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'To be influential' commonapp essay

jwbx2yl 1 / 2  
Oct 30, 2009   #1
hi, Im from China and here is my commonapp essay. hope you will help, any comment is welcome. thanks~

On the day I started my primary school life, I asked the first question I searched answers for years: 'Mum, what is the difference between millionaires and beggars?' At that time, it seemed to me a lollipop would please a beggar for days but a millionaire for no time, so a beggar could persue happiness with much more ease than a millionaire. However, I failed to understand why I wrote in my homework either 'I wanna be a banker' or 'I wanna be a the chairman of the nation'.

In middle school, I came across Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Despite the character's dazzling me with his great spirit and attractive charisma, I payed no more attention to him after I had a Chinese exam the next day in which I scored much lower than usual. 'Atticus deserves no admiration. He is just fictional!' I thought. However, I turned out to follow unconsciously some of his life rules such as 'Help the poor!' or 'Follow your own mind!'

Two days ago, my grandfather, a rural middle school teacher when young, had a formal discussion about my future with me because soon I will enter the adult world. 'You are destined to be influential', said my grandfather, 'or God would not have set your adulthood ceremony on Lunar New Year's day!' The words seemed superstitious but I was shocked, for I have only noticed that it happened to be on Valentine's day. Such a difference in perspective, which internally indicated a difference between tradition and westernization, made me anxious. Grandfather, along with my dad, who graduated from Tsinghua University, has long been my mentor of life. And deviating from a mentor's way worth my worry. But what shocked me with even more severity was the 'You are destined to be influential'. How I doubted if that was ever going to happen! For seventeen years, I have been living by duplicating my mentors' deed. I studied hard to get fair grades because I knew my father studied hard. I raised books for Wenchuan Earthquake victims because I knew my grandfather payed for his students when they lacked money for tuition. Granted, by copying others' lives, I did fair jobs both on and off class. I relatively developed sense of responsibility, innovation, leadership, and I learned communication skills. But never have I known the real goal of my life.

Soon the millionaire and beggar question and Atticus Finch came up to my mind. As if driven by divinity, I suddenly realized that what a millionaire is capable of while a beggar usually not is influencing people in positive ways, that I was actually influenced by Atticus Finch the Fictional just as I was influenced by my elders! What was more, I came the conclusion that I did not actrually 'duplicated' my elders because I myself have always been willing to influence others in positive ways since I have entered my junior school! That was the reason why I wronte my dream of becoming president of the nation and uncounsciously followed Atticus' rules; that was also the reason why I cried when my junior school headteacher removed my monitor position and cheered when I became the president of students body in secondary school.

Now, here my life goal is: to influence other people in positive ways.

As for me, to influence others positively does not merely mean to pay for indigent students. Neither it merely means to defend a black against the accusation of raping a white woman. I want to do more. Though not clear what 'more' exactly means yet, I can anticipate that I will figure it out and it is for sure going to be beneficial. To achieve such a seemingly grandiose life goal, there is still too much to do. I still lack the maturity, knowledge, experience and human resources as I will soon enter the adult world, but I have done fair job in the past years and I believe that I will strive for my goal persistently in the future.
jaimeealexis 3 / 7  
Oct 31, 2009   #2
the first paragraph is a little unclear i would just leave out the idea of beggars & millionaires. that's just my opinion
lichun2644 1 / 2  
Oct 31, 2009   #3
I suggest that you may consider to tell your life goal in the beginning.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 1, 2009   #4
...asked a question that I had been trying to answer for years: 'Mum...

Oh, I really love the question you asked, and I love what you wrote about how a beggar can find more happiness!! That is a great start. Congratulations for having so much wisdom...

This is too general: Now, here my life goal is: to influence other people in positive ways. Instead, say something specific. You want to help people to APPRECIATE what they have.

At the end of the essay, talk about the beggar and the rich person again. Make the last paragrah remind the reader of that idea from the first paragraph.

:-) You are great!!
OP jwbx2yl 1 / 2  
Nov 3, 2009   #5
wow, it feels sooooo great to see your reply, THX!!!
I was thinking about reiterating the question at the end, but i thought that would make it seem too long. I mean, there are already 680 words in all. does it matter?

anyway, it seems im gonna add something at the end.
the 'too general' problem is actually disturbing me as well... hope i'll figure it out~

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