Hi! I'm currently applying to the summer program Yale Young Global Scholars and I'd like to have some feedback on my main essay. Yale Young Global Scholars is a summer program which provides enrichment for high school students. The admission is also really competitive, so I really want my essay to be the best it can be.
The prompt was:
Please decribe the factors that have most influenced you and your hopes and dreams. How have they shaped you?
Also, I'm not a native English speaker, so there might be a few grammatical/structural mistakes.
And I propbably won't keep the title:)
A Tiny Clay Pot
"I always forget you're Chinese!" said one of my friends as we were comparing which one of us got the most tanned over the summer. I didn't reply, just laughed. But deep down, I knew the answer : that's because I always forget as well.
Only twelve months old, I had already traveled 11 544 kilometers to come to live here, in Canada. Before travelling oversea, I lived in Yichun, China. I was a baby without a family. The orphanage that picked me up had no idea of who I was; they knew nothing about me. But I, as a baby, could grasp a part of truth about my life. I had survived and had to do it again.
It's only one year later that luck, or fate, struck me and my soon to be parents. I was yet again torn from the roots I had just began to grow. But somewhere in my heart, I must have known it was only for the best, because from what my parents tell me, I was mostly a happy baby. Two loving parents and a witty nerdy boy would later become my family.
My journey didn't quite stop there. The place where I live is far from cosmopolitan with its homogeneous culture. Instead of seeking comfort in it, I wanted more. I wanted to see and explore the experience of immersing in a new culture, like I once did before. I was craving that feeling and traveling was perfectly fulfilling that role. Traveling has taught me so many things that school and friends and family couldn't.
I'll always remember one unique moment in one of the Mexican villages we visited. My family and I were walking when we saw a group of Maya girls. They noticed us as well, but they also saw another mexican girl: me. One of the girls kindly approach us and gave me a pottery pot. She offered me the tiny clay pot as she thought I was one of them.¸I thanked her, silently. She then realized that we might had some similar physical traits, but we didn't share the same cultural background, which only sparked curiosity between us. I wanted to know more about how she and her family lived. In return, she showed me how they cook their meals. It truly fascinated me to discover a different way to live and see things. I never stopped nourishing that interest and never will.
I think we all have to look further than the skin tone, ethnicity and religion. As I seeked to understand other cultures, I realized that I am Chinese, even if I sometimes forget it. I am Chinese and Canadian, but also a human of this world.
Marianne, there is a little bit of confusion in the latter part of your essay. When you speak of your trip to Mexico, I think that you should explain a bit about why you were mistaken for a Mexican by the Mayan girl. I mean, you already told us that you have Chinese heritage so that typically puts a Chinese looking person in the imagination of the reviewer. Then all of a sudden you get mistaken for a Mexican. Why is that? I believe that you should explain how the confusion happened in order to further illustrate how you are a person of the world and why you are not shaped by the physical features or other factors related to the impression one can make of a person based on first impressions or features. In the last paragraph, don't say "I think". You need to have conviction in that statement. Make the reviewer believe that you are confident in the person you have become because of these life exposures and experiences.
I completely rewrote the paragraph, but I didn't do drastic changes, only changed my prose.
One unique moment that I'll never forget happened when we were visiting a Mexican village. My family and I were walking on the street when we saw a group of Mayan girls. As they were passing by, they noticed there was another Mayan girl, yet unknown to them : it was me. While my physical features are mostly Chinese, my traits can easily be mistaken for Maya ones. What happened next can only demonstrate how unique the moment was. One of the girls came to me and offered a shy smile with a pottery pot she had just made. But as I could only thank her with a smile because I didn't understand nor speak her language, she understood we didn't share the same cultural background. It only sparked curiosity between us. I then had a thirst of learning about how she and her family lived. She showed me her house and how they cook their meals. It truly fascinated me to discover a different way to live and see things. I never stopped nourishing that interest and never will.
Is it less confusing? And is my essay a solid one, because it's the main essay in my application?
Thank you in advance!
Hi Marianne. Yes, the paragraph is clearer now and the intention on your part is felt as honest and a part of your personality. However, your final paragraph still needs additional work. I think you missed that part in my last advice. I asked you to create a more sound concluding statement for your essay that will convince the reviewer that your life experiences have helped you become a citizen of the world who is interested in helping to create a united world sans any borders of race, religion, and political beliefs. Your line about being a "human of this world" is a strong phrase that you should build upon in your conclusion as part of the basis of your dreams and ambitions in life that have helped shaped the person you have become. So the paragraph about the Mayan girl is finalized. Work on the concluding statement now.
Here is the conclusion I rewrote. I don't know if tells more about the influence on my dreams...
Something I certainly learned from traveling is that I choose to look further than the skin tone, ethnicity, and religion of the people I meet. As I seek to
understand other cultures, I realize that my features may be Chinese and my upbringing Canadian but I am, above all, a human of this world and it is my ambition and dream that everyone can be considered as one.
Thanks you so much!
Good work Marianne! This is the concluding paragraph that you should definitely use in the essay. It provides the idea that you have been completely shaped by your heritage, upbringing, and life experiences. This is a pretty solid essay as of now. As far as I am concerned, you don't need to adjust anything else nor add more information to the essay. This is the version that, when put together, turns into the final copy that you should submit along with your other documents. At this point, you should just proof read the document for any possible spelling errors or punctuation mistakes. I did not see any when I reviewed your work so you will most likely not find any either. Good luck with your application.
На ВР последняя стена стала уже тоньше яичной скорлупы. Джабба поднял брови. - Хорошо, это ничего не дает. Начнем вычитание.