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USC essay- "to be a successful Hispanic", let me know what you think


lattent 4 / 30  
Nov 29, 2008   #1
any criticisms welcomed :)

I have changed the essay to fit the common app question of Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you or topic of my choice.

Through my window I see the melancholy, tired faces of those arriving from a day's hard work, smell the aroma of freshly cooked tamales or carne asada that wafts through the window screen and hear the upbeat, festive "Banda" music playing across the street along with the laughter and cheers of a festive occasion. Through this window, however, I also see the "G's" walking with a swagger as if they owned the neighborhood and the drug dealers that expand their enterprises by getting the youth of my community addicted. Gunshots reverberate through the air, another person fell victim to the inane gang warfare. Through my window I observe what my culture is and what, at times, it is unjustly considered to be. Misconceptions of my culture-Mexican-American and generally Hispanic-are not always engendered and perpetuated by those that are not a part of it. In fact, the greatest discrimination and injustice that I have been through has come from my own people.

I had always done well in school since I always held high expectations of myself. My laurels, however, brought great criticism from my peers who called me a nerd, geek, and a book worm. They claimed I was too smart to be Mexican. I was just an Asian in a Mexican's skin. Their standards were not as high as mine and being academically successful was not "cool" to them-in fact, to much of the youth in my community, academic success is not held in high regard. However, the most hurtful remark they made was calling me white washed; the classes I took had mostly White and Asian students, many of them I made friends with. As a Mexican-American, with immigrant parents, I could not think of anything else more degrading than losing my culture. Did I, in my path to success, compromise who I was and the culture I came from? I entered a stage of harsh self-reflection, and began to conform to their standards. My grades slipped in freshmen year as I spent time with my friends instead of studying or doing homework. Our friendship solidified. I no longer was the black sheep in the group, and no longer did I feel like I was losing an essential part of me.

Rather quickly, however, I was confronted by my friends in my classes, asking me why I was slipping up so much. I explained to them the situation that I faced and all of them said basically the same thing: Angel, you are better than that, do not let that hamper your success in school. It was not until after I realized that the friends I had in my classes had the same amount of ambition, motivation, and perseverance that I did, that I heeded their words. I restored my work ethic, and continued to maintain the high standards that I kept before. Being surrounded by people who had high aspirations, and constantly strove for them, motivated me to push the boundaries of my own success and standards-many of them having standards that equaled mine, as well as exceeded mine-and not to allow my friends at home to limit my potential. Their influence also motivated me to continue to challenge my mental capacities with rigorous classes and to always strive for, and achieve, my greatest aspirations just like many of them did. The positive reinforcement that they provided me with ensured me that all the hard work I do now in school will pay off in the future, allowing me to pursue higher education-something only my sister attempted at a community college but dropped out because she gave birth-and to aspire for a professional career.

Now, I always strive for my best in everything that I do in spite of the jeers or remarks I might get from my friends at home, or anyone. Also, I realize how naďve I had been in thinking that doing well academically meant I was losing my culture and heritage, and how deeply rooted such fallacies are within my own culture. Not doing well in school is not part of the Hispanic culture; it is only a common misconception that others have in mind and that, sadly, many Hispanics have come to embrace as fact. Also, that because of this, they waste the opportunity that their parents came to America for, often working two or three jobs just to provide for their family. I refuse to be one of the many statistics; I will obtain a higher education and be a successful Hispanic, a successful Mexican-American, through my endeavors, and never strive for anything less than my greatest aspirations.

Let me know what you think. Any criticism is readily welcomed! As long as it is constructive that is :)
OP lattent 4 / 30  
Nov 29, 2008   #2
Anyone's input would be greatly appreciated.
EF_Team [Moderator] 41 / 222 15  
Nov 29, 2008   #3
Why do you bump posts? If you continue, your thread will have to be removed. You need to give it some time (usually up to 24 hours); it's not reasonable to expect an answer within a couple of hours..

EF
OP lattent 4 / 30  
Nov 29, 2008   #4
I was hoping for peer-review more than anything else to be quite honest, but i digress. I will stop
EF_Team [Moderator] 41 / 222 15  
Nov 29, 2008   #5
If you use the Checker you will notice there's no need to bump posts as they all will show up regardless your bouncing or not..

EF
psycheycho 1 / 3  
Nov 30, 2008   #6
I think that this is a very well-written essay!

I think that parts of the last paragraph are a little off topic; The prompt is about how the experience affected you, and I think you would benefit from bringing it back to that at the end.

Other than that, I think this is an excellent essay!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 1, 2008   #7
You do write very well. I think you would appreciate the poetry of Richard Rodriguez. I found little room for improvement, but here is a revision:

Failure to perform well academically is not part of the Hispanic culture; it is only a common misconception that others have in mind and that, sadly, many Hispanics have come to embrace as fact. Because of this, they waste the opportunity that their parents came to America for, often working two or three jobs just to provide for their family. I refuse to be one of the many statistics; I will obtain a higher education and be a successful Hispanic through my endeavors, never settling for anything less than the achievement of my greatest aspirations.
OP lattent 4 / 30  
Dec 3, 2008   #8
Thanks guys for reading my essay! oh and I'll check Rodriguez out for sure. Thanks for the suggestion
ammonia32 1 / 11  
Dec 3, 2008   #9
lattent, this is a good piece. Your vocabulary is quite matured and thats good. I want you to envisage this scenario..
An admissions officer takes your script after he's read 150 others. He reads your introduction and will be like, "Another person talking about his community and its influence".

The point i'm trying to make here is that try and take the focus of yourself for some little while. If you just go on talking about you, it gets boring and the reader will barely finish it. I advice that you make your introduction very catchy, not so straight to the point yet coherent to the topic because the rest of your essay is pretty much straight to the point, just as a personal essay should be. Apart from that, i think its a pretty good essay.
OP lattent 4 / 30  
Dec 3, 2008   #10
You have a point but I already submitted the essay to USC. However, I'll revise it anyways just in case I decide to submit it for the common app or or something. Thanks for your comments ammonia, very much appreciated :)
OP lattent 4 / 30  
Dec 30, 2008   #11
i would also like to know if it is written well and just general thoughts on the essay as well as any grammatical or mechanical errors.
OP lattent 4 / 30  
Jan 2, 2009   #12
Can someone please comment on my essay! I really need feedback, thanks.
Angela629 9 / 86  
Jan 2, 2009   #13
Lattent, please be patient, when you have violate the rules of the website, you won't get any help.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 4, 2009   #14
Well, right here you should keep the tense consistent:

Gunshots reverberate through the air, another person falls victim to the inane gang warfare.

It would be great to make that the FIRST sentence by tacking it onto the beginning! And then your 1st sentence would become your 2nd sentence.

Now, the way to improve it is to look at the central meaning of the essay and capture it -- the thesis of the essay -- in a single sentence that will go at the end of the first paragraph. Replace the current last sentence, so the paragraph does not get too long.

Then, restate that main theme in different words at the end.

As it is now, the first paragraph does not let me know what the main point of the essay will be...

:)

Kevin
OP lattent 4 / 30  
Jan 5, 2009   #15
Thanks Kevin for the input! But I have already submitted it...oh well no worries right?
zowzow 10 / 175  
Jan 5, 2009   #16
it sounds like your essay needed some work before handing in...

good luck anyhow
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 6, 2009   #17
Well, every essay could use work, but with this one I was sort of nitpicking! It is a strong essay.

I was just talking about how to strengthen the intro and conclusion.

It is always good to beef up the intro and conclusion paragraphs; these paragraphs are like the bulging biceps on a superhero.

Good luck!!!!
OP lattent 4 / 30  
Jan 6, 2009   #18
Ok thanks! Yeah I wish I would have made those changes actually. But oh well, thanks!


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