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First generation US-born citizen - Texas


yoman316 2 / 3 2  
Jan 21, 2015   #1
Okay so I have just finished writing my draft for my first essay to the University of Texas and I need some input.

The prompt comes from Texas university.
"The statement of purpose will provide an opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances that you feel could add value to your application. You may also want to explain unique aspects of your academic background or valued experiences you may have had that relate to your academic discipline. The statement of purpose is not meant to be a listing of accomplishments in high school or a record of your participation in school-related activities."

My essay:

Growing up as a first generation American-born-citizen was difficult and even more so while being raised by a single mother and two older siblings. At times, my mother could not afford paying for oil during the winter to heat our showers or even keep the electricity going. Moving homes was a constant activity, which prevented me from making lasting friends and from sticking with sports teams or clubs. A profound scar was left on me as well as on my academic life.

As a child I had no bedtime, no adult to tell me to read, or parent to tell me to work hard in school. While it was easy to fall in the hands of laziness, danger, and dropping out of school, I contended to be a great student. I remember structuring my day so that I would be in bed before eight every night. I remember saving my money and waiting for the book fair so that I could buy a book to read. I remember receiving my report card and telling myself that next time I will do better. I remember begging my mother to put me into piano lessons after trying to teach myself. It was my drive that prevented me from dropping out of high school as both my older brothers did before me. I guided myself to be the best that I could be yet high school was especially troubling for me.

Starting my freshman year of high school I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder all of which hindered my social and academic life. I kept to myself and avoided any outside communication with friends, teachers, and even with my own family.

As my graduation approached, I began to own up to my problems. I began to be more social, more focused, more positive, and more active. My life gradually began to move past the darkness. Becoming an editor for my high school newspaper showed me that working hard does lead to good things and that same year, I had the opportunity to travel to Greece, which opened my eyes and heart to a more positive and peaceful life. I began to work harder to increase my GPA and even started attending school events! I now know how corrosive the depression, anxiety, and OCD was on my life but today I can say, with gratification, that the shadow remains behind me. It was a tormenting battle but it was a necessary one.

My first year in college was the time to prove to myself that I would do better than I did the previous years and I did prove it. I became the president of the adventure club and I was motivated to become the best student in my classes. I will continue to prosper and I hope Texas can see that valuable ability within me.

I wish to enroll to the University of Texas at Austin at this point because I need to be a more independent and major focused student and I will be at Texas. Attending Texas is my next step to prove that I can do better. I will continue my fight and do better at Texas. I hope the University of Texas can understand the hardships and compromises that affected my life yet understand the determination I grasp.

let me know if i should change anything.
kibz95 16 / 53 15  
Jan 21, 2015   #2
At times, my mother could not afford paying for oil during the winter to heat our showers or even keep the electricity going.

----> my mother could not afford oil during the winter or the electricity bills.

Moving homes was a constant activity, which prevented me from making lasting friends and from (you already have from: no need to repeat) sticking with sports teams or clubs. A profound scar was left on me as well as on my academic life.

---> Describe the scar. Was it a scar of loneness or a scar of anger towards your parents for moving too much? I need details! Also how does lack of friends or sports activity scar your academic life? There are other people who have studied harder BECAUSE they didn't have any friends or sports activity. Explain why your academic life was scarred.

I remember structuring my day so that I would be in bed before eight every night. I remember saving my money and waiting for the book fair so that I could buy a book to read. I remember receiving my report card and telling myself that next time I will do better. I remember begging my mother to put me into piano lessons after trying to teach myself.

I think three (I remember...) is enough. It's quite repetitive.

As my graduation approached, I began to own up to my problems. I began to be more social, more focused, more positive, and more active. My life gradually began to move past the darkness. Becoming an editor for my high school newspaper showed me that working hard does lead to good things and that same year, I had the opportunity to travel to Greece, which opened my eyes and heart to a more positive and peaceful life. I began to work harder to increase my GPA and even started attending school events! I now know how corrosive the depression, anxiety, and OCD was on my life but today I can say, with gratification, that the shadow remains behind me. It was a tormenting battle but it was a necessary one.

This is the biggest part of your essay but it needs to be organized. This paragraph describes the CHANGE of your past but if you begin with a simple transition sentence like As my graduation approached, It's going to seem that you changed just because graduation approached which is a poor reason to change. Instead, explain what inspired you to turn active and becoming an editor and so on. I don't see a trigger that evolved the dark you of the past to the bright you of the present. What sparked? Tell me.
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Jan 21, 2015   #3
Hello,

I think what you have done here is focus way too much on your negative past, without really painting a full picture of where you want to go in the future. I would dedicate a full 75% of this essay to your future and how this University and its resources will help you achieve them. While including a back story is ok, this school really wants to see how they will help you contribute positively to society. - Admissions Advice Online


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