Unanswered [0] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Undergraduate   % width Posts: 5

"the underdog in a foreign country" common app statement and short answer


jz7 6 / 21  
Dec 28, 2010   #1
Please help! Any critiques are appreciated !
Thank you in advance.

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its influence on you.

The first step I took into that country, my "home" country, I was already at a disadvantage. I could not understand the, and my less than fluent Chinese did not, by any means, help me in communicating with the speakers of the local dialect. At school, I was 9 years behind each and every one of my Chinese peers. My main priority, therefore, was already in black ink imprinted in my mind: I need to catch up.

This was easier said than done. Growing up in a western society, I believed schools sought above all creativity in its students rather than discipline. Educators believed in stimulating free thought in each student. Even though I was among peers of the same age, I felt the curriculum imposed a great challenge on my abilities, I had never had my potential tested in so intense a manner before.

My first week there, my father had already gotten me a tutor for every subject except for English, which could only be described as a painkiller, a temporary relief. I remember crying in class due to the frustration of not understanding the teachers, and feeling as if my situation were futile. Every day, I would go home and write down on flashcards new vocabulary and their romanizations, but it was extremely difficult. I was still learning grade one material while my peers were already on grade five. My peers were starting to become irritated by my never ending questions, for they also had to focus on their own work. Most teachers believed that I should work this difficulty out for myself. I was on my own. I seriously would have to adjust my attitude towards school greatly if I wanted any sort of output. This was a game against me.

A year later, I was able to catch my breath for the first time. Not only did I receive an A on my Chinese essay, but my teacher complimented my essay in front of the whole class. Staring at the bright, scarlet letter, which probably only took the teacher a millisecond to actually write down, I almost collapsed. All the late nights of memorizing and all the belittling looks from my peers did not matter anymore; this moment was priceless. It meant that I was making a progress that no one could disprove of.

That year, I was ranked third in my Chinese class and top fifteen percent of my elementary graduating class. When I received the news, I did not boast or scream out of ecstasy because I knew how hard I worked for this, and I knew exactly how many extremes and limits I conquered to get there. I pushed myself to reach my potential, for one's biggest limitation is only oneself.

short answer for common app: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the spaces below.
Sweat trickled down my forehead from nervousness as twenty eyes stared at me expectantly. I had just blown the black whistle, which is the final point to determine a team's win or lose. I clearly saw the away team hit the volleyball a margin out of the line (which would make my school win), but I as a rookie referee ,I had my doubts and I also did not want the other team thinking I was biased. Then, I remembered what my trainer told me: you call the shots, believe in what you see. I lifted my head, with confidence and called the ball "out". Two reactions instantly bombarded my senses. My home team shrieked from ecstasy while the other team cussed and threw me dirty looks. I absorbed both reactions nonchalantly and walked towards home, because at the end of day, I must do what is right for myself.

bbish520 8 / 30  
Dec 29, 2010   #2
I really like how you describe your extracurricular activity. The only thing i wanted to mention is:

Then, I remembered what my trainer told me

The comma after then can be eliminated.

Please, if you have time, check out my essays thanks.
cvmiller39 3 / 10  
Dec 29, 2010   #3
The first essay is a good start. I don't think you fully answer the prompt and explain the INFLUENCE the event had on you. Perhaps make some of the story more concise and dedicate a few sentences at the end to explain the personal influence that you received from the experience. If you need help on this, my Princeton essay has a similar style and might give you some ideas.

"Growing up in a western society, I believed schools sought above all creativity in its students rather than discipline." The subject does not match the verb. Try: "Growing up in a Western society, I believed each school sought, above all, creativity in its students, rather than discipline."

As for the second essay, I really enjoyed it. Very direct and relatable. Well done. I would not change a thing except the aforementioned comma error.

I hope this helps. Good luck to you on your application process.
-Andrew
lapetitecygne 7 / 16  
Dec 29, 2010   #4
wow, both your essays have really great details. as a general rule, i'd stay away from so many modifying phrases in your writing because they cut into the flow. good topics though! good luck :)
livedreamfly3 3 / 30  
Dec 30, 2010   #5
I was still learning grade one material while my peers were already on grade five. My peers were starting to become irritated by my never ending questions,

too repetitive. mentioning "peers" twice

Even though I was among peers of the same age,

^here again

but it was extremely difficul

how was it difficult? good opportunity for imagery. :)

I seriously would have to adjust my attitude towards school greatly if I wanted any sort of output.

not formal enough.

This was a game against me.

I think it'd be more eloquent to say: "I was fighting against myself."

ll the late nights of memorizing and all the belittling looks from my peers did not matter anymore; this moment was priceless. It meant that I was making a progress that no one could disprove of.

more imagery. :D

That year, I was ranked third in my Chinese class and top fifteen percent of my elementary graduating class. When I received the news, I did not boast or scream out of ecstasy because I knew how hard I worked for this, and I knew exactly how many extremes and limits I conquered to get there. I pushed myself to reach my potential, for one's biggest limitation is only oneself.

more imagery. (:

I enjoy the premise of the 2nd one.
Imagery was great. :) There are some grammatical errors. Be meticulous! ^^

**thanks for editing my essay!


Home / Undergraduate / "the underdog in a foreign country" common app statement and short answer