All my life I had cut my waffles into little triangular slices and eaten them with my fingers, kept my socks in a mix-matched pile that towered over the basket, and hosted huge slumber parties for my birthday each year, but everything changed when my dad got remarried, and a near stranger named Rhonda became my legal mother.
To her, these tendencies were unacceptable occurrences that reflected a clear lapse in judgement by the figure in authority. "Children should learn their manners, do their chores without being told, and more than one friend over at a time is simply ridiculous." It was difficult not to immediately label her as the enemy- after all, she had invaded my comfort zone, and now began rewriting the laws. I felt helpless, voiceless, as if I was about to sit in the audience as the entire character of my family transformed; watching my cozy, laughter-warmed home morph into a strange, formal place that requires the removal of shoes upon entry.
In accordance with my predictions, change did happen- a new schedule, new city, new school, new wrongs, new rights. My stepmom believed all this change was right. I believed it was so very wrong.
However, one night, my dad made a comment,expressing a discovery of a commonality between myself and Rhonda. Naturally I took offense, "I would never be so strict!", I decided indignantly in my head, but then I glanced around at my tidy bedroom floor, at my color coded closet and my hand sanitizer collection. I thought of what I would do if entered a new family where I was met with three young kids and a mountain of chaos. Probably die. No, but I would surely struggle, and I would without a doubt impose order where I saw fit. If I had been taught that utensils were always required, I would, too, cringe at the sight of a ten year old eating a waffle like it was pizza.
Realizing that, though our beliefs may be opposite in many circumstances, there was no need for battle; that we both longed for the same goals- a happy family- mended holes- I decided that her intentions were solely good, and so I owed her nothing less than honest and full respect. Though It was difficult, I accepted each new rule, met each new expectation, and did my best to refrain from complaining. When I felt discouraged and began to brood over the loss of my seemingly pertinent rights, I reminded myself of how much more Rhonda had sacrificed in her decision to take on this challenge, and I kept quiet.
Her input greatly effected the dynamic of my family. Under her jurisdiction, I was appointed greater responsibility. I packed my own lunch, evaluated my own report card, signed up for my own activities, and shopped for my own groceries by the time I was in high school.
As I matured, It became evident that I had been ultimately naive in my perception of Rhonda's actions all along. While she may have seemed a thief; stealing many of my prized privileges, she was in fact a savior; preventing me from forming into an entitled spoiled brat- to be frank. She grew up with an alcoholic mother, nearly raised herself and her twin brother, and thus uncovered the value of self-sufficiency. The touch of this varied energy in my home is the reason I have developed a self starting attitude. Without her, and the discipline she inspired me to instill upon myself, I might still be expecting my dad to slice my apples for sack lunch.
Everyone responds differently to outside influences, and in my interaction with Rhonda I chose to respect them, to consider them and in the end to uphold them. People possess the incredible power to share their unique backgrounds for the benefit of others. Not only did my Rhonda demonstrate this power and spark my independent personality, but she diminished any fear I had of encountering new people and places where my opinions may contrast with the status quo. Now that I recognize the incalculable value of these distinctions, I am ready to dive headfirst into a complete exploration of the immense diversity that the world has to offer.
Wow! This is a truly strong and well developed essay Hannah. What is the prompt you were trying to respond to? Was it about role models or influences in your life? Regardless of the prompt, I hope that you will be able to use the essay in one of your applications. I have to say that you have a talent for the written word and do not have a problem expressing yourself.
That said, I just have to mention that the essay would have (in my opinion) been even better had you presented a depiction of yourself prior the Rhonda's arrival in your life. While the slumber parties and kept mismatched socks towering in your basket are iinteresting, all it told us as readers, is that you had a pretty good, loving, cared for, and enviable life growing up. So when Rhonda starts mentioning things such as a child needing discipline, manners, etc., we are led to wonder "What did you do to provoke these comments from her?"
If you paint us a picture of why Rhonda thought you needed more discipline, aside from the fact that you cut your waffles like pizza, the reader will come away from your essay with an understanding of why you and Rhonda may be so much alike and yet so different. It also makes the influence and the role model aspect of her existence in your life much more interesting and understandable.
That said, I think that the only revision to be made to your essay lies in the beginning. Either the first paragraph of the first 2 paragraphs. That decision is up to you. If you opt not to change anything in the essay at this point, that would be acceptable too. Although, the essay at this point, is not as strong as I believe it can be with the integration of my aforementioned suggestions.
I can help you with some of your essay.
The first sentence delete
had and change eaten to "ate". You should separate your sentence. "Everything changed when my dad got married..."
The next paragraph, I was unclear about the meaning of the first sentence. You could delete some words in that sentence:
occurrences that and replace it with "and". Also, delete: by the figure in authority . If you are quoting her, you could begin the sentence with "She said". Change laughter-warm to "laughter-filled". The next two sentences should be in this paragraph. I think you hit the enter key too soon, so it seemed as if you were forming a new paragraph.
3rd paragraph: There is a missing word:" I thought about what I would do if I met three children and encountered a mountain of chaos." In your last sentence, I am going to suggest deleting
too and stating, "I would cringe".
4th paragraph: You should end the first sentence with "...happy family and mended holes". Do you mean mended holes in your heart?
5th paragraph: There is a slight error :"As I matured it..." You could state "independence" to replace
self starting attitude .
6th paragraph: You could state "I chose to respect, consider, and uphold her standards."
- when my dad got remarried
, andto a near stranger...
- ..named Rhondaand she became my legal mother.
- ...being told
, and more than one...
- ...I owed her nothing less than honesty and full respect.
Very well written!!! KUDOS to you, it is very entertaining and more than that, it's an eye opener, that change is always and should always be for greater good, most often than not, it is for the good of everyone, it greatly depend on how one person see's this changes.
I had the same struggle as a young kid who had to leave a comfortable life when my parents declared bankruptcy, as a family we have to drag our feet and wake up to a not so appealing house, a table that's not full of any food that we want or like to eat, but hey, a few months on and we started to embrace a simple lifestyle, we have roof in our head and food in the table. More importantly, we have a much stronger family and ever ready to face new challenges and the world as a whole.
Overall, your essay is very good as I've said before, you can actually write an entertaining book, think about this and let us know here on EF so we can help you out.
It would helpful if you include the essay prompt here so we can see if you answer it completely or going on a tangent. Nice essay nonetheless.
I enjoyed reading this essay. There are a few grammar and spelling errors that have been touched upon by previous responders but other than that, this a a good, original essay topic. Best of luck!