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'my mom is the most influential figure' - common application


ssc8701 4 / 8  
Nov 18, 2011   #1
Please feel free to be honest and criticize. I would really love it if anyone would edit/recommend/give any sort of an advice and help me make this essay a bot more interesting and less cliche. Thank you so much!

* Indicate a person who has had a significant influence, and describe that influence.

There are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and they are responsible for raising 21.8 million children. Living life without the support of a dad is really difficult. However, this hardship is outweighed by the incredible journey life has taken me under the wing of my single mom. Each day was a challenge and through these challenge, I gained strength, tolerance, and appreciation.

On top of the fact that my mom had to support two young daughters by herself, she also had to face the hardships of an immigrant life. Even though she was a graduate of South Korea's most prestigious university with a degree in literature, she did not know a word of English. With her broken English coated with an unmistakable heavy Korean accent, it was impossible for her to communicate in this foreign land. As a child, I frequently witnessed the rudeness of clerks and shopkeepers as my mother tried to make her desires understood. My sister and I often had to translate for her so that she could buy groceries or transact any business. Nevertheless, my mother's language barrier was the best experience there was to teach me about tolerating stress and handling important problems.

Even though she suddenly had to rely on her children and face barriers everywhere she turned, my mother never complained. She did the best she could and did all she could to make her English better. Gradually, she learned to make her voice heard, although her English will never be perfect. I admire her for having the courage to come to a new country and learn a new language. I admire her for having the spirit to face difficulty without ever feeling pity for herself.

In elementary school, I was in an ESL class and I hated it. I was bitter about being teased because I spoke English with a Korean accent. Gradually, however, I learned to follow her example and persist in my goal to become strong. Whenever I hear someone who speaks English with an accent, I think about how hardworking that person must be being able to challenge himself/herself with a second language. I am grateful to my mother for teaching me to face adversity with cheerfulness and for teaching me quite courage by her example.

Single moms are greatly looked down upon and pitied in Korea. However, I am so grateful to have a single mom. I am so grateful that my sister, my mom, and I were able to get through it all together in America and show my relatives in Korea that although the single mom may be alone and have it harder, she is a tolerant, strong, and appreciative woman. And that's why my mom is the most influential figure in my life.

Yang93 1 / 12  
Nov 25, 2011   #2
it's a great essay but you got to think about the thousands of students who could be writing about the same thing. Admission officers tend to get annoyed after reading tons of essays about how great a mother or father is. I'm not trying to be mean or offensive but if you can make yours stand out from the others,it'll be better. (please don't be mad at me..Im just trying to help:)
OP ssc8701 4 / 8  
Dec 4, 2011   #3
@ Yang93

Yea. Thats what I'm actually really worried about. My teacher told me the same...But i just dont have anyone else to really talk about.

And no, im no way insulted or mad. Thanks for the advice:)
OP ssc8701 4 / 8  
Dec 4, 2011   #4
My mother is the most influential figure in my life. This is an overused phrase. Many people talk/write about how great their mother or father is; however, as cliché as it sounds, it is entirely true. There is a reason to why the phrase is overused. No one can replace the credit that my mom deserves in her warm encouragement and influence that allowed me to prosper in to the individual I am today.

should i begin my essay something like this? or is this worse?
ninosage 2 / 5  
Dec 4, 2011   #5
The intro needs to be changed so that it draws the essay reader into the essay as a whole. Maybe try to do something witty or humorous, probably more witty in this case.

The one you have above is better but try to rearrange the words to have better flow.


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