Topic: Ten years from now college essay
July 20, 2019 / By Kimberly Question:
It is so confusing! I am a Chinese immigrant. Although Americans are great at respecting the feelings of others, sometimes it is frustrating when I want to hear truths.
Us Chinese do care about the feelings of other people, but we prefer to tell the truth directly if asked, since we believe that it benefits others more that it will ever hurt; which means if I want to know the answers on what others think of me, they would tell me what they think without hesitation, something I have taken for granted for years in China.
Here, people always sugar coat everything, so much that I cannot see reality. I knew that they do not want to hurt my feelings, and I am thankful for their caring, but it is very frustrating to hear these things when my life depends on the truth.
For example, I am a high school senior who is doing college essay right now. One day I asked my English teacher "is it rare enough for an immigrant to go to honors English after three years in America, that it can be an accomplishment that will impress the U.C. schools." She said yes. I asked many other friends and teachers, their answers are same.
So I decided to write the experience of me going to honors English after three years in America without any English background as my personal statement essay. Then, at the start of November, just before I submit my application, I let a Korean-American teacher read the essay I wrote; what she told me after had shocked me. She told me, that she alone, knew tens of students each year, who have the same if not less years of being in America, also are in honors English.
Translation: U.C. schools, especially L.A. and Berkeley, will not find my "accomplishment" slight impressive. They will not consider accepting me for this, as it is so common among students. That Korean American teacher is just one teacher, and she knew tens each year, I can imagine that there are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of students who are either like me or are better than me. This is not impressive at all
So, I ended up rewriting my personal statement, in the middle of November, knowing that the deadline is almost here...
I knew that I cannot be mad with my teachers and friends because they meant well, but I cannot afford this kind of errors happens to me again. Imagine what happens if I did not know that Korean teacher.
This inconvenience goes on with my life too. Last year, annoyed by me greatly, my friend told our teacher to tell me stop looking at his grade. Then I found out that it is wrong to see other people's grades without their approval. I did not want to annoy anyone either; if someone had told me earlier, I would have stopped immediately and apologize. But, for two years of being in America, nobody had told me anything about it.
I knew that America is a country whose people act politely with each other, and I am thankful that I had moved here. But please tell me what should I do if I want to hear the real truth from others? Especially if they think that the truth would hurt my feelings?
Janene | 1 day ago
Usually your closet friend will tell you the truth but otherwise we all tell white lies to keep from hurting others feelings and to aviod confrontation. I wish I was more honest with people and myself. I wish everyone was. I think the world would be a better place.
Your situation is unfortunate. I agree that a true friend will tell you the truth. And also that truth between friends isn't normally hurtful. Most of the people told you that your achievement is exceptional. One told you no. It sounds like you were looking for someone who would validate your insecure feelings and you finally found them. I don't know whether most of the people you talked to "sugar coated" the truth.
I think what you did is a great achievement but I'm not UCLA or Berkley and I don't know how you "measure up" to others in your situation.
If you still have your original essay consider submitting it. It probably is the most accurate of how you perceive things. Do you want to tell the truth or do you want to tell people what you think they want to hear?
I wish you luck.
Sad but true there isn't much you can do. We have been programmed to lie to avoid confrontation and hurting other's feelings. I always tell the truth and it makes people mad. There are few people who will tell you the real truth, sorry.