Prompt #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.
Opening up to others was always a hard task for me. When I first entered high school, I was an introvert. I never wanted to meet new people and open up to new ideas. I was also scared because I would have to get used to a new environment. Ever since I was young, I would always be ignored. Whenever I had something to say, no one would listen to me. In elementary school, I was labeled as the outcast because I didn't have any close friends and no one cared. I was alone and I figured that there was no point for me to talk about my opinions if no one listened or cared. So growing up, I never stated my opinion on anything. I didn't want to include myself in any sort of activity at school because I would be looked down upon. Every day I went to school and then went home immediately to finish my homework. Although no one cared about my opinions, I wanted to keep up with my grades. Even though no one was concerned, I wanted to be proud of myself. This routine stayed the same until high school. Although I would always complain negatively of my class because we were known as the losers due to lack of money, I had no plans on expressing these opinions. School went on fine for me because no one bothered me and it was natural instinct to not care. During the middle of my freshmen year, Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) was introduced to me and the coordinator encouraged me to join Pre-College Academy (PCA) where I could take classes at UC Berkeley. I quickly joined thinking that it'll be a great opportunity. I found out that I would have to interact with others and talk about my opinions, but I decided to continue with the program because I don't agree with quitting. After having to interact with many people and expressing my opinions to them, I realized that there are people that cared to listen. First, I was afraid of what others will think but after getting used to always speaking, expressing what I thought was pretty easy. During the program, I concluded that I wanted to be expressive of my opinions to advocate change. Going back to school, I wanted to express my opinions by joining student government because I was unsatisfied with what was happening. I felt that it was my duty to stay committed to improve our class' representation. I placed student government as one of my important priorities. My objective of being in student government was to help raise money for events. One of the most effective fundraisers I suggested was Jamba Juice. It was our class' first experience with the community outside of class. By the end of the summer, my class had raised more money than many previous classes. We were no longer known as the losers of the school. Going through the year of experience as a commissioner, I had high expectations for myself to run for office. I became senior class secretary, but even though I now have a higher position, my objective is still the same. Becoming part of student government, I've become much more expressive through contributing my opinions to help improve my class. By having all of these experiences and acquired skills, I want to take them to even further extents by continuing to be part of a college community so that I can use what I've learned to advocate change. Being involved would allow me to work closely with new people and to learn from others. Also, I want to be able to lead and represent others, just like what I had learned from being part of student government. I want to be part of student government during college because I learned that opinions are always needed to either support or deny a change. I also want to continue being part of my own community so I can contribute what I learned to my peers. I want to be someone that can make a difference by expressing my opinions and concerns anywhere I go.
Prompt #2: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality of accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
Throughout my high school years, I've been involved with Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), which offers programs through the school year and summer. The summer programs are called Pre-College Academy (PCA) and Summer Sessions. I've attended PCA for two summers, 2007 and 2008, and in the summer of 2009, I attended Summer Sessions. These experiences during the summer contributed to my leadership skills and the ability to express myself.
PCA is where students from all over the Bay Area go to UC Berkeley and take classes. Along with those classes, they are also required to do team building and leadership activities. I had to work together with people I don't even know during these activities. I had to be confident with what I was doing so other people would follow and learn from me. In those summers, I became more independent than I ever was. I was able to talk to other people and be more outgoing. I joined this program with only one friend and we were not in the same class. I didn't have anyone to depend on. I had to ask other people for help in an unfamiliar city. Not only did this program help me gain the leadership skills I was hoping for, it also helped me with my social skills. I can now easily adjust to new surroundings and display the ability to lead others.
When I first entered high school, being independent was a huge problem for me. I always seem to be dependent on my close friends for everything. I was also very introverted; I never wanted to meet new people. One of my biggest goals while entering high school was to actually explore new surroundings and to be more open to new opinions and ideas, but it didn't happen until I realized it during my summer with PCA. Through PCA, I've changed as a person. I'm now willing to try new things even if it's something that would scare me. I'm extremely proud of this accomplishment because it made me a better person. It allowed me to become outgoing and be more confident about my opinions. PCA has taught me how to express my opinions to others, without that knowledge no one would know about me or my opinions.
PCA was a great experience and also one of my biggest accomplishments. The experience it gave me was what motivated me to become independent, outgoing and confident. Throughout the process, I've learned a lot about myself. I learned that I've always had the ability to obtain these characteristics but what stopped me was not having any motivation. PCA inspired me to take action to improve myself.
I have to tell you that the response to prompt #1 is really over-the-top depressing - it borders on begging sympathy, but I get the sense that your intention was different...I get that. But it has GOT to go.
It is one thing to express hardship and angst from life experiences, it is another thing to spend half of the first part of the essay beating that long-dead horse.
Say it and move along.
I have some ideas...and I hope I don't sound mean; I am only telling you how the first part of the essay made me feel...really bad and depressed. I will be back tomorrow to make some suggestions, but my dog is begging me for a walk. Meanwhile, re-read that as objectively as you can...do you see? It needs violin and cello accompaniment :) Don't be upset, my intention is truth in jest.
I agree with Jeanie. I suggest stating your situation in a way that is short, but to the point. Try adding a bit of imagery too. But overall, you started your prompts out great! :)
Maybe you can read over my prompt also?
Uhm, I would say that you should divide the 1st one into paragraphs. You might need to make it more interesting, too. I agree with Jeanny. Divide it out. You spent almost half of your essay talking about your life before the program. Be concise, and it will automatically become effective.
You might need a better transition, too. You went from being someone who was not so popular to commissioner and to secretary. Woah, that's a big change. I would suggest you detail your whole effort of getting into these position, your hardships (I bet there's a lot), even make it a whole short story. May be something like:
I decided to run for office. I silently prepared everything for the election, worrying that people would make fun of me. When they saw my posters, no one took it seriously. "Hey, I bet you 2 dollars she will cry and run off even before she can able to make the speech," I overheard two boys talking in the hallway, not knowing I was there. It did not discourage me, in fact, it even made me more determined; I wanted to show them how I have changed, to proved that I could take on responsibility...etc kinda.
It's just an example. I know it's not that good. However, I know that you can come up with something much better than mine. Make it personal, a little dramatic too (but not so much!).
Divide it out, that's a must!
Ah, as for your 2nd essay... I think you should talk about something else than that program. You already mentioned it in essay 1.
I seriously think you should talk about your process of rising in power to a commissioner, of overcoming yourself in essay 2, then talk about something else in essay 1. You should try to read other essays. You can be creative. "Your World" here can even mean your bedroom, your bookshelf... Of course you can also go with family or school, but either way you have to make it special and stand out.
Please don't feel bad. I started out like you, with no clue at all. I'm never that good at essay. for 3 days I just spent time looking at the blank page and cursed myself.
I hope I helped. What I did was reading others essays a lot to understand how to write...
I wish you the best of luck :)
Thanks for reading mine!