Unanswered [1] | Urgent [0]

Home / Undergraduate   % width Posts: 4

Growth of Resilience - UC Personal Statement 2

sdelicana 5 / 10  
Nov 28, 2012   #1
So I decided to write a whole new essay because I realized that my previous one is just terrible and lacking a lot of character. I think this one is more expressive, or "personal," I should say, BUT this is incredibly last minute. It's my first draft and it didn't take me nearly as much time as I had with my other essays. Anyway, please be as critical as possible. After you read this essay, you'll know that I would love to hear all the constructive criticisms!

Prompt: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

As much as I loved my childhood, I cried nearly every week- not because of physical pain, bullying, or anything an average kid would reasonably cry about- but because of my Science teacher teasing me about a boy, my dad making fun of my high-pitched sneeze, or my relatives forcing me to sing karaoke in front of a crowd. Looking back on the dreadful fragment of my childhood, I was indeed pathetic and fragile. But as I was approaching adolescence, I had a sudden change of heart. I haven't cried in nearly six years.

When I came to America at eleven years old, I encountered the pressure of finding my place in a terribly unfamiliar crowd. In fifth grade, I was always lucky enough to go through daily discussions without uttering a word, but one day, my teacher called my name, asked me to provide a sentence pertaining to the lesson, and I instantly froze, with all of my classmates' eyes fixed on me in deafening silence. I felt a rush of heat run through my face, and I was certain that by the moment I articulate a word, my voice would quiver. I was on the verge of tears, but I held back and hesitantly answered.

In sixth grade, my Math class required a great deal of participation. I always received the best test scores, but never the best class grade because of my immense lack of social involvement. My teacher once confronted me and said, "You are the quietest person I have ever known." Because of my strong dread for confrontation, I was on the verge of tears, but I held back and hesitantly smiled. That was the last misty-eyed feeling that I remember.

I entered high school as a nobody, unfamiliar with every face, but it didn't matter. Teachers singled me out for answers, which often left me mortified but never tearful like before. I breezed through class presentations without sensing an impending nervous breakdown. I have even encountered the most judgmental individuals who were cruel enough to voice their spiteful minds, but their words did not affect me.

I despised the feeling of vulnerability. I wept over the most ridiculous things, and it made me feel defenseless; I was a child without a voice. Throughout the subsequent years, I faced cruel criticisms about my work, my writing, and even my countenance, but I dealt with every single judgment with a smile. I simply grew up.

---- I know it's lacking a lot of things, but I just want to know if I should work on this essay or stick with my old one.

lynzee22 - / 90 37  
Mar 4, 2015   #2
The organization and grammar in this essay are overall very good.
However, I have some suggestions about the content. First of all, I would not criticize yourself in the essay. Calling yourself "pathetic," for example, sounds like you are seeking sympathy too much.

I would also incorporate your final point throughout your essay. At the end you say you "simply grew up". Elaborate more on what you mean by this. Also, I would not use that phrase. I would say "I learned to smile at criticism even though it hurt me. I knew if I listened, and tried to improve on what the person said I would become a better person/student etc." Add sentences throughout like this one, demonstrating how you learned from each of these experiences as a child.

If you add stuff like this, I think your essay will turn out very good.
I hope this helped.
aikoashiya 1 / 39 26  
Mar 4, 2015   #3
Like Lindsay above, I believe that the essay is very clearly written, though some spots might warrant a re-write such as "or anything an average kid would reasonably cry about- change this to a comma or separate into another sentence but because of my Science teacher teasing me about a boy".

While you have a fairly interesting start, the content in the body is rather generic of many shy/more introverted people, and you never get to the present-you until the very last paragraph. The admissions office wants to know about who you are today, not who you were or who you used to be, so while you can talk about your past you really need to relate it back to how it has changed you. What does facing everything with a smile now mean to you, or what does it mean that you "simply grew up" because many people grow up and many people face hardships with a smile.

For example, your second and third body paragraph essentially state the same thing as your first paragraph - that you were asked questions in class, but overcame it. You may want to instead consider how you overcame it, how "growing up" has made you a more confident person, etc. Honestly, the only sense of you that I can glean from your essay is that you were a more sensitive child who eventually matured which is something that really most people can attest to. Adding more details about yourself, or relating more context to yourself will help explain to the reader who you have become today.

I hope I didn't come off too harsh, but this is just my 2 cents! Hopefully it helps :)
dquinlan11 - / 16 7  
Mar 4, 2015   #4
Sdelicana, you provide excellent details about your challenges growing up, but I think paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 could be combined into a sort-of "evidence" paragraph that substantiates the initial introductory paragraph. Also, dig deeper into those experiences and summarize what virtues you were lacking during those difficult times or what made you unconfident.

If you do that, your first two paragraphs will focus on your difficult experiences, while your subsequent paragraphs will focus on details of how you overcame those difficulties and which virtues you were able to acquire to become a more confident person. And maybe you have an anecdote to share of one instance where this confidence began to bloom. That, I think would tie the essay together nicely.

Hope that helps!

Home / Undergraduate / Growth of Resilience - UC Personal Statement 2