I stood in the dinner line, my shivering hands gripping a plastic bowl and a cup of water. A single ladle of condensed chicken noodle soup poured into my bowl; I took a white roll from the bag stamped "99" cents in red type. Sitting on the frozen bleachers, I wolfed down the food, but no seconds were allowed, so I headed back to camp. The fairground was desolate, lonely, and cold, inhabited only by makeshift cardboard structures and teenagers huddled together in groups. I dragged my refrigerator box through the dirt-patched grass, looking for a place to sleep. The fierce October air whipped past my ears as I knelt on the dirty ground, ripping duct tape pieces to hold my house together. I then unrolled my sleeping bag into the cardboard cave and climbed in, but sleep did not come easily. Thoughts of "What have I gotten myself into?" infested my mind and brought no rest.
Luckily, the events of this night were not a common occurrence for me. It was a benefit called "Night in a Box" to raise money for the homeless by spending a night outside. When I woke up the next morning with a stiff back and a head cold, I was greeted with steaming pancakes. The United Way counselors who ran the program wanted to reward us for sticking it out all night. I began to realize how lucky I was. I was only homeless for a night, when others are homeless their entire lives. For people in poverty, there are no lavish breakfasts to make up for sparse dinners. In the warm four walls of my home, real suffering feels so far away. This experience instilled in me distaste for meaningless accumulation of personal possessions. I gave away half of my belongings.
I now consider myself a minimalist. Every time I buy something new, I give away something in return. I fully believe in the sentiment that you can't take it with you. I'm always looking for superfluous items that I can remove from my room and decrease clutter in my life.
I take pride in recycling clothes and knowing that I'm doing my part to reduce waste on this earth. But at first it was a challenge to let go of my belongings. I liked my stuff. It was nice. It was mine. A teddy bear that sat in my closet for years, suddenly became exceedingly important to me when it was time to give it away. Over time, it became easier to let go of needless possessions and I cam to enjoy giving my belongings away. My glimpse into the lives of others completely changed my perspective for the better. It took a night sleeping in a box for me to begin thinking outside of it.
WOW, this is amazing! very powerfully written. But, what was your prompt?
please post any comments or edits :)
this is the essay with indents for easier reading
I love the last sentence. As for the second to last one I would change it to this...
My glimpse into the lives of others's completely changed my perspective for the better.
The suddenly a teddy bear part could use some revision, I am a little confused about it. But that could just be me lol.
If you have an interesting story as to how you fell to homelessness then you may want to write about that and take a little bit away from the narraration
Suddenly, things that were as insignificant as a dusty teddy bear became exceedingly important to me when it was time to give them away.
This is amazing, just saying. I don't see much else to fix, really.
thank you! any other comments? i'll edit yours too :)
Very well written. And you've definitely told Yale something about yourself, something that reflects wonderfully on you and who you are. I especially loved your last line!
There is really nothing you need to fix about this at all!
If you have time, perhaps you can offer some critiques on my essay as well!
Good luck on everything!
I loved how you started this essay, it drew me in right away. I'm sure who ever is reading it will feel the same way too. Good Luck!
the last sentence was awesome! way to think out of the box!
Wow, this is an amazing essay. It really touched me.
I question "To someone who doesn't know me, they would assume quite the opposite about my values. I frequently come into school with new, name brand items but they are from the thrift store. I take pride in recycling clothes and knowing that I'm doing my part to reduce waste on this earth."
I was really convinced of this organic, almost zen-like image of you. It was great! But then you mention you brand name clothing (even if it is recycled) ...and how other people would assume you're the opposite of what you are...and suddenly I snapped out of the trance. So I might suggest you remove those three sentences, or at least omit the first two.
Other than that? Brilliant. Enjoyed it quite a bit. Well done.
thanks you guys, any gramatical errors i need to worry about? leave me a detailed response and ill do the same 4 u.
I didn't see any grammatical errors honestly, excellent essay by the way. Very powerful.
Wow. I loved this essay and the details you gave about your experience being homeless for a night. Very very powerful essay and I think you made a good point describing how your one night changed not only how you think but also how you behave. Great job.
Amazing essay about your experience with homelessness, you hooked me at the start and you ended with a bang. The way you describe you experience is truly in depth and you allow the reader to feel as if they were in your shoes. Again amazing job and I was glad to have the opportunity to read it.
WOW i don't know what to say...thank you all for the positive comments!!
any other critiques before i send it off?
This literally bought tears to my eyes. Bravo with essay I could see you getting into yale no matter what.
One word: WOW
You're definitely going to get in.
That was amazing...makes me wish I could rewrite my common application essay to make it as personal as how yours was.
The only I don't see you getting in, is if you have like a 2.5 GPA...which you probably don't :P
haha no 2.5 gpa lol. & THANK YOU EVERYONE!! SO UPLIFTING!!
FINAL EDIT: ANY COMMENTS B4 I SEND IT OFF?
WOW I'm impressed and a little scared since I'm also applying to the same school but your essay is thought provoking and challenging. You should be proud. can you edit my engineering supplement please!!!
Cant really say much, because i dont think there's anything to fix
but just wanted to say that You are an amazing writer!
I came to enjoy (just a tiny typo) ...well thats the only imperfection I see - great job - I wish I could redo my essay now :p
You are set!!! - love the closing statement
your definitely a perfectionist! I think this is so incredibly and emotionally written, I don't see ANY errors! I think it's time to press that submit button :)
im confused about where u found the 1st error. & how do i fix the tense problem?
thanks a million ill edit your ssay right now
Over time, it became easier to let go of needless possessions and I came to enjoy giving my belongings awaylast paragraph
began to realize how lucky I was. I was only homeless for a night, when others are homeless for their entire lives. second paragraph
and the tense thing is actually ok. i think i just read it too fast. but these are teeny tiny critiques - your essay is practically perfect!!!
thanks! youve been a really good editor. if i can look at anything else 4u let me know. my yale app is in! thank you soooo much every1!!