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Common App Essay for Rice "My Mother Taught Me"


najma101 1 / -  
Oct 19, 2018   #1
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

my mom made me realize who i am



"How many times have I called your name?" came my mom's exasperated call from the adjoining room. "It's so unladylike of you to not do what you're expected. At this rate, how will you ever amount to anything?"

Legs sprawled lazily across the family loveseat, I tried for the umpteenth time to immerse myself in a teenage angst novel, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." However, the shrill voice of my mother once again interrupted my attempt at reading. I merely shrugged my shoulders while rolling my eyes, trying to drown out the lecture my mom religiously liked to give about how responsibility leads to success, or something of that nature. It was a constant routine that led my mom on a slippery slope of what would hypothetically happen if I were to continue on my "lack of effort and motivation" mentality. I tried to act nonchalant about what she said to me, but internally it made me wonder what sort of struggle my mom had to go through in order to ensure that I had a better future.

Growing up in the rural drylands of Somalia, my mom quickly assimilated into the role of caretaker, since her family had many mouths to feed. Everyday she would wake

up at the crack of dawn to prepare canjeero; a traditional breakfast while tending to the vast amounts of livestock her father owned. She would also help with the bathing of her younger siblings, and making sure there was enough food for the family that night.

Although a lot of responsibility was allocated to her since the age of eight, she never complained. Similarly, I tried to excel in whatever was given to me in school by tirelessly studying concepts I previously never knew about and aiming to be in the top tier of my school. Even though I did not deal with pressure of similar burdens my mother carried so effortlessly, I still took into consideration the amount of selflessness it took for her to raise me while she provided the basic necessities for me.

Along with the combination of her early childhood and selflessness, my mom had to learn how to balance American and Somali culture. During my formative years, I remember being embarrassed by my mom's slight accent during "Muffins with Mom" events hosted at my school, along with the looks of disgust my peers gave me when I ate canjeero and sauce with my hands, and the constant jeering to take my hijab off. It made me feel ashamed to embrace my ethnic origins and my religion.

Then I realized that my mom was never ashamed to embrace her culture. She didn't compromise and made people accept her for who she was. It took me a while, but then I realized that it was all up to my self image of myself and how I portrayed myself to others.

It made me realize how proud I was of my ethnicity. I love the fact that my mom made me realize my self worth and ability to become whoever I wanted to be with a little effort and dedication. For that, I will forever be indebted to my mother and endlessly be grateful for her unconditional love, care and support.

This essay is in need of major revision. I feel like I have no specific focus, and my conclusion is pretty weak. Hopefully I can get feedback on ways to better approach my angle.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,181 1785  
Oct 19, 2018   #2
Your observations are correct. I learned more about your mother's history than I did about you in this essay. I neither see this essay as having a topic that truly inspires you to be better, nor does it ask you to truly accept your ethnicity. Here's what you can do; focus on your acceptance of your ethnicity instead. Relate that discussion to your mother and her way of life and how you want a different one for yourself, while still remaining loyal to your ethnic roots. It would be better for this essay to discuss how your ethnicity affected your life living in a non-Somali world. Make this a discussion regarding self-acceptance through an understanding of your mother's history or the reason why you see your mother as a special person in your life. Let's see if you come up with a more focused discussion if you target only one topic presentation that focuses on yourself with your mother acting only as a reference point regarding your ethnicity.


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