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Your thoughts on my common app essay about my life

abominablebride 1 / -  
Apr 21, 2018   #1
Prompt: Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

unshakable belief in a better future


Sharing my messy room with my chaotic mind, I always found myself yielding to his troublesome requests. Back when our simplest distraction was driving remote toy cars in our cushion-limited living room, he paused me once declaring his boredom and asked if we could build a fan out of the car's engine. I was about to refuse because we shouldn't break our new toy, but he convinced me when he lured me to imagine how cool I would look carrying a homemade pocket fan.

The idea worked (Although it wasn't very cool to be stung by a wire every time you moved your leg) and so we continued on our reverse engineering mission, destroying every cool object that we could hold, from my mother's tripod to my sister's small radio, convinced that we were about to make a breakthrough.

As we grew up, our opposing tendencies became sort of a union. At some point he would be Tesla, the crazy genius whose wildest aspiration was to learn and build, and I would be Edison, the sharp entrepreneur whose best invention is the most useful one; at others, he would be Wozniak, hacking my father's old computer for fun, and I would be Sherlock, coming up with different theories as we were watching our favorite TV show.

Now the reason why my mind played such an important role in my life is its role in maintaining my duality. I was alone, but I had a friend. I was different, but I had a partner. I lived in a community where I wasn't allowed to innovate, so I created my own.

In fact, my reality was a post-revolution Tunisia, a country honored by its Arab spring, but unfortunately lost in its quest to prosperity. As much as we were excited about our newborn democracy, we were afraid of it. The same Teacher who encouraged me to seek my dreams warned me about becoming a scientist, the same activist who went with me to the protests, advised me not to approach the cops. I was free, yet captivated at the same time.

So as the inconsistency between what I envisioned and what I encountered grew even bigger, this gap became my opportunity to see how my mind and I can solve this enigma. We were rational agents trying to find meaning in an irrational world, and this mindset was exactly the key point that trapped me in my mission to connect with my community. I was seeking logic in a dynamic environment, and my Newtonian calculations and my Sherlockian deductions were by the end a mere reflection of my perception, failing to grasp its complexity.

As I came to this realization, a duality of calmness and intensity immersed me. I was peaceful because I finally came to terms with my environment, but I was also enthusiastic because I had an unshakable belief in a better one. My everyday life wasn't just about exploring and analyzing anymore, it became a continuity of challenges that help me and my community progress together.

Holt - / 7,529 2001  
Apr 22, 2018   #2
Mohamed, this is not a character building story. You are trying to impress the reviewer but in the process, you accidentally ended up not discussing an acceptable topic for this prompt. This is not about the duality of your mind and your personality, this is about how you handled learning situations in your life. A character building development needs to have occurred. Talk about the Arab Spring instead. Tell the reviewer who you were before, during, and what became of you after those experiences. Those are the character shaping incidents in your life that will clearly show the kind of emotional and social maturity that is required of a college student. That is what this prompt is looking for. Proof that you are "adult" enough to go to college and deal with the unexpected demands and character challenging social situations that you will come across. The essay that you wrote is too scattered in focus to actually do that.

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