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Relentlessness and Dedication that led to Success

Robert_T 1 / 2 1  
Nov 13, 2014   #1
Hi guys, this is my first essay for UT apply texas online application. I want to know whether it is pertinent to the topic and whether my ideas are developed enough to be considered a great essay, but any comments concerning grammar, style, punctuation is appreciated. Thank you so much guys !

Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?

Wanting to pursue study in the US, my biggest hindrance comes from English language. Although I can speak english fluently now, the process of learning it has been quite grueling.

When I was a young boy, I received English lessons from my parents, school teachers, and tutors; they have helped me built a fundamental ground in English language, which took a major part in my linguistic development. However, when I graduated to high school, I realized I needed more than just rudimentary knowledge of English language. Applying to US universities requires all international students to take SAT in addition to TOEFL. While it is very common for US students to take SAT, I find it really challenging to cope with the test, especially because it is not taught in my school and only a few Indonesian students in my city take the test.

I was lucky to find that there were two tutors willing to help me with SAT, one of them was my aunt. However, finding the right tutor did not solve all my problems; I took english lessons only two hours per week, which was a very short time compared to the materials I had to master. As a result, I created a system that I thought could make the best out of my English tutoring. Everyday I would spend approximately two hours to study the SAT myself; memorizing new vocabularies, answering practice questions, and writing essays. Every time I took my English lesson, I asked my teacher about the problems that I couldn't solve on my own, in other words, I utilized my English lessons only to solve problems that I found complicated. Through this way, not only did I save time, compared to doing the exercises during the lessons, but I also gained many insights on how to resolve similar problems, is they were to appear on the test.

In order to get more help on learning English , I asked my sister and her friends for some questions that were still problematic. My sister had taken SAT before and had been studying in the US for almost four years, so I was very sure that she could help me. Every time I talked to her through Skype, I asked about the reason behind an answer to a question, and through that, I gained so much knowledge about English and SAT in particular; for example, In the writing section, I asked my sister for some sample ideas that were applicable for a short essay. The ideas she gave me definitely sparked some ideas on how my essay should more or less consist of. In addition, I connected myself with my sister's friends. They helped me a lot with SAT; they gave me references about the books that might be useful to have and helped me with the writing section, especially in the style and grammar part.

I am quite surprised that studying English helped me build my personality. From connecting and talking to my sister's friends, I was able to gain more confidence. Although they were very friendly and kind, it was me who should be active in talking and asking because at the end of the day, I was the one who needed their help not the other way around. I used to be quite shy when talking to strangers. I had always expected people to talk to me first because I was always too nervous to start a conversation. However, studying the SAT forced me to make connections. I am now able to small talk my way out of an awkward situation, and more importantly, I am not nervous to approach people first. Had I not talk to my sister's friends, I would not have gained the knowledge I possess now.

My sister and her friends became one of my inspirations. In giving advice and information, they were always sincere and truthful; they weren't hiding anything from me, and they seemed to want me to reach the highest score for SAT as I could. That experience changed me as a person. I am now more sincere in giving help to those in need. I felt how my sister and her friends have impacted me, they gave me not only knowledge, but also ardor to pursue my goal. I am trying to give the same thing to other people, especially my friends. For example, my classmates and I frequently gather to study the material together one night before a test. We usually bring up questions that we haven't understood and discuss them together; sharing useful information, expanding each others' knowledge of the subject. On certain subjects I have mastered I try to help my friends as much as possible, I want to be certain that they go home with having most of their problems solved. I am happy to see not only myself succeed, but other people succeed, knowing that I have helped them reach it.

The one thing I learned is that if I want something, I need to work as hard as I can. I was inspired by one of my sister's friend who came from India; he studied the SAT himself and received a score of 2100. After hearing his story and all other's who have helped me, I became more relentless in studying my SAT with a positive mindset that it was possible to receive a high score in SAT. I have to say, it was not an easy journey, there were always doubts. However I said to myself, "If anyone can do it, why cant I ?". The simple phrase kept me motivated and became my motivational words every time my brain told me otherwise. Although I did not receive a score as high as 2100, I was quite satisfied with my hard work and my dedication put into studying the SAT.

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor," that is why I am thankful to have studied the daunting SAT. Not only have I learned a lot academically, I have developed as a more mature person as well; I have become a bit more confident than I was before, and I have become more persistent in pursuing something. I hope by studying in the US can develop me as a person even more.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Nov 13, 2014   #2
Wow! This is a tremendously long essay and definitely needs to be cut down in terms of content and word count. You can start by lessening the reference to your sister and her friends, they take up half the essay space already. If you can avoid it, just concentrate on your struggles and how you overcame it. The admissions officer does not want to hear about how your sister took the SAT's before you. You need to discuss your skills and resources that helped you overcome your obstacle in life. So your sister's story and her friends has no place in this essay. You should remove as much reference to them as possible and try to revise the essay to center solely on your accomplishments and methods of overcoming your obstacle. Once you do that, we can review the essay for content and theme problems again before we delve into the grammar issues that exist in it :-)
Opuntia - / 10 3  
Nov 13, 2014   #3
For me it should be more like: IfIhad not talk to my sister's friends, ...
OP Robert_T 1 / 2 1  
Nov 14, 2014   #4
Thank you for the feedback guys. I will shorten my essay for sure.

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