My common app essay: Option #3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
About my friend. Don't know if I should name him or not? Please help any advice would be appreciated and thanks in advance!
What is a true friend? What does friend even "mean" anymore? This is the day and age where teenagers, like I, have hundreds and thousands of "friends" on Facebook and you can know so much about so many people that you are left with no one who you truly know. It is an age where people can chat with random strangers online like soul-mates one day, and killed by them on the next. It is in this day and age that I think is most appropriate for me to write about my friend.
How I got to know him, or even what year it was, I cannot remember. All I remember from the first time I saw him is that he is one hell of an ugly kid. When I got to know him, he was just an ordinary boy with no special attributes, a perfect match for an equally unremarkable 10-year-old me. He is fun and extremely friendly, while I am introverted and shy. In my years of middle school, I was subjected to bullying brought upon myself by my physical frailty and my stupidly hot-headed sense of justice and pride of never being put down. A prank aimed at me by my classmates would be followed by retaliation, which led to more hostile bullying and more broken noses and cut lips, usually of mine. I was not only an enemy to all my classmates, but also the teachers. I would get into detentions and trips to the principal office, followed by more detentions for arguing to every teachers to death for not accepting the punishment that was unjust. My parents were more worried about what I had become than what was turning me into it.
In all this time, my friend was the only one next to me, dealing all the punches, the cruel words like stones, the unbearable silence of social exclusion, all with a trademark smile on his face. One day, I overheard a classmate talking to him: "Why are you still friends with him? He is a loser and you're not. Just leave him and come join us." To which he replied with a resounding "No". As he walked towards me oblivious to the fact I was listening, he said with a smile: "You wouldn't believe what that guy told me..." and that is when I completely shattered. I asked him why he wouldn't just leave to hang out with other friends that wouldn't pull him down, to which he replied jokingly, although from that day I have never forgotten: "Even the bad guy needs an advocate."
He was not just a friend, he was in fact my only friend in the world in my darkest time, where I was at my worst. During that time, he never told me to stop and give in to bullying, even with all the peer pressure that surrounds. He gave me hope that I was right to stand for myself. In the end, it had paid of and after moving schools I have made many great friends. Today, I stand for myself and for all my friends. Even when it seems like their worlds are falling apart, they can be assured that I will be fighting for them to the end. Just like what my friend did to me: He did not give memorable advices or a pat in the back, he was just there, when he could have been somewhere else.
I REALLY like your last sentence. A strong and powerful conclusion. I am not sure either if you should name him. But I think not naming him makes him a mysterious but interesting character so I like it this way. Overall, your essay was very well-written. Not many changes needed.
Pretty good essay. A couple suggestions.
1. You call him ugly in the first paragraph. I know you are trying to come across as unique and willing to take risks but I think the effect that it has marginally beneficial. Your call.
2. He's your perfect match? Just like you? Unremarkable? These seem to contradict your next couple of paragraphs. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I have to say that cohesiveness is your friend when writing these essays.
Other than that, edit it as you deem fit every few days. Only person that can expand on your experience is you, never forget that.