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A timid boy living in own comfort zone. Changes made opportunities to achieve a lot more.


marcusimwj 2 / 9  
Jan 2, 2017   #1
Common application essay Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea.

good things happen to people that allow changes in life



Growing up in a small town in Malaysia, I was always a timid boy living in my comfort zone. I don't usually like to explore and experience new things. Until when I turn nine, I started to pick squash as recreation. Because of my dad inspired me to choose the sport. My dad plays squash at the local club and l usually follow him there every evening. One day, I just randomly pick up his racket and enter the court to hit some balls. The coach invited me to training the next day. And, that's how my life started to change gradually.

I still remember I couldn't really sleep that night because I was excited for training the next day. I woke up early the next day to get ready. After breakfast, I went straight to the courts for practice. At first I struggle to hit the ball. After countless attempt, I started to be better in it. Started from training twice weekly, I eventually train daily. I couldn't really imagine myself being so competitive in squash because I am not good at overcoming obstacles. I am a person that tends to give up easily when facing challenges. I started to be obsessed with squash. I started to set goals for myself to achieve. Everything went smoothly, I won number of state title continuously. I slowly have a vision to take squash as my career.

I move out of my hometown to a sports school in Kuala Lumpur at the age of 15. It was tough to make this decision because I had to leave home at this young age and my parents were worried. But, I decided to take the step forward because I was very sure that is what I need to do. I train hard and stay discipline throughout the year in the sports school. I told myself that I need to take things seriously if I want to be successful. In 2014, I represented Malaysia in the Commonwealth Youth Games and won a gold medal. When I stepped on the podium during the prize ceremony event, I was extremely proud to be able to contribute for my country. All the time that I spent on court training and the sacrifices that I made had finally paid off.

Sometimes good things happen to people that allow changes in life. Living independently, taught me a lot of lifelong lessons that bring massive changes in my life. I became more mature in thinking and wiser in decision making. I am not regretting making this decision otherwise I will not have gained a lot of experience if I did not push myself to the limit. Moreover, I learn to adapt all situation so I will be able continue achieving greater things in life. And that is something I am carrying with me into my future: the ability to allow changes in my life, and sometimes just be open to new ideas. I may surprise myself by discovering I can do much more than I thought possible.

TJLuschen - / 241 203  
Jan 2, 2017   #2
I don't think your essay really answers the prompt - what was the belief or idea that you challenged? Maybe you can modify this slightly to answer the prompt, "5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family."
OP marcusimwj 2 / 9  
Jan 3, 2017   #3
Hi TJ. Thanks for the advice. What do you think i can add to change my essay to answer prompt 5 ? Is they any grammar errors in my current essay ?
Holt - / 7,527 2001  
Jan 3, 2017   #4
Hi Marcus, I hope you won't mind if I jump in here with some suggestions about how you can better align the prompt to the requirement of the transition story. I am sure TJ can add something to my suggestions as well. For starters, you combine your first and second paragraphs so that your essay will have more of a word allowance to better highlight the transition to adulthood portion. If you can explain why your parents were worried about allowing you to move to the sports school, that would help show the child in you prior to the transition. Then, when you start discussing your transition, make sure to tell the reviewer what kind of responsibilities you were given at the school which led to the change in your mindset and a more responsible attitude. The transition should be more than just about wanting to become the best in your sport so you can win in competitions. It should show how you were able to prove that your parents fears were unwarranted as well. Make sure to place an acknowledgement statement from your parents about the changes that happened to you that led them to believe that you have matured to the point of adulthood already. That should be at least a one sentence or one paragraph long presentation depending upon how many words you have to work with in the essay.
OP marcusimwj 2 / 9  
Jan 3, 2017   #5
Hi @Holt ! Thanks for the idea. However, I still need more help with my current essay. Can I still use the same ending saying that allowing change in life bring positive impact in my life.
Holt - / 7,527 2001  
Jan 3, 2017   #6
You can definitely keep the last paragraph in its original form Marcus. It is actually a very good discussion to close the essay on because your information and ideas are combined to come full circle in support of the discussion. The changes that I suggested are actually going to help to further strengthen this discussion and allow you to better represent the adult transition to the reviewer. The major edits of your essay belong in the first half. That is the part that I am telling you to combine or edit in order to help with your word count or focus the content of the essay in the best manner possible. I believe that the changes, once applied, should result in an essay that will be ready for you to use. Please try to apply the changes as soon as you can for final review. I'll be on stand by in anticipation of your revised essay.
OP marcusimwj 2 / 9  
Jan 4, 2017   #7
Growing up in a small town in Malaysia, I was always a timid boy living in my comfort zone. I don't usually like to explore and experience new things. Until when I turn nine, I started to pick squash as recreation. My dad plays squash at the local club and l usually follow him there every evening. One day, I just randomly pick up his racket and enter the court to hit some balls. The coach invited me to training the next day. And, that's how my life started to change gradually. On the first day of training I struggle to hit the ball. But after countless attempt, I started to be better in it. From training twice weekly, I eventually take the sports seriously and started to train every day. I started to obsessed with squash and set goals for myself to achieve.

I move out from my hometown to a sports school at the age of 15. It was tough to make this decision because I have to leave home at this young age. My parents were worried that I wouldn't be able juggle sports and studies at the same time by living independently. But, I decided to take the step forward because I was very sure that I want to pursue squash as a career. At the beginning, I almost couldn't cope with studies because of the training workload. After training, I would need to rush for class. Most of the time I was falling asleep in class because I was exhausted from training. I realize that my academics were slacking and that's when I am aware that I need to buck up my studies. I took up tuition every weekend and also sacrifice my leisure time to do extra revision. I knew that education is still important even though I want to do well in sports. My grades started to improve rapidly, I was delighted that I was able to manage my time efficiently to do well in both.

Getting out of my comfort zone really allow me to see the real world. I learned that in order to success we need to work hard to achieve it. Studying in the sports school also allow me to grow and see things with a different perspective. My determination and perseverance allow me to conquer adversity.

Sometimes good things happen to (...) I can do much more than I thought possible.

Hi @Holt. What should i add in the 3 paragraph ? I'm not sure if this is a better version. Or can my current version answer prompt 1 which is "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."

Thanks !
Holt - / 7,527 2001  
Jan 4, 2017   #8
Marcus, this version that you developed portrays a better response to prompt 1 about the background story. Don't hesitate to use this version for that prompt when you submit your essays. The development of this essay pretty much offers an overview of how you learned to take responsibility for yourself and the resulting actions of your decisions, without really evolving into an adult. The background story shows that you have a determination to succeed in your life that is not commonly seen among teens of your age, at that time. I have to correct some grammatical issues with your essay though. Since all of these actions have already taken place, you have to convert the narrative to past tense. Right now, you are using present tense which makes the essay faulty because that means these events have yet to happen. We both know that the events have already happened so the tense presentation has to be corrected. I am sure that you know which points need to be corrected. All you have to do is review the essay and correct the tense presentations.
OP marcusimwj 2 / 9  
Jan 4, 2017   #9
Hi @Holt. What should i talk about in paragraph 3 to add more words into ?

Thanks
Holt - / 7,527 2001  
Jan 4, 2017   #10
Marcus, you don't need to add more words to paragraph 3. You should just switch it around with the current closing paragraph because paragraph 3 makes for a concluding statement that carries a strong impact. You don't always have to meet the maximum word count for an essay. If you have nothing else to say, then you don't need to do that. As in this case, sometimes, all you have to do is rearrange certain portions in order to create a better and impressive essay. That is called editing and formatting. Review the essay at this point and see if there are portions that you may want to actually shorten or combine so that the essay will be quicker to read without losing out on some sentiments that you want to present. As I said, the essay is fine as it is. Just consider switching the paragraphs I told you about. Try it as an experiment. You might like the way that the essays closes in the new paragraph arrangement.
OP marcusimwj 2 / 9  
Jan 4, 2017   #11
Hi @Holt. This is my last paragraph. Do you think this make sense ?

Getting out of my comfort zone really allow me to see the real world. I learned that in order to success we need to work hard to achieve it. Studying in the sports school also allow me to grow and see things with a different perspective. My determination and perseverance allow me to conquer adversity. Living independently, taught me a lot of lifelong lessons that bring massive changes in my life. I became more mature in thinking and wiser in decision making. Moreover, I learn to adapt all situation so I will be able continue achieving greater things in life. And that is something I am carrying with me into my future: the ability to allow changes in my life, and sometimes just be open to new ideas. I may surprise myself by discovering I can do much more than I thought possible.
septaafrian0554 4 / 4 1  
Jan 5, 2017   #12
@marcusimwj
i think in the first paragraph u have to begin with introduction and some overview...and then give the fact..your opinion and your solution
Holt - / 7,527 2001  
Jan 5, 2017   #13
Marcus, it would be better if you revise your concluding statement just a little. An integral part of your essay was the fact that your parents did not believe that you could survive going to school far away from home and without their guidance. It is important that you bring back the discussion that you had with your parents before you left for school. Discuss it as a pondering moment. Recall their concerns and then reflect on how far you have come since then. That way, you clearly challenged a belief or idea using a series of logical and proven discussions in support of your results. In the end, you should conclude that your parents worries and concerns that caused you to challenge their belief in you were unwarranted because you were able to perform in school in ways that amazed even you.
OP marcusimwj 2 / 9  
Jan 7, 2017   #14
Growing up in a small town in Malaysia, I was always a timid boy living in my comfort zone. I don't usually like to explore and experience new things until when I turned nine. I started to pick squash as recreation. My dad plays squash and he inspired me to choose the sport because I was able to spend more time with him. One day, I just randomly pick up his racket and entered the court to hit some balls. The coach invited me to training the next day. And, that's how my life started to change gradually. On the first day of training I struggled to hit the ball. But after countless attempts, I started to be better in it. From training twice weekly, I eventually took the sports seriously and started regular training. I started to fall in love with the sport because I was able to release my stress by hitting the ball. I started to get obsessed with squash and set goals for myself to achieve.

I move out from my hometown to a sports school at the age of 15. It was tough to make this decision because I have to leave home at this young age. My parents were supportive but at the same time they were worried that I wouldn't be able juggle sports and studies at the same time by living independently. They know that I have great passion for squash so they encourage me to give myself the chance to pursue my dream. I decided to take the step forward and trust myself to give my best. At the beginning, I almost couldn't cope with studies because of the training workload. The training is exhausted it makes me feel like taking a nap after every training session. However after training, I would need to rush for class. Most of the time I fell asleep in class because I was exhausted from training. I realized that my academics were slacking and that's when I also warned myself that I need to buck up my studies. I took up tuition every weekend and also sacrifice my leisure time to do extra revision. I knew that education is still important even though I want to do well in sports. My grades started to improve rapidly, I was delighted that I was able to manage my time efficiently to do well in both. My classroom environment really pushed me to study hard because all of the students were not only serious able they sports, they were highly motivated to study too.

Getting out of my comfort zone really allowed me to see the real world. I learned that in order to attain success we need to work hard . Studying in the sports school also allowed me to grow and see things with a different perspective. My parents were really happy that they send me to the sports school because I became a responsible person. My determination and perseverance allow me to conquer adversity. Living independently, taught me a lot of lessons that brought massive changes in my life. I became more mature in thinking and wiser in decision making. Moreover, I learnt to adapt to all situation so I will be able continue achieving greater things in life. And that is something I am carrying with me into my future: the ability to allow changes in my life, and sometimes just be open to new ideas. I may surprise myself by discovering I can do much more than I thought was possible.

Hi @Holt. This is the newly updated one
Holt - / 7,527 2001  
Jan 7, 2017   #15
Marcus, I would like to let you know that the essay you developed can actually be used to answer option 5 as well:

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

The essay that you wrote will easily slide into any one of the 2 prompts. That means the "challenge" prompt or the "transition" prompt. Either way, this essay will work to represent your experience in a highly interesting and relevant manner. Getting back to the point, you successfully justified how you challenged the belief or idea and managed to prove your parents wrong. In order to create the final form of this essay using the "challenge" prompt in particular, you need to respond to the last part of the prompt, that is "Would you make the same decision again?" I think I know what your answer would be to that question but the reviewer needs you to respond specifically to that question with supporting data.
OP marcusimwj 2 / 9  
Jan 7, 2017   #16
Hi @Holt. Do you think my essay can answer prompt 1 ? Or should i stick to answering the prompt you mention above ?
Holt - / 7,527 2001  
Jan 7, 2017   #17
That decision is something that you should make for yourself. My opinion is that it can accurately respond to both prompts. Although, I am a bit partial to the transition to adulthood prompt for this essay because you showed a progression towards self responsibility and a desire to take control of your life when it seemed like your parents would be right about your inability to function without them. If you follow the new prompt that I am suggesting, then there will no longer be any need for your to add more content to the essay regarding the decision aspect of the previous prompt. The essay seems to come together more in support of prompt 5 from my point of view. I guess the best thing for you to do at this point is analyze which of the two prompts you are more inclined to respond to using the essay that you developed. If you decide to use it for prompt 5, that is alright. I don't wish to unduly influence you as the decision regarding which prompt to respond to should be based on personal preferences. So, either prompt that you decide to use the essay with is fine with me. I have already explained to you why I am partial to prompt 5 but don't let that influence your final decision.


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