Here is my response, any advise is appreciated.
Prompt #1 (freshman applicants)
Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
A tear trickled down my face knowing that my parents will soon fly back to the U.S, leaving me and my brother behind to get an education at Colonel Brown Cambridge School. I remembered going to school every day and coming back to my family. However this was different; I would not see my parents for the next two years. Before coming to India, I had never heard of a boarding school, so I did not know what to expect.
The first few days were tough; it was hard for me to make friends given the fact that I knew very little Hindi. Things were different; the thought of staying in school 24/7 was frightening and there were specific times to do specific things. Despite all these negative facts, there were positive things that I did not recognize then and there. It took me more than three years to identify those things.
During those years I changed into a whole new person. The whole school would wake up at five in the morning for physical training, which helped tone our physical and mental strength. It was mandatory for students to participate in all sports and extra-curricular activities, giving me a better sense of the world beyond academics. I became more independent, taking care of myself and my belongings. I learned to take responsibility for my own actions. I had also taken the responsibility of my younger brother, helping him and giving him support.
My life at Colonel Brown Cambridge motivated me to get a good education and become independent in life. The things I learned there provided me with the tools I need to excel in an arduous environment, much like the University of California. An education from a University of California will help me reach my goal of independence.
Through the back of the car I looked on as the school gates got farther and farther away, at that time I treasured the memories and values linked to the school. Half of me wanted to stay, while the other half yearned to unite with the family. I first walked through the gate as a child who depended on his family. After about three years, I left the school as a whole new person, a new Gagandeep who was independent.
A few things on the mechanical front first. Watch your tense; you begin your piece in the future first person, and then switch to the first person past tense. In formal academic writing pieces such as this, make sure that you stick with one tense throughout your whole piece. Second, avoid slang words such as "Gagandeep;" they are not appropriate in formal academic writings such as this one; also, your admissions board might not always know what it/they mean. :)
In regards to content, this is a good example that answers the prompt well. How has this boarding school experience shaped your future? What about it has given you the courage/strength to dream your dreams, to make them happen? What if you never went to boarding school? Would you have the same goals, be the same person? A little more reflective evaluation and analysis about you is what this piece needs. You've done a good job describing the event, now spend a little more time talking about its effect on you, and the piece will be much improved.
Best of luck!
Thank you very much.
Btw, the slang word, "Gagandeep," is my name.
I will try to get some more reflective evaluation in the essay.
Oh, and can you show me where I made mistakes with the tense?
One more question, is it ok to use "24/7" in this piece?
Good afternoon :)
Thank you for clearing that up; if I made that error, it is probable that another would do so also :)
"A tear trickledPast tense form of "trickle." down my face knowing that my parents will soonPresent/future tense-"will." Should be "would." fly back to the U.S, leaving me and my brother behind to get an education at Colonel Brown Cambridge School."
I would change it to something like "twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week" just for the sake of formality.
I hope this helps!