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Upenn Optional essay: My Goal in Life


zain12qa 4 / 11  
Dec 25, 2009   #1
Prompt: You have just finished your 300 page auto-biography submit page 217.

Going up a rickety ride, surrounded by mud-like bricks, I was afraid. The floors looked abandoned; I had never seen anything so filthy. I was surprised that the elevator was working without a door. I walked out into the top floor and I saw people, many people, living in conditions that I would not expect someone who lives right across my street to live in. Everything had a noxious odor to it. My senses of adventure had led me into this apartment building. I saw the older buildings being taken down; this one was the run-down building to stand in my area. Where would these people go once the new buildings have been put in place? This was downtown Dubai. At age 9, I identified the conditions that extremely poor people faced as a problem. I wanted to solve it.

As I got older, I realized the complexity of the problem, the cycle of poverty. I made a goal, to help these people. When visiting Pakistan, the country of my birth, I realized that the cause of the cycle was a result of the education system. Private schools, the ones I attended there, were too expensive for the common people, and most people in public schools did not get post secondary school education. Without the ability to learn, they were unable to advance, they did do not have an opportunity. They also did not have access to basic health care. People perished with common illnesses such as the cold. In an unfair world, I was given the larger slice of the pie. Still trying to find a resolution I learned even if I planned on sharing my wealth, it would only reach a few people but it would still help some. There had to be a better way, I was sure of it. I came up with a plan. While continuing donations, I could help the people by providing them education and health care. Once I have more knowledge about medicine, mathematics, science, Urdu, English, and history I could teach them these things myself. This way they will be able to sustain themselves without me directly sharing my wealth, which was a temporary bypass to the cycle. I had finally found my goal, something that would make me feel better about getting the bigger slice.

I wanted to gather help, everywhere I turned people were supportive. In school, we established awareness sessions to let people know what was happening around the world. Everyone gave me hope, but my mother was the first to remind me how immense this task is. She told me about celebrities and people who are already helping, and the troubles they are facing. I discussed my proposition of opening a public school/health center in Pakistan. How it would provide basic information on health care for everyone, and teach grades from kindergarten to grade 12. I also discussed where the best location would be, and who in Pakistan I know who would help me things started becoming more realistic. I knew if I were to start something like this I would need a lot of help. So in high school I shared my goal with all my friends, telling them of how we received the greater piece of the pie and most agreed to help in some way.

To remind myself of my goal, I read the news regularly, watching these people struggle. Weather it is from an earthquake that hit a remote area, or the dispersion of the flu. I helped run a class at the Martin Luther King Youth Center to get to understand the teaching process. It was an experience filled with pleasure. I directed kids in doing art, practicing their basketball skills, and taught them how to use the computer. I would wake up each summer morning excited to see how they learn. Sometimes discipline was hard to establish, especially during recess when everything seemed to go haywire, but by joining in with their games, things got better. I taught them some importance of rules. What I found interesting was the contrast in the ways I was able to appease young kids versus people my age.

Thank you for reading, any help is welcome!

gemma2345 5 / 15  
Dec 25, 2009   #2
i love your essay but i think that this should be page 100 or something at the beginning of your story. i also posted a upenn optional essay..i'd love it if you could read mine!
OP zain12qa 4 / 11  
Dec 25, 2009   #3
gemma2345
Well if I just finished my autobiography, and I realized my goal in the near future pg 217 seems good. I realized my goal in high school. I just read yours, you take a different perspective of the autobiography. They way I understood the question is that I just finished it, meaning while being 17. You can interpret the question in many ways. Is the grammar/syntax good? I don't want to make any careless mistakes, something I don't realize is incorrect.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Dec 28, 2009   #4
I think they have a purpose for specifying page 217 out of 300. It is to ask you to look to the future. To be fair, it certainly is possible that someone would write an autobiography in high school, but I believe the intention of the prompt is to ask you to give a glimpse into the future as you envision it.

As I got older, I realized the complexity of the... ---> when you write this way, it does not seem like an autobiography. It seems like an essay about your youth. Again, this is appropriate if you are writing your bio at age 17, but I just don't think that is their intention.

You do write very well. the only mistake I see is this run on sentence:

I wanted to gather help, everywhere I turned people were supportive.
Do it like this:
I wanted to gather help; everywhere I turned people were supportive.
or:
I established a mindset for gathering help, and everywhere I turned people were supportive.


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