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my mom's fight with cancer--- Common App essay


raza68 5 / 23  
Aug 6, 2011   #1
Ok, so I just wrote this common app essay in 30-45 minutes, so it is really rough. I would really appreciate any editing. Also, if you can comment on how boring/interesting the essay is, that would be great. Thanks!

prompt: evaluate an experience that has changed you.

"Can you guys come into my room now?" asked my mother.
When we heard our mother calling us, the three of us timidly entered our parents' room. We were expecting to be screamed at for not cleaning up our rooms, but what our parents had to say was very different. We quietly sat down on the bench in our parents' room, giving fleeting glances up to our parents. Just then, I noticed tears flowing down their faces. On July 9th 2006, we found out that my mother was diagnosed with cancer.

The next few days that transpired were painful for all of us. We had heard of cancer in movies and in the newspaper, but we had never known what "cancer" really was. All day, we would attempt to comfort each other and tell each other that everything would be fine, but, on the inside, each one of us was worried about my mother's life.

The following week, my mother went through her first session of chemotherapy. I have to say, the hardest thing for all of us was to see my mother lose her long black hair. She now wore a scarf in shame. Just when we saw some hair grow back, she was hit with another session of chemotherapy. It seemed like a never ending cycle.

At night I would lock myself up in my room and weep tears of anguish, though I knew that crying would get me nowhere. I wanted to help and comfort my mother, but what could I do? I was only in 7th grade and I couldn't even make my own sandwich. Those first thirteen years, I was reliant on my mother for everything, but, at that moment, I realized that I had to help out my mother in the house. Yes, she could still walk and do the daily chores around the house, but I could tell that she had gotten weaker, especially after her chemotherapy sessions. It was only right to lend a helping hand around the house.

Throughout the next year, I began to rely more on myself and less on my parents. Instead of waiting on my mother to come downstairs to make food for us, I went ahead and put together sandwiches for the whole family. I even quit the school basketball team so that I could take care of both my brothers and my mother while my father was at work. Whenever my little brothers needed help with their homework, I was there by their side. Likewise, whenever my mother needed me to do a chore for her, I would quickly drop what I was doing. All of a sudden, it seemed as if I was in charge of the house. It was a great feeling of accomplishment and self-worth.

It has now been roughly five years since my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and I can happily say that she is doing great. Those years were hard on all of us. Still, because of those years I have grown into the person I am today. I now realize that life is short. No one on this planet can live indefinitely. Because of those years when I had to grow both mentally and emotionally, I also understand that life is not about superficial items. They hold no weight in this world. No, life is about living to one's fullest potential. Everyone has his own duty, whether it be being a firefighter or being a dedicated teacher. Whatever the case may be, I now understand what I am meant to do in this world. My job in life is to give back to society by being an oncologist. I am indebted to those doctors who helped my mother get better, and, as a result, I have found a love for this field of medicine.

Thanks again! Also, if you read my other essay on pakistani orphans, which one did you like better? I really appreciate all of the help :)
androidman 3 / 4  
Aug 6, 2011   #2
Actually, i don't prefer to read long texts. However, i read your essay with a great enthusiasm and forget about correcting mistakes.

Good luck!
Powerfuldog 5 / 9  
Aug 6, 2011   #3
Fantastic essay. Provides depth, emotion, and shows how your responsibilities meant giving up some of your privileges (like basketball). any suggestions for my activities essay?

"During the Global Music Festival I organized for the Emeritus Assisted Living Center, I sang the soulful Carnatic song Endaro, a composition honoring great individuals. As I finished, I felt frail hands softly tap at my shoulders. The sincerest of smiles greeted me.

Howard, a 90-year old textbook of human life, was one of my closest friends at the center. Each visit to the center invoked colorful and vivid stories from the vast annals of his life; closing my eyes, I would vicariously imbibe his rebellious life as a Beatnik or his proud national service during World War 2. Whether we talked while playing Bingo or eating Dessert, our heartfelt conversations helped me mature as an individual and understand the true value of close human relationships.

The fateful weekend that Howard passed away, I sang Endaro to personally honor the compassionate soul who, in 3 years, transformed a callow boy into an attentive and empathetic adolescent."
OP raza68 5 / 23  
Aug 7, 2011   #4
Thanks guys!
dongjunenator 3 / 6  
Dec 20, 2011   #5
who's we in the beginning of this essay?

With an acceptance of admission into University of North Carolina and the ability to be part of the world renowned biology department at University of North Carolina, I plan on furthering my knowledge of the human body and biology to prepare myself for the life of an altruistic doctor

I think this sentence needs some work. Maybe include the names of specific programs or organizations at UNC instead of just talking about how you'll further your knowledge with an acceptance of admission. What are some unique aspects of UNC and its biology programs? research? the professors?

But overall, this was really easy to read. I think you did a great job.

P.S. hope your mother is doing well. My mom was recently diagnosed with cancer as well. Good luck to both of us!
OP raza68 5 / 23  
Dec 21, 2011   #6
Thanks! I hope all goes well with your mom's cancer! Just remember to not give up hope, and good luck with college apps!

Anyone else have any suggestions?
Prettywings 1 / 74  
Dec 21, 2011   #7
I think this is an excellent essay. You articulate your interests in becoming a doctor, and answered the essay prompt very well. The only thing I would add is more specificity in your comments about UNC having a world renowned biology department--perhaps mentioning a professor by name, or notable alumni, etc. But overall, I think you have a well-crafted essay.
OP raza68 5 / 23  
Dec 21, 2011   #8
I actaully worked on the ending. Tell me what you guys think:
It has now been roughly five years since my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and I can happily say that she is doing well. Those years were hard on all of us. Still, because of those years, I have grown into the person I am today. This arduous time has helped me discover my place in this world. I now realize that I must give back to society by being a doctor. I am indebted to those doctors who helped my mother get better, and, as a result, I have found a love for this field of medicine. Thus, with an acceptance of admission into University of North Carolina and the ability to be part of the world renowned biology department featuring brilliant researchers and professors such as Greogory Copenhaver, I plan on furthering my knowledge of the human body and biology to prepare myself for the life of an altruistic doctor.
Prettywings 1 / 74  
Dec 22, 2011   #9
Great! Now add a little blurb about his research. You may say something to the extent: "featuring brilliant researchers and professors such as Greogory Copenhaver, whose research on (cells, etc.) I find intriguing and is fully in line with my own research interests and career objectives." (something like that.) :)

Also, your last sentence is somewhat odd. I understand what you are saying, but the admissions committee may not. Perhaps you could say something like: to and prepare devote myself for the to a life of an altruistic doctor altruism.
OP raza68 5 / 23  
Dec 22, 2011   #10
Thanks! That should help quite a bit. So, how does this sound (it may sound like too much in one sentence... should I break it up or leave it as is)?

Thus, with an acceptance of admission into University of North Carolina and the ability to work with brilliant researchers and professors such as Gregory Copenhaver, whose research on genetics is fully in line with my own research interests, I plan on furthering my knowledge of biology and devoting myself to a life of altruism.
Prettywings 1 / 74  
Dec 22, 2011   #11
Yes, much better. I think by adding the professor's name, as well as his area of research shows that you have done a little bit of research on your own. I also think you should leave the sentence as is. I think you'll do well.
jasononwenu 5 / 19  
Dec 22, 2011   #12
This essay is excellent. I am writing something like this, in terms of motherly affections and how much my mother/family means to me, and I think any topics regarding this is a very good college essay topic.


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