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Mayo anecdote explaining a challenging situation


miraheta 5 / 10 1  
Dec 14, 2014   #1
This the common app prompt: Describe a challenging situation you've faced. Briefly state the situation, how you responded and why, would you have done anything differently, has it affected or shaped who you are today? Any feedback would be extremely helpful, thank you! I am currently at 280 words and need to be at 250. Please let me know where I can shorten this a little.

My issues with mayonnaise began at the age of four, I was introduced to a completely new and terrifyingly different culture: American culture. My mother and I had only lived in the U.S. for two years and I did not know a single word of English. Having just begun a new job, my mother had no choice but to take me to a nanny.

To this day I can picture Nanny perfectly. She barely stood at 5 feet and was round with hair as white as snow. However, every day spent under her care came lunchtime; the most dreadful part of the day. Nanny would list the available ingredients for my sandwich and I - unable to comprehend what she was saying and afraid I would upset her - would stand in the kitchen shaking my head "no" to everything except mayonnaise. So for months I ate two slices of bread slathered with a thick layer of mayonnaise in between and nothing else. After eating mayonnaise for what felt like an eternity, I have not been able to come in contact with it ever since.

Adapting to a different culture is one the most difficult challenges I have encountered. The mayonnaise sandwich is only one example of the many hardships I faced while becoming accustomed to the American way of life. When outside of my home and away from the customs my mother implemented, I came in contact with an unknown world of strange customs and an unknown language. Adapting to the new culture took tremendous courage and I feel fortunate to be a melting pot of cultures and to be able to experience the best of both worlds.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 14, 2014   #2
Monica, though the story you presented is interesting, it only somewhat relates to the prompt requirements. Something that happened to you when you were four years old and the fact that there was no real resolution to it makes it a very weak response basis. My advice is to find a more recent predicament that you had to call with and discuss how you solved it. A cultural identity or discrimination story would work well as I gathered that you had such experiences as you implied it towards the end of the essay.
sampunk9494 7 / 26 2  
Dec 14, 2014   #3
She barely stood at 5 feet tall and was round, with hair as white as snow. However, every day spent under her care co me lunchtime, the most dreadful part of the day,
When outside of my home and away from the customs my mother implemented experienced, I came in contact with an unknown world of strange customs and an unknown language. Adapting to a new culture took tremendous courage and I feel fortunate to be in a melting pot of cultures and to be able to experience the best of both worlds.

Hi miraheta

I thought you addressed the prompt adequately using the mayo sandwich metaphor. However I felt that there was an abrupt conclusion/reflection of how it shaped who you are today after you talked about the mayo incident.

You could shorten the part about the description of the nanny, and I thought starting the essay with mayo would be a great hook. For example, you could start your essay with "No! No! No!" (in reply to all the ingredients your nanny offered).

I guess you need to explain better the link between mayo incident and the difficulty of adapting to a new culture. It could be that you're always adding mayo only and afraid to try other ingredients, you too were afraid to assimilate into the new culture because you were so used to your previous ones. Of course at the end you need to show the readers you were able to reconcile that.

I hope this helps!
OP miraheta 5 / 10 1  
Dec 21, 2014   #4
Thank you so much for your feedback! I have made the necessary adjustments and was wondering if there is anyway I could modify this particular essay so I am able to use it for a diversity prompt?
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 22, 2014   #5
It would be very possible to convert or redirect the essay into a response for a different essay prompt. However, I need to be able to read the revised essay in order to determine how it can be done or if has already been successfully converted. There are a number of students at this forum who have successfully redirected their existing essays towards a new prompt. I am confident that you can do the same with the proper guidance. Where is the revised essay? Kindly post it in this thread so that I can review it and advice you regarding your concern at the soonest possible time.


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