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My Doubt - Common App/ Significant Experience/achievement/risk


macmurderharder 1 / -  
Apr 28, 2013   #1
Hi everyone!

This is a rough draft of my personal statement. Please, please, please help me out in furnishing it, and also, please do comment on the idea of the essay as well. Thanks!

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

My Doubt

My biggest insecurity was the doubt that my actions were insignificant. From donating books to playing cricket, I often wondered, "Why am I even doing this? This will hardly help my cause and it's not enough to make any significant changes in anything else either." Then I would think that I was too young, too poor, too feeble or too busy to change anything. The only thing that I thought I could do was focus on my own life. I clung strongly to this belief until I met Santosh.

Three years ago, I stumbled upon him in a roadside bazaar. A grocer's son, he baffled me with his stupendously agile mind as he calculated the cost of the items I bought. His father would feed Santosh with numbers and the boy would spit out the answers without any effort! Santosh's zest for learning amazed me too, for he always found time for his studies amidst the chaos of his father's business. Even for someone so poor, Santosh was a kid with a mission!

Eager to experience Santosh's world, I started hanging out with him. I introduced him to nifty little mathematical tricks, and watched him ace them with ease. I found a rapport budding between us, for mental calculation was our mutual niche. As we became closer friends, he shared with me his dreams of becoming a scientist and serving Nepal.

Yet, despite Santosh's contagious enthusiasm and determination, his fate didn't favor him. His father was killed in a terrible suicide bombing. Many children in Nepal shared Santosh's condition, so it was not the first time I had come across a similar situation. In each case, part of me wanted to help them, but I thought that whatever I did would make little difference. I was just a sixteen year old kid, living with my family that had its own share of problems. All I cared about was getting good grades and impressing my parents. I used my 'helplessness' to excuse myself from worrying about kids like Santosh. Ignorance and complacency would override my empathic voice, and I would do nothing.

Santosh's situation, however, was different. He was very close to me and I simply could not forget about him. He had quit school in order to make his family's ends meet. He was younger than me but was fully responsible for his family. Seeing him toil every day at the bazaar made me realize that he was going to work there for the rest of his life. It was horrifying to imagine myself in his shoes.

We shared a similar interest and yet, Santosh's life was headed towards a totally different direction than mine. I felt how opportunities could change one's whole life. I yearned to do my best to help him, so I decided to act.

From that day, I started saving my pocket money to fund Santosh's education. I was surprised to know that the amount I used to spend as monthly allowance could support Santosh's monthly school fees! Later, after graduating from high-school, I started teaching Maths to high-school seniors and continued to help his family. My small efforts helped change Santosh's life - he is doing very well in studies. His academic progress promises a better future.

After this, it dawned on me that if one opportunity like this brought about so much change in Santosh's life, what about the others? Don't they deserve a second shot in life?

Thus, I decided to act. I carried out a research in my locality for six months and analyzed the educational status of other unfortunate kids. I also contacted the local public schools. By doing so, now I have established EduKapan Educational Network, a network of volunteers like me, that funds these kids' education and provides them with free tuition classes.

In this way, I have been able to help more kids like Santosh, but sometimes my doubt still pesters me. Every day, I hear news about numerous more kids who haven't seen the light of education. This intimidates me and makes me question myself, "Is this enough?" It makes my effort to seem like a drop of water in a desert. Still, I sincerely hope that these small drops will accumulate to something worthy in the future; I will keep working for those kids no matter how meager my endeavors may seem, for from my experience with Santosh, I have learnt that action is better than complacency.

trilam153 9 / 21 3  
Apr 28, 2013   #2
For starter, it's a good essay. Not a native but i'll edit it as much as i can. Also, just a reminder, CommonApp prompt will be changed next year, so you may want to visit this website : commonapp.org/CommonApp/Docs/DownloadForms/2013/EssayAnnouncementFinal.pdf"For anyone edit after me, word limit is 650 and you may want to cut a lot of details.

Green --- CUTRed - Rephrase pleaseBlue -- ChangedItalic - I dont know what to do with this

My biggest insecurity was the doubt that my actions were insignificant. From donating books to playing cricket, I often wondered, "Why am I doing this? This will hardly help my cause and it's not enough to make any significant changes in anything else either ."I was too young, too poor, too feeble or too busy to change anything. The only thing that I thought I could do was focus on my own life. I clung strongly to this belief until I met Santosh.

Three years ago, I stumbled upon him in a roadside bazaar.As a gr ocer's son, he baffled me with his stupendously agile mind as he calculated the cost of the items I bought. His father would feed Santosh with numbers and the boy would spit out the answers without any effort! Santosh's zest for learning amazed me for he always found time for his studies amidst the chaos of his father's business. Even for someone so poor, Santosh was a kid with a mission!

Eager to experience Santosh's world, I started hanging out with him. I introduced him to nifty little mathematical tricks a nd watched himacethem with ease. I found a rapport budding between us, for mental calculation was our mutual niche. As we became closer friends, he shared with me his dreams of becoming a scientist and serving Nepal.

Yet, despite Santosh's contagious enthusiasm and determination, his fate didn't favor him. His father was killed in a terrible suicide bombing. Many children in Nepal shared Santosh's condition, so it was not the first time I had come across a similar situation. In each case, part of me wanted to help them, but I thought that whatever I did would make little difference.I was just a sixteen year old kid, living with my family that had its own share of problems. All I cared about was getting good grades and impressing my parents. I used my 'helplessness' to excuse myself from worrying about kids like Santosh. Ignorance and complacency overrode my empathic voice, and I did nothing.

However, Santosh's situation was different. He was very close to me and I simply could not forget about him . He quit school in order to make his ends meet. He was younger than me but was fully responsible for his family. Seeing him toil every day at the bazaar made me realize that he was going to work there for the rest of his life. It was horrifying to imagine myself in his shoes.

We shared a similar interest and yet, Santosh's life was headedtowards a differe nt direction than mine. I felt how opportunities could change one's whole life. I yearned to do my best to help him, and I de cided to act.

I s
tarted saving my pocket money to fund Santosh's education. I was surprised to know that the amount I used to spend as monthly allowance could support Santosh's monthly school fees! After graduated from high-school , I started teaching Maths to high-school seniors and continued to help his family. My small efforts helped change Santosh's life - he is doing very well in studies. His academic progress promises a better future.After this, it dawned on me that if one opportunity like this brought about so much change in Santosh's life, what about the others? Don't they deserve a second shot in life?Thus, I decided to act. [ You may not want to say this again because i read it somewhere above] I carried out a research in my locality for six months and analyzed the educational status of other unfortunate kids. I also contacted the local public schools to establish E duKapan Educational Network, a network of volunteers that funds helpless kids' education and provides them with free tuition classes.In this way, I have been able to help more kids like Santosh, but sometimes my doubt still pesters me. Every day, I hear news about numerous more kids who haven't seen the light of education. This intimidates me and makes me question myself, "Is this enough?" It makes my effort to seem like a drop of water in a desert. Still, I sincerely hope that these small drops will accumulate to something worthy in the future; I will keep working for those kids no matter how meager my endeavors may seem, for from my experience with Santosh, I have learnt that action is better than complacency.


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