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"you can watch rated R!" - Common App Personal Statement

sonya15 4 / 29  
Oct 30, 2011   #1
Hi, this is 750 words and the essay is supposed to be ~500. I would really appreciate any feedback at all before November 1st. It's my first time posting on this site I just wanted some advice on parts that seem insignificant and if this gives a strong representation of the person I am. Again, thank you so much!

(Basically I wrote about a topic of my choice for this essay. I'm not really sure what the prompt would be.)

Common App: Personal Statement

Staying Golden

I come from a modest family with modest values. My parents' trust in me often made me think twice before making decisions. The fact that they rarely doubted my judgment was almost a burden that I tried my best to uphold. My classmates were generally hesitant to socialize with me after I declined several situations that tested these values. This coupled with my introverted nature often made me feel lonely, and I buried myself in books, sacrificing friendships. Adults would frequently compliment me on my mature behavior. However, I was just a child, and I wanted to have friends who shared my thoughts and interests. I often felt there was no place outside of home I could feel comfortable.

Maybe I was one of the few five-year olds that had my own personal Jiminy Cricket perched on my shoulder, constantly asking me if I was making the right choice. A few years ago, I'd ask my mom if I would ever make lifelong friendships. By listening to her advice to "come out of my shell," I slowly poked my head out in my adolescent years and found that it just takes openness and a desire to find common ground to try to connect to anyone. I also realized that something positive can be found in any situation.

Since the day I stepped into high school, I have been the thoroughly happy person I am today. I worried all morning the first day about who I would eat lunch with, and I was thrilled when a few girls in some of my classes asked me to sit with them. I realized that things were changing. What changed is that the people I met affirmed the belief I had that it is not the clothes or shoes that make a person, but his or her passions and values that do. By genuinely accepting me, my friends gave me a lasting sense of confidence, and I felt at ease for the first time.

Today, the self-assurance and openness I developed is reflected in my wonderful relationships with my peers, teachers, and other influential people in my life. In hindsight, I see that a combination of my small-town upbringing and undeveloped social skills contributed to my feelings of anguish. I realized that my eighth grade graduating class of fifty-three was just a tiny portion of the world. After three years of high school, I developed my people skills, and I am proud to say that I never once doubted my core values.

In these last few years, I have learned how to build relationships, and most importantly, how to be happy. At school, I live with five people that I now cannot imagine my life without. I am more open and willing to place myself in new and challenging situations. Next week, I look forward to dancing before an audience of 300 in a Diwali cultural performance. I have become a leader in many contexts: in clubs, at home, and in my relationships.

As Johnny, a character from the novel Outsiders by S.E. Hinton advised his friend, I have stayed golden to myself while achieving a balance between my inner conscience and the outside world, a world that doesn't seem so distant anymore.
Theophania 1 / 2  
Oct 30, 2011   #2
Wow, I think this is great! I don't know what to say but it's definitely much better than my personal statement!!
Briana21 1 / 5  
Oct 30, 2011   #3
I can relate so much!
I think your attention to detail, choice of words, transitions, etc. worked perfectly! good luck!

Can you read UIUC essay also?
rzn972 1 / 2  
Oct 30, 2011   #4
I am not sure where you should cut it but if you do, 600 words is alright. 500 is a loose guideline.
OP sonya15 4 / 29  
Oct 30, 2011   #5
Thanks so much for the feedback everyone! If there are any parts that seem insignificant to you, I'd really appreciate if you'd post them :)

Any other feedback is also highly appreciated!
rifatmursalin 13 / 36  
Oct 30, 2011   #6
I think the strongest part of your essay is the introduction and the paragraph where you reflect back into your life.. Self-awareness is very important for college officials. Great job!

Try to condense the second paragraph. I'm pretty sure you can take out some more stuffs elsewhere without changing the meaning of the essay.

I would appreciate any help with my Common App essay. Thanks in advance =)
OP sonya15 4 / 29  
Oct 30, 2011   #7
lol, could someone please tear this apart and be insanely critical?

thanks :)
OP sonya15 4 / 29  
Oct 30, 2011   #8
gladjar, thank you so so so much! your comments were extremely helpful, and I'm sure I'll be able to take out at least 100 words now. I wish you the best too, and let me know if you need help with any other essays :)
desm2012 6 / 36  
Oct 30, 2011   #9
I remember a classmate in my seventh grade class trying to convince me to watch The Hills Have Eyes. "Come on, you're twelve, you can watch rated R!" she had insisted. I paused for a moment. "I'd rather not. I really don't think I'm old enough yet," I then responded resolutely.

You have some superfluous words in here.
I come from a modest family with values that most parents teach their children
"I come from a modest family with modest values." flows a lot more naturally and injects some style into your essay.
After this party and other similar incidents, my classmates stopped inviting me to their parties and were generally hesitant to socialize with me.
It's not made clear previously that you were at a party. It sounds like you were at school. I would change this sentence to, "After several incidents like this one, my classmates stopped inviting me to parties and were generally hesitant to socialize with me." This way there's no confusion over what 'this' refers to.
Rae0118 1 / 2  
Oct 31, 2011   #10
Absolutely love this! Just one note: Because you didn't describe the party that you attended, change "after this party" to "after a party"

Other than that, your writing skills are amazing!
shadglore 2 / 12  
Nov 22, 2011   #11
I know I am late here but i just couldn't leave without saying this was a wonderful read :)
diania234 1 / 6  
Nov 30, 2011   #12
Fantastic essay because its real. It speaks about who you truly are and what many of us go through. Overall, wonderful essay.

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