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"Learning to accept my new life" - Common App General Essay


greensept375 3 / 5  
Dec 19, 2010   #1
Thank you all in advance for helping me with this! I'm planning on reusing this essay with some corrections for my Common app, although it was written for my UC app. One of the problems I'm having is the lack of flow between sentences and paragraphs that make my essay, as a whole, confusing and incoherent. If you have any suggestions on how to improve that, I'd very much appreciate it, and of course anything else you think I should fix!! THANK YOU ALL!!! & Happy Holidays!!

Sometimes, the third time's actually the charm. But that wasn't what I was thinking about when I ran into my parents' arms at the airport. Having only seen them twice in nine years, I couldn't believe that this time, there was no time restriction on how long I could be held by Mommy or how long I could play with Daddy. I was overwhelmed with joy at the thought of living with them.

Raised by my two grandparents, I grew up in small city called Anyang in mainland China. My grandparents fed me, dressed me, loved me. They did everything parents were expected to do and more. Grandpa woke up early on Sunday mornings to buy my favorite breakfast food and Grandma stayed up to hold me in her arms whenever I fell ill. I was happy and spoiled by their love.

But the world wouldn't stop reminding me about the one missing link in my almost-perfect life - my parents. Through the few photo albums and my grandparents' stories, I learned that Mommy and Daddy made the decision to have my grandparents raise me only because they didn't want me to suffer the hardships they had to endure in America. I learned that my parents were endeavoring to obtain a green card so I could be reunited with them. And despite it all, I still cried on some nights. I cried about how deprived I was to grow up without my parents and hoped for change, but those tears evoked nothing except more self-pity and fear. I was afraid, afraid that my parents didn't love me enough.

When the opportunity to move to America came within my reach, I saw it as my chance to earn my parents' love. But as I packed my life into three suitcases, little did I know just how much life would change. The year after I immigrated, life was just short of excruciating. At school, I felt out-of-place and alone, with my bowl-cut hairstyle and out-of-fashion tights. At home, my parents forbade me from speaking Mandarin in hopes of accelerating my English learning. And no matter where I was, I always missed my loving grandparents.

Learning to accept my new life was the biggest challenge. Deep down, I'd always known that my old world was only 13 hours away by plane, yet I felt so distanced. Distanced, because I knew that although my old world was placed on pause the moment I left, my friends and family's world was not. Everything began slipping away. And as I strove to relive the pleasant memories, I began making necessary associations between the people and places of both my old and new life.

Perhaps that's when I first opened my eyes. Once I actually began seeing my new world, I could feel the two vastly different worlds merging together. I began seeing in my new classmates the smiles of my best friends and hearing in the new music the same beats of my favorite songs. I began recognizing the human kindness that I remembered from my hometown in the strangers beside me. However subtle these associations may have been, they made me feel more at home as I began making sense of my new surroundings. It was more than just a relief to know that a pat from a teacher in America meant the same as one in China. I had discovered that some things never changed, no matter where I go.

I found myself making not only connections, but also new friends while experiencing new thrills and even enjoying life a little. Though the magic didn't work overnight, in time, I was no longer the invisible girl who sat in a corner. In a sense, I became more me -- more like the girl who happily jumped rope with friends and eagerly shared her daily adventures with family. I'd more than just accepted life; I had learned to love it.
kaobrien 1 / 4  
Dec 19, 2010   #2
I really like this essay. Going off of what the commenter above said, maybe change the sentence

Through the few photo albums and my grandparents' stories, I learned that Mommy and Daddy made the decision to have my grandparents raise me only because they didn't want me to suffer the hardships they had to endure in America.

to something like:
It was through my grandparent's stories and their photo albums that I learned about my parents; they had left me with my Grandparents in hopes of sparing me from the trials of immigration.


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