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Undergraduate   Posts: 3

"What are you going to be?" My identity essay for college


LeHoangVu2001 1 / -  
Oct 21, 2018   #1

college application essay



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.

"What are you going to be?" A simple question for anybody, but a tall order for me. The journey to find my destined career path has been a rough one, but definitely worthwhile: It represented a maturity in my outlook on the world.

As a young child, I had imagined becoming a courageous policeman catching lawbreakers; or a daring pilot eager to explore the deepest corners of the sky... like any other boys who wished to embrace a lucrative occupation. But time was devious: It went by, took away children's innocent aspirations and placed the reality in front of their eyes. "Great powers come great responsibility" - Achieving success in such demanding fields require a tremendous amount of dedication and risk-taking willingness, which did not fittingly match my personality. Yet I still consider them as vivid reminders of a once-dreamy childhood.

During middle school years, one regretful mistake I had made was devoting too much time to keeping up with the superfluous academic "race" to please my parents and teachers while neglecting my "duty" to figure out my true passion. In the end, four precious years languished without any considerations for the future, and I was still baffled by the question of my chosen career at an important crossroad of life and the transitional stage to adulthood - high school.

Before starting high school, an intense conflict of ideals rises within my troubled mind: Whether to continue on with the uninspiring existence as before or aim for a more exciting yet more challenging lifestyle? Eventually, the change-yearning heart won me over, setting the dawn of a new page in my development. With a renewed determination, I set eyes on the extracurricular activities that I used to blatantly ignore, but could be the key to explore my potential. With a great command in English, I took on language-required roles such as TED Volunteer Translator and news editor for a community of superhero enthusiasts. Converting speeches from a language to another at high accuracy and condensing them into short, interpretable texts might sound a menial and time-consuming task, but the more I indulged myself into the job, the more I grew to love it, as not only could my language utilization skill be sharpened but my wisdom were also enriched with a treasure trove of specialized knowledge. The turning point occurred when I was admitted into Liberate Yourself - a student organization that I admired for their pioneering mindset - and Asia Student Summit 2018 - a gathering of innovative and aspiring young leaders across Asia hosted in Seoul, South Korea.

Contributing to collaborative projects and engaging with Asian youth community to interpret the world-changing impacts of social media platforms had truly broadened my perspective. Since then, I found myself greatly enticed by the prospect of launching a career in digital media field where I could use my knowledge and experience to inspire youths into finding their dream path and become a guiding light to help them make informed choices on their own - things that I could not learn without the help of burgeoning media itself. Now I can imagine myself of 10 years later being a social media personality working towards helping teenagers losing track of their lives to rediscover their role and value in the society.

"What are you going to be?" I used to be overwhelmed by the inability to give a satisfying answer, but after embarking on the journey to rediscover my potential, I can now proudly say that there is finally a place where I truly belong to. Lastly, I would like to give a message to the forthcoming generation: Sometimes in life you can feel unmotivated. If you are bogged down, do not worry. Keep your head up and go on searching for your value, your passion. The day of success will not be too far ahead!

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,179 1785  
Oct 21, 2018   #2
Vu, I can see why you thought of using this common app prompt for this essay. It reflects your "interest" in languages at a certain point. While that does fit into the prompt, I believe that the better fit / prompt for your presentation is this one:

5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Please allow me to explain why I believe that the change in prompt will benefit the essay that you developed. Throughout the essay, you have made the reviewer conscious of the fact that you had wasted time, squandered opportunities, and basically remained lost for an extended period which prevented you from figuring out what you want to be when you grow up. The essay, as yo wrote it was all about these "realizations". That, is the reason why I believe my suggested prompt will be a more suitable discussion topic for your essay.

Within your presentation, you clearly offer the reviewer the opportunity to learn about this period of time when you it slowly dawned on you that you need to take control of your life and figure the direction you want to take it in. Along with the other activities that you participated in, you clearly show a period of personal growth that led you to a deeper understanding of yourself, what you want for your future, and how you want to achieve it. Hence, this other prompt is better suited to your written essay. Consider changing the prompt to the one I am suggesting. It will help to create a more informative and relevant essay for the reviewer to consider.

In the concluding paragraph, remove the reference to your message to the future generation. That is superfluous to the content of the essay.
sg2468 2 / 2 1  
Oct 21, 2018   #3
... to keeping up with the superfluous ... my true passion.

I don't think you meant it this way, but to me this paragraph sounds a little like you're bragging or arrogant. I wouldn't say that you had "made the mistake" of spending so much time on schoolwork--it makes it seem like you think that studying hard is a mistake. Also putting words like "race" in quotes typically implies that it has an ironic meaning, which you do not want for this essay. I think you would want to rephrase it maybe by not saying that you made a mistake by spending time on schoolwork, but rather you had not focused on finding your true passions.


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