Please offer any advice and useful insight.
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 caused you to grow? (800 word limit)
In many ways the challenge I have dealt with my entire life is depression. But in no way would I consider depression a vice. Depression has compelled me to greater heights than I could have imagined. It pushed me towards an abyss and forced me to either change or succumb to a cruel fate - unmet potential. I could have easily gave up like and found a remedial job like my mom, but I didn't because I want more in life. The environment I grew up in may have triggered my melancholy, but I'm glad it did. I feel grateful for having experienced depression, because without it I never would have realized my potential.
The circumstances I grew up in never bothered me at first. Whenever my parents would drink or fight I would just think to myself: "dad and mom are just fighting" or, "dad and mom are just talking". Such a naive viewpoint sheltered me from the harsh reality. Unfortunately my naive behavior degraded over time as my living scenario deteriorated. Even though my dad was not a bad man, he had the worst temperament. He would consistently make mistakes and end up in jail or prison, and my mom was forced to burden his mistakes. After my mom found out that my dad was in jail or prison, she would have to tell us. This occurred so often that it ceased to phase me. Nevertheless my dad's mistakes deeply affected my mom. She began to drink more over time, sometimes leaving us by ourselves or with or aunt. Thankfully my childish behavior sheltered me from the worst of my parents' capricious behavior. Whenever my mom would drink I could care less, so long as I had my brother to play with I was content. My attitude of indifference continued until my early teenage years.
The seventh grade played a pivotal point in my life. Until then I had never used a drug nor had my siblings. Had I of know what drugs would do to my family, I never would have smoked. Even now I can remember the day when my brother and I, along with two friends, smoked pot. From then on we continued to smoke, and gradually more people got involved. Shortly after my first experience I stopped smoking, but the people around me didn't.
During the summer of eighth grade my family and I were evicted from our apartment. Afterward we were forced to rent a small motel room, and from then on I felt forced to watch the people around me abuse drugs. As we moved from motel to motel I grew increasingly isolated from my friends and family. And my living situation became worse when my dad went back to prison, then we no longer had an authoritative figure. My mom was always too soft of a parent, thus she enabled my siblings to smoke and drink with their friends. By then I was extremely isolated from my family, and this made me feel hopeless. At that time I had no ambition. I just assumed that I would work at Chick Fil A like my mom for the the rest of my life. I felt lost. I have very few people who look after me, therefore no one noticed my deep melancholy. I can recall staying in our motel for weeks while people were parting around me. However, even while I was depressed I can remember changing. I no longer remember what I was thinking or how I changed. All I can remember is not wanting to be there. Through depression I realized that an end to my suffering resided in the future. During that time I thought the probability of finding happiness was low, but the chance of finding happiness compelled me to work hard.
From then on I began to develop an intense work ethic, which proved to be immensely valuable. I began to attend school more frequently, and when I turned fourteen I found a job. Despite my previous setbacks, I began to thrive in school. The material I was learning - which before would have bored me - became engaging. By the beginning of my sophomore year I became a straight A student. Now I continue to expect more of myself. I always try to do my best when it comes to work and school. I became this way because of depression, and I'm truly grateful for having experienced it. Depression made school and work the central foci of my life, and for that reason I was able to realize that I have potential.
I think this is a great topic, and it could potentially be really moving. It's a good start, but I had a few suggestions about wording and stuff like that.
1. I could have easily given up like and found a menial job like my mom, but I didn't because I want more in life (delete the red)
2. From then on we continued to smoke, and gradually more people got involved. - delete this sentence, it just seems like filler and it's not really necessary.
Generally speaking, it's pretty good. I would just show it to a few more people who are good with grammar (think counselors, English teachers, etc) so that you can clean it up a little. And pay special attention to the paragraph about how you used your schoolwork to get out of your depression. The way you worded it made it sound like your depression made you become more successful, and I think that could be confusing to a reader because we often associate depression with not being able to do things. So maybe instead of saying that this was because of your depression, say that it was your desire to recover/get out of your situation/however you want to put it that made you so driven.
Good luck with everything :) And would you mind giving my essay a read, too?