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?
UC Personal Statement #1
Life, it's an interesting concept. Scientists describe life as a series of genetic sequences, but they can't explain what makes us tick. Philosophers describe life with beautiful phrases, but they have found it impossible to capture it with simple words. In short, no one has been able to explain life. Yet, for me, life has not been a concept to be explained. Instead, life has been my greatest teacher; for it has let me in on the secret on how to truly enjoy it: live, laugh, and love.
When I was a child I quickly learned that the only person responsible for my actions was myself. As such, I prioritized my well being above others; in short, I was selfish. Luckily, my mother noticed my behavior and took me aside. She took me to our backyard at home, and sat down with me in front of our two cherry trees. Holding me close she pointed at the cherries above, "See those cherries, Dustin? The only reason they exist is because those trees love each other." I remember a look of skepticism covering my face, but to my response my mother only laughed and continued, "It's true, for the lone cherry tree will forever bear fruitless flowers. But when it has somebody to share life with, it bears delicious fruit." A frown appeared on my face as I took this in, "But that's stupid, why do you need anybody?" A slight smile appeared as she replied, "It's what makes life worth living." It's been awhile but I now have friends and people to share life with. Yet, even though time has passed, I still remember my mother's teachings on love.
In truth, I used to suck at school: I failed tests, and forgot about projects & homework. Fortunately my father noticed my horrendous study habits and took a day off from work to teach me how to effectively plan for the future. He took me through the steps: how to make a checklist, and how to manage my time effectively. In short, my father had given me the gift of foresight. So I applied what my father had taught me to school, and I slowly became a better student. But there were times where my plans would fail and I would sit in a corner and cry. Once again, my father saved me. He didn't give me a way out of my problem, instead he taught me a ditty to hum whenever life didn't work out, "By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls, there's a hidden door she leads you to. These days, she says, 'I feel my life just like a river running through.'" At that time I didn't know what those lyrics meant, but I listened to my dad. Now, whenever something doesn't work out, I can hear myself unconsciously hum the lyrics; he had taught me how to let failures fade away from my mind. It's been 10 years since then, and I'm still grateful to my Dad. For it was from him that I learned two important things: foresight, and how to let negativity slip away.
School is there to teach people and people go there to learn the skills necessary to succeed in life. But, while academics are a fundamental aspect of school, I believe that school is so much more than just that; for while I did receive a solid education, I learned so many different things that its purpose didn't account for. I found out how to make friends; how to open up my heart and learn how to give and take. I learned how to harness my imagination; how to look at problems in the abstract. And it was there that I learned that there was more to life than just going through the motions. There was a whole world out there and all I had to do was take some risks. So, while I am grateful for all the things school has done for me, give me intelligence, friendships, and creativity, I will forever be grateful to it for teaching me how to truly live.
I'm envious of my friends because they all know what they want to be. I don't know what I want to be, or what to do in life. But I'm not worried, for life has let me in on the secret to enjoy this world in the meantime.
Live, Laugh, Love.
Life, it's an interesting concept.
Cut this. Begin with what is now your second sentence.
What I like about this essay is that you offer specific details when sharing what your parents taught you. (The cherry tree story is particularly charming.) This rescues the essay from the land of trite essays about parents, but only just barely.
The last two paragraphs have to go or be radically altered. It's fine and even good for an undergraduate to understand that s/he doesn't yet have a career in mind. (Most who think they know change their minds anyway.) But you have to say something about your particular interests and aspirations. Surely there are some fields of study or practice that interest you more than others.
And do not -- repeat: do not -- end your essay with a trite saying that started out as a motif for cheap necklaces and tee-shirts in the 1970s.