Here is my essay response to prompt 2 from the UC application.
This is due tomorrow night, so please don't put off replying till later. If you think my essay is the absolute worst thing you have ever read and I deserve to be imprisoned for my brutal rape of the English language, TELL ME so I can fix it. Any critiques, suggestions, calls for my arrest, etc, are welcome. Thanks :)
"Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?"
My parents fighting. My mom crying. My sister hiding in her room. My dad constantly stressed from trying to save a marriage that was beyond salvation. And then me: divided on whose side to take and trying to stay objective despite the emotional storm going on around me. This was my home life upon entering Fall semester of 2011.
During this time I saw sides of my parents I had never seen before. Despite marital problems in the past, they both always seemed like nothing phased them. Of course I could sometimes see the stress getting to them, but those times were usually short-lived. Not this time. My dad, easygoing by nature, now hardly smiled. Many times I caught him staring blankly with a worried expression on his face, lost in thought. My mom, normally very emotionally strong, now cried herself to sleep almost every night.
These changes I saw in my parents made me realize that they were not just robots whose purpose in life was to raise me; they were real people too. They could feel stressed, worried, and overwhelmed just like I could. They had just always been better at hiding it. Of course I knew that my parents could have those feelings. But I had never truly understood it. They had always masked those thoughts and feelings so well.
A week later I had another realization after speaking to a friend I had not seen since high school. As she asked me how life was and how my family was doing, I noticed how easily I lied, hiding the true answers to those questions. I laughed when she made a joke about my parents even though my situation made it anything but funny. Despite the stress I felt on the inside I was still my normal self on the outside, teasing my friend and joking around like I always did. I suppressed my feelings, just like my parents had done. Walking away afterwards, a thought occurred to me: surely my parents and I were not the only ones who did this. Another true understanding of a concept I already knew was triggered by this thought. Everyone has problems and worries they face hidden behind a mask of normalcy.
The implications of my new understandings greatly impacted the way I interact with other people. I no longer underestimate the severity of problems people around me might have. I have become more empathetic towards people that show signs of stress because I know that there may be a deeper reason than the answer they give me. Although they do not know it, my parents taught me a lesson that will influence my relationships with people for the rest of my life.
I really liked this essay. It is emotional, heartfelt and you portray your thoughts very well. I just made a few minor corrections. But I really like this essay. Good job and good luck! =] And if you could read mine, that would be awesome.