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'Ruby Hills' -UC Essay 1

Kenny H 2 / 2  
Nov 23, 2011   #1
Prompt: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Thoughts and feedback, especially on fluidity, whether or not i should omit some parts (551 words), and just if it makes sense or not, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Growing up in the quaint suburbs of Livermore, just outside of the Bay Area, I was blessed by having the opportunity to live in a pleasant community with nice schools, parks, and people. I remember when I was younger my friends and I would go trick-or-treating in a very affluent gated community called Ruby Hills every Halloween. The houses were massive and magnificent; the sheer size and grandeur of each one stunned me every time I visited Ruby Hills. Numerous Ferraris, Audis, and Lamborghinis were parked in the streets and driveways. It was these early exposures to success in a tangible form that made me reflect on what I, myself, needed to do to be successful in life. The motivation came easy enough, I just had to look at my parents.

I have many outstanding memories of my childhood, but the ones that resonates the strongest are the memories of my dad coming home very late after a hard day's work. He would work twelve-hour days, Monday to Saturday, and some days I would already be asleep by the time he got home. I understood that he needed to work extra hard in order to provide for our family, and I grew to value and appreciate his dedication, persistence and work ethic. However, I disliked how he was consumed by his long hours and commitment to work, and that it didn't leave him enough time to spend with his family. My dad's perseverance was essential to maintaining our quality of life, but his limited education hindered him from providing for us in a more efficient manner. Already at the age of seven I knew that this wasn't the lifestyle I wanted. I knew that in order to be truly successful, I would have to not only achieve monetary success but also be able to fully enjoy it with my loved ones.

My mom, on the other hand, had a very different agenda. I was always at the top of her list when it came to priorities. She would pick me up after school everyday and take me to my piano lessons and weekend Chinese school. When I was sick at school she would leave work to pick me up and nurse me back to health. Her work schedule revolved around me. My mother had all this time to tend to our personal needs, and at the same time she earned more money than my dad earned after his overtime pay. I know that this is due to my mom's bachelor's degree as opposed to my dad's lack of college education.

After witnessing the merits and struggles that my parents were dealt with, I have continued to strive to excel in academics, knowing that a higher education is the gateway to a higher quality of living. From my father I have learned that perseverance and a strong sense of responsibility is vital to financial stability, and from my mother I have learned to cherish and enjoy the things in life that make me happy. I have found that I need to manage a combination of these attributes that my parents portrayed. This knowledge, coupled with visions of one day attaining a house as grand as one of Ruby Hills, was how the idea of true success has been sculpted in my mind.
frankfink 2 / 2  
Nov 24, 2011   #2
I think you have a great topic for your essay. The opening story pulled me in and made me want to read the rest. The influence from your parents is both an informative and a personal story, which is great for schools to get an idea of who you truly are.

The only thing I might improve on is taking what you learned in your younger years by observing your parents and moving it along into how it shaped you later in life (closer to the time you are writing your essay).

Great writing!

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