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Staying alone at home - I had finally grown up. Common App prompt #5


nyanpasu 3 / 6 4  
Oct 28, 2016   #1
Prompt: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

"Yamini! Come downstairs, we have something exciting to tell you!", my mother yelled. "Coming, mum!", I said, wondering what it could possibly be. Were we going on a big vacation to Japan? Were we going to meet my sister in California? The possibilities were endless! I was giddy with excitement as I scurried down the stairs. My parents had wide smiles on their faces. "We're going to (city name) to meet all of your favourite cousins! Surprise!", said my father. I was elated! Sure, going to (city name) wasn't as exciting as what I'd been dreaming of, but I hadn't met some of my cousins in a long time and I was looking forward to catching up with them.

Sadly, my happiness was short lived. It turned out that the big family gathering was happening the same time as an important experiment that had to be performed as part of my 12th grade group project. I was extremely disappointed as I was looking forward to meet my cousins and spend some quality time with them. Although it was tempting for me to miss school just to attend that event, I remembered that the project was a team effort, and it would be unfair on my part to leave them to do my part of the work. I also realized that two years from then, I would be responsible for myself, and that I wouldn't have my parents to take care of me forever. I decided to make the mature decision to stay back at home on my own. My parents were shocked at my suggestion, and also impressed. I assured them that I would be responsible. I would cook my own meals, remember to lock all doors before going to bed, and study well. They relented on my request and took their leave a week later.

When my parents said goodbye, I felt a sense of regret, and I was tempted to give up and just miss that day of school. But I toughened up and reminded myself that I would soon be all alone in a foreign country. Although I was worried that I would feel lonely, and thus, too demotivated to be productive, I actually quite enjoyed being responsible for myself. The food I made was quite simple, but it was still a huge accomplishment for me. I even did the dishes and cleaned up after myself. It felt refreshing to be left alone with my own thoughts. I surprisingly found that I was more productive! I finished my assignments early and had a lot of time to relax.

I knew that my parents had their doubts about me living alone in a country thousands of miles away, because they didn't think that I was responsible enough to take care of myself. But when they came back home 2 days later to a spotless house (and me in one piece), they realised that I had finally grown up.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,529 3444  
Oct 28, 2016   #2
Yamini, try to improve upon the essay content. Shorten the introduction so that you can include a more important aspect of the essay. That of the change in opinion of your parents upon seeing you and the house after leaving you alone for two days. Since you are after a mark of transition from childhood to adulthood, it is vital that you include how your parents have changed with regards to their treatment of you after your 2 day home alone experience.

That is why I suggest that you shorten the introduction. You need to provide a comprehensive narrative regarding how they most likely treat you more like an adult and equal now, rather than as a child. This could include references to giving you more responsibility for yourself, doing chores that they normally would not have entrusted to you before they came to realize what a mature daughter you are now, or simply, their expression of surprise and realization that you are no longer the daughter that they had to treat with kid gloves before. It is your parent's reaction that will truly make this a transition essay so you should give that part a dedicated paragraph of reasonable length for the reviewer to consider.
OP nyanpasu 3 / 6 4  
Oct 28, 2016   #3
That's a great suggestion, Holt! I'll incorporate that in and get back to you. Thank you very much :)
OP nyanpasu 3 / 6 4  
Oct 31, 2016   #4
This is my revised essay!

When I was 16, a big family get-together was to take place in my native place a few cities from where live. I was extremely excited as I would get to meet my cousins, some of which I had never met before. The tickets were booked, and I had even begun packing my bags. There were just three days left before the big day. My Chemistry teacher announced that we had to perform an important experiment as part of our group investigatory project. Sadly, the experiment was to be performed on the day I had planned to miss school. I tried to schedule the experiment for a different day but my teacher said nothing could be done. It was disappointing. I was left to choose between letting my other partners complete the project without me, or giving the get together a miss. I felt that it would be unfair on my part to let my team do my portion of the work while I had fun with my family. Thus, I made the decision to stay back alone at my home. My parents were shocked at my suggestion, but they were also proud. I assured them that I would be responsible. I would cook my own meals, remember to lock all doors before going to bed, and finish my experiment. They relented on my request and left a week later. When my parents said goodbye, I felt a sense of regret, and I was tempted to give up and go with them. But I toughened up and realised that I had to grow up.

Although I was worried that I would feel lonely, and thus, too unmotivated to be productive, I actually quite enjoyed being responsible for myself. The dishes I made, though quite simple, were an accomplishment for me. I also did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. I was able finish my experiment with no difficulty. And most surprisingly, I felt less lonely than I thought I would -- it was refreshing to be left alone with my thoughts. However, I did have some hiccups. I burnt my eggs while cooking my breakfast, and I did get distracted at times.

Now, looking back on it, I realise how much of a learning experience it was. As someone who has been keen on studying abroad since I was in high school, I got a really good taste of what it would be like living on my own. I now know that not everything will be a cakewalk when I am alone. I won't have anyone to take care of everything for me. The experience was also a confirmation that I wanted to study abroad. I enjoyed the freedom.

My parents' view of me changed drastically. Initially, they were unsure about sending me off to another country to study. They doubted my responsibility and my ability to take care of myself and get good grades. But when they came back home to a relatively clean house (and me in one piece), they no longer viewed me as a child, but as a responsible and independent adult. My opinions were respected and considered while making family decisions. I was asked to make reservations in restaurants and book tickets, and make my own meals occasionally. I made my own study plans and schedule. My parents allowed me to make mistakes as they knew the importance of it.

Now, I am happy to say that my parents are confident that I will be able to prosper while I am abroad, and that I will make them proud.

I changed a few things in the essay. First of all, I brought in the discussion of how the experience was helpful AFTER it happened. Second, I included a paragraph about how my parents' view of me changed (based on Holt's suggestion), however I feel like I'm using the same vocabulary over and over (responsible, independent, etc.) I also removed the little narrative I had at the beginning, I didn't feel like it was giving much to the essay.

Thanks in advance for your help! :3
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,529 3444  
Oct 31, 2016   #5
If you feel that there is a redundancy in your language, then you can refer to an online thesaurus to help you change up the words a little. The explanation about how the event made your parents treat you differently after, and offering up explanations for it was just what this essay needed to help it become more interesting. All of the major and minor edits that you did with the essay really paid off for you. What I would like to see you do though is either build up that lonely, single line that just hangs at the end of the essay. Either add to the information as to how your previous experience can help you make your parents proud as you study overseas or, you can just merge it with the last part of the previous paragraph so that the essay will end on a highly positive note.
OP nyanpasu 3 / 6 4  
Oct 31, 2016   #6
Haha alright, you're making me feel bad for that line now! :3 I guess I'll just merge it with the paragraph above it because I don't want to repeat the same things again. I really appreciate your help, Holt! Have a great day :)


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