There have been many aspects of my life that have influenced me to study Government and Political Science, but perhaps the most important of them has been my family.
I grew up with a mother and father who were very involved in public service. They volunteered at local shelters, organized benefits, and helped the less fortunate. They did all this while each working full-time jobs. Eventually, my mother quit her job and decided to run as a Congressional Representative for our district in California. She didn’t win but watching my mother decide that public service was the most important thing she could do with her life inspired me to take up the calling myself.
When I was in high school, I joined a public service club that volunteered at local homeless shelters. I quickly became the President of the club and was responsible for recruiting new members. I found it exciting and invigorating to talk about how good it felt to help people, and to discuss important issues with other students my age who had never really considered them before.
As I continue my academic career in university, I believe I can draw on my experience through my family and my time in public service. Going forward, I think that my dreams have become more centered as I have become more driven, and my motivations have become clearer. Public service has allowed me to become a more productive part of my community and has given me the teamwork skills I’ll need when I major in Government and Politics.
My parents have also helped me to understand how elections and the government operate, thanks to my mother’s candidacy when I was younger. I believe this will prove to be invaluable information for me in my classes.
In closing, my dreams have been shaped both by family and by the community in which I live. My experience with academics and fellow students in high school has led me to aspire to a greater role in public service.
The author of prompt #1 is interested in Politics and Government, and he clearly has a lot of experience and influence in his life that has led him to choose that major. He goes into excellent detail about his parents’ influence, as well as his experience in high school and how discussing important issues with others affected him. This is all very good. However, the structure of the personal statement seems thrown together. The author should have written a clearer outline to guide his writing, as it would make his personal statement flow better and be more concise.
The only stumble in the personal statement is the use of the verb “to shadow” when the author discusses following her parents around to see what they do at work. “Shadow” as a verb has a relatively negative connotation – for example, a detective may “shadow” a suspect. It would be better to say that the author “rode along” or “accompanied” her parents as they went about their day.
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Melissa, UC Personal Statement
Writer and Coach
UC applications went through an overhaul this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything from old essay examples written by recent UC students.
UC applicants now have to write 4 short essays of the 8 prompts provided, but recent UC college students had to write 2 longer essays. One of which is:
PROMPT #1: Describe the world you come from—for example, your family, community or school—and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
Here are 5 essay excerpts from UC Berkeley students from the Class of 2019:
Lord of the Lords
The flames flicker, vivacious and bright, growing taller and taller. My eyes watch them dance. They are beautiful and full of life. Fire can grow in the same way people can, absorbing some things while merely illuminating others. I watch the flames mount a moment more, before hurtling toward them, yelling my chant, “Zardi-ye man az toh, sorkhi-ye toh az man!” Keep reading.
I live in Corona, California; a small city that advertises itself as a bright landmark once notable for it’s exhilarating racetracks. However, there is neither much excitement in my town, nor is thee much to do. On rare occasions, the thrills and action occur at times of congestion on the 91 freeway, yet that still isn’t exciting. Continue reading.
Reflecting back on my childhood, I have come to appreciate the little things that have led me to where I am today. My family was underprivileged growing up, but I did not feel it was a hindrance to my growth. I made the best of my childhood by capitalizing on the opportunities afforded to me. I am grateful for my economical childhood, as I believe it was a character-building experience. Read more.
I attend the Developing Virtue Boys School (DVBS) on the grounds of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, a large Buddhist monastery in rural Northern California, where rubbing elbows with monks, devoted laypeople and peacocks is the norm.
Yes, my next door neighbors are monks. View full profile.
It was my first day of first grade, the teacher spoke a different language, and strangers simply stared at me with their judging eyes. The kids tried talking to me, but since I didn’t understand English they just started laughing at me. My eyes filled with tears, my teacher immediately called home and moments later my mother came to take me home. As we walked to our small home in Modesto I couldn’t even look her in the eyes, I knew she was disappointed; I had failed. See profile.
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About The Author
Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.