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'My new life after immigrating to the USA' - University of Chicago Supplement


hudashahid1 2 / 3  
Oct 20, 2012   #1
Hey Everyone this is the prompt of University of Chicago Essay Option 3: Susan Sontag, AB'51, wrote that "silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech." Write about an issue or a situation when you remained silent, and explain how silence may speak in ways that you did or did not intend. The Aesthetics of Silence, 1967.

Immigrating to America and adjusting to living in a new culture was a big struggle for me. At the age of two, my family moved to America. I felt completely lost and wondered who these "strange" people around me were. I knew that I would struggle to be accepted into American society. When I started school, my peers looked at me as if I was an alien. I would come home from school crying, afraid to tell my parents my reasons for being upset. The 9/11 attacks worsened my situation. For a while, most members of society considered all Muslims terrorists. People looked at me as if I had no feelings inside me. I felt that people viewed my family and myself as criminals due to the bad deed of the 9/11 terrorists. I was afraid to leave my house, yet I knew I needed face the challenges ahead of me. Not only did the event further distance me from other Americans, but also I was confused about my heritage. After I reflected on the good things that my parents, siblings and I do for our community, I realized that I would have to change the stereotype of Muslims. Something developed within me - confidence. I am proud of my family, where I came from, and what I believe. This pride caused me to never hold my face down in fear or shame again. I was more committed to my beliefs. Today, I am passionate and confident about myself and my heritage.

When I started school in 2009 everyone looked at me as if I was different from them. I understood my clothes were different, but that didn't change who I was. It was a struggle because in class when we were asked to do group work everyone would discuss, but I would be left to work on my own. I felt that people only saw the outside of who I was, not my true character. I didn't have anyone to talk to or share with what I believed; it was all trapped within me. One day during my lunch period I was sitting alone and a student made a comment stating "she doesn't look like she belongs here," I boiled with anger from that comment. From that moment I decided I needed to face these struggles in order for me to build my confidence. I went up to the girl and stated that I do belong here and I'm here for my education and that's what matters. After this I began to take responsibility and speak what I believe. From that day I decided if I wanted to achieve then I have to develop self-confidence. After that day my peers understood it wasn't just about how a person looks from outside it's all about what he perceives within him. They would include me in group work, valued my opinion and enjoyed working with me.

After standing up for myself my peers got to know me better They began to understood my religion and how it's a part of me, but they also learned to respect the Muslim religion. I would answer any questions they had about my religion, for they seemed eager to know more. As I moved onto high school I became more outgoing. I just wanted everyone to give Muslim's a chance to define their identity. I wanted to be a leader and change the views of that people have of Muslims.

I am a better person due to the obstacles I faced in immigrating to America; these lessons have prepared me sufficiently for college. The fear and prejudices that I have endured have only built my confidence. I see each obstacle as an opportunity to become a better person.From my experiences.

Please comment and give feedback

Jennyflower81 - / 690 96  
Oct 20, 2012   #2
Nice job on your essay! Let me offer a few suggestions.

Not only did the event further distance me from other Americans, but also I was confused about my heritage.
You could say this another way: "Instead of growing accustomed to American life, I was drowning in the confusion of my heritage."
I would love to hear about a small moment or mini-story of your revelation of confidence, this wold help transition into the next few sentences.

I understood my clothes were different, but that didn't change who I was.
Maybe say this: "Even though I dressed differently than the others, I was still myself."

It was a struggle because in class when we were asked to do group work everyone would discuss, but I would be left to work on my own.

Or, say this: "One particular school requirement was difficult, group work and discussion, because I was excluded to work alone."
kanyeki 1 / 2  
Oct 20, 2012   #3
Hi your choice of personal experience is apt and goes along way in providing further in-depth to your persona. just try and brush up some few issues with tenses and your story will be perfect.... and that part you say you are a better person due to the obstacles you have faced, i think its better you exclude it since we should strive to show and not tell. the overal essay shows that you are a better person than you were then.
OP hudashahid1 2 / 3  
Oct 20, 2012   #4
Thank You so Much jeny flower 81 for your response and suggestions. Kanyeki also thank you for your response ,but can you please go in depth of what how I can improve the essay.
NikhillRao 1 / 3  
Oct 20, 2012   #5
"Most members of society considered all Muslims terrorists" is an untrue generalization, and could sound offensive to an American reading the essay. Something like "Anti-Muslim sentiment was prevalent" is a little more sensitive.

Otherwise, your essay is strong.
memercedes 4 / 12  
Oct 21, 2012   #6
Your essay is very strong. Good job! :)

But here're a few things. You first discussed in the first paragraph, "When I started school, my peers looked at me as if I was an alien. I would come home from school crying, afraid to tell my parents my reasons for being upset." And you moved naturally and beautifully on to your family and your identity. However, in the beginning of the next paragraph, you again stated "When I started school in 2009 everyone looked at me as if I was different from them." I understand you are saying different things, but for a reader it is a feeling like you are repeating information. I just wonder would it be nicer if you keep all "school circumstances" in one place?

Also, the prompt says about the "power of silence". Throughout your essay, you illustrated how speechless fear and prejudice have speak to you and transform you, which is nice. But what about connecting that to "silence" in your conclusion, which I think will make your piece even more powerful.


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