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About "Parents" - Biographical Scholarship Essay (life challenges)


lanes 5 / 33  
Sep 22, 2010   #1
Hi this is a true and personal biographical essay, the directions are below, it is due at the end of the month so if anyone can PLEASEE!! give any criticism GOOD OR BAD OR BOTH! and it has not really been proof read, so any comments will help! thank you!

ASSIGNMENT: Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors caused you to grow? (800 word limit)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word 'parent' in two meanings,''one that begets or brings forth offspring" and "a person who brings up and cares for another"

Although, I have not brought forth any offspring, I think I can define myself as a parent. My life has been filled with a balance of almost everything. One thing I would like to take account for, is the fact that my lifestyle forced me to be a parent by the age of ten.

I was born into the midst of a divorce. From the earliest I can remember, there was always a fight. The reason I know, is not because I remember the yelling, the arguing or the doors slamming, because honestly I don't; but I do remember the after shock. The aftershock consisted of my mother becoming upset, gently crying in a room by herself, quietly. At the age of five, I would sneak in, and begin hugging her extra tight so she would stop crying. I cradled her in my tiny arms, and consoled her as if she were one of plastic baby dolls, that would sob from a battery powered speaker box embedded into her back. I owe my mother my entire life; I will forever be in debt to her, for every little thing she has done. I can't help but to view her as a priceless possession, one of which I am highly protective. As a disclaimer, in no way do I take full credit for my own life, because in reality, no matter how mature I can act, I am still a child. However, I feel like I have a natural instinct that she is forever my responsibility, because in actuality she is.

I grew up thinking that your 'parents' were supposed to live separately, that the 'normal' lifestyle was to spend weekends bouncing between the two houses. My father had the type of mindset, that to be successful one should be self sufficient. If I needed help brushing my hair or tying my shoes, he would make me learn on my own. Eventually, I learned if I wanted to do something, I would have to learn how to do it myself. These were qualities my father had in himself, that he disseminated through out my childhood. It wasn't until I was eight when I saw a change in his demeanor. He stopped my sister and me in the kitchen one day, and told us he was 'sick'. He handed over a paper to my sister, she held it close to her face and high above my head. I wasn't concerned with the information on the paper, optimistically I disregarded it and considered his 'sickness' equivalent to having 'the common cold'. Unfortunately, the paper described his diagnosis of lung cancer. How many eight year olds understand the concept of lung cancer? All I knew was that he said "I'll be okay, I'll fight it" with a relaxed smile and a glare that forced me to trust him. That was all I needed, six words reassured me that, I had nothing to worry about. There was nothing to be skeptical about, when my father had said something he always meant it.

The weekends we spent with him the following year involved me learning how to do things for myself, while learning how to do things for him. I was his 'little helper,' I learned how to cook and clean. I learned how to cater to his every need. I knew how to play quietly when he needed rest, and how to stay awake when he needed help. I watched my father who had disciplined me my whole life to be independent, slowly dissolve into someone who was dependent on me.Eventually, I was dismissed from my 'little helper' job. My father had not meant what he said, he couldn't keep fighting, and that winter he was gone.

Life is filled with things you can't control. If someone is arrogant enough to think they can control life, they have not been a parent. It is like an extra gene encoded in my DNA. Sometimes I feel it has been a weakness it has repressed me from living carelessly. I guide my mother when she confides in me. I try to look out for her when I can. I financially compensate her, with whatever money I have. It has made me self reliant. I have never been enforced by others to keep my grades up, or work harder, because I push myself far enough. I take accountability for all my success, and all of my mistakes. I have involuntarily learned some vital lessons. I honor growing up quickly, as the outcome of my experiences. I may still be a child, but I have been a parent.
mylittlegoni 3 / 11  
Sep 23, 2010   #2
"gently crying in a room by herself quietly "

"I would sneak in, and begin hugging her extra tight so she would stop crying"
this sentence is very heartbreaking, and provides a very strong image.

"I grew up thinking that your 'parents' were supposed to live separately, that the 'normal' thing to do was spend weekends bouncing between the two houses."

try not to use the word 'thing', in this case you can easily replace it with 'lifestyle'

"It wasn't until I was eight when I saw a change"
... in?
this isn't a complete sentence

"I watched my father who had disciplined me my whole life to be independent, slowly dissolve into someone who was dependent on me."

very good sentence

this is great!
you have some great writing and very strong images.
keep working on it!
Good Luck!
OP lanes 5 / 33  
Sep 23, 2010   #3
thanks so much! I am so excited someone read my essay! do you think the theme of being a parent makes sense? and should I add more about how I have grown up? like examples of how I am mature today...
mea505 - / 265  
Sep 23, 2010   #4
Hi Elena!

I read through your essay and while I think that it is an excellent story about how you dealt with your two different parents while you were growing up, the essay lacks some formatting. I found that the essay did not 'flow' that smoothly, which took away from the story a little. However, it is still a very strong, heart-felt story! Indeed it is, and I think that, with a little more work, it will be even better! How did you feel when you found that your father had cancer? Did it change the way you approached him or your mother? Did you feel as though you 'grew up' quickly when you found that your father did have the cancer?

Like I said, this is a good story! I would probably change the way in which you presented the information on the definitions for a parent, and just use words to describe them, rather than the a and the b. Just make them part of the essay.

Good luck!

Mark :)
OP lanes 5 / 33  
Sep 23, 2010   #5
Thank you so much for the corrections! I fixed all the errors and changed the beginning a little... how is this? I would add more but the word limit is 800 and this is 797..
EF_Kevin 8 / 13320 129  
Sep 26, 2010   #6
I grew up thinking that your 'parents' were supposed to live separately, that the 'normal' lifestyle was to spend weekends bouncing between the two houses.

Interesting!!

Hey, put a period at the end of that first paragraph.

use hyphens:
self-sufficient
eight year-olds

Great job with this!!

I feel it has been a weakness it has repressed prevented me from living carelessly.
OP lanes 5 / 33  
Sep 26, 2010   #7
Thank you so much for your help!

Do you think this will be good for my college personal statement also? or is it to cliche?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13320 129  
Sep 30, 2010   #8
Your personal statement should focus on your intention. Do not treat your own person as one whose purpose is any less important than a politician, inspired spiritual leader, or anyone else... when you think of your personal statement, think of a formal expression of your purpose and vision. That means it must not focus on all kinds of other things... for a pers. statement, I think you deserve to have a different kind of essay. :-)
OP lanes 5 / 33  
Oct 5, 2010   #9
Thanks So Much I completely agree, but how do I do that using some sort of experience or anecdote, because I am still undecided for my college major and career choice, but I do want to exemplify how I am determined and career driven.


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