Hey, I've worked on this paper for about a month now, and now I need it cut down. It's at 615 words, and MIT says 500. I looked up some things and people say 580-620 is still fine, but I'd like to be in the mid-500s just to be safe. Also, any revision ideas are welcome, but keep in mind the main focus is to cut out words. Thanks!
Where do I come from? Even now, I have trouble answering that question. The world I come from can be described as a whirlwind of emotions and cultures. Instead of having a concrete neighborhood or town to call home, I've moved so many times that where I come from can't be represented by a singular description-my world was ruled by change. [..]
My first encounter with change was at age four. Born and brought up in Nagoya, Japan, I learned the Oriental language and their etiquette . Before I knew it, I was outside of an airport in Baltimore, Maryland-crisp, salty ocean wind buffeted my infant face while change maliciously stared at me through a myriad of pedestrians. (Removed) That was my first confrontation with change, and honestly, without the public pool a block away, I don't think I would've made it. There I made a friend named Michael who was obsessed with prairie dogs and Play-Doh. I also learned the English alphabet with relative ease, and life was beginning to get better. I shared my first year in America with Michael; summer days at the pool, winter nights in my living room-I was fitting into society.
However, my happiness was short-lived, as change swooped down on me again, this time taking me back to Japan. Then I was whisked to China, back to Japan, and again to the US. Change was at my heels, stalking me without rest. It was a constant cycle of making friends, learning where the bathroom was in the dark of the night, and losing everything over and over again.
Nine years ago, I thought I had finally escaped change; I had moved to Columbia, Missouri, and my parents told me I would graduate high school here. (Removed) However, change would not leave me alone. Even in the same town, I've lived in three houses, losing neighbors and familiar backyards along the way. Change never gave me a break, and it seemed for my entire life I would have to adapt to new surroundings.
Some would say it must have been hard, but I see it as a blessing, an opportunity to overcome a challenge not offered to everyone. Change won't haunt me for the rest of my life; it was a ridiculous thought, to actually have to move and lose everything every couple of years for all my life. Rather, I see now that during our travels, change left me with the skills needed to handle almost any situation. I'm more independent due to lack of friends and anyone to rely on every time I moved; I treasure everything, because I never knew when I would lose them; I became good at adapting to new environments without much difficulty. (Removed) Give me a map, food, and a place to sleep and I'll manage.
I'm grateful for change and all it's done for me, despite the bitterness I bottled up while I was growing up. I won't experience life like all the other kids; my world was jumbled and stirred like all the fruits in a smoothie and I was left to piece everything back together. However, through the hardships, I became a versatile individual. I'll start college next year, but that's nothing new-my world is already a calm world full of change."
This gets you to 550 exactly (if I counted right). Also, I like the typo at the end-it makes sense, and gives your conclusion a nice twist. I left it as is :)
I hope this helps!