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pb&j's - Peanut butter jelly! Common app essay

js0116 3 / 3  
Oct 12, 2015   #1
I chose topic #4 about transitioning from childhood to adulthood.

I heard my stomach growling as I sat in Mrs. K's classroom waiting for the lunch bell to ring. It was my first day of Kindergarten and I was already anticipating lunch. When the lunch bell rang, Mrs. K ordered all of us, 4 years olds to take our lunches out of our backpacks and line up in an orderly fashion by the door. We did as we were told.

Once we got to the lunchroom, I excitedly opened up my first ever brown-bagged lunch and pulled out a flattened piece of bread with pink and brown substances oozing out of it. I thought to myself, "Ew! What is this?" I examined it for a few more minutes then decided it was too disgusting to eat and threw it away. For the next 25 minutes, I awkwardly sat there, biting my nails, waiting for the rest of the class to finish their meals. I hoped my mom wouldn't pack me that gross meal again. To my disappointment, the next day, when I opened up my brown bag, I saw that identical sandwich, except this time it wasn't squashed. I decided to at least take a bite of it. So, I gingerly took it out of the plastic bag and held it up to my nose. It kind of smelt sweet, but also salty. I took a bite of it, and immediately hated it. It was gooey and gross! Once again I threw it away in the trash and sat waiting for my classmates to finish.

For the next month, I repeated that process of opening my brown bag and being disappointed to see the same lunch. Finally, I decided to ask my mom why she packed me the same lunch everyday. My mom responded, "A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the most common American lunch!!" I asked her why she thought it was necessary to pack me a common American lunch; why couldn't she pack rice and dried seaweed for me? Her tone changed to a more somber one as she responded, "I want you to fit in with the other kids!"

Having immigrated to the United States only a year prior, as a four year old, I had no idea what American culture was like. The only English I spoke at the time was what I had managed to learn from watching Clifford on Sunday mornings. And the only American food I had tried was a burger from McDonald's. So I realized, my mom packing me a pb&j **inappropriate to say pb&j? spell it out? sandwich everyday was her efforts of helping me to fit into American society.

At the tender age of four, I had the realization that most people don't have until their teens or adulthoods. I uncovered the fact that although I may not be able to see it directly, every little thing my mom did was for my benefit. Even now, when my mom is nagging me to write my college essay or study for my SATs **may be slightly inappropriate to use term nagging, or talk about college apps, kind of puts myself in a negative light I think about the pb&j sandwiches and know it's for my benefit.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 12, 2015   #2
Janice, you are way off the mark with this essay. The prompt wants you to discuss a specific moment in time when your parents finally decided to consider you an adult. Being a 4 year old who hated peanut butter and jelly sandwiches definitely does not fall under that criteria. So you will need to go back to the draft board for this essay. You need to come up with a totally new essay. This one is not usable. Not a single part of it can be used because it does not properly respond to the prompt.

The theme of this essay is usually something in your culture that signifies your being ready to accept more responsibility as an older member of society. In some cases, this could be something as simple as getting a driver's license, moving to a new country and taking responsibility for grocery shopping, or helping to care for an aging relative. In some cultures, this is recognized as a Quincenerea, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a debut, turning 21, hunting or fishing for the first time, etc. Even the mere act of being placed in charge of your younger sibling for a day or two while your parents are away can signify such a transition. I am hoping that there is something in your family background that falls along these lines because that is what you have to write about.

The beginning of this essay should always reflect the immaturity that you had before the start of the transition. Then discuss the lessons you learned during the transition. Finally, talk about who you became after the transition was completed. That is the normal process for this essay. If you are able to draft a better better than responds to the prompt, please post it here so that we can help you further improve it :-)

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