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anpeterj 1 / -  
Dec 31, 2011   #1
This is my essay for the common app any help would be much appreciated!

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

"Adios!" yelled the children as I traveled back to the Rubelsanto Airport. It was the last time I would be seeing the children's awe-inspiring optimism and happiness. I was filled with heartache as I saw the children disappearing in the distance. This was the last of my memories during my visit to Chisec, Guatemala. I never thought that a small mission trip to Guatemala would significantly change my perspective of the world. This experience, assisting and living with the Guatemalans, gave me the leverage to start anew and led to its immense impact on my character.

When I first arrived in the foreign country I had no idea what to expect. Not to mention it was my first time out the states, out of my comfortable environment. We first settled down in an empty hospital where we lived for a couple days. During those days, we went out and assisted at a local school. There had been a significant number of children in school but not the amount you would find back in Virginia. I was shocked by this number and the fact that many children did not own shoes or basic supplies for school. The biggest shock to me had to be the great amount of happiness which was portrayed evidently in their lives. The smiles on the children's faces were like nothing I have ever seen before. Their overwhelming joy engulfed me and put a smile on my face. The fact that they were this happy yet had absolutely nothing, relative to the average American, seemed paradoxical to me. How could they be this happy? As I continued to travel around Chisec, I pondered this question and tried to find an answer. I then met a child who lived only with his mother and asked him why he was so happy. He responded by saying "Agradecidos por todo..." which translated to "thankful for everything". Everything and anything that occurs has a purpose and you should be thankful for the life you live. My eyes had opened up to the world and my perspective on life broadened. The visit to Chisec had made me what I am today and has shaped me into a more patient and appreciative human being. What I had first thought of as being a simple mission trip of assisting others led to the greater understanding and appreciation of life.
pinkcheetah 2 / 13  
Dec 31, 2011   #2
I didn't find anything that bothered me grammatically.

The advice I have to offer is that since you have about 100 words to spare, I'd add a little more content about how it impacted you specifically and if it reflected in any of your actions. You may also want to separate it into more than 2 paragraphs. The second seems a little daunting to read.

You could also describe the town of Chisec a little bit more so that the reader can create a better mental picture.

I really like the topic of the essay though! It has a sweet message.

Please help me with my essay if you can. It's due tonight. Thanks!