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"What my Mom taught Me"- Common App Essay - a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure

vrathore2001 1 / 3  
Dec 28, 2018   #1
Prompt # 2
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience ?

Just finished with my Common App essay ...request all to please review

Thanks !

What My Mom taught Me

"Reason no more,
Do what he says.
Conflict only clouds the vision,
You anyways end up where HE takes"

My beautiful mum passed away from a rare form of cancer on 25th Nov'2018. She was 45.From living an ordinary life as a carefree 16 year, suddenly I became a young man facing adulthood without his mother to guide. Life changed irrevocably, and everything has been horribly off-balance ever since. I being her only child was showered with all her love and affection. For me abundance, undivided love was a norm. I feel the void.

My mother's generation of women was the last to really sacrifice everything for family. Now, we juggle careers and motherhood without any suggestion that we should do anything else. It is what we expect; what we do. For my mother's generation, this was not the case. Mum gave up her job to raise me, and I often wonder if she regretted this, regretted not fulfilling any of her own dreams and ambitions. I also wonder what she might have gone on to do in her later years, without family responsibilities to worry about. The fact that she never got the chance to really spread her wings has definitely pushed me to chase my dreams.

She instilled a love of books within me from a very early age. It was mum who took me to the local library and helped us carry back armfuls of delicious new books. It was mum who tucked me in at night, prizing a book from my hand as she turned out the light. It was mum who turned a blind eye when she saw the glow of mobile phone beneath the covers as I sneakily checked messages and read stories.

"If you are in pain,
I should weep as well.
Your moments of joy,
Should make my heart swell"

My mother was often stressed, prompting me to assumed more responsibility, juggling family duties, school, athletics, and work. I made countless trips to the neighborhood pharmacy, cooked dinner, biked to the grocery store, supported my concerned father, and provided the loving care my mother needed to recover. I took ownership over small decisions such as scheduling daily appointments and managing my time but also over major decisions involving my future, including the college admissions process.

When I see my friend heading off on a last minute road trip,and when I think about my mum and how suddenly her life was cut short, I wonder: I should spent less time worrying about what other people think and more time focusing on what I really want to do. I seek only the permission of my own heart and I should chase that dream I've been talking about for years, trust my instincts and make the bold choices.

Life has certainly thrown some big questions my way, and without the emotional support of my mum, I've to answer them. And you know what? I believe I've been able to do that because I always had mum's support. Gently, quietly, she taught me to how to be a good human being. While I dearly wish she could have been there beside me for long years, in many ways, she will.

My mother remains a guiding force in my life and I feel empowered with the beacon she passed on to me to help me believe in my abilities.
anna123 8 / 14 3  
Dec 28, 2018   #2
The prompt asks for what you learnt from a setback. You explained a lot of ways your mother affected you, but didn't really describe how you as a person grew from that experience.

Maybe elaborate on how juggling family duties as well school and work to support your family made you better at managing time, or just a stronger person.

I think with a little more organizing and editing this would be an amazing essay.
OP vrathore2001 1 / 3  
Dec 28, 2018   #3
Hi ,

Rightly pointed ...will incorporate

Thanks a lot !
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 11,566 3753  
Dec 29, 2018   #4
Vivek, I found your work to be very touching and poignant. It shows a side of you as a person that the common app prompts, specially the one that you chose for this essay will not allow you to normally show. Perhaps you would like to consider not editing this essay and instead, use it, in its entirety, for the following prompt instead?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

The flashback to your mom and the connection that her illness had with your character development, mindset, and sense of maturity is something that go hand in hand. The essay shows the definite influence that a parent can have on a child, long after they have left this world. The way you state it highlights that spiritual connection that you will forever have with your mother, and will forever be part of who you are and how you make decisions in the future.

Please reconsider adding any information to the essay, I do not believe it is necessary for you to do so.
OP vrathore2001 1 / 3  
Dec 29, 2018   #5
Hi !

Thanks for the detailed feedback !

I choose the prompt on the setback cue ....will consider your suggestion.

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