want to say this is "Topic of your Choice," but it could also be considered a Significant Experience. Regardless, I would love some feedback on the essay as I want to submit everything as soon as possible.
Please, do NOT hesitate to rip it to shreds! Any suggestions, criticisms are welcomed with open arms!
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" Damned if I know! When I was little I would have answered with a resounding, "Me!" because I was a six-year-old Disney Princess. By sixth grade I would have named anyone but myself. And now? Let me get back to you.
In first grade, life was wonderful. My parents gave me a baby brother, school was exciting, I had plenty of friends, and I was constantly happy. The full length mirror on my bedroom door always revealed a smiling girl with brilliant emerald eyes, beautiful chocolate brown curls, and incredibly rosy cheeks. I was Cinderella at the ball. By the time fifth grade rolled around, however, my world imploded and shards rained down around me. My classmates had suddenly become a gaggle of ugly step-sisters. My teacher, Cruella, repeatedly held me up for scholastic ridicule. The real knock-out punch came when my parents announced they were separating and my father came out to me. Where's a poisoned apple when you need one? In the days that followed, my mirror revealed a girl with cried-out, glassy eyes; frizzy hair with little shape; and pale, slightly pimpled skin. I didn't recognize myself.
At age twelve, I surprised myself by winning the lead role of Mary Poppins in the school play. I liked being someone other than myself, and thus began my smoke and mirrors phase in middle school. I exercised an ability to assimilate myself into new groups by modifying the me that they saw. I was a one-way mirror reflecting who each group wanted me to be. With each acceptance, my inner strength increased. Simultaneously, I was enveloped in a permanent cloud of invisible smoke, not letting anyone see my core self. I was a magician's assistant in a magic box: there one second, gone the next.
I reached a crossroads when I decided to run for Class Vice President in ninth grade. I desperately wanted to improve student-administration relations and instill in my classmates a desire to give back, yet I was terrified of the responsibility that accompanied it. I courted every school subculture for votes and, although each rewarded me with a warm embrace and a win, I began to wonder which group I really belonged to. The day after my victory, I stopped in front of the glass case holding the candidates photos and I just stared at my picture. The perfectly coiffed and smiling image was not the same girl returning my gaze in the glass door. Though they shared the same features, the reflection before me was distorted and uncertain; more Quasimodo than Esmeralda. Who was I really?
I have realized that it is time I stopped wasting my energy on magical transformations. With my first win behind me, the time has come for me to epitomize the best Disney heroines by accepting the hand I have been dealt. With each achievement and charitable act that my various office positions have helped me execute, my confidence has strengthened, my smile broadened, and my reflection is evolving into that campaign picture. Years of tutoring, mentoring, elected positions, and most recently a research internship all enabled me to find my glass slipper and escape the smoke and magic box. And now, sitting on my bed across from my bureau mirror, I truly appreciate that I am not Belle, Ariel, or Snow White. I am me. I will be the Fairest One of All.
Your first paragraph is so excellent, I don't even think you need to revise it. Ordinarily I would tell you to revise it to include a thesis statement, the answer to their question... but I don't want to mess with perfection!
However, you really should start para #2 by directly telling them what the experience is that you are writing about... the main theme of the essay. Don't leave us guessing. Don't start it by saying, "In the first grade..." because that makes the reader say, oh boy, here we go... another life story.
However, it is excellent!! You have a great personality, I can tell.
I have realized that it is time to stop wasting my energy on magical transformations. ----> This sentence is funny and cool! I wonder if it is possible to make it the attention grabber, the sentence that begins the essay...no no, you already have a great beginning. How about making that the first sentence of the last paragraph, just switching the order?
"It took strength to portray strength and forced smiles to portray happiness."
I don't think this is awkward, but I'm a little unsure of the sentence placement. I feel like this would work better as the third sentence of that paragraph instead of the fifth- I guess because "portray" makes me think of playing a role, which seems to relate back to theater.
"I courted every school subculture for votes and, although each rewarded me with warm embrace and a win, I began to wonder which group I really belonged to."
"Warm embrace" needs to be changed to either "a warm embrace" or "warm embraces".
" Though they shared the same features, the reflection before me was surely distorted and uncertain; more Quasimodo than Esmeralda."
The word "surely" seems to be unnecessary. I don't really understand how it contributes to that sentence.
"I desperately wanted to make the changes I could foresee, yet I was terrified of the responsibility that accompanied it."
What "changes" are you referring to?
"I was a magician's assistant in a magic box. Where did I go?"
Although I think that the rhetorical question in your first paragraph is well-employed, I question the "Where did I go?" at the end of your third paragraph. "Who was I really?" at the end of your fourth paragraph sounds more natural (although if I were you, I would add a comma between "I" and "really"), but "Where did I go?" is both awkward and unclear, especially since your second paragraph does not end in a rhetorical question, so you don't even have parallelism on your side. Perhaps try something like "I was a magician's assistant in a magic box: there one second and gone the next", which to me sounds cleaner. This is more a matter of personal preference, though, so I'm going to leave it up to you.
I do like this essay a lot, though. It's a very unique approach, and you are consistently strong throughout. Good work!