing your main idea -- a sense of gratitude and admiration for them.