----I wrote this as writing my biography now so its in the past. I haven't reach quite one page yet so if you have any recommendations about what to add then that would be great.
OPTIONAL (Truly) <-----What a big fat lie
4. You have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit page 217.
...eyes snapped open at that moment. My mother's wavering voice continued to recount how my father had collapsed at work. She frantically said, "I, I...I need to be there." An ambulance had rushed my father to Stanford Hospital at 12:40 A.M and in the same manner of the ambulance, my mother had rushed through the empty freeways to get to the emergency room.
At the age of fourteen, I understood what my mother and father needed from me now. The gravity of what had just happened seeped into me like the numbing cold of the brisk air outside. All the discussions inside locked cars about medical insurance policies and wills had prepared me for this kind of moment. I methodically unlocked the worn leather briefcase that held all of my family's important documents: birth certificates, social security cards, citizenship records. Every paper was archived where my mother said it would be all those talks ago. My father's tattered medical binder lay beneath dog-eared folders that were browned with age. It read that his birthday was on April 1st, 1945-that was a lie, a lie that he did not intentionally tell. A fugitive of the Vietnam War, my father lost many things as he immigrated from country to country, including his real birth date. He turned 70 years-old two months ago; his health is debilitated by Ménière's disease, extreme vertigo, hearing loss and a wide variety of other ailments that had come with old age. I took another look to ensure that his files were updated and accurate and put them in the overnight bag.
Logic held my feelings of concern and dread at bay. My role in the family was not to act like a panicked and immature adolescent, but a level-headed and considerate sister, daughter and caretaker. As I zipped up the duffel bag, I realized that I have been middle-aged for quite a while. I enjoy afternoon naps and the smell of Bengay ointment. My life is a fusion of two cultures and eras; my parents raised me to embrace the traditional values of a 1960's Vietnamese home although I am a child of the twenty first century.
So the forty-year-old me waited patiently for my mother to return as the fourteen-year-old me allowed one tear to escape.
An ambulance had rushed my father to Stanford Hospital at 12:40 A.M and in the same manner of the ambulance, I think you can just leave this as "in the same manner", as adding in of the ambulence seems redundant my mother had rushed through the empty freeways to get to the emergency room.
The gravity of what had just happened seeped into I think you forgot a "me" here. like the numbing cold of the brisk air outside.
So I waited for my mother to return as the forty year-old me sat patiently while I think this may benefit by changing "while" to "as". the fourteen year-old me let one tear escape.
Other than those little changes, I think it's very well written and rather reflective. Please forgive me if my changes are not what you like. As you said on mine please just take them as suggestions.
I haven't reach quite one page yet so if you have any recommendations about what to add then that would be great.
My friend who applied to UPenn also, wrote 3 lines, saying -end of chapter- at the bottom.
It's not necessary to finish the page, and it might be a good idea (may give the admission committee a sense of your creativity haha)
its a solid story, your a solid story teller, heres the problem, what are adcoms suppose to get out of it? I know you reflect a little on your role in the family, but think about it this way, how does that and this whole essay enhance your application? They'll already know how good a writer you are through your other essays, how is this enhancing your application? Your problem is the same as so many of these autobiographies, they tell good stories, but the adcom does not know what to make of it, as a result, these kind of stories unless so poignant and well written rarely have much influence on a decision. The best way to enhance an application through this would be to highlight a personality trait or an accomplishment of significance. Since i dont think you can do the latter, i think your best bet is to focus on a single characteristic that you think you can really shine through your story that will make you look better and make you the applicant look better. Ultimately, there comes a point where you have to look past the writing part of it, colleges will tell you you can write about any essay topic, but thats misleading, in a reflective essay, you gotta go for something that highlights something about you, and im not talking about like how you finally passed your drivers license test. You know what I am getting at? Your writing is fine, but you really have to ask yourself hte question what am i portraying about myself and how am i helping my application? I know thats not how we usually do things and thats not neessarily the way to go to get your best writing, but now that you have some writing, look for something that highlights you and while this story is vivid and well told, i think you would be much much much better highlighting something about you more specifically like a character trait. Then you will have enhanced your application through the autobiography because i dont necessairly agree w/ you that this isnt a mandatory essay, part of the reason penn emphasizes the optional aspect of the essay is because they get so many essays every yr that just tell a random story, dont tell much about the person, and dont really enhance the application.
Good luck, i dont want to sound harsh, just want to get you thinking differently because thats the kind of thinking you'll need to win the college admission game and i didnt mean to sound like i was giving you some kind of lecture, this is just what i have picked up on a years worth of college researching and admission type of stuff. If you get a chance, could you check out my essays, espec the penn one, i know you already looked at hte northwestern one but i forgot to include the second half of hte essay, but only if you get a chance, i dont want to force you to read both. Thanks alot, im asking you because you give good feedback.