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A step to be greater and more meaningful than the previous one - my transition to maturity

maryb 1 / 1  
Jan 1, 2017   #1
It is my commonapp essay about the event that marked my transition to maturity.
I would really appreciate if you could please help me with my grammar.
Thank you!

a better version on me

10:42. August,18th, 2012. Pestalozzi Camp. Switzerland. Our eyes sparkled with eager anticipation. It was finally about to happen. That last minute seemed to last forever. Aaand YES! We could hear steps in the corridor. Swiss children - Laura, Sarah, CĂ©line, and Luca, to name a few - finally came in. But something went wrong: instead of the zeal, their eyes reflected genuine shock and confusion. Initially assuming we are 'poorly dressed, malnourished children from Ukraine, a country with a constant drought and problems in East Africa' (as they later admitted), they were surprised to see neat, smiling and slightly plump children.

They even brought us some food.

I must confess their words and actions were hurtful and to some extent abusive for a 12-year-old me from middle-income Ukrainian family thinking of her parents and country only the best.

Their reaction was undeniably enlightening. It made me comprehend the context of my reality. As I matured that comprehension only deepened with me repeatedly encountering people thinking of both Ukraine and the Ukrainian language as non-existent. I was exposed to the outer world. It was the world where Ukraine was perceived as something marginal - either as 'a part of Russia' or 'just another post-Soviet country' - which drastically diverged from my image of Ukraine. Those unintendedly pejorative words killed any trace of my dignity and pride: I did not want to be a product of my environment. For me, my homeland transformed from being a harmonious miscellany of peace, love, authentic songs and costumes to just a country of people afraid to speak up for injustice, ignorance and for themselves - the parallel reality I was unwilling to identify with. This phenomenon is not unprecedented: it happened millions of times to the millions of Ukrainians. I was determined to flee the country the moment I would only have a chance.

Time passed.

My Ukraine changed as well as I did.

I finally understood it was me who was indeed cowardly obedient in this situation. I need to be sure I used all the opportunities to leave the positive footprint on my community, for me to derive fulfillment from my life. It is the high time young Ukrainians stood up and took the mutual responsibility for what is going on. I also realized that it is me who is to assign the meaning to the words and, thus, to determine their influence on me. In addition to being belittling and humiliating, they have the propensity to empower me to venture into the uncertainty of trying to trigger changes in, to a certain extent, stagnating society. I cannot change the past, but the present and future may experience my contribution.

I did leave the country. However, instead of blurring my Ukrainian identity I now strive earnestly to confront the prejudices and 'part-of-Russia', 'salo and vodka' stereotypes by unostentatiously showing Ukraine`s diversity as well as being the way I am - independent, intelligent, hardworking, and perceptive. Moreover, I want to take the experience and knowledge gained back to my country since living abroad exposes me to unconventional (for me) ideas and demeanors, and thus helps me to broaden my horizons. Old paradigms do not work, and Ukrainians need more freedom - social, moral, intellectual, and political. Therefore, by sharing and implementing my knowledge I am resolute in offering people an alternative way of doing things, consequently facilitating the extermination of the model of Ukrainian Homo Sovieticus.

Perhaps I see my possible contribution in a rather idealistic way. It is likely that I will not manage to fully satisfy my lofty aspiration, yet endeavoring will stimulate me intellectually and culturally. I believe everything goes in a spiral with the new spiral being larger than the previous one. What does it mean? It means that each next step in my life is to be greater and more meaningful than the previous one.

Holt [Contributor] - / 9,025 2715  
Jan 2, 2017   #2
Maria, this essay does not meet the requirements for a transition to adulthood essay. It does fulfill the requirements for a background
essay though. I suggest that you change the prompt you will be using this essay for to the following prompt:

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

A transition story usually has its basis or foundation in an event that has you, as the performer of the act, developing a more matured mindset or creating a more adult character trait as you performed the task. It is an incident that happens only once and has the community or your parents acknowledging that your actions are finally that of an adult. It is about proving that you can take responsibility for yourself and that you will be able to take care of yourself without the help of others. Your current essay doesn't reflect that.

However, it reflects information that clearly pertains to prompt 1. So, if you would like to, you can just use a different prompt with the essay. Make sure that you review the requirements of the discussion and that all important points are reflected in the essay. I believe you have done so. Although, you may want to develop some other points of the essay based upon the new prompt requirements. Otherwise, the essay will work perfectly with the new prompt instead. If you want to use your original prompt, you will need to write a new essay that better reflects the prompt requirements.
OP maryb 1 / 1  
Jan 2, 2017   #3
Thank you! I changed the topic. Initially, I was writing this essay as an answer to first prompt, but my brother confused me.

What do you think about the content of the essay? Is it reflective enough?
Holt [Contributor] - / 9,025 2715  
Jan 3, 2017   #4
Yes, I believe that this essay is reflective enough to catch the interest of the reviewer. That is because your story is unique. It comes full circle in discussing what you went through upon leaving your home country and the kind of obstacles that you had to overcome in order to come to the point where you are in your life now. If anything, I feel like the essay is a bit too long. So I am worried about your maximum word count. Didn't you go over the limit in this instance? You might want to consider shortening the essay a bit so that the reviewer will be able to scan the more important information faster. Try to avoid giving the reader single sentences that are only meant to connect to the next paragraph. Try to make your transitions fluid from one transition to the next so that you do now waste word count and cut the reader's concentration. The essay only needs a little adjustment in terms of format and content before it can be ready to use.

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