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Not much happens in a town that can be completely mapped out in someone's head; essay choice


sage0497 1 / 1  
Nov 9, 2014   #1
I can't decide between two personal statements that I wrote in order to apply for UW. I would appreciate any help in deciding which one is better and correcting any mistakes I've made.

1. Not much happens in a town that can be completely mapped out in someone's head. Besides going to the movie theater to watch movies that have already been seen by the majority of America, the youth's daily activities consist of walking around and gossiping. And the people who don't like to walk find time to gossip while sitting. Everyone knows everyone, and privacy is almost unheard of.

When I showed up as the quiet girl from California, I became the new hobby. I hadn't been able to make many friends in California due my inability to assert myself in the land of the outspoken. After moving to Montana, everyone wanted to be my friend, which in my eyes was great. I quickly created the reputation of a shy, sweet, innocent girl and everyone loved me. At least, that's what I thought. I wasn't used to the manipulation of a small town and I became an easy target. The pretty girls took me under their wings to turn me into their mini-me. I found myself fitting in quite nicely, having taken up the usual hobby of gossiping. I became so used to pointing out my peers' flaws, judgment became a part of me.

Even so, I never changed. I was always the sweet girl from California who just wanted to fit in. I grew up believing that I needed to conform in order to be accepted, so I emulated what I observed. Sure, I knew pointing out a girl's baggy pants in a louder-than-usual voice to draw attention to her was cruel, but it made my friends laugh.

It's strange, looking back now, to realize how much I had changed. I was enrolled into elementary school with big eyes and small hand writing. By the time I left Polson Middle School, my eyes were filled with sleep and my hand writing grew to compensate for a lack of being heard. I was living a lie in the hands of my so-called friends, and I was tired of it. One can only ignore themselves for so long.

I hated myself for what I had become. If it wasn't for moving to Washington at thirteen, I might have continued on a path that my conscious would be ashamed of, all for the price of fitting in. Peer pressure is a powerful thing, and without it I wouldn't have been able to differentiate between a girl I could have been and the girl I want to be. I don't want to spend my life worrying about others when I could be achieving my dreams.

Since Montana, I have become increasingly selfish. I discovered that the world was more than just a popularity contest, and began to focus on what I want. I go to school now not with the intention to make my parents happy, but with the want to build a base for success. I learned that there's only so much I can do to keep my friends happy before I need to start worrying about my own happiness.

It would be rational to believe that my younger self made a lot of mistakes, but without her I wouldn't be who I am today. I know now that I deserve better than what others want for me, and I'm going to do everything I can to make myself happy.

2. In my head, it didn't matter that I completely ignored my conscious to keep my friends. Sure, I knew pointing out a girl's baggy pants in a louder-than-usual voice to draw attention to her was cruel, but it made my friends laugh. I had grown to believe that that was how you kept friends, by conforming to make them happy.

It's strange, looking back now, to realize how much I had changed. I was enrolled into elementary school with big eyes and small hand writing. By the time I left Polson Middle School, my eyes were filled with sleep and my hand writing grew to compensate for a lack of being heard. I was living a lie in the hands of my so-called friends, and I was tired of it. One can only ignore themselves for so long.

I stopped pushing myself to find flaws in others to make my friends happy, and I was punished. The people that I had put on a pedestal no longer needed me, so they let me go. At age twelve, I was friendless and the owner of a disgusting reputation. The same kid I had laughed at because of her clothes now pointed at me in the lunchroom for sitting alone.

I entered homeschooling because I couldn't put up with the hallway stares I received and the constant reminder of my loneliness. I guess I didn't seem to think that sitting in my room all day, teaching myself subjects that were usually taught by a professional teacher would make me feel any more alone.

At the same time, my parents decided that it was in my family's best interest to move to Washington.

My days were spent reading the textbooks sent to me from a homeschooling academy and trying to find things to do to keep my mind busy, but I couldn't hide from my thoughts. I told myself that I deserved all of the sadness that my friends caused me. For hurting others, I characterized myself as a horrible person. Eventually, I even grew to hate myself.

I reentered public school the next year with the lowest self esteem of my life. I didn't care if people liked me because I could completely understand why they wouldn't. I did my homework and went to school to make my parents happy, but as I saw it, my life would forever be one of indifference.

Regardless of giving up, my life kept moving. I met a girl who didn't want to use me, but rather just wanted to get to know me. I realized, because of her, that I don't deserve to hold onto the bad of my past. The person who hurt others was never really me.

When I discovered that the world was more than just a popularity contest, I became much more selfish. I went to school for me rather than just my parents because I had dreams to achieve. I learned that there's only so much I can do to keep my friends happy before I need to start worrying about my own happiness.

It would be rational to believe that I went through a period of depression, but it's important to know that I got through it. I still have negative thoughts, and I know that my experiences of being alone have forever changed me, but each day is becoming easier and easier to live. I know now that I deserve the best, and I'm going to do everything I can to achieve that, despite what others want.

aj97 2 / 3  
Nov 9, 2014   #2
I believe that your first statement portrays your progression in life based on your past better than the second. You took your time to clearly explain step by step how you came to be. Also, the first statement seems to be on the more positive side, and is just written very well in general!
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Nov 10, 2014   #3
Sarah, although I am not sure about what essay prompt you are answering, I can tell you that the first essay you drafted has more appeal than the second once. At least that is my opinion on the matter. The reason I chose the first one for you is because it shows and actual development and growth in your character while also presenting the observant side of your personality which will not normally be presented in other essay prompts. The second one feels kind of generic because you related a story that can be developed through other common apps. The first one however, shows that you have come a very long way in life and you have managed to learn some things about the people around you and how different you are from them. Those are qualities and traits that often call out to an admission officer in an essay. While there are grammatical errors in the first essay, it also presents room for further discussion development. I hope you opt to do that if you choose to use the first essay. It can really be a powerful essay once revised :-)


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