This is my essay for topic 1 on the common app. Please feel free to point out any and every mistake grammar or content wise. I really appreciate all of your help.Topic:Option #1: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Everything was either gray or black. At 7am the pitch-black sky was still awakening from its slumber. The dark gray cafeteria tables reeked of cleaning detergent and the light gray walls held familiar nutrition and "Get Milk" posters.
This was usual for Drew Charter, but my early attendance was not. As I waited for the bell to ring, a familiar face, Christian, joined me. That morning we discussed trivial things until the conversation took a turn
"So, how do you shower?" he asked.
Initially I was puzzled, especially considering the smirk he had on his face.
"I mean since your parents are from Africa do you do anything different?"
"Well I just take a bath", I replied casually.
Now he looked at me in confusion. I tried as best I could that morning to explain the simple concept, but soon realized it was a lost cause. I knew I was different from people in larger ways, but I did realize that even the way I did mundane tasks was also different.
I always knew that I belonged to two different worlds and that I could never completely give myself to one. As a young girl, with no avail, I tried to pigeonhole myself into one world because I felt it would be easier to deal with. Navigating between the two is a difficult journey that I was born into as a first-generation African, but it has shaped me into a strong and independent spirited person. My immersion in both cultures is a never-ending learning experience.
I was raised in what I would call a typical African Household. All big decisions were made my mother, education was the number one topic, and excellent behavior was expected outside the home.
I've savored the taste of palm butter soup with its delicacies that range from chicken feet to pig feet, turkey neck to fresh dead crab, and sometimes all of the above. I've attended the infamously long Liberian church services and the almost as infamous quiet Sudanese ones. I've been to the Somalian Marketplace to buy $2 phone cards so my parents can call back home. And I've heard countless times, my father tell his story of escape from the Arabs when he was a thirteen year old boy.
However, I do enjoy eating macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes. I like how American Church services have balance of preaching and singing in a reasonable amount of time. And I've grown up listening to fairytales and Disney stories. My life has always existed within two worlds and I've found that they can coexist. Sometimes I get lost, especially when my sisters comment on how "American" I am when I insist on eating baked beans over ugali or when my friends say how "African" I am because I have a difficult name. But I know where I stand and I've found my way. I know that if I've gotten this far that I can go further.
On occasion, when I look at the green bucket in the morning before I "shower" I'm reminded of where I really come from. But then I get dressed, drive with my mother out into the concrete jungle and see how beautifully my two worlds collided.