I've passed an application already using this essay but I'm still not confident enough.
Common App Essay on personal growth
Prompt: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
"Ta-dum." The familiar intro of a streaming service gave me comfort and a sense of relief. I finally had the time to tick a box in my seemingly unending series list. With my feet propped up, coffee, and a sandwich on my left, I am ready to binge-watch the series I promised to watch after finishing the grueling work and spending three sleepless nights preparing for finals. Of course, pulling all-nighters and procrastinating is part of the experience.
There's an exquisite simplicity to lying awake late and doing nothing but lounging. Disconnected from reality while on my couch at night, headphones on, and a documentary playing, my thoughts are astray in the darkness. I've spent countless hours on my couch, lost in my thoughts after the last day of finals, seeking consolation in solitude. Relaxing and thinking are almost a must for me; I have a strong desire to understand the principles and events in everything I watch.
Our Planet. The documentary that was playing started with somber music, which gave me goosebumps. It tells the story of all kinds of species, big or small, and how their existence is fragile even if they've been here before us. Species that have lived millennia ago were obliterated in a couple of years. The lives that withstood the shifting of the seasons, summer droughts, winter frosts, and autumn storm winds had succumbed to the fleeting human life.
After the final episode ended and a few goosebumps later, it gave me a sense of accomplishment. Contentment entails finding a story and deriving beauty from it. It contained amazement which came with a powerful message that changed my perspective and kept me awake for a few minutes longer before going to bed. It made me think how ephemeral human life is, yet the destruction we bring is lasting. I've always enjoyed watching documentaries, but this one about the deteriorating planet sparked a new passion.
One may think that the reason is shallow. Just a Netflix show. But it seeped through my bones, and it made me emotional. It made me change.
I've begun to use a tote bag for shopping, thinking twice about buying clothes, using soap and shampoo bars, conserving water, and even persuading my Mother to buy and use LED lights. It made me proud that I was doing something for the planet in my way. Most of my clothes are now from "ukay" or thrift stores instead of the mall. I became conscious of my actions and how they could affect the earth.
Tenth grade came, and so was our first scientific research project. I've convinced my research partners to pursue a topic concerning the environment. After discovering how coconut husk ash could be a cement replacement in concrete because of its silicon content, we decided to go for it. After spending eight months researching and countless visits to the Department of Public Work and Highways, we found that we can only replace at least 2% of cement in concrete. It wasn't revolutionary, but our research got featured in our school's research fair, and we got high grades for the finals, and we were happy.
As I've become the Vice President of my painting club, one day, our adviser asked me, "Flowers na naman?". He wondered why the subjects of my paintings were often flora and fauna, far from the messy and unrealistic paintings I submitted before. I told him that I finally found a muse - the planet.
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Well, the choice of topic is good- how to help the environment and the birth of an environmentalist. However, the basis of the awakening is not really impressive nor highly convincing. The simple actions to address your environmental concerns are not really impressive due to the common steps taken. I was more impressed by the coconut husk cement replacement reference. It was really notable and I wish you had pursued that line more during your studies. It had potential in relation to the prompt foundation.
One of my concerns is that you used a few terms that did not make sense to me because these were not written in English and did not have translations. These are:
"Flowers na naman?"
I believe these are in your native language right? These should have been better explained to the reviewer for a better understanding of its relevance to the discussion. The essay should have been witten in pure English for clarity. You seem to have mistakenly assumed that the reviewers speak the same language as you do.