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Week-long bursts of passion - my Questbridge personal essay

Honda_civic 1 / -  
Sep 26, 2023   #1
Forewarning: This is a rough, rough draft.

I'd appreciate some help and feedback on what I do have though, please mention anything you dont like, and think I could put more or less emphasis on. Thank you.

800 word limit
(add a few quotes)
{typed: 912}

Questbridge personal essay

We are interested in learning more about the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your successes.
Please describe how the most influential factors and challenges in your life have shaped you into the person you are today.

So, as someone who's grown up poor, is used to the fridge being empty despite SNAP benefits, living in a one bed and bathroom house with a seven to eventually six-person family; I'm used to enduring tough situations. I remember that time when I realized that my parent hadn't been opting out of food because they "weren't hungry" but because we didn't have the money, and even treating us to a McDonald's every blue moon was something that caused them stress. I remember exactly how it felt when I figured it out, and how I saw every outing after that in a new light, and with a guilty belly. I wonder if they felt my gaze on them, one of silent guilt and concern. I never said much, though, and maybe that was part of the problem.

I used to play sports a lot growing up, and that was where one of my very first "real" aspirations came from. Around that time I had been really good at soccer and softball, making the All-Stars team every year, and I had a love for soccer unmatched by anything else so I promised myself that I would get a scholarship for the sport, and build by skill set so much that I would go on to be the best soccer player in history. Sports were my entire life, and my only passion. And maybe that's why it hurt so much to have my passion stripped from me so abruptly. Early spring of eighth grade was when my life got flipped upside down and turned into a joke. Guess the old scriptwriter got tired and took a vacation. Whoever this new guy is has got jokes. Let me tell you something, I had never felt more discontent and disconnected from the world than I did at that time. Life at home was worse than ever, I didn't go through a day where I didn't have heart palpitations from the mere sound of my parents footsteps. I struggled. And that showed in school, too. My grades dropped, as did my energy to do anything. I even went through foster care, and let me tell you, of all things that was the absolute LAST thing I ever thought I'd experience, especially not going into my very first year of high school. I just thank god that my siblings and I weren't in there long enough to find out just how bad foster care can really get.

These random people told us what to do as if they had the right, but we were literally stranded there, so what else was there to do besides obey? I think this is where I started to develop a certain sense of hopelessness that plagued me throughout my later years in high school, and the entire situation is without a doubt the reason for the seasonal depression-like symptoms I developed later on. I would sit in the classroom and cry silently for no reason, I would hardly feel upset at all, then I'd just feel a whole lot of nothingness that hurt to breathe around, and then I'd lay my head down and cry silently. I was also sleeping a lot in class despite always getting a full night of rest, and then some on the weekends. As a matter of fact, I was sleeping a little too much and it was concerning enough that my doctor took note of it, and my lack of any motivation or energy, and talked to me about it. Of course, I couldn't say much because of the other five pairs of eyes digging into the back of my head. So I didn't say much. And that became my main problem. I just wouldn't say anything to anyone when I needed help. "You look sad." I'm fine. "Are you okay?" Yes. "Did you understand what we went over in class today?" A blank nod."You look a little lonely, do you want to come sit with us today?" A shake of the head. "You're always spacing out." And eventually I just stopped talking to people.. My relationships became strained or non-existent, and I favored sleep or isolation to talking with my own family. My passions were stripped away from me but I still tried to cling onto some form of semblance. Of normalcy. I picked up dance for three years at school, art, and language. I had found something that hooked me in so strongly that I haven't lost interest in it despite the craziness that occurred from then to now.

How do I achieve my successes? Typically with week-long bursts of passion. But I am wholly capable of building routines from scratch and sticking to them. For example, I learned Mandarin every day for months a couple years ago. Then it all got ruined again because my phone completely busted and all my progress was lost. I still remember some things though, for sure. Now I'm learning French and I plan on reaching minimum level B2 or even C1 before I step foot in Brown University. I want to study abroad because I've always been fond of exploring the great unknown (I can't remember the last time I left the state of Alabama) and broadening my views of the people and cultures of the world. I love to keep an open mind, and I am a sponge for the little idiosyncrasies that separate us from each other, but are also what makes us human.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,956 4811  
Oct 8, 2023   #2
The essay is scattered. The story telling is choppy. There are aspects that seem to hit the reader out of the blue, without a backstory or explanation to support it. Like you said, this is a rough draft, a very rough one. So there is room to improve. I would not make a reference to a scriptwriter anymore in this case. It does not help move the story along. The hunger and life experiences you opened with, these are not extra ordinary circumstances anymore. Hunger and lack of finances are the most common stories used by the applicants to Questbridge. I would focus on how your favorite sport was taken away from you, leading you to pursue dance for 3 years instead. Then discuss how dance changed your life to the point where you are today.

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