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please let me into your college.

  • Feb. 18th, 2010 at 10:08 PM
femmealunettes: (#vortex# gaze lowered : Gabrielle Gray)
Okay. Here's my essay. If anybody wants to read it and tell me if it's... you know, college-application-worthy... that would be fantastic. The assignment was to talk about one person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

My mother, Traci Cregan, is the person who has influenced my life the most. It is nearly impossible to separate what is inherited from what is learned; no matter how they were transmitted, most of my positive qualities (and a couple of my negative ones!) can be directly traced back to her and the pervasive impact she has upon me. Although we disagree about many important topics, at heart we share the same instinct to help and uplift others, an instinct which has defined her life's path and which I hope will continue to shape my own.

When my mother gave birth to me, she was working as a labor and delivery nurse in the Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Though she had a busy and rotating schedule, she never failed to make time to spend with me. Because of her constant care and attention, I began speaking at a very young age, able to form sentences before I was a year old. She read with me on most days; with her encouragement I could read at the age of two, an ability which transformed my life irrevocably. As a child I prefered reading to any other activity, and she encouraged this habit as much as possible, bringing me to the library as soon as I exhausted yet another stack of books. Though my parents couldn't afford to send me to a Montessori school, they made sure that I was accepted by our city's magnet program, and supported and encouraged me through accelerated courses throughout elementary school.

In 1997, my parents felt a calling to the service of God, and joined the Salvation Army to become ordained as pastors. My mother set aside her lifelong dream of becoming a midwife for what she believed was a higher calling. Although religion is one of the sources of conflict between us, I realize that through the Salvation Army, my mother's caring and nurturing nature was displayed to its fullest expression. The Salvation Army tends to many people in their hours of greatest need, and my mother was always there to provide emotional support beyond tending to the practical problems brought before her. Whether facing an eviction, the death of a loved one, or a fire, those who came to my mother invariably left with a greater sense of peace and the knowledge that everything she could do was being done to help.

My mother's love and generosity reached out beyond the boundaries of our family to encompass my and my siblings' friends. When my friend Michelle was kicked out of her house by her mother, my mom welcomed her into our home for the months it took Michelle and her mother to reconcile. When Kym lost her home, she always had a place to stay, a nutritious meal, and my mother's care when she needed them. When Kristin's mother was diagnosed with cancer, she came to my mother for counseling. It is through my mother's example I learned to take care of others in whatever manner I could, and because of her love that I feel confident in my ability to continue in the path she has taken before me.

We don't agree on everything-- my mother is a devout Christian and a moderate conservative, while I'm agnostic and strongly liberal. There are aspects of myself I am not brave enough to show my mother yet, but I know that when I finally gain the courage, she will accept me and love me no matter what I reveal. It is because of my mother's example that I want to become a social worker; I want to do what she does, without the religious angle. I want to be the positive impact on other people's lives that she has shown me it is possible to be.

I am very much my mother's daughter, and I am proud to make that claim.



[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
Okay, stop feeling anxious and crappy right now because this essay was actually really, really good. You manage to sound inspired without sounding like a clone of your mother, and the fact that you mention that it's not all roses between the two of you is a point of honesty that applicant readers are going to identify with (because, let's be honest, just about everyone has problems with their parents at some point).

So don't worry. *hug* Application readers appreciate honesty in essays more than they care about even grades or achievements. You're pretty much a shoe-in.
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. You actually got me to smile for the first time since my overly-cheery "oh yeah go ahead and shove a needle in my arm" smile this afternoon.

*hugs forever*
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
Wanna hear a kinda funny secret? When I was applying to my colleges, I went to visit three: Shippensburg, Arcadia, and PennState Hazleton. Arcadia was too expensive (but it had a freaking castle as one of its dorms), so it really came down to Shippensburg and PennState. Only the PennState application required me to write an essay, and it basically asked me why I thought the college was right for me.

I wrote about Shippensburg. I wrote this elaborately detailed, glowing, enthusiastic essay about the modern scrapmetal statues around the theatre building, and the marble statue-filled courtyard of the admin building, and how I adored the very liberal arts-feel of the whole campus, and I didn't realize until after I sent it that PennState...had none of those things. In fact, our theatre building is actually sort of shunted off to the side, away from the rest of the academic buildings. There are no metal sculptures or marble statues.

I got in anyways. And I hope to hell my mother never sees this, lol.
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
Ha! That's kind of incredible. xD I promise not to tell your mom.
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
This is EXCELLENT. And I bet your mother would love to read it. **hug**
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
But if I let her read it, she's going to ask what I didn't tell her, and I am so not ready to break her heart by coming out as bisexual.
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
Whether you share it with her is your decision, baby, I just meant that she would be proud and moved if she did read it.

[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
Looks fantastic to me! It's sincere and heartfelt without being sentimental, which is very difficult to do.

(And really, most college graduates can barely string two words together - I guarantee this will be a breath of fresh air to the admission board.)
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it didn't cross the line into sentimental, because I'm kind of terrible at judging the emotional content of things I write myself. xD Thank you.
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
It's really good, they'll be crying!
[identity profile] wrote:
Feb. 19th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
That seems only fair, since I was crying while I wrote it. xD


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