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The influence of my father and his loss - Columbia application essay


littlecurious 1 / 1  
Jun 30, 2019   #1

challenge, setback, or a failure time



I'm an international student and a help said I rushed the last paragraph of my essay so I would like advice on how to improve that especially but any tips are accepted and appreciated

prompt: The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


It was a cold Saturday night when my mom and I received my father's last call. The second of July 2016, the date I invited in secret a special guy to my father's house at night, so I started the day excited. If I reflect on that day, it would be a beautiful one.

My father, my hero whom I love very much. He would caress me with his big hands warm to the touch. He would always make his best effort to love me, guide me, and teach me. His age was affecting his health, he felt his knees weakening day by day and he would still work over eleven hours a day just for my sake.

He signed me up in the Peruvian North American Cultural Institute when I was six to prepare me for the future. Believing that English would help me with more opportunities. Searching for the best schools and institutes to ensure my academic future.

Apart from giving me academic chances, he consented me going to the cinema or having a walk just to unwind and talk afterward about our days. Everyone can picture me looking happy standing next to him. That is why the second of July was an exciting Saturday for me.

I told my dad I would stay the night so we could spend the entire Sunday together. I was in my house packing some clothes in my backpack when the loud telephone rang and my mom rushed to pick it up. The next thing I remember was my mom trying to get a taxi to get to my father's place as fast as we could. When we arrived, they had already taken him to the hospital.

The special guy I mentioned before came after I heard the devastating words "he didn't make it". I explained the situation to him he hugged me whispering an "everything will be okay" and went home. Maybe the words of my father's departure didn't hit me that hard at the time but I busied myself with comforting my siblings and my mother, the tears and the loud cries filled the air.

Later, I would feel the whole spectrum of consequences. My father was my main financial aid, and he paid for my school and other extracurricular activities. Innova Schools where I finished high school was nice enough to offer me a circumstantial scholarship. But the most painful consequence was the void he left in me.

For months, I would wander around without a purpose when it hit me. I was taking my father's death as a setback instead of honoring his hard work. I decided it was time to take action and follow my passion no matter the challenges. I'm applying for a college in the United States of America first because it was always my dream ever since I discovered their education system and student life. Second, I believe I can do so much more, and no matter how difficult I will give my all to achieve my dreams.

Maria [Contributor] - / 490 214  
Jul 1, 2019   #2
@littlecurious
Hi there!

Welcome to the forum. I'll provide you with feedback on your writing.

Firstly, I appreciate the story-telling nature of your writing. The elaborate and specific details are all helpful in terms of exploring the specifics of your written content. Because this is a narrative form of content, there is appreciation for the organization of your paragraphs and the condensed nature of your writing. Try to just enhance the tone you're using to maintain consistency in content and appropriate adjectives.

That being said, the structure of the sentences themselves can be improved. Try to create simpler sentences that will enhance the overall content that you have. Notice how you had a clear tendency to create quite lengthy sentences. Focus more on your usage of punctuation and preposition. When you're trying to use punctuation marks, ensure that you're using them appropriately.

For instance, when you're trying to quote, you have to put a comma before the line - otherwise, it would not have the appropriate structure.

Additionally, while the story was great in explaining your thoughts, I feel as though you need to have a more strategic link in the latter or last parts. You were not quite specific as to why your life as an international student had an impact on your experience with your dad passing away. Because of this, try to always set focus.

Best of luck as always.


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