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Special circumstances: socio-economic standing; educational goals - UT Optional essay

jellyroll1987 2 / 3  
Sep 13, 2010   #1
Prompt: Students submitting Essay C do so in order to submit additional information to the university about special circumstances, such as socio-economic standing; educational goals; cultural background; employment, internships, etc.; race or ethnicity; personal experiences and hardships; personal responsibilities; and any additional information submitted by the applicant.

This is my first draft, I need to submit this essay within the next couple days, any helps is greatly appreciated :)

I remember my first day at the community college in downtown San Antonio. My alarm sounded at five that morning. It was pitch black outside and there was humidity in the air. I had slept for only a few hours the night before; the anxiety of beginning college two and a half years after high school and not having a vehicle had really affected me. I gathered all my things before leaving that morning, double-checking that I had everything I would need for the day. As I walked to the bus stop, my nerves continued to escalate.

The two-hour ride to school was torturous. Having nothing to do but think, I had an opportunity to reflect on the decisions I had made in the past. I felt regret about not having started college right after high school, I worried that I had forgotten how to be a successful student, and I began to feel envious of those who had an easier time through college. I was so preoccupied feeling sorry for myself that I almost did not notice the woman on the other side of the bus.

She was a Hispanic woman in her late twenties with long black hair and of small stature. In her left arm she held an infant and to her right two small children were fighting with each other. She took notice of people on the bus begin to get aggravated with the level of noise her children were producing and attempted to settle the toddlers down. Her attempts were matched with an even louder clamor, which of course woke up the sleeping infant. I watched her try to maintain her composure and quiet the children. After a few more minutes, she buckled the infant in her stroller and told the children to settle down one more time before placing her head in her hands and breaking down into tears.

The sound of the bus doors opening in front of campus snapped me out of my trance with the woman's situation and I made my way off the bus. The doors closed and the bus continued on to its next destination, but the image of that woman would not leave my mind. As I walked to my first class I realized immediately that my life could be much harder. Although I had to work full time and depended on the bus for transportation, I still had a future and a chance to improve my life.

Supporting myself while attending to college has been quite the task for me. For the past two years I have kept a full time job and have spent my time off at school. With the exception of one semester, I have paid for my tuition and books from the earnings I receive by working. This past summer I finally had enough money to get a vehicle. Due to this change in lifestyle I was able to take summer classes in the morning and work nights to pay for summer school. Being that this semester will be my last at San Antonio College and I now have the means to drive myself, I plan to be much more involved in the community as a demonstration of the gratitude I have for the opportunities the community college has given me.

There have been many times that I felt I would not be able to make ends meet, but I have managed to get by. Some may consider working while going to school to be a disadvantage, yet I feel that because of this hardship I have grown to be a very strong young woman. I realize that I still have a long road ahead of me, but I find comfort in the fact that hard work pays off. In the words of Larry Bird, "I've got a theory that if you give 100 percent all the time, somehow things will workout in the end."
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Sep 15, 2010   #2
I remember my first day at the community college in downtown San Antonio.

Put your best foot forward. That is a funny sentence, but it means make sure the first thing you show them is something excellent. This sentence above definitely could be better because it is all "expository" with nothing intriguing.

I remember my first experience in a car with a standard transmission.

A sentence like that introduces an idea, but it lacks action.

I acted like a politician on my first day at the community college in downtown San Antonio.
This sentence has some action, but it could still be even better if I have a real, visible action verb:

I acted like a politician on my first day at the community college in downtown San Antonio, trying to make a good impression on everyone.

Then, it can become intriguing if you squeeze even more of your meaning in there with a hint about something:
I learned that it is not a good idea to act like a politician on one's first day at the community college in downtown San Antonio.---a sentence like this leaves the reader feeling curious.

So... try to do something intriguing with that first sentence to HOOK the reader's attention.


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