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My Mother and our complicated relations - Common app and Coalition essay

LoneLee 4 / 12  
Dec 26, 2016   #1
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

The trophy child

I was supposed to be her trophy child. I had a higher IQ than my brother. I was taller than my brother, but instead I was a disappointment. Academically, I got A's, but I wasn't literally perfect. Musically, I was the top of my band, but I wasn't the top of the state. And there wasn't a day in which I wasn't reminded of it. She "gave me" the opportunity to live. Every accomplishment I achieved was thanks to her, not any of my hard work. In the end I owed her my life and she intended to collect. She was the worst: the complete opposite of what a mother should be. She deserved it; I had every right to be angry. So why do I still feel bad?

I don't know how it started then, probably something stupid, like usual. But this time I was going to be the bigger person. Or at least that's what I told myself; that lasted about five minutes before I became engulfed in her irrational criticisms. It was impossible to please her. Nothing ever helped. She always found a way for me to seem like a disappointment and that I should be grateful to her for putting up with me for 17 years. But I knew she was wrong. I learned how to add and subtract by myself. I learned how to cook and clean by myself. I learned to love and embrace other people by myself, because I sure as hell didn't have a mother to show me how. So I gave in, and I got mad; I fired back with arguments a million times better than hers. I shut down every one of her petty grievances, but I had no effect. She wasn't listening to me. I kept repeating "you're not listening to me". Finally after what seemed like forever, I physically couldn't take it anymore. My asthma was acting up, I couldn't breath properly, and my body was shaking from all the screaming. I just left; grabbed my keys and walked out the door.

She didn't try to chase me even though it was midnight. She wasn't worried in the slightest. For a while all I could think about was how ignorant and heartless she was. But eventually I forgot. I was back to my regular logical self, and I couldn't help but notice our similarities. I was yelling just as loud as she. I brought up equally shameful things from the past that she probably regretted. And I berated her about not listening to me, but I couldn't remember anything she said.

When I finally went back, she didn't say anything to me, and I didn't say anything to her. But I couldn't help but think about how ignorant and illogical I was being. The car ride the next morning was, to say the least, tense. And that didn't change after I sucked up my pride and apologized. But this time, she listened. Later that day, she approached me not with an admonishing comment or a frivolous demand, but with a question. "Do you want ramen?" I sat there, stunned, long enough for her to become noticeably irked. Before responding, "Yeah, thanks." This had never happened before; either I ate what she made, or I cooked, there was no in between. There was no visible pain, but I could tell that it was just as hard for her to ask me that question as it was for me to apologize that morning.

So maybe she's not the worst, or worse than the worst. Maybe she just gets frustrated and angry sometimes. Maybe she is trying, but I was too angry to notice. Maybe I didn't want to notice, because maybe she's just like me. And while I do get frustrated and angry at myself sometimes, in the end we just want the best for my future.

Any feedback would be appreciated, grammatical or substantial.

Cc11rocks - / 1  
Dec 26, 2016   #2
This essay spoke to me so much! I definitely have those moments with my mother where I think she never listens to me at all :(.

Overall, your topic is good, although I'm not sure this is the best topic to showcase who YOU are and what YOU can give to the college community.

Despite that, I still feel like this is an interesting essay.

Grammatical/substantive issues:
"I was taller than my brother, but instead I was a disappointment." <-- I don't really see the connection between these two statements. Does being tall make you a winner?

Also, ending the paragraph with "So why do I still feel bad?" Just doesn't resonate with me.

I liked the ending, but I think you can make it more cheery or more resolving. Just my opinion. Hope that wasn't too mean. Thanks for posting it! :)
OP LoneLee 4 / 12  
Dec 26, 2016   #3

I see what your saying about the tall segment. I think i'm going to change it to "supposed to be taller".

As for the ending of that paragraph, what I was trying to go for was that despite me knowing that she was a bad person I still felt bad for hating her. Any suggestions on how to make that come across more clearly?

And the ending is like it is because I still feel a bit jaded. I don't know if I could write it more cheery. Overall I've gotten criticism about it being too angry and I can see that, especially in the first paragraph, any suggestions on how to change that? *I"m going to add that last bit into the op* Nvm I can't edit the original

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