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Living for the society - I gave this essay for my college application

Lalith_Boi 1 / -  
Dec 19, 2019   #1

Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

"But Ma! You promised we'd go to the mall!" I cried out. It was 2 days before my birthday, and my mom out of the blue decided that it would be a lovely idea to spend my birthday in the place I least expected to visit - an orphanage. I wasn't amused at all, particularly after all the plans I had made for my birthday. But my mom believed that a visit to the orphanage would 'open my eyes' - to show me that part of society, which is more than often, ignored, or goes unnoticed. Furthermore, she also cited that I would receive a lot of blessings. I wasn't sure what to expect at the time since it was my first visit to an orphanage. But after an hour's ride, when we pulled over before the building, I was quite intrigued. A beautiful bungalow riddled with greenery, its walls plastered with rhymes and cartoons - it looked like a perfect homestead. When we entered the bungalow we were greeted by a lovely old lady who was in charge of the orphanage. She is perhaps one of the kindest and warm-hearted person I have ever met. "We don't get many visitors here. Thank you for visiting us," she said. Our host invited us inside where we were greeted by several eager-faced, excited and affectionate little children. Everyone looked so happy for even the littlest things they had. I spent the entire day playing and talking with them. Such innocence! I still wonder what their lives are like without parents, without someone to love and guide them. I felt accomplished for doing something for them. When it was finally time for dinner they sat in rows with steel plates while I brought in the food and sweets to serve them. With each serving, they said, "Thank you, Anna". I was heartbroken, these children had lost everything but still preserve such manners. These are children that smile and laugh even after going through the darkest moments in their lives. I tried my best to contain the cyclone of emotions within me. I am very glad that the orphanage's staff were able to provide them with the second chance they deserve. I look back and remember how lucky I am. I learned that I have a privilege many people don't and I shouldn't take it for granted. I still thank my mother for showing me the other end of our society, for showing how privileged I am to have a family to love and care for me. When it was finally time to leave the orphanage, I walked out and looked back at all the children cheering and thanking me for visiting. I didn't know what to say. I already knew I had made the right choice. I walked out as a new person, with a new ambition for society. A mall would have given me a few hours of joy but I will cherish my visit to the orphanage for a lifetime.
sleepyshamrocks 4 / 6 4  
Dec 19, 2019   #2
Hi! While I find the topic a bit too cliché (the 'I realized how lucky I was' essay), I think you can stick with it if you reconsider several points:

1. Remove the 'Thank you for visiting us' and 'I felt accomplished for doing something for them' parts, they come off as a little patronizing.

2. Elaborate on the activities you did with the children. All I could grasp was that you served them dinner. What games did you play together?

3. Emphasize on how your character changed because of the visit. Did going to the orphanage become a regular thing? Did you gain a newfound awareness of the people outside of your bubble, and how did that change your actions moving forward? Your current conclusion sounds tone-deaf because it basically amounts to, "My mom made me realize that I was privileged. I'm so happy I didn't go to the mall instead." If this is really the topic you want to bring, make sure it MOVES people, use descriptions that paint a picture of you growing up ignorant of other parts of society, and how going to the orphanage made you more socially aware and drove you to do certain actions after.

Good luck!

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