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My mother escaping communism has shaped my aspirations; UC personal statement 1

SmH 2 / 6  
Nov 8, 2009   #1
Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Art is strange.
It has no boundaries. It does not require written words, or speech, or the ability to hear. And despite this, it has the power to inform us, inspire us and enlighten us. Art is the medium in which people communicate through sight and imagery, and it is for these reasons I fell in love with it. Art lessons, picture books, even the innumerous nonsensical doodles on my papers fueled my curiosity about the methods in which people could express themselves. A visual imagery course in high school and trips to museums and art exhibits only solidified the conviction I had for my love of art. Naturally, its rich culture was inherent. I want to know about its origin, its artists and its content. I want to study Art History, because art is universal. This type of expression holds infinite freedom and connects people in a way that is so different from anything else. Majoring in, studying about and gaining a Bachelor's Degree in Art History would be personally rewarding and my degree would enable me to apply for law school in the near future.

Yes, I'm your average girl from Tustin- a city with a crime rate percentage that is less than half my age, and I am the oldest of three children of a family of five. Just keep in mind that these four other people have helped me realize my not-so-average aspirations.

My mom emigrated from Vietnam to the United States when she was twelve to escape the onslaught of communists in her homeland, and the stories she has told me about growing up with her sister and divorced parents in a strange country are reminders of the obstacles she had to overcome. Despite them, she put herself through college and is now a successful businesswoman in her own right. My father, on the other hand, was born and raised with his three brothers in California by my grandparents -both teachers. My Dad's family never had much money, but his parents taught him the importance of a good education.

If I could describe my job as an older sister in one word it would be "challenge." Over the years I have been the scapegoat, the enemy and the snitch more times than I can remember, but then again, I have also been the confidant, the best friend and of course, the role model. My little brother and sister probably do not even realize the impact they have had on me. It is natural for them to look up to me to lead by example, but in truth, I look up to them. They do not have nearly as much life experience as I do, but like my parents, I have watched them grow up and slowly begin to make their way in the world.

My family inspires me. Over the course of my life, the knowledge, the strong work ethic, the values and the determination my family has instilled in me will be applied towards my study of Art History, regardless of my acceptance. I want to prove to myself and to my family, and to you, that I can be successful at something I am truly passionate about.

My aspirations are equivalent to my acceptance at this school- difficult to gain, but something worth pursuing; your college will be my proving ground, my crucible.
OP SmH 2 / 6  
Nov 8, 2009   #2
Help would be greatly appreciated! My essay seems so mediocre compared to other people's.
playtm300 2 / 7  
Nov 9, 2009   #3
This is a good essay. i have been to many UC application workshops and looked at other essays and this is good. You picked a clear topic and stuck with it through its entirety w/o going off track BUT!!! I wrote a similar essay and since i live down the street from UCR i asked and admissions counselor to look it over and they said it was great in the same sense i just told you. U need to incorporate more of yourself in the essays prompt one and two. I now know a lot about your mom and dad but i don't feel like i know anything about you personally. How has your parents being immigrants affected your aspirations? You say that u want to study art is this because your parents are big on art? is there an Asian influence among your wanting to study art? (like did your parents bring pottery with them and u were always exposed to it or paintings or something.) Why do you want to receive a degree in Art history? these are some thing you should address in your essay otherwise the grammar and spelling looks good to me but I'm not very good at that myself. Also ask you lit. teacher to look over your essay as a side thing. Teachers are always willing to help with these cause they want there students to go to college.

When the prompt says "Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school" these are just things u can talk about but you want to be different be the person that shouts out on the page and makes the admission counselors think WOW!!! your world is many things daily life, influences in your life, a summer job. . . u want to use something that no one else has. something that makes you unique and sets you apart from the rest when i read it i saw that with the immigration thing but going back to what i said earlier i know all about your parents but not u...

just some things to think about and possibly incorporate into ur essay. i hope i helped.
OP SmH 2 / 6  
Nov 9, 2009   #4
wow. thank you so much for the feedback! i knew it was missing something, i just didn't know what it was :)
playtm300 2 / 7  
Nov 9, 2009   #5
no problem i hope it helped. if u want me to read it or need someone to bounce ideas off of u can email me at playtm300 good luck on your apps!
ScatterBrain 3 / 28  
Nov 9, 2009   #6
I think playtm has a great point about incorporating more of yourself into your essay. Its great that you talked about your family and their history, but i think that UC's are more interested in you and your qualities. Overall it's a good essay. Maybe you can expand more on the topic of your last paragraph: proving that you can be successful at something you're passionate about.

And good luck on your applications :D
OP SmH 2 / 6  
Nov 9, 2009   #7
thanks. i just edited it with your feedback in mind and i think it's a little better. any suggestions?
playtm300 2 / 7  
Nov 10, 2009   #8
i love your first paragraph amazing!!!!!!

i dont want to sound rude but u kinda miss the topic of the essay. u are to explain how your world made you want to seek out art degrees. that is the aim you want to take. you explain that your family is caring and loves you which excels you to want to do everything you want to do. That's great but misses the topic of how your family (since that seems to be your focus) made you want to pursue art. what did they do that inspired art in your life? u say u went to museums and art shows did your parents take you to those which inspired a love of art? that is something worth mentioning and incorporate an individual experience that happened which led you to want art in your life. was it a museum? you mom have art on the walls? you received an art book for the holidays?

oh a big NO NO do not ever call yourself average on an application because if you call yourself average they are gonna think your average. you dont want to be average u want to be unique and better!

Hope your apps go smooth.

i do like your essays though i enjoy reading them. all i want to do is try to help you cause i too am applying right now to UC's
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 10, 2009   #9
Might be better without "us." ...the power to inform, inspire, and enlighten.

Majoring in, studying about, and gaining a Bachelor's Degree in Art History will be personally rewarding , and my degree will enable me to apply for law school in the near future.

This can really benefit from structure that you could provide with clear topic sentences. Para #1 introduces your intentions, and it is great!

para #2 says, I take inspiration from my mom.
para #3 says, I take inspiration from my role as an older sister
para #3 says, my family inspires me

The thing at the end about the crucible is nice.

I think you should give a new topic sentence to each of the 3 body paragraphs. It seems like you are "all over the place," talking about many things instead of one main thing.

How about relating every paragraph to ARTISTIC INSPIRATION that you can use as a student and also as an attorney. In the conclusion, discuss more of your specific goals for the future.

whoau49 4 / 10 1  
Nov 26, 2009   #10
"Art is Stange". Wow that got me there.

It's amazing how you elevated the language with knowing the boundaries.

But just to critique, why don't you try grabbing a bigger dreams?

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