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moving to America when I was three as the biggest struggle - personal statement

Memona 3 / 7  
Nov 3, 2012   #1
Hi guys it would be very helpful if you guys could help me with my personal statement. I am rewriting it all over again because i wasn't satisfied at all. I need help with the beginning . I am just stuck i really don't know how to start out. I need something that is kind of catchy like " As i went up the stage ". Also I want to talk about me being in the National Honor Society , how my parents dreams are desire to fulfill because they came from very poor families and their parents couldn't pay for their education. So I want to their goals are my goals. It would really mean allot to me if you guys could help me. I am posting my personal statement that I did not like . Please I really need some advice and i would really appreciate if you could give me some advice. Thank You

The biggest struggle I have faced in my young life so far was moving to America when I was three years old. The people, the environment, and the way of life were unfamiliar to me. On the outside I showed that I could adapt to this new environment. However, inside me, my fears continued to build up, to the extent that for one year I did not speak to anyone. I have never been in a place with so many different cultures of people, as the US. People spoke different languages, dressed differently, ate different food, well everything was completely different than Pakistan, where I called home. One day, hope diminished my fears when a teacher said to me, "Memona, you have an opportunity in front of you, and you must use this opportunity to fulfill your dreams." This message inspired me to have confidence in myself and to pursue my dreams. .

As life goes on, I have learned many things from my struggles. For instance, in fourth- grade I received a D on my report card. When I saw the grade, I was so devastated. In my heart, I knew I would be able to persevere, but my mind was telling me that I was not smart enough to achieve and be successful in school in the US. I knew I must accept the grades and feedback earned, but hard-work would help me improve. In many stages of my life, my own relatives have put me down, but I must prove them wrong. For example, in my family is made up of four girls. In the Middle East many people believe females cannot achieve the same as males. However, my parents' support and faith has led me to become a successful person. With my parents' unconditional love and support, they have encouraged me to attend college. Today, their dreams are my goals. If I do not hold myself to rigorous expectations and goals on a daily basis, my dreams will never become a reality.

High school began a new chapter in my life. It was an experience that reassured me of my academic capabilities. Through diligence and determination I have risen to the top of my high school class. I did need to learn one hard lesson, do not to let anyone take advantage of you. During my freshman class I remember completing an extended response for my Algebra class. I did all my work; however, someone asked if they could see my answers. The student copied down my work. The teacher knew I was the one who did the assignment and I earned full credit. This incident taught me a lesson I will never forget. I cannot let people take advantage of the hard work I put forth. Overcoming challenges by being strong and achieving success such as earning an A in my first A.P class in high school, has helped build my confidence. I expect that if I approach college in the same manner I did high school; I will not only grow academically but also as a person.

In my opinion, in life, we must struggle to achieve what we desire. Our struggles make us stronger and fuel our desire to pursue our passion. In my life, I have faced many challenges and overcome these obstacles with poise and confidence. These life lessons enable me to find success on this new journey I embark. I want to attend college and major in a medical-related field. I was inspired to become a doctor from one of my elementary school field trips. We went to a live heart transplant surgery. I have also volunteered at Weiss Memorial Hospital in the surgery center helping patients, wearing the surgery uniform and going inside and ordering the materials needed for surgery. This experience has further inspired me to become a doctor. Many people cannot afford healthcare; I want to help the world and provide affordable healthcare to people in need. I am determined to achieve my ambitions. Throughout many obstacles, my greatest attribute is my persistence and resilience. There are many opportunities set ahead of me, and I am determined to make the most of every moment.

Phoebe Africa 3 / 36 6  
Nov 3, 2012   #2
Why not start with "the people,the environment...unfamiliar to me" this will keep the reader wondering up until the 4th sentence where you mention the USA, I think this will perfectly attain the readers interest.

Did people speak different languages or did they speak A different language. If you in an area that only speaks English then do not use the plural form with the word language.

"Where I called home" I'm not too sure about this one,I think it can be phrased differently.

"This message inspired me..." Try replacing 'message' with a stronger. Eg: this revelation..

"As life GOES ON,I have LEARNED" you start of with the present tense and continue in with past tense. Try : "as life went on, I have learned.." OR "as life goes on, I am constantly learning.."

Just keep to one tense

"I KNEW I MUST" KNEW is past tense,but MUST is present. Try ; I knew I needed to accept...

"But hard-work would help me improve" the 'but' is not applicable,because you not supplying a counter argument,you simply giving more information to support the statement before this sentence.

"But I must prove them wrong" Are you saying that thus far you have been unable to prove them wrong? Try saying: however,I have successfully proved them wrong.

"In my family is..." This is an error of concord. Remove the "In". And try to find something to replace the words "for example" as you don't want your essay to have any cliches.

"An experience that reassured me..." Try: an experience that has come to reassure me...

"I did need to learn one hard lesson" you need to sound mature with the style you use,so try: "I did learn an exceedingly important lesson on the way, and that was the significance of standing my ground and to not let anyone take advantage of me.

Cut out the "in my opinion" this is essentially a personal statement, so all you say is regarded to be entirely your opinion and this is another cliche.

Don't use cliche because your essay looses its unique qualities and begins to sound like every other essay!

"Our struggles make us stronger" make use of linking words to display a clear and decisive development of ideas and thoughts. Eg: "However,our struggles make us stronger"

"Journey I WILL embark ON,which is college with a major in a medical-related field.

Again linking statement and words are important. Say stuff like : Enthralled by the experience, I went on to volunteer at...

"Greatest attribute" should be attributes

I think your conclusion needs some work. You mention your greatest attributes and then the many opportunities available to you, but you provide no connection between the two?

So to make it more cohesive,try : "there are many...every moment,with the aid/implementation of my greatest attributes which are my endless persistence and unyielding resilience"

That's just my 2 cents worth,do get a second opinion!

I did enjoy your essay,though. I feel that you have a very interesting story to tell and you seem to be a very determined person. With a few changes you might just have a wining essay!

I am also applying to Yale and I would love it if you read my essay (feel free to tear it apart!)
I hope I could help you and I would love reading your revised essay.

Good luck with your essay,and who knows we might just meet at Yale one day!

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