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Why I Want to Join Year Up, Personal Statement Example

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I have spent time researching options for furthering my education. When I found Year Up, I instantly felt this exactly what I needed.  I would love an opportunity to join Year Up to continue learning about computer technology.  I have a great passion and desire for technology and I know I have a lot to learn about it.  I have tried to pursue an education on my own, and unfortunately the cost of it kept me from being able to finish. That is why I began looking for alternate means for creating a better future for myself. Looking through the website I believe I would be a perfect candidate for the training in computer help desk and desktop training.  With more education and formal training I think I could pursue a successful career in this field.

I attended college for a short time, specializing in IT training. I did very well and caught on quickly.  From what I was able to learn during that time, I feel that this is definitely the career path I want to follow. It is something I comprehended well, and love doing.  How many people can honestly say they love what they do for a living? One day, I will be one of those people.  During my free time, I put a lot of hours in working with different applications on the computer to get a better understanding and working knowledge of what all they can do.  When interacting with individuals who have advanced education in IT training, I ask a lot of questions and try to learn from their expertise.  I am comfortable working with Graphic Applications that are related to pictures and video editing.  I have come to the realization that there is so much more to learn and I am eager to do so.

I volunteer at my church, helping primarily with senior citizens.  I live with my Grandmother, as she is getting older I see first-hand how much less she is personally capable of doing.  At my church I teach the senior citizens how to work on the computer and use basic programs. Many of the individuals have little to no experience with computers. They enjoy interacting through email and basic internet.  Some of the people like working on photo editing, and are learning what all they can do with that. It is exciting to see people catch on to what I am showing them, and it always amazes them how much technology is available.

If given this opportunity, I will work hard and take full advantage of this privilege awarded to me.  My mother and father have life-time issues so this is something I need to do for myself. I need to create a better future for myself, and hopefully someday, my family. I live with my grandmother, and I would like to be able to take care of her when and if that time comes as well. Upon completing the Year Up program I will be better equipped to get a good job. I will then be able to continue furthering my education, because I will have a better job to be able to afford it.  The sky is the limits for me; this is a starting point for my future. I did not have the best adolescence.  I have come across stumbling block after stumbling block, now I feel they are best viewed as stepping stones.  In today’s society it demands education to get ahead.  I may have had stumbling blocks prior in my education, but I am hoping for an opportunity to change that. I appreciate your consideration in accepting me in the Year Up program.  If awarded to me, I will utilize it to the fullest extent possible.

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Year Up Personal Statement

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Reasons Why I Want to Join a Year Up Program

I can say the reason I want to join the year-up program is that I am young and very devoted to learning new things. Also, I have reached that point in my life when I realize that I have to be more independent, responsible, and mature. I have to make my own smart decisions to determine how successful I’ll be in life. The reason I think I am a good candidate for this year-up program is that I’m used to the two terms hard work and determination.

The reason I say this is because I started this school on the Southside of Chicago Christian Fenger High School. As I began to go there I realized that high school, in particular, wasn’t pushing me to my full potential. I needed something that would push me to my highest limit.

My road to the year-up program

So I started to look around for better schools in the area. That is when I ran across DeVry Advantage Academy High School.

It’s a program that gave me the opportunity to graduate with my college degree in Network Systems Administration when I graduate from high school. And Boy did I pick a school, DeVry pushed me to limits that I never thought I had. Coming from a different background I was very quiet and antisocial my junior year at DeVry because I didn’t know how to talk to other races of people, It was a big step and a big change for me.

year up essay sample

Proficient in: Communication

“ Amazing writer! I am really satisfied with her work. An excellent price as well. ”

But as I started to go to the program I started to warm up to the idea and the people that I was going to school with on a daily basis was pretty cool. I have learned a lot about different culture and ethnicity. At DeVry, I can’t say that I have made friends I have made the family. There are many words that I could give you to describe me but there is one word in particular that I could say that stands out from the rest, and that word is dedication.

My motivation to the year-up program

Year up program review.

When I start something I stick with it to the end, no matter how many people doubt or look down on me I will always stay strong until the end. I have overcome so much in my life to just give up now; when I was 15 years old I lost my mother to cancer. This left me emotionally scared because I was very close to my mother ( Best Friend) and the thought of never seeing her again just killed me inside. As time passed I stopped really caring about a lot of things, such as school and even my own safety. I started to get into a lot of fights and really didn’t care much for school work. I cut myself from friends and family and just stayed to myself. Until one day I heard my father in his room crying it was kind of a shock to hear him that way because I never heard him cry before.

Then I realized that I wasn’t the only person that lost someone special. My father was left with 4 children to take care of all by him, I had to realize that he didn’t have help anymore that he had to be the mother and father of the house and the things I was doing was just adding on to the stress from my mother passing away. So then I asked myself the most life-changing questions that I have ever asked myself what would my mother want?, what do I really want out of life?

This caused me to go to school do all my work and even start communicating with my family and friends again. Then I realized that I really enjoy learning new things and advancing intellectually. I can say that my worst fear is being a failure Being a grown man wishing I finished high school or college, stressed out trying to figure how I’m about to pay my rent for next month and not being able to provide and help my family when they really need it. Both sister and my brother and even my father have recently had children.

This has made life a little more stressful and hard. My brother and sisters have dropped out of college and started work at minimum wage jobs to provide for their children. I sometimes wish I could show them that their lives don’t have to stop here. And show my father that he is not alone and show him that I can be that man that he and mother raised me to be.

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Reasons Why I Want to Join a Year Up Program


Year Up Personal Statement

I want to join Year Up because the program appeals to many of my interest. I believe that Year Up is a good program for me. I am young and very devoted to learning new things and I believe the whole purpose of Year Up to give us youth the skills and training we need to achieve our personal goals. Year Up is a way for me to gain entry-level skills in the growing field of technology. I believe that I am a good candidate for Year Up because of my determination, hard working mindset, and personal values that will contribute to the Year Up program. My determination allows me to enhance my learning abilities because I never give up when I am unable to comprehend something at first sight. Having the trait of determination causes me

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LLU Personal Statement

I am most attracted to Loma Linda University’s mission to make man whole and continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ and its commitment to faith and science. As a Seventh-day Adventist christian, the motto to make man whole has never been more personal than it is now. As I grow in my experience as a christian, to further the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus continues to take center stage. This mission and an understanding of the need for whole person care is something I seek to demonstrate and encourage through my profession as a nurse and involvement in my community.

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The trait that he gets from this is determination to work since he learns he needs to work hard to get better at

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I want to enroll in Pre-AP English because I think it could help me in several of ways. This can help attain my goals because it helps me receive a higher gpa. I plan to contribute to Maricopa High School community by joining student council, if I join student council I would be involved in more things and can help at any events, I am committed to go above and beyond and I am self-motivated to do anything necessary. Skills that I have that are essential for advanced placement include someone who will try their best every day, someone who will go above and beyond in completing their assignments and are respectful and responsible.

Personal Statement For Nhs For National Honor Society

The National Honor Society (NHS) stands by such values as Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and character; it is these values that I strive to live by. I have received the opportunity to become a proud member of the NHS, and have been humbled by this chance. Throughout my high school career I try to be involved in anything I can help the school, from being a part of community service activities. Also, I have achieved my goal to work as hard as I possibly can to stand out among my peers. Even outside of school I have worked to uphold the values of club, and shall continue to do so if I chosen.

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Through this program I will get to know more of my peers that I might not always interact with. I can gain a better a knowledge of who they are. I will best serve as a member

National Honor Society Personal Statement

I would like to become an active member of Carrboro High School’s National Honor Society in order to benefit my community through service. I am immensely committed to serving and improving my community, as I have made distinctly clear with my 143 service hours. Through these service hours, I have focused on the improvement of the future community by helping disenfranchised refugee children coming from horrible living conditions in Western Africa, by teaching children about biology, chemistry, and scientific history, by preparing freshmen for their high school careers, by raising money to protect and aid voiceless animals hurt in car crashes and other human infringements, and by creating rain gardens, planting food crops, and decreasing Carrboro High School’s environmental

The National Honor Society organization functions as a symbol of excellence and brilliance of Egg Harbor Township High School. As a committed and goal-oriented individual with more energy than a billion watts, I know that being a member of your well-respected organization would allow me the opportunity to help my community, school, character development and scholastic abilities, and most notably, mutually benefit National Honor Society to the best of my ability. After high school, I plan to attain a degree in pre-medicine, as I have always had a rewinding image in my mind of becoming a doctor. I plan on going to medical school to advance in my studies, towards my career.

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There are many positive attributes and assets that I possess. One of them is I am hard working; this will help our FFA chapter because I will venture to make a better and stronger chapter. Another positive attribute is I am reliable; I will strive to be at all of the meetings and activities that the chapter will bestow upon me. Last of all, I am a leader because I am passionate about the things I do while being open minded to the opinions of others. The FFA Chapter has many activities for members to participate in.

Personal Statement For National Honor Society

National Honor Society is known for their members with great grades and outstanding character. I personally believe that I would fit into this club wonderfully. Finishing with a cumulative GPA of 3.6 and a 4.0 GPA last semester. With grades being the most important thing to me, I take them very seriously.

Personal Statement In The National Honor Society

Growing up, I attended a very family oriented school that has helped me to grow, by exposing me to people who perform care taking roles. My involvement in the National Honor Society and other activities helped me mature and required me to develop the four pillars of personal leadership, service, character, and scholarship that allow me to connect with different people outside of my peer group. Immersing myself in these social groups, guided me to fully commit to and carry out many responsibilities. Since the ninth grade, I have been a part of my high school’s basketball team, which has taught me leadership and enriched my communication skills. Being a member of high-school teams helped me understand that sometimes I need to drop the walls I keep in place to allow my team members and I to work together as one family.

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I would like to be apart of ASB because I’m interested in helping Medea be the best school it can be. I always like to learn new things and I will appreciate new experiences learning from seventh and eighth graders. I am responsible and I am excited for my leadership skills to be tested. Also, I will gain more responsibility and learn more leadership skills throughout my time in ASB. As part of ASB, I will be able to work with other students who have similar interests and want to be fellow leaders at Medea.

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I have become more determined which is one of my strengths. What I have done to stay more focused is make a list of my priorities that I need to stay on task with. It makes me feel better about myself when I check things off my list. I have been also persistent which is another strength that will help me succeed and will help me become a better

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I have overcome difficult challenges in my pursuit of education. I fell behind on my credits, which was the hardest situation to pull myself up from. I caught up and past my colleagues. I am more than ready to further expand my education beyond graduating high school. I am striving to make myself rise above the rest.

HRM Personal Statement

ZHANG Shiyuan_HRM Human Recourse Management fascinates for me for the dynamism and challenge that it provides. A vital cog in the machinery of any business to maximize employee productivity, it is an interdisciplinary field relevant to the knowledge in policies and industries, business environment, organizational culture, essential skills in negotiation and leadership. I am hugely interested in grasping HRM knowledge for further integration with strategy consulting and management, which will be essential for establishing my career path. My first degree in International Communication Studies, which places great emphasis on analytical and highly interdisciplinary approach, has cultivated me with the literacy of communication, a significant quality needed for a practitioner in media and culture.

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Northouse (2016) state that beliefs in one’s abilities to accomplish a goal are more likely to be motivated to succeed. Skills Inventory In the technical skill I rated myself in the high range.

More about Year Up Personal Statement

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Why I Chose To Join Year Up

I want to join Year Up because of the opportunity it provides to receive an education and experience in a professional computer-programming environment that I might not have received otherwise. I believe I am a good candidate for Year Up because of my ability to perform in professional and academic environments alike, as well as a strong desire to succeed in a highly technical field. A large part of the reason I would like to join Year Up is because of the opportunity to receive an education and start my career in computer programming, without financial barriers stopping me before I can get started. The chance to receive an education in programming, a field that has interested me for as long as I knew it existed, is too great for me to let it pass. I have been interested in computers since I was introduced to them at a young age, and the idea of making functional programs has always been fascinating to me. More importantly, Year Up gives me a chance to receive experience in a professional environment and kick start my career. Without this program, getting a job in this field with no prior experience is near impossible, however Year Up provides me with the six-month internship …show more content…

First, I can perform well in almost any environment. This is due to my sheer determination to reach my goals. Once I set them, it can be extremely difficult to dissuade me from pursuing my goals. I also perform well in an academic setting, owing to the fact that I have always been very academically inclined. In my experience, when I put forth any degree of effort towards them, academic challenges tend to cease being an issue. This does not mean, however that I cannot hold myself well in a professional environment. When in such an environment, I can maintain a detached, professional demeanor, while still displaying interest in any topic being

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that they want to join year up because of the opportunity it provides to receive an education and experience in a professional computer-programming environment.
  • Explains that they would like to join year up because of the opportunity to receive an education and start their career in computer programming, without financial barriers.
  • Explains that their ability to perform in both an academic and professional environment is what makes them a great candidate for year up.
  • Opines that they are a good candidate for year up because of their desire to succeed.

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Why I Want to Join the Marine Corps

We all know this world has had many wars, whether it’d be with another country or a civil war. We know since the beginning of time we’ve always struggled to survive to protect our lands. The United States broke away from the Crown in the Revolutionary war, won over southern states from Mexico, recovered from a brutal civil war, and saved the world from collapsing through two world wars. The US had some rough spots with war also, but the men and women who go to battle for us are all brave souls. The first in to the battle from the Revolutionary War to now, have been the Marines. You have heard of the saying “Semper Fidelis.” Well that stands for “always faithful”, another unofficial motto is “first to fight”. The motto of the Marines has been “Semper Fi” for almost three hundred years. They never back down and never give up. Marines will stare death in the face and won’t back down. They will head to battle with their brothers and sisters knowing that someone has their back as they have someone else’s. That sounds like a life style that I’d want to live.

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One of the main reasons I was inspired to participate was because of the benefits it provided for the students. This particular institute focused on engineering. Not only do I have a passion for reading and writing but I am fortunate enough to also be good at math and science. What I learned from the program was career exploration when

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As a student in Greater Lawrence Technical school my ultimate goal was to become a member of National Honors Society. From the very start I knew I had the potential to become who I wanted to be. Being seen as a person who can be National honors society member has made me so happy and realize I can really go for more in life! They sky's the limit. I always had honor roll and wanted to push myself for more than what I knew I could do. I asked teachers and guidance counselors how to get into NHS and if they believed I was eligible for National Honor Society. They said with your outstanding character, motivation and dedication to help others is how!

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Why I Should Be Selected For Njhs

Being nominated for National Junior Honor Society is a highly prestigious honor, and I am very grateful to be a candidate. To be a member of this prestigious organization means so much to me just to be invited to be one of its members. Leadership is a great skill to have. So, by being a member of this group I would be showing leadership. I am also a hard worker and a great role model who always helps others. I am confident in my leadership qualities and want to help the community. I plan to demonstrate leadership, create enthusiasm, and develop character for academic excellence while participating in NJHS. Whenever I set a goal, I am certain to achieve it. With my outstanding personality and traits, I plan to be useful to NJHS and my school.

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My interests in the STEP programs lies within the fact that it will aid me in achieving a full ride to college. Throughout my whole life, I have been blessed with many amazing things that my parents have worked hard for. By being able to receive a full scholarships, it will be my way of thanking my parents for what they have done for me throughout my whole life. As a result, if I am not able to achieve a full ride scholarship, it would be a huge disappointment. By being apart of the program, I hope to gain knowledge about the steps required to improve my chances of going to a good college and information that will help me become a better human being. In addition, while I am there, I would like to acquire new friends that will hopefully be apart of my life in the future.

Year Up Research Paper

I want to join Year Up Inc. because the program appeals to many of my interest. Their investment operations, career networking, workplace norms, and the introduction to business are some of the specific programs. Year Up is also a way for me to gain entry-level skills in the growing field of technology and skills. Year Up also has a good track record of producing high quality personnel for the corporate world and, truthfully, since it does not cost me financially it is the best route for me to gain financial freedom.

Example Of Skillsusa Essay

I hope to be able to get closer to my goals by becoming a part of this. With SkillsUSA, my college application would stand out to my selected college, so I can have a greater chance of getting accepted and building up my medical career. Also, with the leadership program, I hope to become someone who people look up to for her self-confidence and her positivity, just like I look up to other people. I want to be able to learn how to lead people to be a better person so that they can teach others as well. I want to become someone who isn’t afraid to show that they are smart, and I hope I get this out of

Why I've Decided to Go to College

Noted authors, Brandon Chambers, is quoted saying, “If you are going to fear anything fear success. Think about what you are doing and when you succeed what life you will have.” There are several different reasons why I could stay home, work and not go to college; I could go to work every day and make more money for the house, it’s easier, and I would be less stressed. Now, on the other hand there are many reasons why I should go to school; such as further my education, make my family proud, and make myself proud. I am attending college for several different reasons. One reason is to further my education. I hate feeling like I don’t know something, I like being the person everyone comes to for information. Also, because I want to be better prepared for my major, I want to be better then the next person with the job credentials. I want to major in Social Work and Criminology. I dream to be a counselor or an clinical service social worker. I want to help people who need someone there for them someone who can guide them or even just talk too. Another reason is because I would be the first in I would be the first in my family to go to college. I feel in some type of way I am setting an example for my parents and my brother that they too can go back to school. Lastly is simply because I love school. I love knowing more and more each day. College is not for everyone, but I will be successful by grasping the benefits, preparing for the problems, taking heed from experts, and working on strategies to be successful.

Professionalism In The Health Field

There are many attributes that contribute to being professional. The many that stick out in my mind are responsibility and accountability, leadership, honor and integrity, respect, and caring compassion and communication. All of these attributes pertain to the professional work environment in the own important way. When you are a professional you need to have responsibility and accountability. This means you have to demonstrate awareness of your own limitations, and identify developmental needs and approaches for improvements. You care for yourself appropriately and you present yourself in an appropriate manner (demeanor, dress, and hygiene). You recognize and report errors and poor behavior in peers. You have to take responsibility for appropriate share o...

Why I Want To Be An Army Officer

Since the time I was young, my grandfather instilled in me a deep respect and love for my country. I learned that we had freedom because many people would put on a uniform and risk their lives for our country to defend it. My grandfather told me about several people in my family who died while in service to this country and from a young age I wanted to be like them. I knew it was important to fight for our freedom and for our wonderful country like the many people in my family before me. My grandfather, who was in the invasion force in Japan during world war two is a big part of why I want to be an Army officer.

Individual Reflection: Big Five Personality Test

...ble, but others who don’t sometimes find me aloof. To combat this, I force myself to be more sociable with people. At our annual convention, I check everyone in and have gotten to know all of the regulars over the last 13 years. The problem is that I only see these people once a year and I have to force myself to be out-going and exceptionally friendly for those 2 days. It also holds me back from leaving my current position where I know I’ve reached my zenith, because I interview terribly. This is one of the big reasons for my increasing my level of education. If I can’t speak for myself, I’m hoping my education will do some of the talking for me. I’m a great communicator, but I’m not a talker. I see leaders who can walk up to anyone and start a conversation, and I wish I could do that. I believe this limits my ability to be as an effective leader as I’d like to be.

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10 Personal Statement Essay Examples That Worked

What’s covered:, what is a personal statement.

  • Essay 1: Summer Program
  • Essay 2: Being Bangladeshi-American
  • Essay 3: Why Medicine
  • Essay 4: Love of Writing
  • Essay 5: Starting a Fire
  • Essay 6: Dedicating a Track
  • Essay 7: Body Image and Eating Disorders
  • Essay 8: Becoming a Coach
  • Essay 9: Eritrea
  • Essay 10: Journaling
  • Is Your Personal Statement Strong Enough?

Your personal statement is any essay that you must write for your main application, such as the Common App Essay , University of California Essays , or Coalition Application Essay . This type of essay focuses on your unique experiences, ideas, or beliefs that may not be discussed throughout the rest of your application. This essay should be an opportunity for the admissions officers to get to know you better and give them a glimpse into who you really are.

In this post, we will share 10 different personal statements that were all written by real students. We will also provide commentary on what each essay did well and where there is room for improvement, so you can make your personal statement as strong as possible!

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Personal Statement Examples

Essay example #1: exchange program.

The twisting roads, ornate mosaics, and fragrant scent of freshly ground spices had been so foreign at first. Now in my fifth week of the SNYI-L summer exchange program in Morocco, I felt more comfortable in the city. With a bag full of pastries from the market, I navigated to a bus stop, paid the fare, and began the trip back to my host family’s house. It was hard to believe that only a few years earlier my mom was worried about letting me travel around my home city on my own, let alone a place that I had only lived in for a few weeks. While I had been on a journey towards self-sufficiency and independence for a few years now, it was Morocco that pushed me to become the confident, self-reflective person that I am today.

As a child, my parents pressured me to achieve perfect grades, master my swim strokes, and discover interesting hobbies like playing the oboe and learning to pick locks. I felt compelled to live my life according to their wishes. Of course, this pressure was not a wholly negative factor in my life –– you might even call it support. However, the constant presence of my parents’ hopes for me overcame my own sense of desire and led me to become quite dependent on them. I pushed myself to get straight A’s, complied with years of oboe lessons, and dutifully attended hours of swim practice after school. Despite all these achievements, I felt like I had no sense of self beyond my drive for success. I had always been expected to succeed on the path they had defined. However, this path was interrupted seven years after my parents’ divorce when my dad moved across the country to Oregon.

I missed my dad’s close presence, but I loved my new sense of freedom. My parents’ separation allowed me the space to explore my own strengths and interests as each of them became individually busier. As early as middle school, I was riding the light rail train by myself, reading maps to get myself home, and applying to special academic programs without urging from my parents. Even as I took more initiatives on my own, my parents both continued to see me as somewhat immature. All of that changed three years ago, when I applied and was accepted to the SNYI-L summer exchange program in Morocco. I would be studying Arabic and learning my way around the city of Marrakesh. Although I think my parents were a little surprised when I told them my news, the addition of a fully-funded scholarship convinced them to let me go.

I lived with a host family in Marrakesh and learned that they, too, had high expectations for me. I didn’t know a word of Arabic, and although my host parents and one brother spoke good English, they knew I was there to learn. If I messed up, they patiently corrected me but refused to let me fall into the easy pattern of speaking English just as I did at home. Just as I had when I was younger, I felt pressured and stressed about meeting their expectations. However, one day, as I strolled through the bustling market square after successfully bargaining with one of the street vendors, I realized my mistake. My host family wasn’t being unfair by making me fumble through Arabic. I had applied for this trip, and I had committed to the intensive language study. My host family’s rules about speaking Arabic at home had not been to fulfill their expectations for me, but to help me fulfill my expectations for myself. Similarly, the pressure my parents had put on me as a child had come out of love and their hopes for me, not out of a desire to crush my individuality.

As my bus drove through the still-bustling market square and past the medieval Ben-Youssef madrasa, I realized that becoming independent was a process, not an event. I thought that my parents’ separation when I was ten had been the one experience that would transform me into a self-motivated and autonomous person. It did, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t still have room to grow. Now, although I am even more self-sufficient than I was three years ago, I try to approach every experience with the expectation that it will change me. It’s still difficult, but I understand that just because growth can be uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s not important.

What the Essay Did Well

This is a nice essay because it delves into particular character trait of the student and how it has been shaped and matured over time. Although it doesn’t focus the essay around a specific anecdote, the essay is still successful because it is centered around this student’s independence. This is a nice approach for a personal statement: highlight a particular trait of yours and explore how it has grown with you.

The ideas in this essay are universal to growing up—living up to parents’ expectations, yearning for freedom, and coming to terms with reality—but it feels unique to the student because of the inclusion of details specific to them. Including their oboe lessons, the experience of riding the light rail by themselves, and the negotiations with a street vendor helps show the reader what these common tropes of growing up looked like for them personally. 

Another strength of the essay is the level of self-reflection included throughout the piece. Since there is no central anecdote tying everything together, an essay about a character trait is only successful when you deeply reflect on how you felt, where you made mistakes, and how that trait impacts your life. The author includes reflection in sentences like “ I felt like I had no sense of self beyond my drive for success, ” and “ I understand that just because growth can be uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s not important. ” These sentences help us see how the student was impacted and what their point of view is.

What Could Be Improved

The largest change this essay would benefit from is to show not tell. The platitude you have heard a million times no doubt, but for good reason. This essay heavily relies on telling the reader what occurred, making us less engaged as the entire reading experience feels more passive. If the student had shown us what happens though, it keeps the reader tied to the action and makes them feel like they are there with the student, making it much more enjoyable to read. 

For example, they tell us about the pressure to succeed their parents placed on them: “ I pushed myself to get straight A’s, complied with years of oboe lessons, and dutifully attended hours of swim practice after school.”  They could have shown us what that pressure looked like with a sentence like this: “ My stomach turned somersaults as my rattling knee thumped against the desk before every test, scared to get anything less than a 95. For five years the painful squawk of the oboe only reminded me of my parents’ claps and whistles at my concerts. I mastered the butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle, fighting against the anchor of their expectations threatening to pull me down.”

If the student had gone through their essay and applied this exercise of bringing more detail and colorful language to sentences that tell the reader what happened, the essay would be really great. 

Table of Contents

Essay Example #2: Being Bangladeshi-American

Life before was good: verdant forests, sumptuous curries, and a devoted family.

Then, my family abandoned our comfortable life in Bangladesh for a chance at the American dream in Los Angeles. Within our first year, my father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He lost his battle three weeks before my sixth birthday. Facing a new country without the steady presence of my father, we were vulnerable — prisoners of hardship in the land of the free. We resettled in the Bronx, in my uncle’s renovated basement. It was meant to be our refuge, but I felt more displaced than ever. Gone were the high-rise condos of West L.A.; instead, government projects towered over the neighborhood. Pedestrians no longer smiled and greeted me; the atmosphere was hostile, even toxic. Schoolkids were quick to pick on those they saw as weak or foreign, hurling harsh words I’d never heard before.

Meanwhile, my family began integrating into the local Bangladeshi community. I struggled to understand those who shared my heritage. Bangladeshi mothers stayed home while fathers drove cabs and sold fruit by the roadside — painful societal positions. Riding on crosstown buses or walking home from school, I began to internalize these disparities. During my fleeting encounters with affluent Upper East Siders, I saw kids my age with nannies, parents who wore suits to work, and luxurious apartments with spectacular views. Most took cabs to their destinations: cabs that Bangladeshis drove. I watched the mundane moments of their lives with longing, aching to plant myself in their shoes. Shame prickled down my spine. I distanced myself from my heritage, rejecting the traditional panjabis worn on Eid and refusing the torkari we ate for dinner every day. 

As I grappled with my relationship with the Bangladeshi community, I turned my attention to helping my Bronx community by pursuing an internship with Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda. I handled desk work and took calls, spending the bulk of my time actively listening to the hardships constituents faced — everything from a veteran stripped of his benefits to a grandmother unable to support her bedridden grandchild.

I’d never exposed myself to stories like these, and now I was the first to hear them. As an intern, I could only assist in what felt like the small ways — pointing out local job offerings, printing information on free ESL classes, reaching out to non-profits. But to a community facing an onslaught of intense struggles, I realized that something as small as these actions could have vast impacts. Seeing the immediate consequences of my actions inspired me. Throughout that summer, I internalized my community’s daily challenges in a new light. I began to stop seeing the prevalent underemployment and cramped living quarters less as sources of shame. Instead, I saw them as realities that had to be acknowledged, but could ultimately be remedied. I also realized the benefits of the Bangladeshi culture I had been so ashamed of. My Bangla language skills were an asset to the office, and my understanding of Bangladeshi etiquette allowed for smooth communication between office staff and its constituents. As I helped my neighbors navigate city services, I saw my heritage with pride — a perspective I never expected to have.

I can now appreciate the value of my unique culture and background, and of living with less. This perspective offers room for progress, community integration, and a future worth fighting for. My time with Assemblyman Sepulveda’s office taught me that I can be a change agent in enabling this progression. Far from being ashamed of my community, I want to someday return to local politics in the Bronx to continue helping others access the American Dream. I hope to help my community appreciate the opportunity to make progress together. By embracing reality, I learned to live it. Along the way, I discovered one thing: life is good, but we can make it better.

This student’s passion for social justice and civic duty shines through in this essay because of how honest it is. Sharing their personal experience with immigrating, moving around, being an outsider, and finding a community allows us to see the hardships this student has faced and builds empathy towards their situation. However, what really makes it strong is that they go beyond describing the difficulties they faced and explain the mental impact it had on them as a child: Shame prickled down my spine. I distanced myself from my heritage, rejecting the traditional panjabis worn on Eid and refusing the torkari we ate for dinner every day. 

The rejection of their culture presented at the beginning of the essay creates a nice juxtaposition with the student’s view in the latter half of the essay and helps demonstrate how they have matured. They use their experience interning as a way to delve into a change in their thought process about their culture and show how their passion for social justice began. Using this experience as a mechanism to explore their thoughts and feelings is an excellent example of how items that are included elsewhere on your application should be incorporated into your essay.

This essay prioritizes emotions and personal views over specific anecdotes. Although there are details and certain moments incorporated throughout to emphasize the author’s points, the main focus remains on the student and how they grapple with their culture and identity.  

One area for improvement is the conclusion. Although the forward-looking approach is a nice way to end an essay focused on social justice, it would be nice to include more details and imagery in the conclusion. How does the student want to help their community? What government position do they see themselves holding one day? 

A more impactful ending might look like the student walking into their office at the New York City Housing Authority in 15 years and looking at the plans to build a new development in the Bronx just blocks away from where the grew up that would provide quality housing to people in their Bangladeshi community. They would smile while thinking about how far they have come from that young kid who used to be ashamed of their culture. 

Essay Example #3: Why Medicine

I took my first trip to China to visit my cousin Anna in July of 2014. Distance had kept us apart, but when we were together, we fell into all of our old inside jokes and caught up on each other’s lives. Her sparkling personality and optimistic attitude always brought a smile to my face. This time, however, my heart broke when I saw the effects of her brain cancer; she had suffered from a stroke that paralyzed her left side. She was still herself in many ways, but I could see that the damage to her brain made things difficult for her. I stayed by her every day, providing the support she needed, whether assisting her with eating and drinking, reading to her, or just watching “Friends.” During my flight back home, sorrow and helplessness overwhelmed me. Would I ever see Anna again? Could I have done more to make Anna comfortable? I wished I could stay in China longer to care for her. As I deplaned, I wondered if I could transform my grief to help other children and teenagers in the US who suffered as Anna did.

The day after I got home, as jet lag dragged me awake a few minutes after midnight, I remembered hearing about the Family Reach Foundation (FRF) and its work with children going through treatments at the local hospital and their families. I began volunteering in the FRF’s Children’s Activity Room, where I play with children battling cancer. Volunteering has both made me appreciate my own health and also cherish the new relationships I build with the children and families. We play sports, make figures out of playdoh, and dress up. When they take on the roles of firefighters or fairies, we all get caught up in the game; for that time, they forget the sanitized, stark, impersonal walls of the pediatric oncology ward. Building close relationships with them and seeing them giggle and laugh is so rewarding — I love watching them grow and get better throughout their course of treatment.

Hearing from the parents about their children’s condition and seeing the children recover inspired me to consider medical research. To get started, I enrolled in a summer collegelevel course in Abnormal Psychology. There I worked with Catelyn, a rising college senior, on a data analysis project regarding Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Together, we examined the neurological etiology of DID by studying four fMRI and PET cases. I fell in love with gathering data and analyzing the results and was amazed by our final product: several stunning brain images showcasing the areas of hyper and hypoactivity in brains affected by DID. Desire quickly followed my amazement — I want to continue this project and study more brains. Their complexity, delicacy, and importance to every aspect of life fascinate me. Successfully completing this research project gave me a sense of hope; I know I am capable of participating in a large scale research project and potentially making a difference in someone else’s life through my research.

Anna’s diagnosis inspired me to begin volunteering at FRF; from there, I discovered my desire to help people further by contributing to medical research. As my research interest blossomed, I realized that it’s no coincidence that I want to study brains—after all, Anna suffered from brain cancer. Reflecting on these experiences this past year and a half, I see that everything I’ve done is connected. Sadly, a few months after I returned from China, Anna passed away. I am still sad, but as I run a toy truck across the floor and watch one of the little patients’ eyes light up, I imagine that she would be proud of my commitment to pursue medicine and study the brain.

This essay has a very strong emotional core that tugs at the heart strings and makes the reader feel invested. Writing about sickness can be difficult and doesn’t always belong in a personal statement, but in this case it works well because the focus is on how this student cared for her cousin and dealt with the grief and emotions surrounding her condition. Writing about the compassion she showed and the doubts and concerns that filled her mind keeps the focus on the author and her personality. 

This continues when she again discusses the activities she did with the kids at FRF and the personal reflection this experience allowed her to have. For example, she writes: Volunteering has both made me appreciate my own health and also cherish the new relationships I build with the children and families. We play sports, make figures out of playdoh, and dress up.

Concluding the essay with the sad story of her cousin’s passing brings the essay full circle and returns to the emotional heart of the piece to once again build a connection with the reader. However, it finishes on a hopeful note and demonstrates how this student has been able to turn a tragic experience into a source of lifelong inspiration. 

One thing this essay should be cognizant of is that personal statements should not read as summaries of your extracurricular resume. Although this essay doesn’t fully fall into that trap, it does describe two key extracurriculars the student participated in. However, the inclusion of such a strong emotional core running throughout the essay helps keep the focus on the student and her thoughts and feelings during these activities.

To avoid making this mistake, make sure you have a common thread running through your essay and the extracurriculars provide support to the story you are trying to tell, rather than crafting a story around your activities. And, as this essay does, make sure there is lots of personal reflection and feelings weaved throughout to focus attention to you rather than your extracurriculars. 

Essay Example #4: Love of Writing

“I want to be a writer.” This had been my answer to every youthful discussion with the adults in my life about what I would do when I grew up. As early as elementary school, I remember reading my writing pieces aloud to an audience at “Author of the Month” ceremonies. Bearing this goal in mind, and hoping to gain some valuable experience, I signed up for a journalism class during my freshman year. Despite my love for writing, I initially found myself uninterested in the subject and I struggled to enjoy the class. When I thought of writing, I imagined lyrical prose, profound poetry, and thrilling plot lines. Journalism required a laconic style and orderly structure, and I found my teacher’s assignments formulaic and dull. That class shook my confidence as a writer. I was uncertain if I should continue in it for the rest of my high school career.

Despite my misgivings, I decided that I couldn’t make a final decision on whether to quit journalism until I had some experience working for a paper outside of the classroom. The following year, I applied to be a staff reporter on our school newspaper. I hoped this would help me become more self-driven and creative, rather than merely writing articles that my teacher assigned. To my surprise, my time on staff was worlds away from what I experienced in the journalism class. Although I was unaccustomed to working in a fast-paced environment and initially found it burdensome to research and complete high-quality stories in a relatively short amount of time, I also found it exciting. I enjoyed learning more about topics and events on campus that I did not know much about; some of my stories that I covered in my first semester concerned a chess tournament, a food drive, and a Spanish immersion party. I relished in the freedom I had to explore and learn, and to write more independently than I could in a classroom.

Although I enjoyed many aspects of working for the paper immediately, reporting also pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I am a shy person, and speaking with people I did not know intimidated me. During my first interview, I met with the basketball coach to prepare for a story about the team’s winning streak. As I approached his office, I felt everything from my toes to my tongue freeze into a solid block, and I could hardly get out my opening questions. Fortunately, the coach was very kind and helped me through the conversation. Encouraged, I prepared for my next interview with more confidence. After a few weeks of practice, I even started to look forward to interviewing people on campus. That first journalism class may have bored me, but even if journalism in practice was challenging, it was anything but tedious.

Over the course of that year, I grew to love writing for our school newspaper. Reporting made me aware of my surroundings, and made me want to know more about current events on campus and in the town where I grew up. By interacting with people all over campus, I came to understand the breadth of individuals and communities that make up my high school. I felt far more connected to diverse parts of my school through my work as a journalist, and I realized that journalism gave me a window into seeing beyond my own experiences. The style of news writing may be different from what I used to think “writing” meant, but I learned that I can still derive exciting plots from events that may have gone unnoticed if not for my stories. I no longer struggle to approach others, and truly enjoy getting to know people and recognizing their accomplishments through my writing. Becoming a writer may be a difficult path, but it is as rewarding as I hoped when I was young.

This essay is clearly structured in a manner that makes it flow very nicely and contributes to its success. It starts with a quote to draw in the reader and show this student’s life-long passion for writing. Then it addresses the challenges of facing new, unfamiliar territory and how this student overcame it. Finally, it concludes by reflecting on this eye-opening experience and a nod to their younger self from the introduction. Having a well-thought out and sequential structure with clear transitions makes it extremely easy for the reader to follow along and take away the main idea.

Another positive aspect of the essay is the use of strong and expressive language. Sentences like “ When I thought of writing, I imagined lyrical prose, profound poetry, and thrilling plot lines ” stand out because of the intentional use of words like “lyrical”, “profound”, and “thrilling” to convey the student’s love of writing. The author also uses an active voice to capture the readers’ attention and keep us engaged. They rely on their language and diction to reveal details to the reader, for instance saying “ I felt everything from my toes to my tongue freeze into a solid block ” to describe feeling nervous.

This essay is already very strong, so there isn’t much that needs to be changed. One thing that could take the essay from great to outstanding would be to throw in more quotes, internal dialogue, and sensory descriptors.

It would be nice to see the nerves they felt interviewing the coach by including dialogue like “ Um…I want to interview you about…uh…”.  They could have shown their original distaste for journalism by narrating the thoughts running through their head. The fast-paced environment of their newspaper could have come to life with descriptions about the clacking of keyboards and the whirl of people running around laying out articles.

Essay Example #5: Starting a Fire

Was I no longer the beloved daughter of nature, whisperer of trees? Knee-high rubber boots, camouflage, bug spray—I wore the garb and perfume of a proud wild woman, yet there I was, hunched over the pathetic pile of stubborn sticks, utterly stumped, on the verge of tears. As a child, I had considered myself a kind of rustic princess, a cradler of spiders and centipedes, who was serenaded by mourning doves and chickadees, who could glide through tick-infested meadows and emerge Lyme-free. I knew the cracks of the earth like the scars on my own rough palms. Yet here I was, ten years later, incapable of performing the most fundamental outdoor task: I could not, for the life of me, start a fire. 

Furiously I rubbed the twigs together—rubbed and rubbed until shreds of skin flaked from my fingers. No smoke. The twigs were too young, too sticky-green; I tossed them away with a shower of curses, and began tearing through the underbrush in search of a more flammable collection. My efforts were fruitless. Livid, I bit a rejected twig, determined to prove that the forest had spurned me, offering only young, wet bones that would never burn. But the wood cracked like carrots between my teeth—old, brittle, and bitter. Roaring and nursing my aching palms, I retreated to the tent, where I sulked and awaited the jeers of my family. 

Rattling their empty worm cans and reeking of fat fish, my brother and cousins swaggered into the campsite. Immediately, they noticed the minor stick massacre by the fire pit and called to me, their deep voices already sharp with contempt. 

“Where’s the fire, Princess Clara?” they taunted. “Having some trouble?” They prodded me with the ends of the chewed branches and, with a few effortless scrapes of wood on rock, sparked a red and roaring flame. My face burned long after I left the fire pit. The camp stank of salmon and shame. 

In the tent, I pondered my failure. Was I so dainty? Was I that incapable? I thought of my hands, how calloused and capable they had been, how tender and smooth they had become. It had been years since I’d kneaded mud between my fingers; instead of scaling a white pine, I’d practiced scales on my piano, my hands softening into those of a musician—fleshy and sensitive. And I’d gotten glasses, having grown horrifically nearsighted; long nights of dim lighting and thick books had done this. I couldn’t remember the last time I had lain down on a hill, barefaced, and seen the stars without having to squint. Crawling along the edge of the tent, a spider confirmed my transformation—he disgusted me, and I felt an overwhelming urge to squash him. 

Yet, I realized I hadn’t really changed—I had only shifted perspective. I still eagerly explored new worlds, but through poems and prose rather than pastures and puddles. I’d grown to prefer the boom of a bass over that of a bullfrog, learned to coax a different kind of fire from wood, having developed a burn for writing rhymes and scrawling hypotheses. 

That night, I stayed up late with my journal and wrote about the spider I had decided not to kill. I had tolerated him just barely, only shrieking when he jumped—it helped to watch him decorate the corners of the tent with his delicate webs, knowing that he couldn’t start fires, either. When the night grew cold and the embers died, my words still smoked—my hands burned from all that scrawling—and even when I fell asleep, the ideas kept sparking—I was on fire, always on fire.

This student is an excellent writer, which allows a simple story to be outstandingly compelling. The author articulates her points beautifully and creatively through her immense use of details and figurative language. Lines like “a rustic princess, a cradler of spiders and centipedes, who was serenaded by mourning doves and chickadees,” and “rubbed and rubbed until shreds of skin flaked from my fingers,” create vivid images that draw the reader in. 

The flowery and descriptive prose also contributes to the nice juxtaposition between the old Clara and the new Clara. The latter half of the essay contrasts elements of nature with music and writing to demonstrate how natural these interests are for her now. This sentence perfectly encapsulates the contrast she is trying to build: “It had been years since I’d kneaded mud between my fingers; instead of scaling a white pine, I’d practiced scales on my piano, my hands softening into those of a musician—fleshy and sensitive.”

In addition to being well-written, this essay is thematically cohesive. It begins with the simple introduction “Fire!” and ends with the following image: “When the night grew cold and the embers died, my words still smoked—my hands burned from all that scrawling—and even when I fell asleep, the ideas kept sparking—I was on fire, always on fire.” This full-circle approach leaves readers satisfied and impressed.

There is very little this essay should change, however one thing to be cautious about is having an essay that is overly-descriptive. We know from the essay that this student likes to read and write, and depending on other elements of her application, it might make total sense to have such a flowery and ornate writing style. However, your personal statement needs to reflect your voice as well as your personality. If you would never use language like this in conversation or your writing, don’t put it in your personal statement. Make sure there is a balance between eloquence and your personal voice.

Essay Example #6: Dedicating a Track

“Getting beat is one thing – it’s part of competing – but I want no part in losing.” Coach Rob Stark’s motto never fails to remind me of his encouragement on early-morning bus rides to track meets around the state. I’ve always appreciated the phrase, but an experience last June helped me understand its more profound, universal meaning.

Stark, as we affectionately call him, has coached track at my high school for 25 years. His care, dedication, and emphasis on developing good character has left an enduring impact on me and hundreds of other students. Not only did he help me discover my talent and love for running, but he also taught me the importance of commitment and discipline and to approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running. When I learned a neighboring high school had dedicated their track to a longtime coach, I felt that Stark deserved similar honors.

Our school district’s board of education indicated they would only dedicate our track to Stark if I could demonstrate that he was extraordinary. I took charge and mobilized my teammates to distribute petitions, reach out to alumni, and compile statistics on the many team and individual champions Stark had coached over the years. We received astounding support, collecting almost 3,000 signatures and pages of endorsements from across the community. With help from my teammates, I presented this evidence to the board.

They didn’t bite. 

Most members argued that dedicating the track was a low priority. Knowing that we had to act quickly to convince them of its importance, I called a team meeting where we drafted a rebuttal for the next board meeting. To my surprise, they chose me to deliver it. I was far from the best public speaker in the group, and I felt nervous about going before the unsympathetic board again. However, at that second meeting, I discovered that I enjoy articulating and arguing for something that I’m passionate about.

Public speaking resembles a cross country race. Walking to the starting line, you have to trust your training and quell your last minute doubts. When the gun fires, you can’t think too hard about anything; your performance has to be instinctual, natural, even relaxed. At the next board meeting, the podium was my starting line. As I walked up to it, familiar butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Instead of the track stretching out in front of me, I faced the vast audience of teachers, board members, and my teammates. I felt my adrenaline build, and reassured myself: I’ve put in the work, my argument is powerful and sound. As the board president told me to introduce myself, I heard, “runners set” in the back of my mind. She finished speaking, and Bang! The brief silence was the gunshot for me to begin. 

The next few minutes blurred together, but when the dust settled, I knew from the board members’ expressions and the audience’s thunderous approval that I had run quite a race. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough; the board voted down our proposal. I was disappointed, but proud of myself, my team, and our collaboration off the track. We stood up for a cause we believed in, and I overcame my worries about being a leader. Although I discovered that changing the status quo through an elected body can be a painstakingly difficult process and requires perseverance, I learned that I enjoy the challenges this effort offers. Last month, one of the school board members joked that I had become a “regular” – I now often show up to meetings to advocate for a variety of causes, including better environmental practices in cafeterias and safer equipment for athletes.

Just as Stark taught me, I worked passionately to achieve my goal. I may have been beaten when I appealed to the board, but I certainly didn’t lose, and that would have made Stark proud.

This essay effectively conveys this student’s compassion for others, initiative, and determination—all great qualities to exemplify in a personal statement!

Although they rely on telling us a lot of what happened up until the board meeting, the use of running a race (their passion) as a metaphor for public speaking provides a lot of insight into the fear that this student overcame to work towards something bigger than themself. Comparing a podium to the starting line, the audience to the track, and silence to the gunshot is a nice way of demonstrating this student’s passion for cross country running without making that the focus of the story.

The essay does a nice job of coming full circle at the end by explaining what the quote from the beginning meant to them after this experience. Without explicitly saying “ I now know that what Stark actually meant is…” they rely on the strength of their argument above to make it obvious to the reader what it means to get beat but not lose. 

One of the biggest areas of improvement in the intro, however, is how the essay tells us Stark’s impact rather than showing us: His care, dedication, and emphasis on developing good character has left an enduring impact on me and hundreds of other students. Not only did he help me discover my talent and love for running, but he also taught me the importance of commitment and discipline and to approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running.

The writer could’ve helped us feel a stronger emotional connection to Stark if they had included examples of Stark’s qualities, rather than explicitly stating them. For example, they could’ve written something like: Stark was the kind of person who would give you gas money if you told him your parents couldn’t afford to pick you up from practice. And he actually did that—several times. At track meets, alumni regularly would come talk to him and tell him how he’d changed their lives. Before Stark, I was ambivalent about running and was on the JV team, but his encouragement motivated me to run longer and harder and eventually make varsity. Because of him, I approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running.

Essay Example #7: Body Image and Eating Disorders

I press the “discover” button on my Instagram app, hoping to find enticing pictures to satisfy my boredom. Scrolling through, I see funny videos and mouth-watering pictures of food. However, one image stops me immediately. A fit teenage girl with a “perfect body” relaxes in a bikini on a beach. Beneath it, I see a slew of flattering comments. I shake with disapproval over the image’s unrealistic quality. However, part of me still wants to have a body like hers so that others will make similar comments to me.

I would like to resolve a silent issue that harms many teenagers and adults: negative self image and low self-esteem in a world where social media shapes how people view each other. When people see the façades others wear to create an “ideal” image, they can develop poor thought patterns rooted in negative self-talk. The constant comparisons to “perfect” others make people feel small. In this new digital age, it is hard to distinguish authentic from artificial representations.

When I was 11, I developed anorexia nervosa. Though I was already thin, I wanted to be skinny like the models that I saw on the magazine covers on the grocery store stands. Little did I know that those models probably also suffered from disorders, and that photoshop erased their flaws. I preferred being underweight to being healthy. No matter how little I ate or how thin I was, I always thought that I was too fat. I became obsessed with the number on the scale and would try to eat the least that I could without my parents urging me to take more. Fortunately, I stopped engaging in anorexic behaviors before middle school. However, my underlying mental habits did not change. The images that had provoked my disorder in the first place were still a constant presence in my life.

By age 15, I was in recovery from anorexia, but suffered from depression. While I used to only compare myself to models, the growth of social media meant I also compared myself to my friends and acquaintances. I felt left out when I saw my friends’ excitement about lake trips they had taken without me. As I scrolled past endless photos of my flawless, thin classmates with hundreds of likes and affirming comments, I felt my jealousy spiral. I wanted to be admired and loved by other people too. However, I felt that I could never be enough. I began to hate the way that I looked, and felt nothing in my life was good enough. I wanted to be called “perfect” and “body goals,” so I tried to only post at certain times of day to maximize my “likes.” When that didn’t work, I started to feel too anxious to post anything at all.  

Body image insecurities and social media comparisons affect thousands of people – men, women, children, and adults – every day. I am lucky – after a few months of my destructive social media habits, I came across a video that pointed out the illusory nature of social media; many Instagram posts only show off good things while people hide their flaws. I began going to therapy, and recovered from my depression. To address the problem of self-image and social media, we can all focus on what matters on the inside and not what is on the surface. As an effort to become healthy internally, I started a club at my school to promote clean eating and radiating beauty from within. It has helped me grow in my confidence, and today I’m not afraid to show others my struggles by sharing my experience with eating disorders. Someday, I hope to make this club a national organization to help teenagers and adults across the country. I support the idea of body positivity and embracing difference, not “perfection.” After all, how can we be ourselves if we all look the same?

This essay covers the difficult topics of eating disorders and mental health. If you’re thinking about covering similar topics in your essay, we recommend reading our post Should You Talk About Mental Health in College Essays?

The short answer is that, yes, you can talk about mental health, but it can be risky. If you do go that route, it’s important to focus on what you learned from the experience.

The strength of this essay is the student’s vulnerability, in excerpts such as this: I wanted to be admired and loved by other people too. However, I felt that I could never be enough. I began to hate the way that I looked, and felt nothing in my life was good enough. I wanted to be called “perfect” and “body goals,” so I tried to only post at certain times of day to maximize my “likes.”

The student goes on to share how they recovered from their depression through an eye-opening video and therapy sessions, and they’re now helping others find their self-worth as well. It’s great that this essay looks towards the future and shares the writer’s goals of making their club a national organization; we can see their ambition and compassion.

The main weakness of this essay is that it doesn’t focus enough on their recovery process, which is arguably the most important part. They could’ve told us more about the video they watched or the process of starting their club and the interactions they’ve had with other members. Especially when sharing such a vulnerable topic, there should be vulnerability in the recovery process too. That way, the reader can fully appreciate all that this student has overcome.

Essay Example #8: Becoming a Coach

”Advanced females ages 13 to 14 please proceed to staging with your coaches at this time.” Skittering around the room, eyes wide and pleading, I frantically explained my situation to nearby coaches. The seconds ticked away in my head; every polite refusal increased my desperation.

Despair weighed me down. I sank to my knees as a stream of competitors, coaches, and officials flowed around me. My dojang had no coach, and the tournament rules prohibited me from competing without one.

Although I wanted to remain strong, doubts began to cloud my mind. I could not help wondering: what was the point of perfecting my skills if I would never even compete? The other members of my team, who had found coaches minutes earlier, attempted to comfort me, but I barely heard their words. They couldn’t understand my despair at being left on the outside, and I never wanted them to understand.

Since my first lesson 12 years ago, the members of my dojang have become family. I have watched them grow up, finding my own happiness in theirs. Together, we have honed our kicks, blocks, and strikes. We have pushed one another to aim higher and become better martial artists. Although my dojang had searched for a reliable coach for years, we had not found one. When we attended competitions in the past, my teammates and I had always gotten lucky and found a sympathetic coach. Now, I knew this practice was unsustainable. It would devastate me to see the other members of my dojang in my situation, unable to compete and losing hope as a result. My dojang needed a coach, and I decided it was up to me to find one.

I first approached the adults in the dojang – both instructors and members’ parents. However, these attempts only reacquainted me with polite refusals. Everyone I asked told me they couldn’t devote multiple weekends per year to competitions. I soon realized that I would have become the coach myself.

At first, the inner workings of tournaments were a mystery to me. To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side. I learned everything from motivational strategies to technical, behind-the-scenes components of Taekwondo competitions. Though I emerged with new knowledge and confidence in my capabilities, others did not share this faith.

Parents threw me disbelieving looks when they learned that their children’s coach was only a child herself. My self-confidence was my armor, deflecting their surly glances. Every armor is penetrable, however, and as the relentless barrage of doubts pounded my resilience, it began to wear down. I grew unsure of my own abilities.

Despite the attack, I refused to give up. When I saw the shining eyes of the youngest students preparing for their first competition, I knew I couldn’t let them down. To quit would be to set them up to be barred from competing like I was. The knowledge that I could solve my dojang’s longtime problem motivated me to overcome my apprehension.

Now that my dojang flourishes at competitions, the attacks on me have weakened, but not ended. I may never win the approval of every parent; at times, I am still tormented by doubts, but I find solace in the fact that members of my dojang now only worry about competing to the best of their abilities.

Now, as I arrive at a tournament with my students, I close my eyes and remember the past. I visualize the frantic search for a coach and the chaos amongst my teammates as we competed with one another to find coaches before the staging calls for our respective divisions. I open my eyes to the exact opposite scene. Lacking a coach hurt my ability to compete, but I am proud to know that no member of my dojang will have to face that problem again.

This essay begins with an in-the-moment narrative that really illustrates the chaos of looking for a coach last-minute. We feel the writer’s emotions, particularly her dejectedness, at not being able to compete. Starting an essay in media res  is a great way to capture the attention of your readers and build anticipation for what comes next.

Through this essay, we can see how gutsy and determined the student is in deciding to become a coach themselves. She shows us these characteristics through their actions, rather than explicitly telling us: To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side.  Also, by discussing the opposition she faced and how it affected her, the student is open and vulnerable about the reality of the situation.

The essay comes full circle as the author recalls the frantic situations in seeking out a coach, but this is no longer a concern for them and their team. Overall, this essay is extremely effective in painting this student as mature, bold, and compassionate.

The biggest thing this essay needs to work on is showing not telling. Throughout the essay, the student tells us that she “emerged with new knowledge and confidence,” she “grew unsure of her own abilities,” and she “refused to give up”. What we really want to know is what this looks like.

Instead of saying she “emerged with new knowledge and confidence” she should have shared how she taught a new move to a fellow team-member without hesitation. Rather than telling us she “grew unsure of her own abilities” she should have shown what that looked like by including her internal dialogue and rhetorical questions that ran through her mind. She could have demonstrated what “refusing to give up” looks like by explaining how she kept learning coaching techniques on her own, turned to a mentor for advice, or devised a plan to win over the trust of parents. 

Essay Example #9: Eritrea

No one knows where Eritrea is.

On the first day of school, for the past nine years, I would pensively stand in front of a class, a teacher, a stranger  waiting for the inevitable question: Where are you from?

I smile politely, my dimples accentuating my ambiguous features. “Eritrea,” I answer promptly and proudly. But I  am always prepared. Before their expression can deepen into confusion, ready to ask “where is that,” I elaborate,  perhaps with a fleeting hint of exasperation, “East Africa, near Ethiopia.”

Sometimes, I single out the key-shaped hermit nation on a map, stunning teachers who have “never had a student  from there!” Grinning, I resist the urge to remark, “You didn’t even know it existed until two minutes ago!”

Eritrea is to the East of Ethiopia, its arid coastline clutches the lucrative Red Sea. Battle scars litter the ancient  streets – the colonial Italian architecture lathered with bullet holes, the mosques mangled with mortar shells.  Originally part of the world’s first Christian kingdom, Eritrea passed through the hands of colonial Italy, Britain, and  Ethiopia for over a century, until a bloody thirty year war of Independence liberated us.

But these are facts that anyone can know with a quick Google search. These are facts that I have memorised and compounded, first from my Grandmother and now from pristine books  borrowed from the library.

No historical narrative, however, can adequately capture what Eritrea is.  No one knows the aroma of bushels of potatoes, tomatoes, and garlic – still covered in dirt – that leads you to the open-air market. No one knows the poignant scent of spices, arranged in orange piles reminiscent of compacted  dunes.  No one knows how to haggle stubborn herders for sheep and roosters for Christmas celebrations as deliberately as my mother. No one can replicate the perfect balance of spices in dorho and tsebhi as well as my grandmother,  her gnarly hands stirring the pot with ancient precision (chastising my clumsy knife work with the potatoes).  It’s impossible to learn when the injera is ready – the exact moment you have to lift the lid of the mogogo. Do it too  early (or too late) and the flatbread becomes mangled and gross. It is a sixth sense passed through matriarchal  lineages.

There are no sources that catalogue the scent of incense that wafts through the sunlit porch on St. Michael’s; no  films that can capture the luminescence of hundreds of flaming bonfires that fluoresce the sidewalks on Kudus  Yohannes, as excited children chant Ge’ez proverbs whose origin has been lost to time.  You cannot learn the familiarity of walking beneath the towering Gothic figure of the Enda Mariam Cathedral, the  crowds undulating to the ringing of the archaic bells.  I have memorized the sound of the rains hounding the metal roof during kiremti , the heat of the sun pounding  against the Toyota’s window as we sped down towards Ghinda , the opulent brilliance of the stars twinkling in a  sky untainted by light pollution, the scent of warm rolls of bani wafting through the streets at precisely 6 o’clock each day…

I fill my flimsy sketchbook with pictures from my memory. My hand remembers the shapes of the hibiscus drifting  in the wind, the outline of my grandmother (affectionately nicknamed a’abaye ) leaning over the garden, the bizarre architecture of the Fiat Tagliero .  I dice the vegetables with movements handed down from generations. My nose remembers the scent of frying garlic, the sourness of the warm tayta , the sharpness of the mit’mt’a …

This knowledge is intrinsic.  “I am Eritrean,” I repeat. “I am proud.”  Within me is an encyclopedia of history, culture, and idealism.

Eritrea is the coffee made from scratch, the spices drying in the sun, the priests and nuns. Eritrea is wise, filled with ambition, and unseen potential.  Eritrea isn’t a place, it’s an identity.

This is an exceptional essay that provides a window into this student’s culture that really makes their love for their country and heritage leap off the page. The sheer level of details and sensory descriptors this student is able to fit in this space makes the essay stand out. From the smells, to the traditions, sounds, and sights, the author encapsulates all the glory of Eritrea for the reader. 

The vivid images this student is able to create for the reader, whether it is having the tedious conversation with every teacher or cooking in their grandmother’s kitchen, transports us into the story and makes us feel like we are there in the moment with the student. This is a prime example of an essay that shows , not tells.

Besides the amazing imagery, the use of shorter paragraphs also contributes to how engaging this essay is. Employing this tactic helps break up the text to make it more readable and it isolates ideas so they stick out more than if they were enveloped in a large paragraph.

Overall, this is a really strong essay that brings to life this student’s heritage through its use of vivid imagery. This essay exemplifies what it means to show not tell in your writing, and it is a great example of how you can write an intimate personal statement without making yourself the primary focus of your essay. 

There is very little this essay should improve upon, but one thing the student might consider would be to inject more personal reflection into their response. Although we can clearly take away their deep love and passion for their homeland and culture, the essay would be a bit more personal if they included the emotions and feelings they associate with the various aspects of Eritrea. For example, the way their heart swells with pride when their grandmother praises their ability to cook a flatbread or the feeling of serenity when they hear the bells ring out from the cathedral. Including personal details as well as sensory ones would create a wonderful balance of imagery and reflection.

Essay Example #10: Journaling

Flipping past dozens of colorful entries in my journal, I arrive at the final blank sheet. I press my pen lightly to the page, barely scratching its surface to create a series of loops stringing together into sentences. Emotions spill out, and with their release, I feel lightness in my chest. The stream of thoughts slows as I reach the bottom of the page, and I gently close the cover of the worn book: another journal finished.

I add the journal to the stack of eleven books on my nightstand. Struck by the bittersweet sensation of closing a chapter of my life, I grab the notebook at the bottom of the pile to reminisce.

“I want to make a flying mushen to fly in space and your in it” – October 2008

Pulling back the cover of my first Tinkerbell-themed diary, the prompt “My Hopes and Dreams” captures my attention. Though “machine” is misspelled in my scribbled response, I see the beginnings of my past obsession with outer space. At the age of five, I tore through novels about the solar system, experimented with rockets built from plastic straws, and rented Space Shuttle films from Blockbuster to satisfy my curiosities. While I chased down answers to questions as limitless as the universe, I fell in love with learning. Eight journals later, the same relentless curiosity brought me to an airplane descending on San Francisco Bay.

“I wish I had infinite sunsets” – July 2019

I reach for the charcoal notepad near the top of the pile and open to the first page: my flight to the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes. While I was excited to explore bioengineering, anxiety twisted in my stomach as I imagined my destination, unsure of whether I could overcome my shyness and connect with others.

With each new conversation, the sweat on my palms became less noticeable, and I met students from 23 different countries. Many of the moments where I challenged myself socially revolved around the third story deck of the Jerry house. A strange medley of English, Arabic, and Mandarin filled the summer air as my friends and I gathered there every evening, and dialogues at sunset soon became moments of bliss. In our conversations about cultural differences, the possibility of an afterlife, and the plausibility of far-fetched conspiracy theories, I learned to voice my opinion. As I was introduced to different viewpoints, these moments challenged my understanding of the world around me. In my final entries from California, I find excitement to learn from others and increased confidence, a tool that would later allow me to impact my community.

“The beauty in a tower of cans” – June 2020

Returning my gaze to the stack of journals, I stretch to take the floral-patterned book sitting on top. I flip through, eventually finding the beginnings of the organization I created during the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, Door-to-Door Deliveries has woven its way through my entries and into reality, allowing me to aid high-risk populations through free grocery delivery.

With the confidence I gained the summer before, I took action when seeing others in need rather than letting my shyness hold me back. I reached out to local churches and senior centers to spread word of our services and interacted with customers through our website and social media pages. To further expand our impact, we held two food drives, and I mustered the courage to ask for donations door-to-door. In a tower of canned donations, I saw the value of reaching out to help others and realized my own potential to impact the world around me.

I delicately close the journal in my hands, smiling softly as the memories reappear, one after another. Reaching under my bed, I pull out a fresh notebook and open to its first sheet. I lightly press my pen to the page, “And so begins the next chapter…”

The structuring of this essay makes it easy and enjoyable to read. The student effectively organizes their various life experiences around their tower of journals, which centers the reader and makes the different stories easy to follow. Additionally, the student engages quotes from their journals—and unique formatting of the quotes—to signal that they are moving in time and show us which memory we should follow them to.

Thematically, the student uses the idea of shyness to connect the different memories they draw out of their journals. As the student describes their experiences overcoming shyness at the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes and Door-to-Door Deliveries, this essay can be read as an Overcoming Obstacles essay.

At the end of this essay, readers are fully convinced that this student is dedicated (they have committed to journaling every day), thoughtful (journaling is a thoughtful process and, in the essay, the student reflects thoughtfully on the past), and motivated (they flew across the country for a summer program and started a business). These are definitely qualities admissions officers are looking for in applicants!

Although this essay is already exceptionally strong as it’s written, the first journal entry feels out of place compared to the other two entries that discuss the author’s shyness and determination. It works well for the essay to have an entry from when the student was younger to add some humor (with misspelled words) and nostalgia, but if the student had either connected the quote they chose to the idea of overcoming a fear present in the other two anecdotes or if they had picked a different quote all together related to their shyness, it would have made the entire essay feel more cohesive.

Where to Get Your Personal Statement Edited

Do you want feedback on your personal statement? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Next Step: Supplemental Essays

Essay Guides for Each School

How to Write a Stellar Extracurricular Activity College Essay

4 Tips for Writing a Diversity College Essay

How to Write the “Why This College” Essay

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  • This I Believe Essay Showcase

'This I Believe' Essay Showcase

  We asked GEL students and GEL alumni to share a belief in the form of an essay. The GEL program has long been one that helps students take stock of themselves and find their way through social and moral landscapes. Instructors in this program often assign  This I Believe  essays, sometimes as entry points into these landscapes and sometimes as souvenirs. Out of many, seven  This I Believe  essays stood out to a reading committee made up of students, faculty, and staff.

This I Believe   is a popular essay genre that allows the writer to share a personal belief and, through a narrative, explain that belief’s origin or a time that belief was put into action. The essay genre started in the 1950s on a radio show with Edward R. Murrow and was continued by NPR in 2004. Many have enjoyed writing and reading these essays ever since. You can read or listen to tens of thousands of   This I Believe   essays at   This I Believe.org .

To submit your essay for the 2019-2020 academic year, please use the link below:

This I Believe Showcase Essay Submission

The Writing Center is proud to present CSUSM’s This I Believe Showcase winners and their essays from the 2018-2019 Academic Year!

“I Am Enough” by Adrianna Adame

“the power of potstickers” by lauren brown, “i believe in healing” by yahaira cazares, “patience and perseverance” by erica gershom, “faith, hope, and love” by karen siguenza, “i believe in loving myself” by samantha sparkenbach, “infatuation” by reignmarc vincent labuguen.

Throughout my life, I have always thought of myself as a failure. I was a failure for not being smart enough, friendly enough, or pretty enough. Always, I criticized myself for not putting in enough effort in order to work up to my full potential. Though, this wasn’t about working up to my full potential, but for not fulfilling the unrealistic expectations that I had burdened upon myself and by the people closest to me. The burdens that I carried weighed me down like how an anchor holds down a boat. Only, it was attached to my mind, instead of my ankle or a ship. The weight of the self-hatred and low self-esteem that I had made me feel like I was drowning. There wasn’t a bright horizon that could be seen in the distance, but instead more black and gray clouds that would bring another storm my way.

Day after day, I would look at myself in the mirror, tearing myself down. I would tell myself every night that I was never enough. I believed that I was a weak and worthless individual, a waste of time. This kind of hateful thinking made it a struggle to stay afloat. Before I knew it, I was weighed down by anxiety and an eating disorder. Each morning I would wake up to only to prepare to endeavor the difficulties of my illnesses.

At one point, I was fully consumed by the storm of my dark thoughts. I had trouble getting through each day. It was a struggle to pretend that everything was okay. I couldn’t even fake a smile anymore. During this time, I began to wonder what it would be like if I no longer existed. When I was staring at the cold and harsh waves of Monterey Bay one night, I realized that I didn’t want to drown. All of a sudden, I remembered all of the people in my life who helped me throughout the different stages of my life. I didn’t want to let them down. I thought about how I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life struggling to get through a single day. I didn’t want to go through life isolated, because of my anxiety. I wanted to live a life where I could be happy and be surrounded by people I admire. That moment of staring at the waves of Monterey Bay was when my determination to not only to just live came back, but my will to enjoy life came back.

I had to first learn from myself to begin to let go of the dark and anxious thoughts that had plagued me. Once I accepted that I would never be able to fulfill those unrealistic expectations that I had, I acknowledged that I needed to seek help by talking to mental health professionals. I couldn’t remain alone in the open sea forever, but needed to climb onto the lifeboat and communicate with people in my life.

Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t a failure. I actually was successful in many ways: for making it to CSUSM; being able to be there to those close to me; and having the beautiful gift of having the freedom to be the person that I am today.

I believe that I am enough. I am good enough for society. I am good enough to be myself without the burden of negative thoughts and unrealistic expectations. I am good enough to get the help that I need from others. I am good enough to live a happy life.

I believe in my mother’s cooking.

Ever since my mother realized I would have to cook for myself in college, she dedicated her summer to teaching me the ways of the kitchen. Whether it was educating me on how to operate a pressure cooker, showing me the best ways to peel of the skin of garlic, or demonstrating the right way to steam potstickers in a wok, the resilience my mother had in passing down as much as she knew was admirable. She insisted that the exact measurements or the exact ingredients weren’t necessary and cooking was more of an art than a hard science, but I still felt I would undoubtedly obliterate any flavor or texture with a single misplaced grain of salt; no compromise would yield perfection. Still, she persisted I pour rice into the cooker without a measuring cup and my heart sank with disappointment as I watched the watery, soupy mess fall heavily into the trash can.

“Sometimes, things won’t be perfect,” is what she told me, “and you just have to roll up your sleeves and realize that finding a different solution is the only way to save the dish.”

From then I started to see the compromises and solutions my mother would speak of, not just in the kitchen, but in her life around her.

My mother wanted to make us a traditional Taiwanese dinner, one her mother would make for her before she left for America. However, the pallet of my younger brother, only appreciating the complexities of chicken nuggets and pizza slices, refused to eat our cultural family infused feast. Next time my mother wanted to recreate the dishes, she opted for the frozen potstickers from Trader Joe’s with beef and American broccoli instead of cabbage and bok choy. Although this satisfied the tastes and likings of my sibling, I couldn’t help but despair over the changes to the recipes that I held so dear, despair over the compromise of our culture.

When I went away to college, my mother dutifully packed a freezer bag full of our pre-prepped food from home, and sitting on top of the frozen dishes were the Trader Joe’s potstickers.

Having roommates in college was a large enough compromise in itself, but food proved especially difficult. Caught off guard by roommates asking for tastes of my meals, I found myself naturally flowing into compromise the way my mother did, cooking for everyone and incorporating their preferences and restrictions. Egg noodles instead of rice. Less sesame oil and more soy sauce. Even though I didn’t welcome these changes to my dinners at first and feared the substitutes would produce a subpar dinner, I slowly found myself liking the alternatives more than the recipes. I continued, adding fried eggs, bean sprouts, spinach and spam to the prepackaged ramen noodles that only called for powdered flavor packets, and even my roommates began to show interest towards the unorthodox combination.

Although I find the exact measurements of recipes comforting, I do my best to add a pinch of this and a dash of that in my meals every so often. It’s how I get to go outside my comfort zone every day. And I see in myself a newfound wisdom: it's ok to go off the beaten path, you can experiment, compromise can lead to something new and beautiful. My mother’s cooking taught me that and I expect to bring that with me wherever I may go.

I believe in healing. I believe in the enduring process of healing. September of 2017 I had an experience that has made the last year very difficult for my family and I. I long to heal and at times I feel like those steps towards healing are possible because I believe in hope, and that hope is part of healing. The idea that if I am not okay or not happy in this moment but have the capacity to become happy and become okay in the future is a motivating force for healing. I am in a place where I welcome the hurt and the pain because I understand that it is part of the healing process. I also welcome laughter and new opportunities because I believe allowing myself to be paralyzed in unhappiness will paralyze my healing.

I believe that as a person I am capable of allowing love to heal me. I believe that when my dog lays on my chest, she is healing me; when I tuck my younger brother in, he is healing me; when I hug my parents, they are healing me; when I watch “While you were Sleeping” for the fifteenth time, it is healing me. I am in the process of growth, and what I mean by that is I am “Filling my cup until my cup runneth over” I am choosing to fill my cup with understanding. The process of healing is like filling my cup with one drop per day, desperately agonizing, but desperately necessary to appreciate a full cup.

I have been visiting Mexico almost every other weekend, I see a lot of poverty, mothers are seated on the ground in the hottest and coldest of temperatures, with their babies and toddlers on their laps, trying to sell gum for any spare change. I had never been exposed to that level of poverty, and yet the babies and the toddlers were playing, laughing using rocks or a single action figure they had to share to create a fantasy, a game. That is when I realized that they were healing. Kids heal because they believe that good outweighs evil. They so willingly hope and neglect the possibility of failure. As adults, that diminishes. Experience takes it away, trauma takes it away, insecurity takes it away. Healing is taking it back. Taking back hope, taking back the unwavering belief that things will not always be bad. That there is always room for growth, always room for healing. To understand why things happen and appreciate the things that cannot be understood. There is strength in that, strength I hope one day to possess. I believe in change, I believe in growth, I believe in healing.

I believe that nothing in this world is unattainable if an individual works hard to achieve his or her goals. I have witnessed first-hand how much power perseverance has and how it can completely alter a person’s lifestyle and mindset. As an aspiring surgeon, I realize that it will take more than just good grades and volunteer experience to become someone who saves lives. Dedicating my life to helping patients will require a tremendous amount of sacrifice, self-control, and determination. In 2016, my father had a stroke, which permanently disabled his ability to walk and speak. At that time, I was enrolled in four A.P. classes, two dual enrollments classes, A.V.I.D., and I participated in three clubs on campus. I was also volunteering at Loma Linda Hospital on the weekends and singing at church on Sundays. The sole reason I was able to maintain a balance between all of my academic and extracurricular activities is because I believed in myself. I believed that I was capable of working harder than usual to juggle my school life and my family life together. I stayed up late to study for exams and woke up early to take my younger brothers to school since my mother had no other option but to work two jobs after my dad had become physically disabled. I do not know who I would be today if I had not pulled through these rough circumstances and persisted through high school regardless of the tragic events that occurred in my life. I wanted nothing but to wallow in my self-pity and feel horrible for all the setbacks that were persisting in my life. However, I made the decision to keep moving forward, and it was the best decision of my life.

I slowly began to see that my mindset played a huge role in determining how much work I could get done and where I would be in two years. I told myself to have a positive mindset and be patient, since I had seen the direct results of how well that played out in my life. Even today, I am faced with both internal and external struggles that would have normally held me back and prevented me from following my dreams, but a small voice of motivation in my head tells me to keep pushing through. As a 19-year-old female, I am proud to say that I have reached many milestones in my life that were on my to-do list, and it makes my passion for becoming a doctor intensify even higher, all thanks to diligence and patience.

Now, whenever someone asks me if I am really willing to undergo 14 more years of school—including residency and training—to become a surgeon, I say “absolutely, without a doubt.” Hard work has not only been a tool for success, but it has also given me a sense of purpose for my life. It has taught me how to have good work ethic and to always aim higher in everything I do.  It has also shown me that I have the power to change my own life and determine who I could be in this vast world. Success is not measured by the position a person is in, but rather how much hard work a person put in and how many challenges had to be overcome. With this in mind, I am willing to put forth as much effort as it takes to achieve my goal of becoming a great doctor and an even greater person.

When I was six years old, my father, an undocumented immigrant was deported. I never knew that that was the reason why he moved to Mexico. I always thought that he just grabbed his stuff and left. Three years later, my mother was also deported. I remember when the ICE came into our room at 6 am in the morning. We were sleeping, then all of a sudden one of the ICE agents gets my sister and I dressed up and sends us to my aunt's house. I didn't understand anything that was going on. I mean I was nine, and my family would never speak the subject to me until a year later.

Every night I would pray to God to make sure my Mom was healthy. It was my faith in God that made me strong these past years. My mom would send me letters but she would never call because she was in a detention center. In those letters, there were prayers inside. Prayers of us seeing each other soon, and for us to be safe and healthy. I had all my faith in God, I would pray that I could see my mom. Having hoped to see mom again gave me strength. I tried my best in school and I always stayed focused. I wanted there to be a purpose for me being a first generation in the United States of America. I never let any opportunity go by.

I wanted to make my parents proud, and I still do. Even though they weren’t here physically with me throughout the years, I still received support from my mom. I had a few rough times in life that almost made me get off track. Through them I had my mom help me get through the difficult times, she would always give me love and support. You see, the most important thing a person can have is love. Having faith gives you a chance of having hope. Because of my faith, I never gave up on working hard in school.

I believe that faith and hope are a beautiful thing. When someone tells you, "I hope you do good." or "I hope everything will be ok for you." , that in my opinion, is the best feeling. I feel cared for and motivated because of it. It is true what they say, "it's the little things in life". Having hope makes me motivated in achieving success. In the Bible, the verse Corinthians 13:13, states: " And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love". I had faith in God, which gave me hope. Faith and hope motivated me to succeed in my education. Without it, I wouldn't be where I am today, at California State University, San Marcos. I am here to receive an education and to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in order for me to have a stable job that I will love doing. But without my mother's love, I wouldn't be who I am today, a first-generation college student. I believe in faith, hope, and love. I believe that by giving or receiving these three things, it can make a better you.

I believe in loving myself. As a millennial, I am part of the majority of people who use social media. I was convinced that it was necessary to have platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. I thought nothing harmful could come from an app, but I was wrong. From scrolling through pictures of girls who were living lavish lives that I would never have to compare my body to models photos that were most likely photoshopped, I was destroying my confidence slowly.

I grew up loving myself like any other kid would with so much innocence and happiness when I would sink my teeth into my favorite foods. What I would do to go back to a time where I could care less about what I was eating because it could affect the way my body looks. As I got older, I started to get more interested in fashion and makeup, I was more inclined to go on social media to get ideas and inspiration from online influencers. I thought there was no wrong in doing this because everyone my age was doing the same thing. People were posting all the adventurous trips they were going on as well as the most thrilling parts of their day. I was starting to notice how unsatisfying my life seemed compared to everyone else. I started questioning why I wasn’t living nearly the same exciting way they were. Not only was social media making my life feel dull but it was making me judge my body a certain way.  The more I found myself spending time standing in the mirror looking at myself and obsessing over the fact that my body wasn’t skinny enough was making me lose my self-worth. The mirror was starting to become a daily chore where I would point out every little detail I hated. I was viewing myself completely different than I really was, and just causing destruction inside of me. I no longer wanted to go out or hang out with people because I thought people would see what I was perceiving and not enjoy me anymore.

I remember one morning when I woke up and saw a stretch mark on the inside of my leg and I fell apart. All I could think about was how models don’t have stretch marks, so why do I? I was a mess about this and just wanted total isolation. I knew I could not keep filling my head with unhealthy acquisitions about myself.  I decided that it would be beneficial to remove all my social media accounts to see if I would feel more valuable.

As time would pass that I wouldn’t be checking my phone and wouldn’t be comparing my body to others, I was loving myself more. I started to wear clothes that I felt truly beautiful in and adapted my own style, not the style social media told me I should wear to feel sexy. I had completely created an ideal body in my head of what was perfect and no one can achieve that realistically. My body is unique and no one else has the same one as I do. Through the process of loving myself, I have been able to help so many of my friends to do the same, and the glow I started to see within them made me feel so content. Through loving myself I have learned inner peace and what it means to not rely on anyone else but myself. I believe in loving myself because my body is constantly working to keep me alive and healthy. I believe in loving myself because I deserve to think in a positive way instead of negative. I believe in loving myself.

I believe infatuations are necessary to strengthen desire, passion, and happiness in life. It’s a word that describes admiration for a short period of time. Infatuations is a viral emotion that can occur without notice. Whether it’s a job you’ve seen on television, following the footsteps of your idol, or getting your crush’s phone number. The word does not have to be involved romantically. Infatuations may end in disappointment. Sometimes it may become an excuse to never attempt a dream again. Time flies by, I have somehow made it this far. Thanks to these admirations.

I believe infatuations are all a part of a process that makes me an open book to opportunities. It’s hard to see it as a positive outcome, but the illusion of being disappointed begins to fade when a new opportunity is presented.

I can recall experiences that consist of undesirable outcome and disappointment. But I choose not to because who would like to hear me complain about my past. I am nowhere qualified for a podcasting career. But I do want to share you my past experience because I do believe it’s the reason why I hold my passions to live a successful life. My infatuations have always been a time when I do something uncharacteristic. It is usually my mother that notice my actions first, more than anyone.

In ninth-grade, I tried out for the varsity basketball team. My mom called me out and said, “why bother, your physically and mentally unathletic.” Boy, I wanted to prove her wrong. This would’ve been the best underdog story you’ve ever heard. I was cut from the team after the third day of try-outs. I was out of my comfort zone, literally and physically. Yes, it ended my dream following Kobe Bryant’s legacy. But I couldn’t imagine myself getting out of my comfort zone again without being in this position. Rejection is my greatest fear, but without it, I’ll never know how to cope with failure ever again.

In eleventh grade, I finally came at peace that basketball will never be a reality, and I accept it. So, I came back to my passion for public service. I ran for a position in ASB, not once but twice. When I told my mom that I wanted to return to public service, she told me, “you got to be kidding me, you’re not going through this and lose it all again.” She called me out for not being mainstream to win in a high school setting. But of course, my infatuation got the best of me and submitted my campaign to run for president. It is a huge commitment to run for public service. The front-runner was no other than the popular girl on campus. I was committed to winning, but the high school population was too overwhelming. I can certainly tell you my mom is a fortune teller, I lost the election by a landslide. Cheers to democracy.

My obsession achieving a dream influence actions outside my comfort zone. I accept that infatuation gets the most of me. The short-term desires reveal uncharacteristic actions. It is a bittersweet process, but I am thankful for it. While most outcomes result in heartbreak, it also reveals new characteristics of me. I take advantage of it, so when the next desire come, achievement might actually be a possibility.


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