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'inner conflicts' - Common app essay


Jerlynn 3 / 26  
Dec 28, 2011   #1
Dear all, pls help me with my common app essay. Pls be harsh and strict, especially grammatically. What do you think about the subject matter? is it too petty and vague? The ques is either one of these:

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

2. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

What do you guys think? should i rewrite it?

Pls help. Thanks!

I did not grow up in two different countries continents apart, I am not exotically of mixed heritage and I do not face the problem of not knowing any one of my parents - and yes, I am fairly certain they are both biologically mine. So, by comparisons to the thousands of people that are searching for their identity and their roots, it would seem that I have no 'legit' reasons for doing so. And yet, I spent years getting to where I am now; finally comfortable in my own skin.

As a child and more so as a teenager, I had much trouble trying to come to term with the two very different 'me'. These inner conflicts stemmed not from genetics or geography but rather from culture. I grew up in a traditional Chinese family. My family is one that is deeply rooted in tradition. All family members must be present during dinners, women are to help with house works and men are to be the breadwinners of the family are examples of cultural guidelines that we live by. My parents are happy to adhere to these rules and I do observe most of them out of appreciation for my native culture.

However, there is a side of me that deviate from this Chinese heritage and leans toward the western culture. This 'rebel' side of me is apparent in my speech, my action, my dressing, my taste and my way of life. While I speak fluent Chinese (excluding the occasional grapples with adjectives), I speak better English. While I have to struggle through Chinese books, I find solace in works by Shakespeare, Crichton and thousands of other writers that wrote in English. My favorite movies are in English and while my peers rave over Chinese artists, I listen to country singers like Blake Shelton and Faith Hill.

At one time in my life, these anomalies had caused me much confusion: Why do I identify more with a culture of countries that are thousand of miles away rather than my own? Where do I belong? Have I foolishly bought into commercialism and capitalism (yes, that thought did cross my mind)? Is this who I am or am I trying to assimilate a culture that I should have no part in? These questions along with disapproving stares from the people around me that are steeped in the Chinese traditions had me doubting myself for years.

But time showed me that my life can certainly fit in more than one culture and there is no reason I should choose one over the other. I have also come to realize that these two separate sides of me did not form the person I am. Instead,

the fusion of the side of me that accepts my Chinese roots and abides by the rule to be present during dinner and the other side of me that is passionate about western culture and is right at home while watching The Dark Knight is the essence of me.

pitchfork 2 / 4  
Dec 28, 2011   #2
I like the subject of your essay. I wrote one with similar points, except I'm half Arab so the points I made were sort of different. I really loved the ending, and I think a good ending is like the final flourish of an essay that allows everyone to remember it. So there, you shall be remembered. That's always an excellent thing to think about.

Maybe there are some words or phrases that might seem a bit off that you may want to look over. For example "better English" conveys the point you want to make perfectly fine, but the way it's worded might not be. I'm no English expert myself, which sucks for me, but you don't have to sacrifice your casual tone in attempts to improve word choice or sentence structure. Considering the subject, I think having a casual tone in this essay works completely fine. It seems natural.

The only other thing is like... if you're going with prompt #2, you might want to add a bit more on why diversity is important to you.

Overall, great essay, I'm totally envious, and don't stress cause your word limit is 500, I think you'd already have to be in college in order to make an awe-striking essay in so little space.

Oh, and this sounds weird, but I'm new here and I just posted my common app essay. It's not the one that's similar to this one, but I can post it in a new thread since I have two other essays I'm uncertain about. If you want, you could review mine too? xD
OP Jerlynn 3 / 26  
Dec 28, 2011   #3
Thanks for commenting on my essay! I really appreciate it and will take all of your points into serious consideration! Thank you.


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