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"The day I bullied my mother" - Common App Essay Draft

salami809 1 / 4  
Dec 27, 2013   #1
Any opinion or review for my essay is welcomed! Also I dont know if I should stick with the title, change it or leave it blank. Thanks

Prompt 1 from Common App: "Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story."

It all happened one Saturday night.
I was lying in my bed watching TV, while my little brother, Osvaldo, was playing playstation in his room. Suddenly, I stood up from my bed and walked towards my mother's room. She was there sitting in a couch next to her bed when I asked her, "Mom, could you please order pizza?". Then as supportive as concrete slippers in a swimming pool, my brother joyously shouted from his room "Pizza!". But then my mother in a soft voice quickly responded, "Francis, you know I don't have money to buy junk food".

Slightly annoyed, I raised my voice and started to blame her for not having a job. For "sitting in her room doing nothing every day". But after hearing all my accusations, my mother with a dismal look on her face started explaining how hard she was trying to get a job. But angry as a raging bull who saw red, I quickly walked away from her room, ignoring every single word that came out of her mouth.

My father left the house when I was a little kid, too young to understand, too young to miss. I was raised by my single mother for many years until she married again in 2003. But three years after her marriage my stepfather suddenly died from a brain attack. My mother was really hurt inside but her eagerness to work and never back down regardless of the situation was my reason to smile. However things changed when she broke her ankle and was forced to remain in bed for over a year. This injury caused her to lose her job.

Not having a job is no reason to make another person feel bad. In hindsight, it seems like I took all the frustration I had with my father because of his absence in my life and threw it all over my mother. I spent days angry at myself because I couldn't understand how I could blame my mom for something so dense; for not having a job. But this problem was not just between my mother and me. What about my brother? What example am I leaving to him? And the fact that my anger was triggered because of a pizza was even worst. I felt weak. I couldn't even talk. Not a word.

Moments such as those made me the person I'm today. No, I'm not perfect, in fact I'm full of flaws, but the way I see and approach others has changed. I remember when I used to go to places and rarely greeted people, maybe because I was a little shy. In contrast, now every time I see someone, from the supermarket cashier to the bus driver, I try to make some contact to make them feel more comfortable regardless of their social status or situation.

However my mother never let me down. It seemed like she didn't care about all those words I threw at her. Because after that day, she was still there. She was still there preparing me breakfast every morning. She was still there asking me how I felt every day after school. But at that moment I was too blind inside my head to realize what her actions really meant. She showed me how forgive others and live on without hate because at the end only one can judge, God.

iacero 3 / 17 2  
Dec 27, 2013   #2
It's interesting and unique but I would be wary of your last sentence, specifically the God part. While you believe in God, your reader might be atheist or a someone who is vehemently against the idea of God.

" I remember when I used to go to places and rarely greeted people, maybe because I was a little shy. " I'm not sure why but this sentence sticks out. I almost want to say that it doesn't fit since you initially talk about anger but then again it sets up the contrast for your change in attitude. If no one else comments on the sentence then leave it be.

Also use a different word from dense, maybe complicated?

The title sounds intense and immediately cached my eye- leave it like that.
Overall I like your essay.
Xenon54 - / 6 1  
Dec 27, 2013   #3
This story is very powerful and well written. However, i have some advice for you.
Number one: Try to answer how your identity or background was influenced by this story.
Number two: "Not a word" is a fragment.
Number three: "She showed me how forgive others and live on without hate." You might want to add a "to".
OP salami809 1 / 4  
Dec 28, 2013   #4
Also what do you guys think about those similes I put in the essay. Should I keep them, put other or just delete them? Anymore reviews are welcome! Thanks
acewashere 5 / 12 2  
Dec 28, 2013   #5
If you feel that the essay works even without the similes, then you can choose to cut them out. I feel that the essay is good but it focuses too much on the problems. Those paragraphs could be compressed and you should expand a bit more on how it changed you or even your outlook on life. The part about how you used to be shy could be changed to a small anecdote on an example of such a situation.
OP salami809 1 / 4  
Dec 28, 2013   #6
I also feel the "I remember..." is a little out of context, but its an example on how I have changed since..
So how can I put this idea and make it fit in the essay?

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