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My relationship with my grandparents had always been rough. Common app essay

Oct 3, 2009   #1
In elementary school, I used to be jealous of my friends who got birthday gifts from both sides of their grandparents. They always bragged in a loud pretentious voice "My grandparents got me the new edition of Barbie doll, and lots and lots of new cloths." Then someone else would play a counterpart "Well my grandpa got me a new trampoline, and a new remote controlled car!" During these kinds of conversation, I had always stayed quiet because I had nothing to say. I couldn't brag like them since I didn't get anything. Back then, I felt embarrassed about it. Since bragging about gifts is a privilege, and it showed how much you are loved and how special you were to your family. At least that's what my childish immature brain used to think.

My relationship with my paternal grandparents had always been rough. This is because I am a girl born into a traditional Chinese family. Being traditional Chinese citizens who follows all the ancient traditional doctrines and conduct, my grandparents thought only boys can accomplish great deeds and carry on the family name, which was extremely important to them. In their eyes, me being a girl is almost like a crime. No matter how hard I tried to please them by getting marvelous grades or outstanding awards, they didn't bother acknowledging them. When my younger brother got a red shiny star sticker on his shirt from good participation in class, my grandparents were happy and pleased to see that he is progressing well. They were filled with pride and boasted about him to the neighbors. They were always very protective of him and left me in the cold. They gave him the better of everything and treated him like a treasure. As a kid, I was deeply hurt and started to develop resentment towards them.

My dad understood our relationship, and understood our mutual feelings towards each other. One day, I was crying because my grandparents falsely blamed me for breaking the chair that my brother had broken. I couldn't cry loud because my grandparents would say something nasty about it. With suppressed sniffles, I sat in the corner of my room quietly detesting them. My dad somehow found me. He came to me, gave me a hug, and said "don't cry, I will give you three times the love to compensate for their mistake. Their vision is just clouded. They just can't see how good you are yet." "yet" he had said. It was a droplet of hope that cured my young broken heart. from then on, I didn't hate or blame them any longer, but tried hard to tolerated everything they did.

I just thought it was a pity, and kept hoping maybe someday they'll come to realize that I am just as good as a boy, and perhaps better than some. My grandpa had told me "you don't have the brains." however, I definitely have the dedication and effort to make up for what they called my "missing brain". I studied long hard hours to show them that I'm capable. I started to develop a desire to prove myself not only to my grandparents, but also to the world. Eventually, my persistent effort will get through.

The first time they took me into account was a big break for me. It was the day when report cards went out. Me and my brother had sat side by side talking about it, when my grandpa walked in. He went directly to my brother's side and asked him "did you make the honor roll?" my brother responded "nope." I didn't dare look into his eyes, but I know he is disappointed. Then there was a long silent pause. He said in a deep low voice "and you?" I was shocked because he had never inquired about me. I responded with almost an out bursting enthusiasm "of course! I always do! And there's a lot more of me to come! "

Oct 4, 2009   #2
This is quite a moving essay. You felt like your paternal grandparents didn't care about you, but you came to forgive their prejudices. You were really close to your maternal grandparents, though age has largely separated you. One problem, though: why does any of this makes you a good candidate for admission to a university, again? You need to make sure that your essay answers this question, and at the moment it doesn't. You might want to cut the half about your maternal grandparents and focus more on how your conflict with your paternal grandparents has filled you with a burning ambition to prove yourself, etc. Remember your intended audience as you write.
Oct 5, 2009   #5
I like this version a lot better. You end by pointing out that you always make the honor roll, which is a great thing to highlight in an admissions essay, and you manage to do so naturally, as part of a narrative, so that it doesn't seem like gratuitous bragging. Good job.
Oct 6, 2009   #6
plz help me

is there anything else that i can do to make this better?
sentence structure
extra details
Oct 6, 2009   #7
Here are some grammatical fixes to get you started:

"During these kinds of conversations, I had always stayed quiet because I had nothing to say."

"Since bragging about gifts is a privilege, and it shows how much you are loved and how special you are to your family, I had thought maybe I'm just was not good enough to be loved by them to receive gifts ."

"My relationship with my paternal grandparents had always been rough,. This is because I am a girl born into a traditional Chinese family." The last part of this sentence sounds odd, because of the tense shift. You might want to change the "am" to "was." I don't think anyone will become confused and think you somehow aren't still a girl if you do so, and it will read better.
Oct 11, 2009   #8
I was just thinking, would this be a good essay to sent to colleges
would they be interested when reading this?
I'm starting to doubt this essay's content.
Oct 11, 2009   #9
The content is definitely interesting. You narrate a good story here, but your essay would be better if you highlight the impact of this experience on you as a person. You touch on upon that when you say that you are persistant, but maybe provide an example to prove your persistance and to prove who you really are.

At first, it seems like a typical story of a Chinese girl who is shunned by her grandparents because of her gender. But it's much more than that.

Make the story unique, and really personalize it. I love the ending and the concept your trying to get across.

Good luck!
I agree with keds and EFSean. If you're going to use thiss as an admission essay, the past and the present have to tie together. The experience of perseverence is a very important one for college work. That despite even difficult personal obstacles, you keep trying.

But you'll have to make that connection really tight in your writing. Everything should focus on that. Details in your life when you persevered. Stories. Incidents.

When you've done that, you can fix the grammar. Read it out loud to yourself, see how it flows. If there are rough spots, you can fix them.

The essay is very good in places. It's worth working on.

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