We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors helped you to grow?
I always deemed the noting of maturity to be a compliment but never truly understood where it stemmed from. Growing up at all the elementary parent teacher conferences my teachers would always say: "You're daughter is such a mature young lady! You must be so proud," and thus I started equating my maturity to sophistication and just the overall way I'd carry myself. This was partly true, however, when I noticed my mother's personal uncomfort with the compliments I began to understand it more and more. "Los niños deben ser niños. No hay que adelantarles la madurez," she would always say, meaning that kids should be kids and there is no reason to speed up their maturity. Thus in her eyes, the constant reminder of my maturity was a reminder for the lack of "childhood" and it provoked guilt within her.
Instead of having Disney princess songs echo through my room, I'd be trying to raise the volume of our CRT TV as quickly as possible to muffle out the sounds of my parents' vulgar fighting. I was 8 when they finally separated and ignorantly believed that it would lead to a better life. Despite seeing the bruises on my mother, as a child I naively believed that I would still be a daddy's girl and their relationship would once return into the picture perfect ones in all the sitcoms. After their separation, I never heard from my father again and it felt as if growing up I was left to pick up the broken pieces. Despite being older than me, my brother took the separation close to heart and as we got older I spent much of my nights trying to talk him out, and not internalize blame even if I didn't believe it fully myself. My mother left to carry the financial burden all alone had to take on immensely tiresome jobs to pay for our section 8 apartment, and it didn't allow her to be as present as she would've liked. As a result, although two years younger I slowly started to take on a mothering role for my brother, I never minded because I was able to take what I learned at home and apply it to other parts of my life. In school, I was able to use writing as an outlet, allowing the overflowing streams of emotions channel out into my works of writing.
Instead of playing teacher with my stuffed animals like most during youth, teaching became sort of a reality for me. At this point in my life, my mother had two jobs and was struggling to keep the lights on for us. We couldn't afford a tutor and my brother, struggling with school work because of his dyslexia. I genuinely enjoyed writing, the subject he struggled with the most, and became his tutor. Days off from school and late nights were spent researching ways to best accommodate his learning needs and even if it conflicted with my rigorous course load, I made sure to dedicate time and effort to give him a fair chance at success. The skills I learned helping my brother were later applied to helping my mother. Her green-card was near its expiration date and with the political climate of ICE and President Trump's strong stance towards immigration we feared our security in the country that was our home. Immediately, we applied for her citizenship and were left to prepare for the civics test. My mother's very limited English vocabulary and knowledge of the country's history meant that we had a lot in for us, but I didn't get discouraged at all. We turned a corner of our shared bedroom into a small study station where we would make flashcards and recordings of history content that I haven't even gotten to in APUSH class. More than anything these experiences taught me the true virtue of patience. Denying party invitations and starting homework at 11 pm became routine as I helped prepare my mother for the various portions of her exam. Although, rough seeing her walk across the stage at her citizenship ceremony was an indescribable that demonstrated despite all the hardships we endured as a family there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
My maturity stems from years of hurt and struggle and is a reminder of that. However, most importantly it is a reminder of strength. There were countless late nights where I felt like I was practically set for failure, but my maturity is a symbol of achieving success even if it feels like the odds are against you. Now when I hear, "You're so mature!" I smile proudly in reflection.
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Excellent work! This is a thousand times better than the McDonald's essay. This is what the reviewer wants to learn about. The nitty gritty story of your life that has helped to prepare to for college. The proof that you have the maturity to handle the stress of college studies and the pressure that comes with it. The fact that you have acted as a tutor in your family will definitely boost your credentials as a potential student who can be an asset to the student community and, will definitely know how to get along with even the most difficult person on campus. Your story is reflects success against the odds. Your story shows that regardless of the cards dealt to you by fate, if you refuse to be beaten by it, you will overcome all the trials that come your way. Definitely use this essay with your application. Don't delete the McDonald's essay though. Put a pin in it, just in case you come across a prompt that can use a revised version of that story.