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"a story from your life, high school" - University of Washington essay

dj02bothell 4 / 10  
Jul 4, 2010   #1
Prompt: Tell us a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.


It's amazing how much a person can change during high school. My moving to a new city and entering a new high school resulted in more loses than victories, but each loss was a valuable experience. Coming from a small town far from an urban setting, I was thrilled with the idea of meeting new people and being surrounded by a more diverse community. I thought, "Finally, people more like me, people who share the same interests". I was right, but also wrong. Sure, moving near the city would give me a great opportunity to meet new and different people but never did I expect to have such difficulty in transitioning to my new life.

For one, I never had to compete so hard; the idea of competition had never occurred to me. At my small town, I earned the stereotypical reputation as "the smart Asian". As I approached my new school, I felt like nothing could stop me. However, now I realize the wisdom of never underestimating anyone or anything. Competition came out of the blue and hit me hard. I discovered I was far from academic excellence, in fact, I underestimated everything so much that I was at a point of giving up. This was the time I discovered that I wasn't perfect, and neither was anyone else. In our society, one has to work hard, and the results are dependent upon the effort invested, this is just how the system works. This realization came to me near the end of my freshmen year.

As I began my sophomore year, I found myself in a personal abyss. Confronted by troubling issues, I gave up. My grades steadily declined and the motivation I once had had vanished. I was disappointed by my failures in school. After my sophomore year however, I realized that I couldn't be successful or happy with such a mindset. I had no one to depend on or look up to; I had only myself. One night in the beginning of my junior year, I spoke to my mom about my problems: family, stress, school, and personal issues. She told me, "Don't stress yourself over what your father thinks of you. What matters the most is trying your best and striving for your goals, not his." This struck me as being valid. I then understood that no matter how great the challenge, the only person who could save me was myself.

Time was running out and the last semester was all I had. This would be an opportunity for me, a sort of personal proving ground. I would like to say this is the proudest moment of my life. I succeeded in pulling myself out of the abyss developing belief. None of this was easy, but I learned that it was possible. As I've mentioned earlier, the results of my efforts will be equivalent to the efforts themselves. One of my favorite quotes sums it well, "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."

High school was certainly difficult for me, still it brought me to one of the darkest but also brightest days of my life. There weren't any specific events, but many cumulative factors that contributed to my being the person I am today. I don't regret any of my failures or mistakes, instead, I accept them as experiences which have helped me become a better person. Though, I never became the perfect student I had imagined, I did become someone willing to push myself to my limits and not be satisfied simply within my comfort zone. I cannot predict what lies beyond my present boundaries, but I welcome opportunities to push past them.

Is it good? I was also going to write maybe another one but from a 1st person view, this is all i got so far:

"Mom, what did the woman on the speaker say?" I asked her. "We're going to land very soon," my mom tells me. The airplane begins to encounter turbelence as we begin to slowly descend. Nausea comes to my stomach, my mouth starts to accumulate warm saliva and my stomach drops what felt like a hundred feet. It's been a while I felt this way, since Disneyworld. I grip tightly onto the armchair rest and clench my eyelids shut. Slowly, i take a peek outside and i can see a mysterious city below me, bright city lights flashing everwhere. The plane at last lands on the runway and the rumbling engines go silent. Finally, we have arrived.

As my family and i depart the terminal, I notice the people around me. Everyone looked exactly like me; they had almond shaped eyes, dark hair, and spoke a language that i vaguely understood. I turn to my mom with an incredulous expression on my face silently screaming, "Why on earth did you bring me here?"....

What do you think about that one? Which has more potential to be a very good essay? Thanks!
OP dj02bothell 4 / 10  
Jul 4, 2010   #2
@ LauraTwilight

I was actually thinking about getting rid of that entire part with my mom because i kind of exaggerated the quote. I was thinking about putting in there something with running because it's a big part of me. The second essay was just another idea i had except in that one i was going to tell an actual story of me going to S. Korea for the first time in my life and how i viewed my culture before and after. I think i might stick to the first essay and fix it up and add how running kept me strong.

Thanks! I really hope i get in too! Since my grades are mediocre, im definitely working on my essays to really prove myself.
leconda - / 1  
Jul 6, 2010   #3
I believe, as the other student felt. If you felt that your father kinda stress you out why not imply and explain. This will add more dept into ypur paper, perhap one or two sentence. Other than that loved you writing. Hoping to see more.

OP dj02bothell 4 / 10  
Jul 20, 2010   #4
Wow, i forgot to check this! lol So i ended up writing a completely different essay which i spent like 2 weeks but i am a little skeptical about posting it on here(im very paranoid that someone might steal it). Would anyone be interested in reading my new essay(s)? Hopefully, someone who i can trust and won't steal it? lol I'm not sure how to go about this.
help1923 1 / 2  
Jul 21, 2010   #5
this is a great essay. i hope you get in to uw.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jul 22, 2010   #6
Well, if you decide to post it, we will do our best to help. Whether you post or not, there is always a danger someone is going to steal your stuff. Anyway, if you post it here it will have your name next to it in the post. If you don't want to post something, I don't blame you, but if you do decide to post a new essay please start a new thread! :-)

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