My Essay, need some feedbacks

<p>Please be honest with your feedbacks. I am doing option number 5, which is any topic I want. I don't have a prompt to go with my essay unless I am presesd to invent one. (Also, Chicago is my first choice, should I add a message on my additional info section stating that on my word of honor I will go if accepted? sounds corny i know...)</p>

<p>Being the third child born to the family, I am evidence of a severe violation of China’s “One Child Policy”. Though I surmise that I could be an unwanted accident, my mother resisted it all to bring me to the world alive. After I was born, what awaited my parents was a big fine that they could not pay. Fortunately my grandfather, an accomplished engineer in America, acted as our bridge to the States.</p>

<p>Unable to bear with the sudden increased level of noises and bothering, my step grandmother and grandfather decided to move to California from New Jersey, cutting all contact and support. Our family faced a dilemma; alone and muted in this new world, my father insisted that we return to China immediately; but my mother said she was staying with the children with or without him. My father was a lost soul. He lost his courage and was troubled in his sleep. My mother, in a sense, became the new “man of the house” when she marched out and got a job in a windows manufacturing factory. She walked five miles to work everyday until we found an apartment that was closer. Eventually my mom convinced the manager to bring my father on board too. </p>

<p>To me, my mother is the epitome of selflessness. Though my father has worked hard, my mother seemed to be always working. They worked in the factory for at least ten hours a day, six days a week. After they came home, my mother would take care of housework as well. Every time somebody would call her to go to sleep, she would say, “I’ll just finish up this one last bit”. Due to his illnesses, my father was laid off two years ago and he has been unemployed ever since. Mom has become our sole provider. I remember when I was a little boy, I had asked mom if she had super powers, and she said, “Of course I do”. I still believe her.</p>

<p>I started first grade in September, but I had no idea what I was supposed to do in school. Without much guidance, I got C’s in almost every class; F’s were averted by my high test scores while A’s were averted by my truancy when it comes to homework. My ESL teacher had an insultingly low expectation of me as an unguided child, telling my parents that if I loved school as much as other Asian students, I “might” be able to go to college. But what hurt mother’s feelings even more was the fact that I got into frequent playground fist fights. “Why?” she asked. I told her that I could not take insults, and I had to defend myself. Mom inquired about transferring me to another school, and realized we could only do so if we moved. So we moved.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, I failed my mother and myself by continually being a trouble maker and a slacker. One day soon after my sophomore year started, Mom became very sick at night and we had to rush her to the hospital – she had developed a bad kidney infection and other illnesses. I stayed all night with her in the hospital. When she awoke, the first thing she said to me was, “Son, why are you here? Go to school,” and after the interruption of several coughs she said, “and do well.” At that precise moment, I felt that I was the most deplorable infidel that had ever had the liberty to breathe. I nodded with conviction. </p>

<p>I achieved honor roll for the first time in my sophomore year. It was a spark in the dark night that became a conflagration. Today, even though I still feel that I must catch up to the better man that is certainly out there, there is darkness no more; I have new ambitions, new goals, and an ever greater thirst for knowledge. </p>

<p>After dinner, my family gathers around the living room table. My mother seems happy just watching me do my work. From time to time, she asks if I am hungry or if I need anything. Mom has sacrificed so much for this family because she has never let go of her dreams, and I know she has a dream for me. Sitting next to mom and seeing her smile gives me comfort. I promise myself from the bottom of my heart that I will not let her down. But I do not say anything; I only write this essay, with extra effort.</p>

<p>Oh yea, i'm not done yet, don't worry about grammar, i will take care of that sooner or later.</p>

<p>It's a good essay--however, it is too much of a life story with a cheesy ending. I think that will hurt you in the "uncommon" aspect of the essay.</p>

<p>Just one minor note--"I got C’s in almost every class; F’s were averted by my high test scores while A’s were averted by my truancy when it comes to homework."</p>

<p>Change that to: "I got C’s in almost every class; F’s were averted thanks to my high test scores while A’s eluded me due to often-incompleted homework."</p>

<p>Averted is repeated twice, and it is also a poor word for the latter clause..."truancy" is also more applicable to attendance than completed work (unless you mean that you weren't in school).</p>

<p>I will use your suggestion. thank you</p>

<p>maybe i should work on the ending a bit too.</p>

<p>I think you should use your own words (although the comment above about "truancy" is certainly accurate), and your own ending is just fine. It sounds quite heartfelt. It touched me. True, the grammar and a few word choices could use some tinkering, but perhaps you can repost after you've done that yourself. I suspect you will do the piece more harm than good by substituting others' words for your own in this essay. This reads like an excellent first draft.</p>

<p>To say that A's were averted is implying that he was avoiding A's...rather, the A's ELUDED him...</p>

<p>Also, it's not great to repeat words in quick succession.</p>

<p>I like your essay. You tell a dramatic story, one that has shaped you into who you are today. I wish I could meet your mom; she sounds heroic. This essay does not really reveal anything about you except for where your determination to succeed comes from (and it might explain some low freshman grades). You might think about adding some information about yourself, since you are the one who will be accepted to Chicago, not your mom. </p>

<p>I agree with one of the posters above that this is not really an essay that responds to an "uncommon" prompt. What would your prompt be by the way? I think you need to invent one or the Chicago adcoms might think you are just being lazy and using an essay from your common app. </p>

<p>Momof2 in CA</p>

<p>Me thinks you should expand the climax and all the great stuff you did after/during sophmore year, and if possible condense the background info. Me thinks the colleges would like more optimism than negative stuff.</p>

<p>This is the kind of essay that other schools look for, not Chicago. If you will take note of the types of essays that Chicago suggests, you will see that they are not interested in 'life stories'. They deliberately ask you to discuss a subject that is esoteric and leads the writer into more speculative and creative writing. </p>

<p>I specifically asked the admissions officer where was there room to talk about significant experiences, and she said "17 years olds have not had any significant experiences". This admissions officer made a point of telling us that the #5 essay was the most difficult of all "because how could you possible come up with a more unique and interesting question than those we have posed here".</p>

<p>So I do feel that if you use your own prompt, you should pose a question that is consistent with the types of quirky questions they use (and note they don't say "tell us your life story"). They seemed really proud and happy about the mustard question, for instance.</p>

<p>So should I abandon this essay after all? Even if I make up a werid prompt to fit the essay? I will try out option 2 and 1, I'll juxtapose both of them to see which one will gain me more points.</p>

<p>PS. That admission officer is a retard. "Everything I Learned In Kindergarten".</p>

<p>Do not make a wierd prompt to fit the essay. That would be ludicrous and disrespectful. That is not the point at all. The point is to show some intellectual and creative thought, and show off some writing skills. </p>

<p>I can't tell you what to do, and you shouldn't trust what I say because I'm not your Guidance Counselor. But if you were my kid I would point out (like I've done), that it is certain this is not the kind of essay that Chicago is asking for. Whether it will prove acceptable, I don't know. For a personal essay, (again, what they do NOT ask for)you could give much of the background in a shorter space and talk about what you've been doing lately. </p>

<p>Keep it around for you other schools, but I'd say no for Chi.</p>

<p>bettina, your advice is perfectly true, but it's still wrong to give it. When writing a college essay, you shouldn't tailor it to suit a college's "ideal" student profile (id est, an eccentric deep thinker for Chicago). You write normally, and if your style fits the bill, you'll be accepted; if not, then that college is not for you.</p>

<p>If you find yourself asking, "What does Chicago want?" while writing your essay, then perhaps you shouldn't be applying.</p>

<p>My understanding of all this is that ultimately, Chicago just wants bright and hard-working kids. If your app demonstrates that you're qualified for Chicago and your essay is reflective and interesting, they probably will not hold against you the fact that it doesn't quite fit a question perfectly. THey'd prefer that you conform to their questions but if you have a brilliant and insightful essay anyway and they can see that and they can see that you'll be a great addition to their student body, they most likely will want to admit you for that.</p>

<p>edit out ...</p>

<p>the fact that I did not think "what does chicago want" when I am writing this essay made it unlike the traditional chicago essay.</p>

<p>No, basically there is a big different between following instructions and pandering to what you think they want to hear. You just didn't follow instructions. Maybe it will be ok, maybe not. But don't think you were being a maverick. Chicago's questions are untraditional, but you decided to give them a traditional personal essay. Your choice, and stick by it if you feel good about it, but don't pretend you are the one doing something different.</p>

<p>Of course "you shouldn't tailor it to suit a college's "ideal" student profile", but you should follow the basic format of answering the questions asked or (5) think of your own Uncommon Question.</p>

<p>I really didn't like it very much - and I think any prompt you create will pale in comparison to those that Chicago offers.</p>

<p>My prompt was about the sociological term "role conflict", and I was concerned that they would consider THAT too simple. So I don't know, I just didn't like the essay at all - write the essay to the prompt, dont write an essay and then choose a prompt.</p>

<p>I don't think Chicago is interested in "children" talking about complex issues out of their level of understanding, like their admisson officers indicated.</p>