Hey, here's my commonapp essay and the prompt I chose to write it on. I'd love any critical feedback which users may have available. I really appreciate it. Thanks. - Bharat Gangwani
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
my kingdom feels too small
The moat stretches across as far as eyes can see in either direction. Riddled with motoring crocodiles, it has little room for my juvenile escapades which - dad says - could cause irreparable harm. The explorer in me, eleven, has little autonomy. He isn't allowed to scale the mighty chasm and reach the lands that lie on the other side, at least not by himself. Back in the humble kingdom of my residential block, streets and alleys coil like snakes around each other. Streets which will one day house only the ghosts of the games I play there; hide-n-seek, seven-stones and tag. Despite the lasting memories, my kingdom feels too small.
I have to venture outwards.
I start with visits to nearby blocks that eventually morph into daily walks to the school. Most mornings, I am dressed and out the door before my mum can hand me lunch. Walking through the empty streets, a chill breeze and the fragrance of morning dew along the park greet my drowsy senses. The sleepy sun, tucked behind cloud cover, shines red on a scene which could be out of a movie. I, of course, am the hero who won't let some municipality markings guard the mysteries that lie beyond.
While journeys in the morning are exhilarating and fresh with independence, returning home in the afternoon is another story. The sun bears down hard forgetting the companionship we had formed for my feature film. Sweat trickles down the back of my neck. My shoulders ache and sink under the weight of the school bag. My back feels the itchy inklings of a sunburn. While my legs trudge along, my hand waves at passing friends and my thoughts curse the day I asked my mum to stop dropping me off to school. Yet I know full well that my feet will just as excitedly spring out of bed the next morning as they had this one.
Ready for another solo quest.
The curious adventurer in me loves travelling alone, on his own time. He can traverse landscapes, harsh or benign, without relying on anyone else. He isn't burdened by small talk. Isn't limited by roads and paths. Isn't accursed with tracks someone else wants to listen to. His ears ring with Avicii's music and Foreign Policy podcasts whenever he desires either. In a metro, he can even write a script or finish a lecture without having to cater to company.
That does sound perfect.
However, there's always a merciless afternoon sun for the caring early morning breeze. There's always a price you pay for being independent. Now that I can get myself to n' fro wherever I want, I am the one responsible for getting myself there and back. The script and lecture are commitments as much as they're extensions of my freedom. At the risk of tinkering with a remarkable piece of wisdom, 'With great liberty comes great responsibility.' You can't be independent without being responsible.
I continue to find additional responsibilities as I cross the big moats of my life. Starting A-Levels at my school and learning the new curriculum was taxing yet extremely rewarding. Researching the regulatory oversight and supply shortcomings in the Gurugram housing market revealed the limitations that social structures can impose on individual freedom. Uncovering the undemocratic nature of the anti-defection law in the Indian Parliament strengthened that observation. Pursuing online courses, A-Level Further Maths and multiple jobs simultaneously was daunting and empowering at the same time. I've grown grateful for both the small and life-altering experiences which have shaped me into the individual I've become. Really, can we even pick one from the other?
University is another massive moat. While the lands that lie ahead appear mystical and inviting, I look forward just as much to the reptilian responsibilities I'll be tackling along the way. They've made me who I am after all.