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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page." - UC Prompt


lmaojessica 1 / 1  
Aug 30, 2011   #1
This is the prompt: 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.

Born and raised in a city that is a part of the prestigious Silicon Valley, my upbringing was the product of an unlikely success story. My parents, both from the poverty-stricken Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam, took the biggest risks of their lives by climbing into a small boat with hundreds of other immigrants in order to escape the oppressive government during the Vietnam War and start over fresh in America. In hearing their stories, however, I am always curious about the life they'd left behind in their homeland.

My parents had always given me the sheltered life. Reminiscing on their childhood, they'd always push me to work relentlessly as to achieve a common goal, the thing that they had already secured for me: a good life. Evidently, I was brought up in a world completely different from my parents'; I never had to witness the hopelessness of a war in my country, instead, the only sense of despair I've come remotely close to experiencing was the panic of having to finish tedious AP English assignments the night before they were due.

St. Augustine once said, "The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page." From Vietnam to (city name), my parents had closed a chapter on the first half of their lives in order to move forward. Taking inspiration from them, I, too, am ready to close a chapter in my life. I've lived in this suburban bubble of (city name) for far too long; it is in the air of unfamiliarity that lingers during a new encounter, and the uncertainness of one's actions as to whether or not a certain risk should be worth taking, where I find the incentive to go out and find my place in this world.

Just as my parents did on the fateful day that they stepped into the boat to sail into an unknown territory, I am ready to face the unfamiliarity of living in a new place, whether it be the opportunity to travel abroad, or the uncertainty of studying on a college campus. I know that like my mother and father, I am going to have to work hard in order to create a sense of security for my children. I hope that one day I will be able to go to Vietnam in order to revisit my parent's roots. Once there, I could finally understand what courage and determination it must have taken for them to face the future.

I seriously had/still have NO IDEA how to answer this, and it seems like I barely put my thoughts into a coherent essay, so please help me improve this...
m45over 6 / 12  
Aug 30, 2011   #2
I think the essay is good but focus more on the impact the event had on me.What has changed about your personality?Instead of focussing on your dreams, describe major changes in your life.


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