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I have not had a good English teacher since my freshman year of high school

allisond112 1 / -  
Sep 22, 2016   #1
What was the environment in which you were raised? Describe your family and how it shaped you

I have not had a good English teacher since my freshman year of high school. Now I am a senior and trying to apply for college... Please critique this essay and help me out. Honestly, I have no idea how to begin this or write it.

"Remember that you have a student council meeting right after school today!" My mom shouted to me as I got out of the truck to walk into the high school with my Poptart and coffee in hand.

"I'm not going," I said back to her as I picked up my backpack.
"Yes, you are," she ordered me in her teacher voice. Knowing that I would not win this argument, I closed the door of the truck and started walking toward the school, preparing myself for another dreadfully long day.

My freshman year of high school I began going through a phase of being completely withdrawn from everything. I did not want to be a part of any extracurricular activities or organizations and I told my family I did not want to go to college. Like, I was dead serious wanting to work at McDonalds. Being a senior now, I still remember some of my feelings and the thoughts that went through my head. I did not like the idea of being pressured to be a perfect person that made good grades and never did anything wrong. That was exactly how I felt being the daughter of two teachers. Being fifteen, I was in this rebellious stage where I felt like if I said I did not want to accomplish anything but landing a job at McDonalds, I was setting myself at a place where it was almost impossible to not meet my goal. My goal being exactly the opposite of what my parents wanted for me. I have always made good grades, but until sophomore year, it was from almost pure luck. I never studied or spent time outside of school doing school work.

Besides wanting to go against everyone in my life that wanted me to be successful, I really did not have any type of motivation in my life at the time. I am not saying that I did not have people there for me and to support me, but I did not believe there was anything motivating me to accomplish things. I put up a shield that kept me from seeing how much support and love I really had surrounding me. I was withdrawn from participating in life basically. A problem I created myself and would eventually have to get out of myself because it was literally all in my head.

The end of my freshman year, I received my class ranking and my current grade point average. My parents have always wanted me to be valedictorian and knew that if I set my mind to it, I could accomplish that. Even though I was set on working at McDonalds and not making much of myself, I wanted to at least make them proud by being the top ranking student in my grade. When I received my transcript, I was ranked second. It left me devastated, even though I knew I had not been as committed as I should have been to school and my grades. Graduating top of my class, was one of the only things I was really wanting; so from that day on, I became committed to bettering not only my future, but my current self.

All success that anyone acquires in their lifetime is fueled from commitment. There is a lot of other values such as responsibility, education, passion, but success comes down to commitment- always. Relationships, jobs, careers, education, and family requires dedication from individuals. In the ninth grade, I believed I could go through life and be happy just by putting in enough effort to get me to the next step. Acquiring my class rank made me realize that barely getting by every obstacle was not going to lead me to accomplish my goal of making my parents proud. To achieve being the top-ranked student in my grade, I was going to have to have full commitment to better myself and my grades. Being dedicated to my grades and bettering myself did not leave me with no life or fun. If anything, it has left me less stressed than ever before. At one point, I would not finish assignments until minutes before they were due, even if I had weeks ahead of time to complete them. That was stress that I created all on my own. I know my goals and I know how to reach them.

There are still obstacles, but being committed to myself and nothing or no one else have left me able to overcome all of them. This is not being selfish or self absorbed; like I once believed. The only person you are born into this world to take care of is yourself. When you board a flight and are given instructions of what to do in an emergency, the flight attendant will always tell you to first apply your own safety mask before helping others. To be successful and meet your goals, you have to be committed to yourself. That took me longer than it should to understand.

As a senior now, I have my priorities straight. I know exactly what I want and how I will obtain it. From going through a time where I refused to think of myself and my future, I have learned that dedication and commitment is the only way I will reach my goals and find true happiness with my life and myself. Like the rapper, Drake says in one of his songs, "Know yourself, know your worth."
TJLuschen - / 241 203  
Sep 22, 2016   #2
Hi, I enjoyed your essay. Before I go into detailed corrections/suggestions let me make some general comments. This seems to focus too much on that Freshman year. I realize that was your turning point, but literally half of your essay is focused on that part of your past. I think it is better to focus a little more on the present and the future. The main point should be how you turned things around (though I admit having your "low point" be ranked second in your class instead of first is a little anti-climatic - while reading, I assumed you would get an F or something that would jolt you back to reality} But anyway, how exactly did you get that commitment? How exactly did that change the remainder of your high school career? You say your parents were teachers and so you went through a rebellious phase, but is there any other way your family affected you? Did they help you or hinder you in your commitment and your quest to be ranked #1?
Iedha01 21 / 40  
Sep 28, 2016   #3
Hi Allison,

You've done a good job I think. Your writing has a good flow and amazing stories. That's why I enjoy reading yours.
There is only few grammatical issues that I' ve found, For example,

... I was setting myself at a place where it was almost impossible TO NOT MEET my goal. (If you want to state negative sentence, you should put do/does +not, and I think you suppose to say IT WAS ALMOST DO NOT MEET MY GOAL)

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