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University of Washington "Describe an experience of cultural difference" prompt

sbdaiquiri 8 / 21  
Nov 28, 2009   #1
Describe an experience of cultural difference, positive or negative, you have had or observed. What did you learn from it?

There is a rising cultural phenomenon in China. The young women and men, born in the 80s, are entering into the workforce. They are ready for marriage. Before they could get married, they insist on buying new houses. New houses are in high demand because ...

Happiness is based on owning a house. Results from a poll in China showed that 70 percent of the young adults surveyed agreed with this notion. Does that mean that without a house one cannot achieve happiness? Young Chinese women and men, born in the 80s, who are now entering into the workforce, insist on buying new houses before they get married. New housing is in high demand because so many young people are willing to pay exorbitant prices, even though they cannot afford such prices. Without the money, graduates turn to their parents for financial support. Parents give up their own hard-earned lifesavings for the down payment of these ridiculously expensive houses, for the material pursuits of their children.

These so-called adults would, in a sense, cheat their parents out of what little savings they have to buy new houses rather than rent houses for far less money; such inconsideration and impracticality is astounding to me. This rising cultural phenomenon in China propelled me to reflect on my parent's own humble beginnings. It reaffirmed my commitment to never take more than what I need. The young Chinese adults of this generation have become thoroughly dependent on their parents. At an age when they are supposed to take charge of their own lives, the young people of today in China do not know what it means to be independent. My parents did not rely on my grandparents to get to where they are today. They definitely did not feel the need to buy a house in order to get married. Truth be told, they were still living in their college dorms. For most of our years in China and America, my family has lived in apartments. Not owning a house has never kept my parents from being happy. In fact, they were happy being out of debt and relying on their own abilities. My mom and dad eventually decided to buy a house, after sixteen years of marriage, after they felt financially secure. What matters more to my parents is family and passion for what they do. As their daughter, I don't want to add to their burden. I don't want to become a spoiled adult that takes advantage of her parent's goodwill. Hearing about these young adults who take money from their parents for their own unnecessary gain has made me become more conscious of what I take for granted. It makes me appreciate what my parents have done for me.

Any criticism is welcomed!
Please tell me what you think!

gynn92 3 / 30  
Nov 28, 2009   #2
Hey! I'm also applying to UW as well! Ah, priority deadline is approaching! :(

Well, for your essay, I got the sense that your essay does not really describe what you have learned in details. The UW prompt asks what did you learn from it. You described what you learend in the end, but I think you need to add more personality in your essay. The description was good but you should add your voice. =)

Look at mine, too?
OP sbdaiquiri 8 / 21  
Nov 28, 2009   #3
I agree...It's pretty dry. Thanks! I'm going to revamp it.
I'll definitely look at yours!
deanne 2 / 3  
Nov 29, 2009   #4
I agree with gynn92! In the first paragraph it sounded like you were researching on that topic until I got to the second paragraph.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Nov 30, 2009   #5
Great first sentence! You capture the reader's attention by saying something they'll disagree with! That is smart and interesting.

Use a dash to manage a long sentence:
Parents give up their own hard-earned lifesavings for the down payment of these ridiculously expensive houses -- solely for the material pursuits of their children.

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