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'Dad as Influential Person' - Common App Essay

tpaine02 1 / -  
Dec 9, 2011   #1
Topic: Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

The basement door slammed and loud, clumsy footsteps ascended the stairs. I sat at the kitchen table, having just finished my homework, watching my dog hurry into her cage, ears limp, head down, tail between her legs. She knew to get out of his way...I knew he was drunk again, as he stumbled into the kitchen barking viscous remarks, most of which were directed at my mother, but often the target of ( and subject of) his scolding was undecipherable/ambiguous. He screamed, bellowed, and bickered at my mom, my siblings and I, blaming everyone but himself for his problems: it was too cold in the house; his boss treated him unfairly; no one made dinner; he ran out of cigarettes; and the list goes on. When he felt he made his point (or maybe his ramblings sobered him up to much), he wobbled back into his basement hideout for another beer. In the morning he made sure everyone was up and ready for school, playing it off as if nothing happened the night before (or maybe he didn't remember): no apologies, no recognition off the harm he had done.

A father is supposed to be a source of strength for his family. He is supposed to provide guidance and stability, so in that sense my dad has failed. Instead, he has shown cowardice and irresponsibility. Using alcohol as a crutch, he allowed it to take him over. He decided to take the easy way out, using alcohol to escape the harsh realities of the world, never realizing the debilitating effect his habit has had on our family and I. Avoiding sober confrontation and failure, he lives an aggressively passive existence, forever complaining and always giving excuses.

In my youth, just like the dog, I feared my dad. I'd run up to my room when he came home from work and I'd hide under my bed when drunken rage got the best of him. Over the years, however, fear has turned into anger and, more recently, into pity, and I have channeled that anger and pity to become a stronger individual. I stand up to him now when he threatens my mother. I let him know that his hateful ways have no place in our family. I have chosen to take the world head on, accepting responsibility for my actions. I do what my heart, mind, and gut together tell me. I realize that I can not control my environment; I can only choose how I respond to my environment. I focus on what I can control, as I am a firm believer that the you are the architect of your own future. I choose to immerse myself fully into my activities, relationships and passions, to go all out in every life endeavor, and to make the most of my talents, strengths and abilities.

Help: Is this an effective essay? Please give me any suggestions. Thanks
aerielm 6 / 14  
Dec 9, 2011   #2
She knew to get out of his way...I knew he was drunk again,

Favorite sentence, I was like woah man, thats deep. The first paragraph is definitely the best and i like how you tied it into the last paragraph. Its a very moving essay with a nice moral/ending to it, i think its pretty effective. Theres just a few spelling like at the end of the first paragraph it says off instead of of.

But other than that its pretty good, good luck!
Help me with mine?
Ravenclaw_roar 4 / 38  
Dec 9, 2011   #3
Hi there! This is a really deep essay and very powerful. The only thing I will critic will be to focus on how you developed as a person. How many words is your essay? If you haven't exceeded the limit yet, I suggest that you elaborate on how you grew because I feet like a really wanted to know more about you! Other than that, I do like your essay and I admire you for your strength.

Pls help me critic my essay as well! You can be as harsh as you like! Thanks!
kadeemadm 1 / 3  
Dec 10, 2011   #4
Your essay has a nice hook just reading the first sentence made me want to continue reading on. I also like how you put a twist on what they asked you because when one thinks influence the portray it as a good thing but you wrote about a negative thing and how it effected you and how you turned it into your strengths.
namato 7 / 16  
Dec 11, 2011   #5
Hello tpaine02, this is a very moving essay. There is no doubt about it. However, I have to agree with Ravenclaw_roar. Remember that the essay is supposed to be a reflection of YOU as a person. While you have mentioned that you took the world on and immerse yourself fully into your activities etc etc, you havent really demonstrated how you have done that. I would say, pick one of the activities that you have immersed yourself in and elaborate on it.

Otherwise, good luck to you!!
fredday 4 / 10  
Dec 16, 2011   #6
Good essay! A few grammatical errors here and there, but content to me seems good: it's thought provoking and is personal.

One thing only: try to relate how this experience has shape you as a person - what have you learnt from it? how has it shaped what you value/ your principles?

I have written my essay on a similar topic of domestic unrest; take a chance to read it if you want.

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