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I wished I could be back in that garage....UC essay #1 on Overcoming Obstacles


mayradio0508 2 / 4  
Nov 26, 2014   #1
I just wrote my first draft to the first UC prompt and would really appreciate some feedback/ constructive criticism before I go on to write my final draft. Please feel free to tell me if it's too cliché or if you think I should choose a different topic. Thanks!

Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

I sat anxiously in the back of the police car. I could hear my brother's frantic cries in the car behind us while a hardcore version of "Bad Boys" played on the radio. Gosh, cops actually listen to this? Why are these seats so hard? I tried to distract myself from reality, from the tears streaming down my brother's red, flushed face. That night, my siblings and I were taken to live in another home, but I felt like I was sent to another world. How did I get here? Why is this happening? I shut my eyes and allowed my mind to wander to the past...

"Three times five." "Uh...fifteen!" "Yes!! She beat you again, dad." I jumped up excitedly. "Come on, a harder one.." I looked forward to math competitions with my dad every evening. Sure, we were cramped in a tiny garage and couldn't afford luxuries other kids had, but we were a happy family. "Dad, why can we see our reflections in windows if they're clear? How did the concept of zero come to be? How can we be so sure that we all see the same thing?" He understood my curiosity, "It's interesting, isn't it?" and we'd come up with theories to those puzzling questions.

Eventually, we moved into a house, but expenses rose, life became overwhelming, and my father became addicted to alcohol. It engulfed his body and he became someone I couldn't recognize. Violent screams, fragmented dishes, aggressive shoves, torn furniture. When my father's violent episode concluded, we'd sit still, afraid to move, afraid to trigger the monster inside of him. Every day I hoped, I prayed, that the next day would be different and we could go back to having light-hearted math competitions and stimulating conversations. That hope was shattered when he got into trouble legally and had to leave the country. My family quickly disintegrated...

That's how I got here. I stared out the window, at the children playing, families barbecuing, boys playing football. When I looked at my siblings, at their desolate stares, I felt hopeless. They'd grow up without parents, they wouldn't live a normal life. I tried to convince them to go outside and play with the other kids but to no avail. Gosh, why did this happen. I wished that we could be back in that garage where we were all connected and content. "Get a grip," I told myself, "you're just going to make them sadder. Don't let them see how broken you really are. Be their anchor, keep them steady."

Every day I strived to be someone they could look up to, who showed them that everything was okay. "There are the boys playing football. Here's my chance." I approached them nervously, hands shaking. I took a deep breath, smiled confidently, and asked, "Can I play?" They stared at me, glanced at each other, and shrugged, "You're on that team." The next day, my brothers were playing hide-and-seek with the other kids. Just because our living situation deteriorated didn't mean we had to. I became independent, open-minded, and learned to take initiative. I pushed myself academically and socially, continued doing math proofs, pursuing music theory, and helping those around me. I was my siblings' anchor, but they were my ship- they gave me purpose to persevere and withstand through adversity.

I look forward to the challenges I'm going to overcome in college, to uncover possibilities, to answer the "why's" and the "how's". I know that life is going to be filled with obstacles, but no matter where it takes me, I'll make the best of it and continue to lead others. "Your present circumstances don't determine where you go; they merely determine where you start. Your choices make all the difference." (Qubein) I've made the choice not to let my obstacles define who I am or where I'll go. I will succeed in college, I will obtain an advanced degree in mathematics, I will help others pursue their aspirations. No matter how severe of a challenge I'm faced with, I will.
Boa503 6 / 16  
Nov 26, 2014   #2
In the beginning you wrote about you and your brother in the police car, but you never come back to explain why you were in such situation.
OP mayradio0508 2 / 4  
Nov 26, 2014   #3
I said we were sent to another house...it's easy to conclude that CPS was involved which was why we were in the police car.
Anfalia 40 / 56 23  
Nov 26, 2014   #4
Violent screams, fragmented dishes, aggressive shoves, torn furniture.

this is one sentence but you don't complete it with subject,verb

we'd sit stillstill sat , we were afraid to move, afraid [quote=
to trigger the monster inside of him

mayradio0508]They'd growgrown up without parents, they wouldn't live as a normal life[/quote]

I look forward to the challenges I'm going to overcome in college

you should separate this sentence because double subject and verb


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