Prompt: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
Looking back four years ago, I wonder how I could have grown from being a shy freshman to an extroverted and curious person I am today. I would have never known that it would take something as an everyday mundane task as riding the bus to jumpstart my metamorphosis.
At thirteen, my mother dropped the news on me that we were filing for bankruptcy. In the light of the recession, she couldn't afford to use the car to send me to school. The only plausible solution was to use the public transportation system, which meant running like I had to win the Olympics in order to make it to the bus stop and avoid being tardy. Since I live out of the district, I have to ride for a long time before I reach my destination, usually passing through impoverished areas (including my own). Run-down buildings, shady liquor stores, and the homeless are all common sights that crowd my vision, but what really grabbed my attention were the people in these particular areas. They all stepped onto the bus, different from one another and differently dressed- overweight, underweight, overdressed, underdressed, and sometimes, barely dressed. At first shy, I eventually became comfortable with my surroundings and began to interact with those who accompanied me on the bus. The conversations I have with the people on the bus are interesting, ranging from the ripeness of food to pop culture to even politics. As I grew more and more comfortable and confident with meeting new people, I developed the confidence to use the Metro to go places other than school and began to venture into unfamiliar parts of Los Angeles that have always intrigued me and have always wanted to explore. Whether I wanted to go to a concert held in the heart of Downtown, Los Angeles or to volunteer with my school's National Honor Society, riding the bus became my preferred choice of transportation as opposed to getting a ride from a friend or my mother.
Evaluating my experience riding the bus is really a complex matter. Meeting all the people that have stepped onto the bus gave me the confidence and humility to put myself out there to actually learn about these people as individuals, reminding me that there will always be other perspectives outside the ones I'm accustomed to. In being more confident in meeting other people, I was able to expand and broaden my horizons and my perspective. I developed the confidence to use public transportation to go places that I wouldn't have if I didn't have the confidence to go outside my box.
Without this confidence, I wouldn't be aiming for a higher education. I would be allowing my mother to dictate where I would go for college and what my major would be and my insecurities would keep me from taking chances that would help me grow as a person. Instead, these insecurities were replaced with an insatiable curiosity about the world around me and beyond. However, to truly take advantage of this newfound curiosity, I must have the confidence to take leaps and bounds and it is something I do my best to have as a part of my own personality.
You could also add something about how your experience riding the bus opened your eyes to the world around you and showed you how everyone in the world has a story. Also, maybe you learned that just because they're living a more difficult life than many, there are still good people among those who are impoverished in any way. Another thing you could bring up, which may not end up applying to you, would be if the experience inspired you to do more community service, or helping out those in need, since schools often look for lots of community work and stuff like that from applicants.
Also, you can also use a specific event that occurred on the bus that had significance to you and make the essay even more specific. Also, it helps to be concise with common application essays. Another words, try to find specific words to replaces phrases and make the essay easier to follow. obliterate sentences describing procedure or useless details about why you did something. One advice my essay editor gave me was ALWAYS SHOW RATHER THAN TELL. You do a decent job of that but the essay would be stronger if you could have a better focus and narrow the essay down a bit. hope my advice helped. as far as conciseness goes, figure that out after you've focused your essay more. Best of luck to your applications.