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'The New Kid' - UC Personal Statement Prompt #2


adebayor123 2 / 8 2  
Nov 19, 2012   #1
"Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?"

I moved to Trinidad and Tobago in 2009. Because of their lovely beaches and weather, I thought that I could finally settle in a hospitable country. Despite the unfamiliar African and Indian culture, the Trinidadian slang, and being a minority, I had a feeling of adapting to the new environment.

On the first day of school, I entered the wearing the school's blue shirt and khaki pants. The school was painted in light blue, giving me a sense that I actually belonged there. Unfortunately, my schoolmates did not give me that feeling. They ignored me, shoved me, called me "Chiney," and harassed me in every possible way.

Few weeks from then, I joined the soccer team. It turned out that I was the youngest, and the only Asian in the team. Naturally, people's attitudes carried onto the field. When I missed the required shots, people came to inquire from me how I had managed to join the team with such incompetent skills. Soon, they started to tackle me unduly aggressively. In one instance, one pushed me down and said "soccer ain't for tiny Chineys like you! You don't belong here."

That night, I laid down on my bed contemplating whether to quit the team or not. I was afraid that this hatred and discrimination would continue until I graduated. However, I realized that if I quit, I was doing nothing more than capitulating myself to the racial segregation.

The next day, after completing my school time, I headed for the soccer pitch. When I saw the goal post from far away, I stopped walking and hesitated whether I should keep trying or not. But, I kept reminding myself that this was my chance. A chance I believed that if I let go, it will never come back. I thus continued walking towards the sandy pitch. I sat on the bench to put on my soccer cleats. One member came up and asked me "how can you kick a ball with those feet?" I replied, "I will show you today."

As the game began, I stayed on the upper portion of the field to wait for chances. As usual, when I threw my right arm up and signaled for a pass, my teammates ignored me. Then, I knew that method would not get me any further. I therefore went to compete for the ball. I was pushed to and fro, but I also pushed them back. When I stole my opponent's ball, I took a shot immediately and watched it bend into the goal. After the game, people approached me and apologized for the mistreatment which had happened before. What surprised them was the fact that I accepted their apology with a smile. Soon people in my school started accepting me not as a small Asian, but who I really am.

By observing the change I have created, I gained a confidence that I could overcome greater adversities that I would face in the future. As a result, I learned to cope with greater issues that I faced in my life.

I know it needs some work. But can you guys please give me specific areas I should touch upon?

anvesh95 - / 1  
Nov 19, 2012   #2
I think that the general idea of the essay is good. the sentences should be imrpoved, though.
OP adebayor123 2 / 8 2  
Nov 19, 2012   #3
Hey, thanks for the comment. Do you think I was addressing the prompt correctly? I was more concerned about the accuracy of my personal statement rather than the mechanics :P

Also, I thought the conclusion needed to be a bit more stronger than this. Any thoughts?
cback 1 / 22 6  
Nov 19, 2012   #4
GREAT! Good imagery, great specification, definitely fits the prompt! However, your conclusion needs much work. Your story is amazing, but the ending moral is a little too "and that's why i believe in myself," as if you threw that in there remembering the end of the prompt at the last minute. Maybe inject a little on how this affects you today?

Soon people in my school started accepting me not as a small Asian, but who I really am.
Who are you? Describe that person a little!

By observing (observing is a very passive verb, use something stronger) the change I have created, I gained a confidence (boring) that I could overcome greater adversities that I would face in the future.

As a result, I learned to cope with greater issues that I faced in my life. Boring closer, maybe try something with a little more sting and personality, this just rehashes what you said.

Soon people in my school started accepting me, not as a small Asian, but as a teammate, one of their own.
By utilizing the change I have created, I gained a sempiternal confidence which propels me to success. As a result, I learned to resist against greater issues with thick skin and forward-looking eye, and I learned how to kick ass in soccer on the side. (ok, maybe change that to "and I learned how to play a little soccer on the side", but I think that little burst of spunk might be nice.)
madison333 - / 2  
Nov 20, 2012   #5
I think that the topic of your essay is good but both the introduction and conclusion. In the intro, you take too long explaining Trinidad and Tobago and going to school before you get to the point of your essay (overcoming adversities through soccer, right?) Also I think your conclusion needs some work. It is very short and the last sentence feels like an uncompleted thought. What did overcoming this adversity help you deal with? I would explain further or just change the last sentence so it is more specific.
grateful1 6 / 17 1  
Nov 20, 2012   #6
you are a talented writer just remember to talk about yourselff and what makes you unique
wen99 1 / 1  
Nov 20, 2012   #7
its good... but " I entered the wearing the school's blue shirt and khaki pants" feel something is wierd about that sentence
college134nj - / 44 7  
Nov 22, 2012   #8
It's really really good! Gives a lot of voice, interesting story. I really wanted to continue reading to find out what happened. And the reader really sympathizes with you. Somehow, I feel that the first conclusion ending in a rhetorical question might not be a good idea. at the same time, it conveys a strong point... maybe rephrase to be a statement instead of a question?

either way you go, the essay is stellar!
Shoko0229 4 / 14 3  
Nov 22, 2012   #9
Why do you use "people" instead of "my teammates" or "my classmates?"

As to the conclusion, I prefer the first one. But I think you should mention your "confidence" you gained from the experience as clear evidence for your resolution to challenge barrieres in the future, as you do in the second one.

I am applying to UC, too! Hope we both will be successful:)
princedynasty 15 / 57 4  
Nov 22, 2012   #10
Your essay is easy to read. i prefer the first conclusion because the other one seems banal and leaves little impression. however an affirmative sentence at the end of the essay would be more suitable.
Yoh 2 / 6  
Nov 22, 2012   #11
First of all your essay is extremely well laid out and it is also very interesting story. But i felt that you should try to expand more on how your quality relates to the person you are. And I think the first conclusion is concrete and has deeper meaning to it. But as others have said already, change it into a firm statement rather than ending with a rhetorical question.
OP adebayor123 2 / 8 2  
Nov 24, 2012   #12
Hey everyone,
Sorry for the late reply. I want to thank all of you guys for helping out!
and Shoko, good luck with your application too!
RawrJjong 2 / 4 1  
Nov 24, 2012   #13
Man, I like it too. I could actually envision a kid on the soccer field!

But yeah, the first conclusion's better. The second one seems to end abruptly and kind of starts of in a cliche way: "Through this experience.." I think you could probably expand on it a bit more, though.

Good luck for both of us on UC's :D


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