This is my personal essay for the common app evaluating an event that has made an impact on my life. I am posting for constructive feedback, if anything needs work I urge you to tell me and give me details. Enjoy!
In the 4th grade my parents rather abruptly told me I would be moving to England for 1 year. When I first heard this, nothing in the world could have prepared me. Like any other kid my age, I was reluctant to leave behind my friends and school as well as what was essentially my life. Leaving the U.S. didn't feel like it normally did when we went on vacation - the idea that I was going to be living in another country confused me deeply and played with my emotions. My comfort zone had been compromised. While the plane ride went smoothly, soon enough I found myself smack in the middle of another planet: the freezing cold weather, the vast stretches of grassy land, the unusually nice people, the foreign smells permeating throughout the air. Yes, even the entire country smelled different. I was nonetheless terrified; my concerns about adjusting to a new country and school were just simply dismissed as pre-moving anxiety. I thought to myself, "this is completely normal, right?" Soon enough, I found myself enrolled at Kings Langley Steiner School. This rather ominous looking structure sat prominently overlooking the entire town. As if this wasn't intimidating enough, the school looked like it had previously been used as some kind of neo-paganistic ritual center/social club. However, being only 11, I sometimes let my imagination get the best of me. Unfortunately, what lied behind the wrought iron front gate was exactly as I expected. The grading system was different, the class schedule was unusual to say the least, and the general attitude of the students was, for lack of a better word, foreign.
However, after three difficult days, I was hit with the sudden realization that I couldn't just dip my toes in the water, but must jump in and take the plunge. My comfort zone had been holding me hostage, and now it was time I broke free. I set my reservations aside and followed what could be described as nothing less than curiosity - voraciously devouring Norse mythology, math and spelling. I became friends with the students and teachers and even developed a slight English accent (which was admittedly very cool). Most importantly, however, I learned that I could no longer be a passive student - doing nothing but taking from schools. Rather, I realized that I had to be active and give back, after all school was a community, and a community cannot function unless every member makes a contribution in some way. Looking back at the two years I spent at Kings Langley, I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of taking risks and facilitating change. As I near the end of my high school career, I now know that to make a difference I cannot simply hide behind a giant fluffy wall of comfort. Taking risks and facing change has allowed me to grow as a person, whether it is adjusting to a new country and turning a pessimistic experience into a positive one, or taking an honors class in statistics, a subject I previously had difficulty with. In the words of the music group Atmosphere, "If you don't want to taste the sauce, then put the plate down and take a walk".