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"Looking at my transcripts..." - Yale supplement


alee 2 / 6  
Dec 30, 2010   #1
Looking at my transcripts of the past four years, I could not believe that the same numbers could evoke such contrasting feelings. I remember studying class notes, old quizzes, and homework packages without feeling any regret. All I knew was that it had taken me eight years to earn A's in all my courses, learn how to make samosas, and adapt to Caribbean idiosyncrasies, and I knew I could not give up. For the past three years, what gave me the boost to work was the smile that would surface as I received my report card. I believed that a high grade would be one step closer to relieving my parents of life as "chinos". However, looking at my accumulated GPA, I realized that after heaps of spelling books and English translators, I was no different than any other straight A student. How many highest honors students with exceptional community service hours are there after all? That bewilderment erupted into agony I could never have imagined as I began to wonder if I had anything that would set me aside, but fortunately the answer was in the footprint I had forsaken.

"What you doing, cash me chino," growled the angry customer.
I was fifteen. I had just come home from my weekly visit to the Senior Citizen's Home and I had homework. I could not "cash her", but I knew I had to.

Observing the size-5 foot imprint engraved into the cement floor, I looked up at the ceiling and heaved a sigh. I can still remember the day when I first arrived on the island, eager to seek pirates (I was five). As I stepped into the store, I remember stamping into the wet cement, thereby engraving my foot into it. I am now seventeen and these would be my last eight months on the 34 square mile island of St. Maarten. I feel like I have lived a lie that I could not tell my neighbors or even my best friend about. Deemed as the "friendly island", St. Maarten has emerged to be a decade long exam, testing my volume of fate and resilience.

Growing up inside the four walls of the grocery store, I recognized the contrasts I had with my friends, each subtle difference intensifying as I grew older. At first, the distinctions were trivial: I remember asking my mom why the channels on my television only portrayed people selecting packages of corn and sweet potatoes. As I witnessed life-threatening incidents and vulgarities, I realized that I became distant from my peers. While they revered idols and stars, I revered my parents for their audacity. I grew up reading the articles regarding robberies and murders, but I could not help thinking, did not my peers? Why were they oblivious to their surroundings? I have finally realized the answer: I have lived through these events and did not have to read the articles to understand. With the obstacles I encountered at the early age, I realized that I have become more determined than my peers.

Indeed, perspectives change depending on the side of the see-saw one is riding on, but like a see-saw, each seat has its flaws and streaks. I am glad I know the differences.
plittplatt11 5 / 29  
Dec 30, 2010   #2
First paragraph, I'm not sure if jubilance is the right word to use. But if you were truely jubilant, then use it! Also, you seem very bitter and maybe even arrogant when you talk about your grades and gpa and things. You don't want to come off this way even if you didn't mean it. So be careful. Your last sentence in the first paragraph is abrupt. It doesn't really flow with the rest, so maybe work on that!

What lie are you talking about? I read the whole thing and still am unsure. Clarify on that and that would help tremendously. You're last paragraph is good, it has a strong conclusion, the see-saw analogy doesn't really fit with the rest of your work but I like it!
OP alee 2 / 6  
Dec 30, 2010   #3
thank you for your help

I am really not an arrogant person but i want to stress the amount of hardship i endured these last years as a foreigner.
Can you think of another analogy for me ?

It's so hard !
abatado /  
Dec 30, 2010   #4
Really good essay that I can totally relate to!!! There are some corrections to be made, though. Also, I wouldn't focus too much on your GPA, since the college knows what it is. Unless it is really great, like 4.36 out of 4.5, I wouldn't include it. Also, there are a lot of "resilience" in the essay. I would use different words for it. Good luck, fellow Ivy League applicant, and please read my Cornell Supplement essay!!! thanks.

Looking at my transcripts of the past four years, I could not believe that the same numbers, the same decimal points (take out, redundant) could evoke such contrasting

I grew up reading the articles regarding robberies and murders, but I could not thinking (verb tense error?), did not my peers? Why were they oblivious to their surroundings? I have finally realized the answer to the lie I have been living: I have lived through these events and did not have to read the articles to understand. With the obstacles I encountered at the early age, I realized that I have become more resilient and determined than my peers. Indeed, perspectives change depending on the side of the see-saw one is riding on, but like a see-saw, each seat has its flaws and streaks.
OP alee 2 / 6  
Dec 30, 2010   #5
Thank you so much for your opinion. Do you think I sound arrogant because that's not what I am getting at. It's just that I have worked hard!! I will read your essay!
somewherefun 1 / 11  
Dec 30, 2010   #6
That bewilderment erupted agony

Kind of lost me there, maybe "The bewilderment erupted into agony" is what you meant to say?

I really liked this essay! A few grammatical mistakes, as listed above, but I think it's a great essay. Like what someone said above, just tone down the beginning a little bit, perhaps taking out the specifics (like the GPA).

Good luck!
OP alee 2 / 6  
Dec 30, 2010   #7
Yes that is what I meant to say ! Thank you! I took it out . Please have a look again ! It would mean the world.
Mixta666 2 / 11  
Dec 30, 2010   #8
I like your essay, well thought out. I can't help but feel though, that the ending is a bit sudden and could use a bit more polishing up. When you say that opposite sides of the see saw have their flaws etc, I think you should explain what you mean by that and not just end there.

Also, is your determination springing from the fact that you are a foreigner, and does that seem to imply that non-foreigners do not go through as many challenges and are somehow naive?

Think about what you are suggesting.
Great job though,


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