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"Family tragedy taught me my strength" - Georgetown's "describe yourself" essay


lilbean 1 / 1  
Dec 26, 2015   #1
"For weeks my life was in shambles. It seemed like everything was crumbling around me: my relationships, my security, my sense of family. My mom stared across the counter at me."

Hello there,
The prompt is broad: "As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you." I think this does a pretty good job. Im not comfortable with my parents editing it as its so deeply personal to us all, I would prefer it be private. I think this describes a really integral part of my character, which is my resilience. What do you think? ANY critiques are welcome :) Thank you very much!!

-lilbean

ESSAY:
For weeks my life was in shambles. It seemed like everything was crumbling around me: my relationships, my security, my sense of family. My mom stared across the counter at me. As he raised his glistening eyes to meet mine, he said he was admitting himself to a rehabilitation facility. He said we deserved better, and I did not disagree.

Thus, I entered into my junior year with my dad in a rehabilitation facility. I jumped into one of the most academically challenging years of my life while my biggest cheerleader and support system was two hours away, and limited to one phone call a week. Navigating the churning ocean of responsibilities included maintaining my grades, studying for the SAT, and trying to hide the emotions that were constantly brewing inside.

Contrasting with the normalcy of my identity at school, my identity at home was shifting at an alarming rate. I was no longer a child, free to hang out with my friends whenever I wanted. Instead, I was making sure my two little sisters were bathed and in pajamas by their bedtimes. I was making them breakfast, and brushing their hair out of their eyes as the weak sun lazily climbed over the trees in the backyard. I could not afford to break down, or be weak. My academic success was personal, and only affected my life. How I held myself at home was for my little sisters. They deserved stability, no matter the circumstances. Falling apart was not an option, no matter how broken I felt on the inside.

After my dad came home, it was like a haze was lifted. He re entered our lives, head metaphorically bowed, apologetic for the tumult and insecurity that he left in his wake. Our lives moved slowly back to equilibrium as he resumed his role as caregiver, I as student and teenager.

I moved through the actions that I had performed before my dad left, but they had taken on a new meaning. Inside, my identity and understanding of myself was altered forever.

Juggling successfully the responsibilities of the previous months, I was filled with a twisted sense of gratitude and joy. I was far more powerful and strong than I had ever believed. As I reflected on the past months, I could have let my situation be the anchor that held me back from being successful and working to my full potential. I could have let my teachers know my situation and request they go easy on me, as I had familial responsibilities to fulfill. But, I refused. Instead, my situation catapulted me forward. I played off the fact I was in the midst of a whirlwind, and was proud of myself that I could still perform while the winds of change and responsibility whipped furiously around me.

I have learned not to let myself be defined or limited by what happens to me. Ultimately, these things cannot be controlled. Yet, the response I offer in the face of adversity or change is what defines me because it comes from within me.

This is ultimately how I learned to work through hardship. It is a lesson that has served me well and I am glad I was able to learn it young. There is something profoundly beautiful in holding it all together when, every moment, it is threatening to blow to pieces.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 27, 2015   #2
Lilbean, this is a very heartfelt and emotional essay that you have written. You most certainly put yourself out there with a story that more than details your transition from childhood to adulthood. The mere fact that you did not blame your father for becoming an addict and that you allowed him to re-enter your life when he was finally well shows a maturity and sense of forgiveness that is normally found in people far older and more mature in intellect than those your age. I certainly believe that this essay will give the admissions officer something to ponder regarding your abilities as a student and your maturity as a person. This is definitely an essay that will be of benefit to your application.

However, it has some minor work that needs to be done before you can actually submit it for consideration. Double check your grammar. In your first paragraph, you need a transition sentence that will tell the reviewer that your father was the one who began talking as your mother looked at you from across the table. At the moment, it seems like you are using the wrong pronoun in the paragraph because your mother is a "she" and yet you continued to refer to a "he" throughout the first paragraph. Review the essay for any grammar mistakes then post it again here for a final review :-)
amounenaitlho 7 / 12 3  
Dec 27, 2015   #3
it was a great essay I really loved it, But there were a few issues.

As he raised his glistening eyes to meet mine, he said he was admitting himself to a rehabilitation facility. He said we deserved better, and I did not disagree. here it is not known who he is in the sentence. You could either say "AS my dad raised his glistening eyes"

or add another sentence.

Lastly I felt that your essay started out really strong and captivating but lost energy by the end. You should try to keep that energy that you started with until the end. but overall it was marvelous.


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