This is my essay for UCs prompt 1. The essay is 800 words long...way too many. I need to be at like 400. So please give me suggestions on parts or words that could be eliminated w/o taking away from the main points. Feel free to fix sentence structure, grammar, and anything else you feel needs to be fixed or tweaked. This one I kind of rushed, so all help is good help!
Thank you so much!
As a child, my favorite part of Disney movies were the endings; where the Prince overcame the struggles of his quest, and found the Princess or saved his kingdom. To conclude the story, an enchanting narrator would voice, "And they lived happily ever after!" Ironically, the writers of these classic stories never followed up the with the Prince to see how life after the quest was, and what resulted from living out his dream. We just assumed that everything would be perfect and the hard part was over. In reality, sometimes even larger obstacles arise as a result of our dream. My personal quest was something I had been working on my entire life, and I watched my dream come true when I was accepted to my top-choice university. Although my dream came to past, I had to make some sacrifices to keep it. The only way for me to go to this certain college, was to ease some of the costs by living at home and commuting to school. I couldn't imagine going anywhere else; so I accepted the new conditions, and even got an on-campus job. Between constant commuting and working two jobs to help with my expenses, college life was not be what I expected. My dream was beginning to feel like a burden. During my second semester of school, my grandfather suffered from several mini strokes, and my parents began to support not only my college statements, but also his finances. All I could think about was this number hanging over my head and being a contributor to the stress on my family. After the conclusion of the school year, I found myself sitting down with my parents. They told me that they weren't going to sink their ship, just to keep me afloat. Going back to school was just not possible, unless I found a way to get more money. My dream became a nightmare, and I decided to take a leave of absence from school.
After leaving college, I was crushed and completely bitter. It seemed everyone around me to wanted to know about school, but I couldn't even bring myself to talk about it. One of my friends who had recently left a university and enrolled in community college, encouraged me to take classes that would transfer back to LMU. At first I completely ignored her, because my dream was over. There would be no point in taking classes, because I wouldn't be going back. Unconvinced, I let the registration deadline pass without hesitation. Shortly after, a friend confronted me about my lack of drive. She reminded me that I was the one who had encouraged her not to drop out when she hit a tough point in her first year. She said, "Out of all of us that want to leave school or dropped out, you can't. You're the one out of us that's supposed to finish this." She even asked me, "Aren't you the one who preaches "Never Give Up?" Despite the past deadline, I picked myself and enrolled in classes.
During my faltering state, I was still working as an afterschool teacher at a middle school. The kids started a unit in their English class on college, and I unwarrantedly became their voice of authority on the subject. They began to ask me questions like, "What's your major?" and "What's college like?" I tried to answer their questions free of malice; but their constant questions felt like a Chef-Mate knife was being driven into my open, infected wound. Kids were even saying they wanted to use me as a source for their research paper. I couldn't imagine telling them how I left school. I didn't want to rob them of their dreams, nor ruin their impressions of college. After constant probing, because kids never give up, I found some inspiration in their fervor. Instead of sugarcoating my experiences, I decided to tell them my story; understanding my misfortune did not have to be their own. By sharing, I learned that being open and honest would better prepare them for school. By the end of their college section I felt renewed. They re-taught me what it meant to never give up, despite the adversities I faced. Giving up was just not an option, because I had friends and kids that looked to me for inspiration. I had worked too hard to get into to college to let one setback be the death of who I was as person. Leaving school was not a failure, but a learning experience. Life is all about the quest, failing, succeeding, and recovering. In spite of my setback, I'm ready to pursue the same dream, but with a new compass and direction. The key is understanding the quest is never over; it's what's fuels your dreams.