Hi. I would like some feedback on my essays if possible, since I'm not very confident on them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Prompt #1 -
I was no older than fifteen when I realized computer science was the degree I would pursue in my life. Although I was born in a relatively small Brazilian town, I was still lucky to be introduced to computers at around the age of nine. Circumstances being what they were, besides using a library's computer, opportunities in the field for a humble public school student were non-existent. I began frequenting a library near my school every day when I turned thirteen, and it was the place where I was properly introduced to computer science. My first program was handwritten in a notebook when I was sixteen years old in C, the first programming language I studied using very old books in that library. This program turned out to be the first and main fuel of my beliefs and inspirations as a mathematician and a programmer: a Fibonacci sequence and a golden ratio calculator. When I first programmed on a computer it just felt so wonderful, and seeing my first program run with the algorithms I studied in math will be a memory I'll never forget. This inspired me to aim for Brazilian universities since although I was doing fine learning programming concepts alone, I realized I could only go so far without the guidance of a university. My friends kept telling me to give up since this field was a dead-end where we lived, and I had no chance in competing against the more resourceful students in private schools. They were right. But my interest in computer science was and still is fueled by a dream beyond anything they could comprehend, and my conviction to pursue it was not something money could buy. Thus, I self-studied several concepts of computer science and mathematics in order to find the education that would guide me towards this dream. I still wonder what I feel towards the major. Is it passion? I'm fluent in three human languages and I still fail to find the proper words to describe what I feel about it. How can I describe what made me strive beyond my limit, what gave me purpose? I don't believe it's possible. No words I would choose could bid this feeling justice. It feels as if I was born again, I would pursue this major again and my objectives. I traveled thousands of miles searching for this opportunity, searching for a chance to pursue what fulfills me, what makes me strive further, what gives me my identity: my dream. If computer science is the one key to its fruition, then I will pour every inch of my soul in its chase.
Prompt #2 -
Although I was raised in poverty without many opportunities, I realized that I was born with everything to succeed in life despite having nothing. I grew up in a poor Brazilian neighborhood without much support from my family, that is, my father as far as education went. The best I had from the man were the words "your name was the biggest joke I've ever heard". Indeed, "no 'Victors' here", none of which deserved any support he could give. I started going to a library after school every day as an excuse to return home as late as possible and avoid contact with my father as much as I could. The other kids in my school either had to support their families, or were up to no good so that library became my shelter. It was there that I became fluent in English, and as I delved in several subjects there was a moment where I started to reflect over my life. In that moment it felt as if the only choice I was ever given was to accept that my life would amount to nothing. I was born in mediocrity therefore I should accept being mediocre, and live under the irony of my name for the rest of my days. I refused. Every day I went to this library to study, and it didn't take long to realize I was alone in this struggle. I approached my teacher for advice when I decided to aim for higher education to no avail. Who was I to compete for a spot in elite-dominated universities? His laughter was no surprise, but it only made my wish for success stronger. The more I studied, the more the lines between talent and effort began to blur. It was not by my wit alone that I became fluent in Japanese, or learned calculus before I turned eighteen. There was an emotion fueling me, and the frustration of striving for something I had no chance in achieving built half of it. The other half was a dream. A dream so beautiful I'm suspended with disbelief I could ever conceive it. My unworthiness to it was to the point of unfairness, which made my wish of higher education even stronger. When I received the opportunity to immigrate to the U.S, and join the Universities of California, I thought maybe life finally realized its attempts of keeping in my place would be futile; it gave up since it realized I wouldn't. I find myself making this application only natural. If my dream requires the best possible education then I would find my way to it. I feel that ten thousand times I would be born miles away in poverty, and ten thousand times would I find myself writing this personal statement, because although I was born poor, my soul wasn't. The beauty of the dream it conceived, and the perseverance that defines me proves it. That's all I ever had and nothing else, yet I realized that an objective and a burning conviction to chase it is all I ever needed to overcome every possible obstacle. With both, I don't see barriers, but different paths. I don't see defeats but different roads to victory, and the path to conceive my dream, to change my life, and finally bring pride to my name lies behind the doors of the UCs.
P.S: I understand the weakness of my first prompt being the lack of experiences in the field, but given my background those were quite limited... I thought of also explaining how CS is the one key to my dream, but that is something very personal that I really don't want to talk about, if possible.
Any help is greatly appreciated :)