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Common Apps Essay (two very different worlds: US and Korea)


brood910 5 / 14  
Dec 29, 2008   #1
Hi! I have to finish this essay due 1/1.. I am desperate for help right now because I am a terrible writer.. Please Help!! I did not even write the conclusion yet... I need some suggestions on how to make this essay consise and to write a conclusion. Thank You!!

Topic: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

I have lived in two very different worlds. Although an American citizen born in the United States, I have lived more than half of my life in South Korea. I am proud of my American roots, but I am equally proud of my Korean heritage. I certainly like to believe that my bicultural background gives me some unique perspectives and has led me to be more open to differences than I otherwise might be. That background, however, has also presented challenges. Because only a few people enjoy being faced with setbacks, I used to regard hardships as particularly bad things that ruined my life. However, when I viewed my ordeal in retrospect, I realized that the setbacks enlightened the life path that I would travel on. The obstacles did not only shape most of my personalities and passions but also helped me grow on many levels as I strived to overcome them.

At age of five, I and my mother moved to South Korea from the United States. I could not go to kindergarten because I did not speak Korean fluently and was not fully acquainted with the new environment. After three years of learning Korean, I went to the elementary school where I could not get along with the other kids easily because of my special background. One day, I hit a 13-year-old boy with a soccer ball in the face by mistake. I apologized to him, but he punched me in the face. I did not understand why he hit me. He called me "an impertinent boy." Without giving me a chance to ask him why, he just walked away. My mother told me that he was upset not because of the soccer ball but because of the way I talked to him. In Korea, you need to speak formally to older people. I was supposed to say "I am very sorry, sir" to the guy, not "sorry, man." This kind of language barrier prevented me from making friends, and made me a shy person.

When I turned 11, I met a teacher who changed my life in Korea. Mr. Hwang helped me overcome the cultural confusions by giving me chances to meet as many people as possible. He put me in the school soccer team. At first, I was too shy that I did not even say a word. After doing many exercises and having matches against other schools together, however, the wall between me and the other kids collapsed. After one year, I found myself speaking in front of the team members as a captain. Mr. Hwang picked me as a new captain because he saw potential in me; he said he was impressed when I took care of Sae-Hwan Song who broke his leg during a match. In the same year, I joined the Korean Boy Scouts. Astonishingly, I did not find it difficult to talk to people anymore. After 5 months, I became a leader of the Boy Scout troop. My heart was filled with exhilaration because I finally could feel what it was like to have friends. I finally had someone to talk to other than my family members. However, when my mother decided to move back to the United States, everything that I endeavored to accomplish was fragmented: friendships, confidence, and academic success.

When I arrived at JFK airport at age of 14, the same feelings that I had when I was 10 years old pierced my heart: anger, fear, sadness, and emptiness. Once again, I had to deal with the language barriers and cultural confusions. After 5 months or so, I barely graduated from the middle school; I could not communicate with anyone because of my strong accent. During my summer vacation, I focused on learning English to get prepared for high school. I spent at least five hours a day on reading English books and memorizing words that I found from the books. To ameliorate my listening skills, I watched "Spongebob SquarePants" every single day before going to bed. With such a great effort, I could make the high honor roll in the first marking period of freshman year without difficulties. Despite my academic success, I still felt empty somewhere in my heart because I had no friends. To feel the exhilaration that I felt in Korea and get confidence in myself again, I decided to join some clubs. From the Cultural Diversity Club, I met so many people whose backgrounds were similar to mine. Some of them were still learning English and facing the setbacks caused by the cultural confusions and language barriers.
akashnegi 8 / 23  
Dec 29, 2008   #2
At age of five, I and my mother MY MOTHER AND I moved to South Korea from the United States. I could not go to kindergarten because I did not speak Korean fluently and was not fully acquainted with the new environment
OP brood910 5 / 14  
Dec 29, 2008   #3
Thank you for your comment, akashnegi!
Zayniac 2 / 5  
Dec 29, 2008   #4
It's really good!
BUT
Dont'say should have said sorry to the GUY - you need to be slightly more formal, I think...say isntead, to the boy
Or rewrite it like this, perhaps:
Instead of "I was supposed to say "I am very sorry, sir" to the guy, not "sorry, man.""
I should have said "I am very sorry, sir," to the boy, not "sorry, man."

and he put you ON the school's soccer team, not in it
too shy AND did not say w ord..
Just a thought..
OP brood910 5 / 14  
Dec 29, 2008   #5
I need some more comments/suggestions.. please.. especially from professional writers like the moderators.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 30, 2008   #6
I certainly like to believe that my bi cultural background gives me some unique perspectives and has led me to be more open to differences than I otherwise might be.

Because not many people enjoy being faced with setbacks, I used to regard hardships as particularly bad things that ruined my life.

The obstacles did not only shape most of my personality and passions but also helped me grow on many levels as I strove to overcome them.

At first, I was so shy that I did not even say a word.

With great effort, I made the high honor roll in the first marking period of freshman year without difficulty.

Good luck in school, hope this has been helpful!

:)
Slime /  
Dec 30, 2008   #7
Good essay brood
hey this different world essay can i write about the present time in which i have grown up relating to the whole world rather than just limiting myself to the people whom i know or my country??
guyver 1 / 8  
Dec 30, 2008   #8
"together, however, the wall between me and the other kids collapsed."

You used here a wrong linker, you should have shown here a cause/consequence. I would use here: which lead to the collapse of the wall between me and the other kids or just use thus/therefore.

I like the idea of your essay. However, I must say that you miss the point, you are to EVALUATE the importance of your experience, you focused on resuming the experience. I think you should developed more the part how this experience has shaped your personality. You stick more to the topic and put your experience on the second plan.

Moreover your introduction is a bit too indirect, be more firm, remember that the reader has also other writting to read.

Sorry for being so harsh on you


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