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"all the lessons my mother has taught me" influential person college essay


This is my college essay... I had a lot of trouble organizing my thoughts and I am looking for some advice and criticism. Thanks :)

The prompt is to chose an influential person who has impacted your life in some way.

When it comes time to sit down and write these college essays, most students pick the category "Describe the most influential person in your life and how they impacted you." After giving it little thought-, most would likely choose their mother or father to get the process over with as fast and as easy as possible. I've thought a lot about the individuals who have come in and out of my life, including my grandmother, friend, and even my program advisor, but my mother just happens to fit that part perfectly for me.

All my life I've been extremely close to my mother. She has raised me to be the determined and hardworking young adult I am today. I take pride in the fact that I worked diligently throughout my 12 years of schooling, struggling through the advanced classes and various extracurricular activities I participated in, to finally be able to say "Hey, I did it!" All those late-nighters I spent studying for midterms and completing projects for different classes has paid off in the long run. But such accomplishments were not made all on my own; I am lucky to have the support of my mother [and father] and a helping hand when times got rough. It is to her that I dedicate my drive to chase after my dreams.

A brilliant example of my mom's willpower is when she opened her own business. It thrived for a few years, and she was able to move into a much larger space to sell, but eventually, due to the poor economy, she was forced to close the business and find another job. Although my mother always tells me she feels like a failure for not being able to keep the store open, I will always look at her as an incredible idol. She had a dream, and she went out and made it a reality; that's something I will always respect and aspire to attain for myself one day. After all, you only live once, so why not make the best of every experience possible?

I'd like to think that I've become a stronger person after all the hardships I've experienced in my life. The death of my grandmother took an incredibly painful toll on me, as I was very close to her. Depression was a part of my life for a few months, but with the help of my faith and together with my mom, we helped each other to overcome those poignant feelings and move forward in life. My mother has given me the strength to fight through all the dire times, and to find something positive out of every negative experience.

I always try to look for the good in people. My strong sense of compassion for others stems from the love of my mom. She is always looking for ways to make other people happy before making herself happy. I am glad to admit that I follow in her footsteps as a care-giving, rather than receiver. Every chance I get to help a friend, or even a stranger, I seize the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. Most of my friends come to me for advice about different scenarios of life, and I am always happy to give my opinions and thoughts. A smile on someone else's face always puts one on mine.

Out of all the lessons my mother has taught me, the most valuable that I've held onto is to stay true to myself. I've gained more and more independence as I've gotten older because my parents trust me to do the right thing and to not get involved with the wrong crowd. I'm not one for peer pressure and I am proud to say that I do not participate in activities that involve drugs, alcohol, and the "party scene." I am confident that my decisions to stay clean will get me far in life, and I owe much of my dedication to my parents for sculpting me into the individual I am today.

Nov 26, 2010   #2
Hi Amanda,
I completely understand your worry about using your Mom as your influential person being cliche or overdone, but instead of trying to justify it in the first paragraph, use your essay to show that you are not just lacking creativity but actually have been deeply influenced by your mother (she sounds like an amazing person and it is obvious you are sincere in your claim that she has influenced you). Instead you could use your first paragraph to hook the reader with an interesting story about your mother.

Additionally I think you could help organize your thoughts by focusing on one moment or event that shows your mother's influence - a time when you realized you would both be strong through your grandmothers death, how she dealt with the closing of her business - a concrete example would help show the reader who your mother is and also gives you a chance to demonstrate your writing skills.

Hope my comments helped, and they are only suggestions - the most important thing is to stay true to your own writing voice so feel free to disregard what you disagree with.


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