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'My mother also played a key role' - Common Application Personal Essay


EJ94 1 / 1  
Dec 22, 2011   #1
I used the prompt "Person who has had a significant influence on you and describe the influence". Please feel free to be as critical as possible, I'm from the UK so haven't really been able to get much help with it and I'm not really sure if I got the right tone or not. Also my grammar tends to be quite bad so please check for that especially.

During the past 17 years I had not really noticed the extraordinary effect that my mother has had on who I am. She is the kind of person who will complain about how you're changing her plans or the fact that you took 5 minutes longer to get ready than she wanted (even if she's been more late on many occasions) and the kind of person who won't budge on an argument - the epitome of hypocritical and stubborn. But at the same time she is someone who finishes every task she sets, goes out of her way to help people and is never content with being just average; she is determined, generous, competitive and somewhat of a perfectionist. She is an amazing role model who has greatly influenced my character and personality.

My mother also played a key role in the development of my attitude towards learning. During the holidays, till I was 7, my mum would spend time teaching my brothers and me. Sometimes this included topics we did in school, many times it didn't. She would also read to us a great deal and have long discussions on varied topics. This led me to developing many of her enthusiasms. These include her excitement for learning and her interest in the brain and mind - this developed into my passion for neuroscience. The time that she spent teaching me also helped me to develop a good work ethic and academic focus; this became very useful during my A Levels and SATs.

When I started looking at Universities and possible courses, my parents tried to give me advice on possible careers. As they are both doctors, they were quick to tell me about the pride they felt performing their first surgery, the achievement of saving a life and other challenges - essentially trying to entice me into studying medicine. The stories helped me to learn about working on a ward, and led to me doing more research in specific areas in an attempt to understand better the stories that they'd told me.

Though the advice was invaluable, my mother's main influence came elsewhere. Being an open person she had told me about her childhood and her aspirations at my age; she'd wanted to be a lawyer. Recently she worked to get her degree in law - the perfect example of her determination in action. Through watching her persevere to achieve this, I learnt a lot about self-motivation and determination, but mainly realised that I didn't want to go straight into medicine. This was because I knew that I have a great enthusiasm for neuroscience and although I am inspired by her achievement I am deterred by the idea of waiting to pursue my passion.

Although I was directly influenced by my mother's behaviour, her greatest influence probably came through what she did without knowing it. She is an inspirational role model and growing up around her taught me a lot about determination, perseverance and has helped shape who I am.
lch920619x 5 / 19  
Dec 22, 2011   #2
Hi, the writing seems okay.
But to me the content is a bit too ordinary. I think you can try to bring up something that is unique, but not something like"teach me" "give me advice", which I believe most of the parents would do.


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