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"Difficulty need not foreshadow despair: how I defeated my mother" AMHERST SUPPLEMENT


CrimeanGurl 1 / 17  
Dec 29, 2010   #1
I know that this is way too long (590 words instead of 300), but I simply can't shorten this essay without ruining it completely. Do you think it is good enough to compensate for going over the limit or should I scrap the whole thing entirely and just try something completely different? I am looking for constrictive criticism, not grammar correction. Thanks!

I went into that conversation prepared better than ever: my research was extensive, my arguments compelling, my logic unbreakable. The idea I was about to bring to the table seemed to be among the best to ever grace my mind, my enthusiasm for the matter making it twice as compelling. I was absolutely certain that any reasonable person would support my decision and expected nothing less than tearful embraces and praises for my ingenuity. Imagine my surprise then, when only a few minutes into a very passionate speech of mine, I was cut short by my mom's uncompromising "Only across my dead body!"

At the moment, her reaction struck me as unreasonable, unfair, and painfully over-dramatic. But now that I think, one can hardly blame a woman who has just been informed about her only teenage daughter's desire to move across the ocean for being too dramatic. In retrospect, I don't even know where my surprise came from: I had a great many opportunities to learn about my mom's extraordinary ability to see a myriad of threats to my well-being in every imaginable thing. After all, wasn't she the one who wouldn't let me stay out until after dark well into my late teens and try to cause a large-scale panic every time I was an hour late from school?

The idea towards which my parent showed so much resentment was that of me becoming an au-pair in the United States. Up until I raised the subject, she had never heard about the program that brought American families and young women from around the world together thus helping both parties to experience different cultures. In fact, the only "cultural exchange" that involved young Ukrainian girls my mother was aware of was the one that often ended in police busts and loud newspaper headlines. She was not - and I quote - "about to send her only child into slavery." None of my tearful arguments about groundlessness of her concerns worked: she would not give me her blessing no matter what.

After that first unpleasant conversation, I had no choice but to retreat. It did not mean, however, that I surrendered: For the first time in my life I knew exactly what I wanted, and even though I had no idea where this decision would eventually bring me, I was absolutely sure that I was standing on a threshold of an incredible adventure that I could not afford to miss. I realized from the start, however, that our conflict would not end with just a few skirmishes - it had to be a long war fare that would require a lot of creativity and patience on my part. So I dug my trenches deep, fortified them well, and prepared to defeat my parent's resentment whatever it took.

Needless to say, the total lack of support that came from my mother during what turned into a yearlong confrontation caused much frustration on my part. In retrospect, however, I realize that it was her decline to see the matter through my eyes that ultimately prepared me for what was to come next. Unintentionally, by refusing to play any part in what she viewed as her daughter's insane scheme, she encouraged me to take charge of my own fortune for the first time in my life, which led me to uncover drive and determination I never realized I possessed in such a great quantities. Saying my goodbyes in the airport on December 7th, 2007, I knew that I was well-prepared for everything life could possibly throw at me.

OP CrimeanGurl 1 / 17  
Dec 29, 2010   #2
The prompt is "Difficulty need not foreshadow despair or defeat. Rather achievement can be all the more satisfying because of obstacles surmounted."
cdyal87 3 / 15  
Dec 30, 2010   #3
I think you did a wonderful job articulating the prompt.
I only see two corrections that can be fixed:
1. "...in such a great quantities." do you mean to say, " in such great quantities." or in such a great quantity."?

2. "December 7th, 2007,". Anytime you have every component of a date, each part should be seperated by a comma. Thus, December, 7th, 2007.

This essay shows your determination and patience when it come to obtaining goals.

On the other side, I TRIED to read my essay again and failed. I forgot what eccentric and desideration meant. I was so anxious and stressed about my application essys I completely forgot I speak English.
OP CrimeanGurl 1 / 17  
Dec 30, 2010   #4
Thanks for the feedback, Cindy
Good luck with your essays!
etaang 4 / 40  
Dec 31, 2010   #5
This topic doesn't really seem that well-tailored for the prompt at hand. You're supposed to be talking about overcoming adversity, but it sounds like half the time you're conceding portions of your argument and redacting your opinions. Besides, do you really think that writing about how you want to "defeat your parents" sets you in a good light in front of the adcoms? In part, it just makes you seem immature and slightly ignorant.

You just really need to focus on actually answering the question.
OP CrimeanGurl 1 / 17  
Dec 31, 2010   #6
Thanks for advice, Eric!
I have actually already changed my mind about using this essay, but if I did I would definitely not have title it "How I defeated my mother" LOL

I see your point about it not following the prompt very well, and this is exactly the reason I am not going to use it.


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