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From handpumps to Books - my commonApp personal


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Jun 10, 2019   #1

'sewa' - altruistic helping



"Get up, we need to go!!", my mother screeched. With blurry vision and a groggy mood, a nine year old me reluctantly joined my family outside. There it was the dreaded hand pump, taunting me. groggily, I got to it, pumping till my arms were sore... Next was making laddus, an activity I enjoyed. Then collecting shoes at the temple. This is how I spend 10-15 days of my summer since I was 5. I couldn't understand as a child why I should tire myself so much doing laborious and small jobs for free. But that has shaped a huge part of my life now. My whole life I've done 'sewa'(altruistic helping). I've always been taught to help people in some form or other.

When I turned 10, every other weekend I went to an NGO with 50 kids to teach English, Math, Public Speaking and to even tell jokes. Whenever I used to meet them, they had a glimmer in their eyes, portraying the genuine excitement they felt, which made me work hard to plan every class better than the last. Our family paid for their school fees and their books. I grew up with these kids, I've heard some kids teenage problems, others domestic problems. They're family, they've helped me grow into the person I am now. They motivated me to help others like them, so I taught at another NGO, which was starting out, so didn't have many resources. There I saw that 70% of the kids didn't even go to school, cause they couldn't afford the books. I never realised how big the problem was until then. That group was huge, around 200 kids! Ironically, 2 weeks later my finals for 11th grade ended, what I saw next shocked me. As I exited my exam hall, I saw papers flying in the air, on the ground, all torn in pieces. Books that could've get a child to school, books that could educate, books thrown by the educated. I picked up each and every paper, with the support of my friends. thats when it hit me, exam season had ended, and books will be thrown, I decided to start a book drive, I put posters in school, circulated e-posters on WhatsApp, contacted an NGO to collaborate with to touch a larger audience. In one month, we collected around 1500 books. When I gave those books to those kids, their faces lit up and they told me that you've made my life. A small effort, got 17 10th graders to give their boards and many more to school.

I continue to teach several students important life skills, trying to provide all the resources which I can, through myself, my friends and my family. The hidden talent in the streets of many cities in India, motivate me to get up and help in whatever way I can. These kids have taught me to be grateful and work hard to achieve my dreams. They have taught me that excuses are for losers. They have unknowingly given me strength during my hardest times.

Maria [Contributor] - / 366 173  
Jun 10, 2019   #2
@ughcollege
Hi there!

It would be beneficial and helpful for us to have a brief background of the target of your essay and the goals that you wish to attain by the end of it. This will help us have a more in-depth understanding of how to assess the overall outlook of your essay.

That being said, I do have a couple of key suggestions from what I can see in the essay.

Be mindful of the structure of your sentences. Consistency is key when you are writing - remember this at all times. It is critical that you are able to fully incorporate thoughts into structured patterns. Follow the conventions of writing at all times; this will, of course, help you write in accordance to the fundamentals of English. If you can get this out of the way, you'll have more grasp of the other aspects of the essay.

If you're not confined by a word count, I would extend the last paragraph. While you had quite an authentic and descriptive experience laid out in the preceding portions of the text, you can redirect your attention into focusing more on what values specifically these children have taught you. You were using quite generalized terms (ie. "these kids have taught me to be grateful and work hard to achieve my dreams"). It would be great if you could, for instance, link personal events to this analysis or concluding remarks. Was there a time in your life before that you were discouraged from persevering towards your long-term goals? If yes, make a comparative analysis of your perceptions then and now. Remember that being intimate (disclosing as much detail as you wish to) can help readers empathize more with your character.

Best of luck as always!


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