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Describe a setback that you have faced (brother) - essay


elthano 3 / 2  
Oct 8, 2008   #1
Describe a setback that you have faced. How did you resolve it? How did the outcome affect you? If something similar happened in the future, how would you react?

It took me sixteen years to realize what an extraordinary influence my brother has in my life. He is the person who always advises me and tries to help me with anything I need. He was the first to hug me when I didn't want to go to school at first grade; he was the first to hold my hand when I was ill; he was the first to congratulate me when I won my first trophy. In every single achievement in my life, he was always there. Our relationship was exceptional, as was everything in my life until the day he had to leave for the United States to study at the University of Michigan. That day I felt like the whole world was falling apart. That day I realized he would no more be a part of my everyday life, and that was insupportable.

All my life I used to share everything with my brother, from my happiest moments to my biggest problems, and he was always there, eager to listen to me. During the first month after his departure, the impact of his absence on me was even greater than I had expected. Apart from the fact that I missed him, other problems were also created. Having used to open up only to my brother, I had nobody to talk to after he left, and therefore I was feeling even lonelier. Thankfully, with the new school year I was distracted and I did not feel the need to talk to anyone about my personal issues.

A few months later I noticed that I was usually angry and stressful, and I realized it was due to my introversion. I decided that I couldn't wait for my brother to return to Greece in order to open up to someone, neither could I spend a fortune in transatlantic calls. So, firstly I tried to open up to my parents, but even though they love me and care about me very much, they couldn't understand me, mainly due to our age difference. They couldn't understand how an issue that is of no importance to them can be major for a sixteen-year-old girl. Secondly, I tried to talk to my friends, but this attempt wasn't that successful either. Even though I communicated better with them, I couldn't trust their discretion. Finally, I found the best balance between the credibility of the family and the understanding of the friends. I found a girl that was trustworthy and seemed to care sincerely about me and I shared with her my silly girlish issues, but when it came to more important matters, I always discussed them with my parents.

A year after my brothers departure, I had finally resolved the setback and had got accustomed of his absence. If something similar happened in the future, I am certain I would be more prepared for it and I would face it more maturely.

My brother's absence may have been one of the most significant setbacks in my life, but it has also been one of the most educational experiences. I learned to be independent, to trust people and to be able to find a balance between things. Of course I haven't stopped completely communicating with my brother, but I have learnt to make my own decisions and not to rely completely on him, or anybody else.
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Oct 8, 2008   #2
Good evening.

"It took me sixteen years to realize what an extraordinary influence my brother has in my life. [...] That day I realized he would no more be a part of my everyday life, and that was insupportable. Nice opening.

Having used to open up only to my brother, I had no one to talk to after he left, and therefore I was feeling even lonelier.

A few months later I noticed that I was usually angry and stressful, and I realized it was due to my introversion. [...] but when it came to more important matters, I always discussed them with my parents. This is a great paragraph.

Great reasoning and analysis.This essay answers the prompt easily and is very fluid.
OP elthano 3 / 2  
Oct 9, 2008   #3
Thanks a lot Gloria.
I forgot to tell you that there are two problems though.

1st, as you probably realized I am not American, so I have a little problem with the vocabulary and the grammar. Is the vocabulary in my essay decent or do I need more formal words?

2nd, the word limit is 500, but I have writen 597. Is that going to be a problem? If yes what can I cut in order to be within the limit?

Thanks again. I appreciate your help.
beccaboo3290 2 / 5  
Oct 9, 2008   #4
elthano, I noticed one grammatical error that Gloria did not catch...
In the second-to-last paragraph, you said "A year after my brothers departure, I had..."
In this sentence, you need an apostrophe in between the "r" and "s" showing possession.
So, it should look like this: "A year after my brother's departure, I had..."

Some other little grammar things...in the first paragraph, it would sound better as this "school in first grade;" another one is in paragraph 2 "Having been used to opening up only to my brother,"

In the third paragraph, I'd make it more personal by saying "my" instead of "the"...the corrected sentence would look like this: "Finally, I found the best balance between the credibility of my family and the understanding of my friends"

I think you are missing a comma in this sentence..."I found a girl that was trustworthy and seemed to care sincerely about me, and I shared with her my silly girlish issues, but when it came to more important matters, I always discussed them with my parents."

(The rule is to always use a comma to separate two independent clauses joined by a conjunction.)
Another thing about that first sentence I mentioned...a better way to write it would be "A year after my brother's departure, I had finally resolved the setback and had become accustomed to his absence."

One last thing..."learnt" is an incorrect past tense form for "learn"...the correction should read "but I have learned"

I hope I helped you; good luck! :)
beccaboo3290 2 / 5  
Oct 9, 2008   #5
p.s. Wanna know something kinda crazy? I wrote a college essay that had to be 500 words, and I wrote 597 too! hehe
OP elthano 3 / 2  
Oct 9, 2008   #6
Thanks a lot beccaboo3290.
You helped me a lot...
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Oct 9, 2008   #7
beccaboo3290's tips are excellent! Good job guys!

The main thing about formality in academic writing is to stay away from contractions and don't use words that you are not 100% confident with; it's better to say what you want to plainly than to get all gnarled up in rhetoric that doesn't fit you or your voice.


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