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'I want to be different and go to college' - experience and its impact on you

erndawg 4 / 13  
Dec 19, 2011   #1
Hey guys this is my common app essay. I really need some feedback on it since the deadline is soon approaching. Is this a good essay or should I write about a different topic? I greatly appreciate the time you will take to read this. Thanks!

Btw, i am Hispanic. (Should help interpretation of essay)

"Where did you go to college?"

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a question so simple could have such a significant impact on my life. I was in my freshman year and the family was having our traditional Thursday night dinner. [..]
kenyaboyfresh 7 / 17  
Dec 19, 2011   #2
First of all, I really like your essay. I hope you get into the schools you apply to.

blue=my thoughts
green=my suggested changes

"Where did you go to college?"

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a question so simple could have such a significant impact on my life. I was in my freshman year and the family was having our traditional Thursday night dinner. My mother, as usual,as usual and typical mean the same thing. had prepared the typical dinner. A huge plate of ceviche was sitting in its glory in the middle of the table and everybody had a vibrant plate of Arroz con pollochicken and rice=yummy in front of them. The spices on the food wafted thorough the room and the salty aroma from the ceviche pervaded my nostrils. When dinner was done, my parents bombarded me with the usual questions about school such as what I had learned today . I immediately shot up and began conversing about the seminar I had signed up for in school about college preparation. I noticed a very quick shift of emotions in the faces of my parents. The warm smile on their faces was gone, replaced by a very serious, almost nervous, glare.My mom was clearly the most visibly shaken and interrupted me and started to clear the table.for some reason, this doesnt flow to me, try re-wording the last sentence. It was then when I asked them, "Where did you go to college?" What happened next will forever be engraved in my memoryre-wording it makes it sound better . The sound of plates smashing on the floor crackledI know what you mean, but find a different word through the air.periodWhen I looked at my father's face, tears were streaming down slowly and his eyes were locked with mine for what seemed an eternity. He uttered to me slowly that they both had never gone to college.periodI was in disbelief and I slowly got up slowly and walked to my room where I proceeded to cry for hoursthis flows better. .maybe start a new paragraph here, idk though I had always thought my parents had gone to college and figuring out that they had not hurt me emotionally.I really didn't understand the "and figuring out... emotionally" part. It doesnt really make sence.you need a transition sentence here. "at school..." just jumps out of nowhere At school I took classes with kids from affluent families and I was usually the only Hispanic in the roomI know what you mean, I'm Kenyan . Coming from a family of limited resources, I love school because the classroom was the great equalizer for me. At school, I was able to compete with students that were socioeconomically my superiors, but academically my equals.

new paragraph here When I found out that my parents had not gone to college, my motivation to do well in school doubled. That fateful day made me realize that being a first generation college student is more than just the hugs and gifts that I will receive from my friends and family. Attending college will allow me to bring honor to my family's name and to escape the oppressions that come from society as a result of a lack of a college education. My pursuit of a college education is fueled by my desire to give back to the Hispanic community I grew up in. I will not be like those that are looked down upon just because they don't have a college education. I want to be different.Nice conclusion, once again, good luck

After thoughts: Your essay is really good, break it up into paragraphs. I'll check back for your revision.
arianna_muv 8 / 15  
Dec 20, 2011   #3
Are you Peruvian? those are peruvian foods and im peruvian.
socioeconomicall y my superiors but academically
OP erndawg 4 / 13  
Dec 20, 2011   #4
hey guys i revised the essay and incorporated more of my background into it. Ill post a new thread with the new essay on it.
Jennyflower81 - / 690 96  
Dec 20, 2011   #5
A few things:

You are on the right track. The way you describe your situation with your parents is wonderful. Although you call it a "talk" when you only explain one sentence that was spoken. You may want to elaborate on that.

As the tears dripped on the table, I realized how harsh it was for him to talk about such a delicate matter. Who's tears? Yours? Your father's, mother's?

I remember sitting there for what seemed an eternity, my eyes locked with my father's. The emotional connection in the room was powerful and this marked the beginning of my change in perspective on education. You are saying the right thing, although I would re-word the second sentence here.
WelcomeCollege 3 / 10  
Dec 22, 2011   #6
Good topic, but the i think you portray yourself too "street". I understand that your parents have never gone to college, but instead of you fear, you should talk about how this quote inspired you and how you parents pushed you into your success today.
jgb - / 3  
Dec 22, 2011   #7
I like it! Your essay is honest and sincere, demonstrating that you will make a great student in college. Wonderful visual imagery- I can see you and your dad at the table. I love your description of street life and what it means to be a first generation student.

Make sure to add punctuation: "You have to go to college." (If you speak Spanish at home consider starting with the Spanish translation to make it more authentic).

There are a few places where you can trim words. (Every time you see repetition consider deleting.; there are places where "my" can be cut. It seems overused.)

Use "students who" rather than "students that" ; In fact, doublecheck each instance you use "that" to make sure it shouldn't we "who" or "whom"

For the last sentence consider stengthening: I will be different. (rather than "want to be").
cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 22, 2011   #8
I think this is great:D especially about the classroom equalizer part :)

Maybe also change the last sentence "I want to be different" It sounds pretty generic...which the rest of your essay has not been, so you should make it powerful to the very end!

If you don't mind, also look at mine!

ALSO this essay would be great for the American College (or was it Scholarship) Foundation's "Why a College Education is important to me" scholarship essay question - the q is something along those lines :) You should go for it, deadline is not too late!!!!
inventor1488 2 / 17  
Dec 23, 2011   #9
As time went on, most of them dropped out of school to work and the one's that didn't succumbed to the drug problems that plagued our neighborhood.


remove the apostrophe. you are not saying "one is", are you?

but I would get rid of "the ones" entirely and replace it with "those"
agronr 3 / 12  
Dec 25, 2011   #10
The essay is great. i like how you connected your aspirations to the hispanic community and how you want to be different. i dont have any criticisms, i just had to say how good it was.

can you please check mine?
OP erndawg 4 / 13  
Dec 25, 2011   #11
Thanks! Are there any grammar mistakes? If somebody can help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it and I can help you with your essay :)

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