This is what I'm about to submit for my common application, If there's any feedback you could give me for the following essay, I'd really appreciate it.
Are we ever going back to school?
"We have been unable to contact your parents, Khalid. Your fees are a month overdue. You and your brother cannot attend school starting tomorrow unless this is resolved," she said. I nodded silently, unable to explain that both my parents had been in jail for the past month.
I rushed home, skipping what was left of the school day, to continue what had become a ritual: crying, screaming, and sleeping on the floor beside my parents' unmade bed-hoping this would bring them back. I was sweaty, panicked, and drained of tears knowing the last remaining pillar of structure in my life, school, had crumbled.
I entered my little brother's room; his face lit by the pulsating lights of a laptop, as he sat slouched and submerged in his video game.
I wanted to tell him to stop but I couldn't blame him for choosing to escape to another world.
I called my uncle, explaining what the administrative officer said. He assured me that Ma and Baba would return in a few days, just as he had yesterday and the day before. At fifteen, I couldn't understand what was going on.
"Are we ever going back to school?" my brother mumbled, overhearing the call, while his eyes swelled with tears.
At that moment, I felt that I failed as a brother. I didn't know the answer to his question, but I knew I had a responsibility to do something other than weep.
The next morning, I put aside my despair and pursued the role of teacher myself. I downloaded syllabus material from our school's website and created a study plan. The problem was, I didn't know enough to teach; thankfully, we had some help: Google was our professor, Wikipedia our textbook, YouTube our lecturer, and Khan Academy our exam invigilator.
Our lessons eventually became routine. We were not going let a lack of a school end our education. Diving into academics removed me from a bleak reality and helped me stay close with my brother, but I recognized I had to do much more for us. Our landlord demanded the overdue rent and our fridge looked empty. I couldn't rely on the generosity of our extended family members forever.
With my pre-existing skills in graphic design, I took on freelancing. Online, nobody cared that I was a ninth-grader from Bangladesh without job experience; if they liked my work, they paid. Soon, I discovered the highest paying work typically required coding knowledge. Although I was initially learning to program out of financial need, I came to love the work. Far more difficult than I anticipated, software development challenged me with problems; problems that I had control over and could solve, unlike those with my family. The pay wasn't much, but it kept the lights-and more importantly, the router-on.
Still, sometimes I failed to find work, meet the deadline for the water bill, or properly clean the air-conditioner-there was a lot to adulting. But every day we had something to eat and enough 'schoolwork' to keep us distracted-that alone kept me content. For the next few months, this was our life.
Then, I received a call from my father.
"I'm sorry," said the familiar voice.
Overwhelmed, I couldn't breathe; they were coming home.
All the emotions I've been suppressing came out in full force when I saw them again. As the family reunited, it was apparent that those six months had taken a toll on all of us. My parents, whose businesses had withered away, decided to set up a new life in Malaysia. Everything had changed.
Yet, I'm partly grateful for this experience. Self-reliance, discipline, mental fortitude, autodidactism, coding, teaching-these skills continue to define who I am and what I do. But I only possess them because of the light that accessible education brought during my darkest times. That's why I decided to commit my life to further the spread of education.