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UC Essay question!!

QuantumArbiterQuantumArbiter - 452 replies147 threads Member
For this prompt:

1.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..

How do I not write a boring "I come from a diverse school...blah" essay? I was born in India and visited India during the summer...should I write about how the environment in India was? I do come from there technically.

Any sample essays would be so great if you could pm it to me.
edited September 2009
8 replies
Post edited by QuantumArbiter on
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Replies to: UC Essay question!!

  • caviliercavilier 408 replies7 threads Member
    The things you should write about should be the things that shaped your dreams and aspirations, so the things you mention would obviously not be good topics to include.
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  • DougKDougK 57 replies0 threads Junior Member
    The year I had to do it, there was a slightly different question and I had absolutely zero clue what to write but one day I was listening to a politician and he said

    "Never answer the question you're asked; answer the question you wish you'd be asked" and following that really helped me out. My suggestion: write about whatever interesting experiences/beliefs and in the last paragraph, connect it back to the prompt.
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  • caviliercavilier 408 replies7 threads Member
    Or, instead of being a greasy fast-talking politician, you could answer the question you've been asked and write about things that influenced you for the better.
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  • DougKDougK 57 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Or maybe it would behoove you to learn that the said politician was Robert McNamara, a man who attended Berkeley and graduated with degrees in economics, math and philosophy. A man who received a Harvard MBA, became president of the Ford Motor Company and gave it all up at JFK's request to become Secretary of Defense. But what do I know - apparently all politician's are sleazeballs.

    The truth: Berkeley receives 48000 applications - if you follow the prompt religiously, you'll have a hard time standing out.
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  • inconnuinconnu 510 replies68 threads Member
    @DougK: +1. I'm liking most of your posts so far. Welcome to CC.

    @OP: When I wrote my essay, I took the opportunity to describe the areas where I spent the most time on a day-to-day basis. That was my environment. I split up my room into 4 quadrants (that's how I organized my room at home, roughly) and described each quadrant. Then, I wrote about how each quadrant allowed me to explore a different aspect of my persona. For what it's worth, my Regents interviewer said he really liked my take on the prompt.
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  • caviliercavilier 408 replies7 threads Member
    So greasy speech is not longer such when it is being said by a guy with a lot of degrees? I'll make note of that. Oh, and wasn't McNamara the Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, the war that just happened to coincide with the time people stopped trusting the government?

    Back to the topic, following the prompt worked well for me, but then I actually had people and experiences that changed me for the better.
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  • FasttrackFasttrack 307 replies4 threads Member
    Write on a topic that you know fairly well and that it's based on personal experiences. Also write something that you know the other applicants won't be writing about, so be unique, original, and creative.
    You can write about 'how the environment in India was', but connect it with you and your goals. Maybe you can say how you plan to change the environment for the better, or how the environment reminded you of something. You can basically write about anything, but you need to connect it with you and your future goals/dreams/aspirations.
    Here's an actually good site to get you started: UC Berkeley | The Personal Statement
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  • mrniphtymrniphty 222 replies33 threads Junior Member
    Not sure about how Cal admissions workers read the applications, but at other UCs (UCLA and Davis have allowed extensive newspaper reporting of their admissions processes), it seems like admissions workers read essays for three main kinds of content: what special abilities and talents students have, what leadership they have shown, and what challenges (academic, economic, familial, social, ethnic/racial/cultural, medical/disability/health, etc.) they have overcome.

    For that prompt a good way to start might be to think about some unique circumstances/challenges you've encountered in your life, and then to think about how living in/overcoming those circumstances/challenges has led you to where you are in your life and affected the forward trajectory of your life.

    Best of wishes for your college essays, and kudos to you for starting so early!
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