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# UCLA Essay Review. (events that shaped your character)

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Joined: 23 Sep 2011
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27 Dec 2011, 09:11
What events or people have had the greatest influence in shaping your character and why? (750 words maximum)

"Don't run, you will fall!". I possibly heard this phrase a couple of thousand times while I was growing up. I was a very energetic and active child both mentally and physically. Luckily my father was wise enough to notice that I needed something to focus on to release my energy. So when I think about my childhood, swimming is the base of almost all my memories. I used to swim on summer holidays like any other kid but around the age of 8, I attended a summer camp organized by Aegan University. The university had a sport academy and they could train children in a disciplined and organized way. Following that summer I became a licensed swimmer at the university's club. Where I trained 7 days a week, during 6 years. There I learned what it means to be a part of a team,to chant for each other at the races. The sadness felt together when someone loses, feeling of unity when the medley team wins. Other than obvious physical benefits I learned to be planned. Swimming took 4 hours of my day (2 hours travelling to club and back home + 2 hours training). I went to the school until noon and had to finish all my coursework and of course have some fun time until I go to the training in the evening. Of course there were times I got bored and tired, but I got over them with my family's support and motivation. All in all I think I owe my competitive, energetic, team-player character to swimming.
Then I had to delay my swimming career to get ready for the university application. From time to time my older cousin(who now lives in San Diego and works as an engineer) used to help me with some of my homework. He was an Istanbul Tech. graduate. It's almost over 10 years but I still remember his room where we studied. He had a bookcase full of encyclopedias and there were some motivational stickers on that bookcase that came with those books. One of them was "This road goes to ITU". I didn't know what exactly that meant at that time. But after a trip to ITU and some chat with alumni I realized and felt that this road "really" goes to ITU. But I had to pass an exam (ÖSS) to get admitted to this school. Having the motivation and goal I needed, I studied for the test. We also formed a band during this intense studying process, where I learned and played the drums at our school's Spring Fests and other minor occasions. I still find playing drums very helpful to get relaxed and cool down for a minute during stressful events. So without losing my motivation I got ready and scored pretty well in the exam (1000th in 1.5 Million students). I was satisfied with my result not only because I got in to one of the top technical schools, but also I achieved a goal I decided long time ago. This showed me that with correct motivation and dedication on a specific target, I can make anything possible.
During my college years I found out that there was a possibility of studying abroad for a year. I didn't think twice to apply. Being one of the top students in my faculty I was selected to spend 6 months in Braunschweig Tech. Uni. Germany. That was going to be my first time apart from my country. It felt terrifying until I got there with nothing but a suitcase and minimal German vocabulary. While meeting new people from all over the world every day, I realized that we are not that different once the language barrier is gone. I learned to say "Hello", "How are you?", "Thanks" in more than 10 languages and realized how seldom I used to use those phrases. I learned to be more communicative, I learned about other people's songs, food, lifestyle. I became more open-minded seeing the falsehood of stereotyping and was glad to show my own culture. I traveled almost all of Europe in a limited amount of time and money. I learned that independence is not a trait but a must to enjoy life to the fullest. Whether it is about academic life, social life or professional life, I feel like I am more experienced every day yet so foolish that I have million things to learn. That's why I keep on running in order not to fall.

This is the first draft am i on the right track?
UCLA Essay Review. (events that shaped your character)   [#permalink] 27 Dec 2011, 09:11
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# UCLA Essay Review. (events that shaped your character)

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