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'in the working class' - What community you come from University of Michigan


Strappingyl 3 / 8  
Oct 16, 2011   #1
Hello,

I'm transferring from a community college to the University of Michigan to go for a doctorate in mathematics and I'm almost finished with my response to the following prompt:

"Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (Approximately 250 words)"

I'm having the most difficult time with this one, however.

Here is my response:

"I had a rough time in junior high and the beginning of high school. I focused less on being part of a community, my academics and extracurricular activities and more on trying not to get slammed into lockers and pushed into drugs (it was so bad for one of my friends that he would walk to the bus stop, then to the woods. There he would stay for the 7-hour school day). Consequently I became more of a loner. I tried to keep as low of a profile as I could to avoid that torment.

I don't really come from a specific community except my immediate family. I come from a generally military family: my mom, dad, grandmother (dad's side), grandfather and great grandfather (both mom's side) come from military backgrounds. My parents met in the Air Force while serving in South Korea. I was born in Nellis Air Force Base in 1991, moved to K. I. Sawyer AFB in 1993 and eventually my parents bought a house near my mom's parents in Grand Traverse County, which is where I've resided ever since. They divorced when I was 8 years old, so for about 12 years since then I've been jumping between their homes. I feel lucky that they get along so well. It really made dealing with the divorce an easier process.

Though much of my family has been in the military, my parents never pushed it onto me. They only wanted me to be happy when I grew up. I'm also the first in my immediate family to attend college. During my junior and senior high school years is when I really became involved in academics and extracurricular activities (it helped that I transferred to a school that really pushed academics). I joined the track team my junior year and ended up being the team captain for my senior year in track and cross country. It was also the period where I found my passion: mathematics. I adored it so much that I'm going for a doctorate in it.

I don't come from a wealthy family by any means. I am definitely in the working class. I've been working at least three days every week since my junior year in high school. None of it goes towards paying off my loans. It mostly goes towards gas money, car insurance and food. My parents help me out a little when I'm especially low on funds for gas and food, but not enough that it would be considered support. My mother and stepdad have both recently filed for bankruptcy and my dad lost his job a few months ago. He was just hired to work for a private military contractor where he'll be making 4 times more than what he was as an electrician. However, it's mostly hazard pay. He'll be working in a warzone.
"

I have no idea how to end this. Someone help me out?

Thank you!

inverselogic 1 / 10  
Oct 16, 2011   #2
Well, first off, this seems to be well over 250 words. You would do well to shorten it quite a bit.

I think you should focus on one main point. Would you rather emphasize coming from a drug-heavy school district or having a mostly military family? You could probably do without the first paragraph unless you feel you really need it.

Think about how you can tie everything together, and if you can't, try to pick one main focus and write about that main focus.

Maybe you can end your essay with why you'd like to go to University of Michigan while coming from your background/community.

Sorry if my suggestions are vague; I'm a bit brain-dead right now.
dianalpy 3 / 5  
Oct 17, 2011   #3
Hi, maybe you can consider end it by stating how you feel about that; i mean your dad's job.
Eg: It's a kind of dangerous job and you hope that your dad will not take the job.
Then you proceed to your next point.

I hope this will help. Sorry if there's mistake. I'm still learning English.
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Oct 17, 2011   #4
Hello,

Your essay does not fully answer the question. Probably the strongest argument you could have here would be for you to talk about being the product of a divorce. How did it make you feel? Talk about how grateful you are that your parents get along? As the child of a divorced couple, you are apart of a larger community. Exploit this further and you will have a powerful essay which will get you noticed. -admissions essay advice
OP Strappingyl 3 / 8  
Oct 17, 2011   #5
Thank you everyone so much for your critiques. Here is my overhauled response:

I had a rough time in junior high and the beginning of high school. I focused less on my academics and extracurricular activities and more on trying not to get slammed into lockers and pushed into drugs (it was so bad for one of my friends that he would walk to the bus stop, then to the woods. There he would stay for the 7-hour school day). Consequently I became more of a loner. I tried to keep as low of a profile as I could to avoid that torment.

I come from a community of loners. As oxymoronic as that sounds, it's true. The only alternatives for me were the drug and trouble-making communities, and certainly not the academic. I delved into the trouble-making communities sometimes, just to have a sense of belonging. But it never fulfilled me and I never made any connections with those individuals. The individuals I do have a connection with are the homeschool students I am now tutoring, my math professors and any aspect of the academic community. I've only grazed the surface at my community college, however. There's so much more I could be experiencing. I know it's a jump that I'm applying to one of the best academic communities in the world, but I want so much to be a part of it.


Now I have 2 endings that I'm juggling here. Does anyone have a preference?

Ending 1
I don't want to be a part of the loner community anymore. I want to be part of a community where I'm a learner, a teacher, a contributor and a community leader. That community is the University of Michigan.

Ending 2
I've never really found my place as anyone except a loner. However, once I looked hard enough, it didn't take me long to realize that my place is at the University of Michigan.

Thank you again!

dp
OP Strappingyl 3 / 8  
Oct 18, 2011   #6
Bump! Sorry, have to have this in soon :(
zeez 1 / 1  
Oct 19, 2011   #7
I would end with:
I don't want to be a part of the loner community anymore. I want to become part of a community where I'm a learner, a teacher, a contributor and a community leader. That community is the University of Michigan.
OP Strappingyl 3 / 8  
Oct 19, 2011   #8
Alrighty final product. This is what I'll be turning in:

I had a rough time in junior high and the beginning of high school. I focused less on my academics and extracurricular activities and more on trying not to get slammed into lockers and pushed into drugs (it was so bad for one of my friends that he would walk to the bus stop, then to the woods. There he would stay for the 7-hour school day). Consequently I became more of a loner. I tried to keep as low of a profile as I could to avoid that torment.

I come from a community of loners. As oxymoronic as that sounds, it's true. The only alternatives for me were the drug and trouble-making communities, and certainly not the academic. I delved into the trouble-making communities sometimes, just to have a sense of belonging. But it never fulfilled me and I never made any connections with those individuals. The individuals I do have a connection with are the home-schooled students I am now tutoring, my math professors and any aspect of the academic community. I've only grazed the surface at my community college, however. There's so much more I could be experiencing. I know it's a jump that I'm applying to one of the best academic communities in the world, but I want so much to be a part of it. I want to become part of a community where I'm a learner, a teacher, a contributor and a community leader. That community is the University of Michigan.


Anyone think this is admission worthy or are there changes to be made?

Thank you for all of your help, btw


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