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University of Toronto - One Idea essay for architecture

lenamlz 1 / -  
Feb 2, 2019   #1
I applied to architecture in u of t and their supp app requires a 250-650 word essay answer to a question. I've already submitted my essay but I still would like to see different opinions on it since I submitted last minute and it wasn't read by anyone else. Thank you.

Tell us about time you learnt from a failure.

For as long as I can remember, coming to Canada was a fantasy dream to me, a kind where a kid is granted her impossible wish. When my father told me that he applied to immigrate to Canada, my ten-year-old self could only see myself as the main character of my favourite childhood novel, "Daddy-Long-Legs" by Jean Webster. I watched the animated series of this novel when I was forced to stay in for breaking one my toes, and I instantly saw myself in Judy Abbott, an orphan who was provided to attend a high-class secondary school by an anonymous benefactor. God, not that I was an orphan, I just felt as lucky as Judy did. Starting from then, my simplest resolutions started to evolve around it and I could not see myself anywhere but there.

When the time arrived, I was confident enough to see myself do well as a newcomer in a completely new environment. Tragically, I did not.

"I was only four months through living here and I never felt more miserable in my life", something I would never imagine myself saying. Initially, I set such high expectations for myself in order to succeed in this lifetime opportunity. However, I was not happy enough with how I was doing academically in my Canadian school, how I liked to explain it to my friends, "borderline failing into the 80's". My ego was hurting so much since I was downgrading from a straight-A student in Iran to an O.K. one in Canada. One thing I knew: If I was not working as hard as they were, I was definitely not working lesser than anyone else. It hit me when I finally realized I did not have the privilege of being from here. Just like how Judy wished she were never from an asylum, it would have been nicer if I were brought up here, wouldn't it? Was I not good enough to have this opportunity?

"I'm a foreigner in the world and I don't understand the language. It is a miserable feeling. I've had it all my life."

Meanwhile, I was living alone with my father while my mom was diagnosed with cancer and was going through her medical treatment in Iran. At the time, I saw myself failing not only in the biggest opportunity of my life but also at being the only reason to make my mother happy back at home. Moreover, I was too afraid to disappoint that the close ones that supported me up to then. Coupled with my loneliness in a foreign country, I found the perfectionism I wanted to be more impossible- I was failing at it.

"Sometimes a dreadful fear comes over me that I'm not a genius. Will you be awfully disappointed, Daddy, if I don't turn out to be a great author?"

After reaching the peak of wretchedness in my teenage life, I came into the realization that I needed a break. All the things happening around me, in addition to the amount of unnecessary pressure I was putting on myself for made up reasons, drained me out to the point that I stopped caring for my mental state. This time, I learnt I was pushing myself way out of my comfort zone- my limit was reached. From time to time, you should give yourself the right to fail when needed- that is how we found our way out. I let my harsh self-judgments ruin the simple fact that I did reach my fantasy dream and no one was going to take it away from me.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,618 1957  
Feb 3, 2019   #2
Lina, the paper that you submitted was irrelevant to the prompt. I do not see a real failure here. Only a maladjusted student who did not really have much support when it came to adjusting to life and academics in Canada. There was no real failure in this essay. Being maladjusted doesn't count as a failure if you do not show how you overcame the problem. There was no clear problem set up in the essay like say, Being an A student in Iran, then becoming an average student in Canada. You could have framed that discussion as a personal failure because you value your academic accomplishments. Then you would have had the opportunity to present the solution to had to the perceived problem which helped you overcome that particular failure. The essay that you presented shows a series of problems instead of a notable failures. You only needed to focus on one failure and an explanation of how you overcame the obstacle to overcome it. It looks to me like you submitted the wrong response for this prompt.

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