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'It was March 12th of 2006' - Coming to the US - CommonApp Essay


IosefStalin 1 / 2  
Oct 13, 2014   #1
Greetings denizens of EssayForum! I have come forth with the most humble request, that you may bestow your literary genius on this essay. Thank you in advance.

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

It was March 12th of 2006, when I first entered the U.S. I was nine at the time. I only knew how to say "Hello" and "Goodbye" in English. My knowledge about the US was that it was a country with "Golden Hills," a perfect place to live, where the birds chirped, and money poured endlessly. In addition, I heard that kids over there had piles of video games, and I promised all my friends that I was going to come back with the greatest games. With this in mind, I went on my maiden voyage out of China to join my mom in Atlanta.

I remember the day of my departure vividly. From a tiring sleep, I woke up at six at a hotel in Shanghai to catch a flight with my Dad at the Pudong International Airport following a thirty hour train ride from my hometown Hefei. I was relatively calm, unlike most of these stories that describe an antsy kid frothing with excitement. To me, the shouting, the car horns, the noisy airplanes, and the announcements all blending together to create a sense of sereneness and curiosity. I followed my Dad into the gate for International flights, and in front of me was a thick yellow line on the ground, the international boundary. Crossing that line meant that I was no longer under the governance of China.

The flight was an interminable nightmare, but it was a small price to pay for the next eight years of my life in America. I saw white clouds and blue skies for the first time in my life. I started 4th grade at the local Baker Elementary School, and I learned English in seven months. Gradually, I was able to grasp the culture of this new land and understand jokes people made. I watched hours of SpongeBob other shows to help me understand the culture and language. The moment that I knew I was assimilated was the moment when I understood every joke from one episode of the Colbert Report.

What they often forget to tell you when you leave China is that you will miss everything. I miss the local convenience store, spicy hotpots, street side restaurants, lamb kabobs, my friends, my bedroom, and the hustle and bustle of neighborhoods. You will be alone in a foreign land, and there will be onerous problems that you will have to deal with alone. Then I thought of the opportunity that I have been given, and I compared it with what I left behind. I realized that everything I have left behind will still be there, so why should I be mulling over the past when the brightest future presents itself? My parents brought me to America so that I can reach my full potential. I hope that I will.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 13, 2014   #2
Mengyang, you have a well written essay that totally tells a unique story that portrays your assimilation into the American culture. From the time you left China with one image of America in mind to the time you landed on American soil and had to struggle to become more American and less Chinese, everything was depicted well in your essay. It was particularly interesting to find out that you still miss China but that you have come to realize that you have a better future now than before. The overall essay shows your development as a person and an intellectual ability to rationalize that is rarely seen in college students these days. Be proud of the work you have done. This is one story that is truly central to your identity and a reflection of who you have become over the period of time that you have been in the United States.

If I were to nitpick on your essay, the one thing that I would have like to have read more about what your struggle to become a part of American society when you first landed. That is a character building period that would have taken us deeper into your development as a person. If you feel that this is something you would be comfortable discussing then go ahead and try it. You can never have too many versions of one essay :-)
Katy Curie 5 / 7 7  
Oct 13, 2014   #3
Greetings denizens of EssayForum! I have come forth with the most humble request, that you may bestow your literary genius on this essay(Oh I love this saying^^ => you are genius) . Thank you in advance.

It was March 12th of 2006 (no need a comma here) when I first entered the U.S ("came to the US" sounds better, I think) . I was nine at the time. I only knew how to say "Hello" and "Goodbye" in English. (I was nine and only knew how to say...) My knowledge about the US was that it was a country with "Golden Hills," a perfect place to live, where the birds chirped, and money poured endlessly. (All the things I had about the US was just a country with...) In addition, I heard that kids over there had piles of video games, and so I had promised all my friends that ...

... and the announcements all blendeding together to created a sense of sereneness and curiosity.

The moment that I knew I was assimilated was the moment when ...

I think you have a writing talent. Cheers! ^^
FoxAlec - / 1 1  
Oct 13, 2014   #4
Hello :) Very good easy, but
My knowledge about the US was that it was a country with "Golden Hills,"
You should not use was twice within the same sentence in this context. Try replacing one of them with a different word, or rewriting the phrase completely. For example, "My knowledge on the United States had been limited, and the only thing I heard is that it contains 'Golden Hills,"'
OP IosefStalin 1 / 2  
Oct 13, 2014   #5
Thank your guys for your responses.

Vangiespen! You are a very activate contributor to this site, and I appreciate it. (Is this your job?)
Regarding your "nitpick", should I give a short anecdote about a specific event about learning idioms and customs etc. or should I write more about my identity crisis following my assimilation?

Katy Curie, I will definitely add those changes to my essay.

FoxAlec, I will try to change it up a bit.
OP IosefStalin 1 / 2  
Oct 13, 2014   #6
Here is the next version with all the changes made :)

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Marlon Li CommonApp Essay: 650 words (currently 468 words)

It was March 12th of 2006 when I first came to the U.S. I was nine, and I only knew how to say "Hello" and "Goodbye" in English. My limited knowledge about the US rendered in me the image that the US was a country with "Golden Hills," where the birds chirped and money poured endlessly. In addition, I heard that kids over there had piles of video games, and so I promised all my friends that I was going to come back with the greatest games. With this in mind, I went on my maiden voyage out of China to join my mom in Atlanta.

To me, the shouting, the car horns, the noisy airplanes, and the announcements all blending together created a sense of sereneness and curiosity.

... Gradually, I was able to grasp the culture of this new land and understand jokes people made. However, the most difficult thing for me to grasp were the simple idioms and phrases people used that they do not teach you in the textbooks, so I watched hours of SpongeBob and other shows to help me understand better. The moment that I knew I was assimilated was the moment when I understood every joke from one episode of the Colbert Report.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 13, 2014   #7
Regarding your "nitpick", should I give a short anecdote about a specific event about learning idioms and customs etc. or should I write more about my identity crisis following my assimilation?

-Mengyang, I am happy that you liked my little "nitpick" of a suggestion.You should devote a full paragraph or two to this part because it is central to your story of becoming an American. Use 2 paragraphs if you will be talking about 2 different events in your life.

The flight was an interminable nightmare , but it was a small price to pay for the next eight years of my life in America. I saw white clouds and blue skies for the first time in my life

- The flight story is not really connected to anything else in the paragraph that shows your assimilation problems so you can skip those 2 sentences. Devote it to adding thoughts about your grammar or culture assimilation woes instead. Tell us how you felt the day that you realized you had finally succeeded in becoming more American than you thought you were.That is , after you understood the full Colbert Report.

What they often forget to tell you when you leave China for the US is that you will miss everything.

- If you can rephrase this sentence into something more touching about your bouts of homesickness immediately after arriving in the U.S. and you can position before your paragraph about school, I believe you will have a more well rounded essay that shows the way you slowly separated from the old country in favor of your new one

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