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My reality after my best friend committed suicide; Common App/ Significant Influence


alicederp 10 / 56 4  
Dec 28, 2012   #1
The essay prompt is: Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

I will appreciate any help and comments. Thank you. (This is really urgent)

My reality after my best friend committed suicide was cruel from a lack of information. I didn't know why. I didn't know where. But I was convinced he was gone.

I'll say first thing that he survived, miraculously with only a broken arm. But this story is focused on the three days after his attempt, when I was oblivious to his vitality. Curiously, it never crossed my mind that he wasn't dead. I don't know why I was so certain but it was this morbid conviction that led me to wholeheartedly mourn and reflect.

I thought about the time of my grandfather's passing and how the words and tears flowed but he was perfectly silent, brimming with compassion and comfort. I thought of him finally telling me that the reason he never celebrated his birthday was because it was the day his grandmother passed away. I ran through all the conversation that took place on the roof of my house this summer. I ran through all the conversations that ever took place. In fact, I combed through the contents of every single day since the first day I met him.

My reward for working through this painful process was of course more pain, sadness because I still didn't know why, but most horrifyingly, an overwhelming sense of regret because I realized that all these years, I had never told him how much he meant to me. There was the occasional "thank you" and "you're the best", but even these are rare pleasantries, as it seems that niceties have an inverse relationship to a growing friendship. Thus disregarding the hasty and the superficial, I had never really expressed my gratitude. Believing him gone, the thought of this haunted me because I realized we were always too busy. Busy to the point I never could even find a moment to tell him he meant the world to me. Chilling irony shrouded me like a mist, a constant reminder that it was too late now.

Those three days really felt like three eternities. By the first, I had decided that I would never let something like this happen again. And by the third, I swore I would make sure to find time every single day to tell the people I care about how much they mean to me. This was the conviction I reached as my third eternity ended, and on the fourth day, I was given my miracle.

He didn't die but I did keep my promise. From that day on, I have told him, my family and all my other friends that I love and appreciate them everyday. I intend to do so for as long as I live because never again do I want to regret words unspoken.

0livegreen 5 / 11 4  
Dec 29, 2012   #2
this is written beautifully, i love the imagery you provide and the tone of it. however, it's really heavy stuff so it's a good thing you made it sound positive at the end. the important thing is that you learned something positive from the experience right? maybe you could mention some other things you learned to appreciate from the experience, specifically speaking?
OP alicederp 10 / 56 4  
Dec 29, 2012   #3
Thank you so much! Hmm will do. (:
Leynorboard 6 / 16  
Dec 29, 2012   #4
This is really powerful, and flows very well. The twist in the beginning is a good move, grabs the readers horrified attention. I don't really have much to say as for any corrections.. If any come to mind I will post it :) Best of Luck
ayu0006 8 / 17 2  
Dec 29, 2012   #5
this was beautiful, very descriptive, and you provoked powerful imagery through your brilliant use of words. Otherwise, can you please highlight or quote the portion of your college essay in which you "show" your reader rather than tell ( i am not the best sorry), because that is crucial in college essays.
OP alicederp 10 / 56 4  
Dec 29, 2012   #6
ayu006, that is an excellent point. I just realized I can't because I don't have any?

This is bad...

Do you guys think I should rewrite in some?
mattislhao 1 / 3  
Dec 29, 2012   #7
I think this is really touching, but could use some clarifications.
I was left wondering what happened to you friend who tried to suicide.
I think this is a serious topic, and while the prompt does address you to say how it affected you, I think it might leave readers wondering

how your friend is now.

Just a thought.
enigma33 2 / 44 3  
Dec 30, 2012   #8
I'm going to focus on the negatives in order to help you improve this so here goes. I was really confused in the beginning did he die or didn't he? who died? who survived, was it your grandfather or your friend? And to be honest this confusion stayed with me throughout the whole essay so it made me enjoy it less. Try rewriting the fist couple of paragraphs with a bit more clarity. Another thing is as nice of a story this is you have to remember this is a college essay and they want to know more about you and more specifically how you grew. You have a really good topic and event but the problem is you're focusing on the event more than you are on how it affected you and that's what an admissions officer wants. Try talking more about your growth and how it has shaped your aspirations.

Hope I helped!
ticklelisaelmo 8 / 42 3  
Dec 30, 2012   #9
Agree with enigma, kinda got confused. Hey, maybe your best friend was your grandfather? I think you should clarify a bit more. Also, maybe you should just focus on one person? But overall, nicely written! :)
kabal 9 / 61  
Dec 30, 2012   #10
What is the influence that this event had on you.
The first 3 paragraph introduced 3 chracters without knowing who died
In the second paragraph, you used he through. who is the he you you used
The 4th paragraph , you used him. Who are you referring to?
How to solve the problems:
1)I think you can solve this problem by replacing every pronoun with the noun they are referring to
2)what is the relationship between your best friend and your grand father and if there is known , develop the first character first(best friend, refer to him as best friend in your second paragraph)

3)then introduce your gran into it and develop
4) conclusion: what did this experience make you realize, learn,impact etc.
sillybandz 6 / 20  
Dec 30, 2012   #11
Sorry my colors or cold letters dont work, so i will just copy sections.

"First off, I'll say that he survived, miraculously with only a broken arm"
"However, this story isn't about his life or why he committed suicide. Instead it is focused on the three days after his attempt, when I was oblivious to his vitality." \

"I thought about the time of my grandfather's passing and how the words and tears flowed but he was perfectly silent, brimming with compassion and comfort." ---> I'm slightly confused by the sentence.

"My reward for working through this painful process was of course more pain, sadness because I still didn't know why, but most horrifyingly, an overwhelming sense of regret because I realized that all these years, I had never told him how much he meant to me." ----> Don't understand sentence.

I am a bit lost in the essay. Whose who? Also try to avoid because as much as you can. Lastly, I think the idea is there, but you need to make the essay flow smoother by moving around words.

Hope that helped!
aks1 1 / 12  
Dec 30, 2012   #12
everything about making it more clear has already been said but i loved the overall story.
kellyjanemartin 3 / 18 2  
Dec 30, 2012   #13
The main thing that I was confused about was when you said he committed suicide. The word "committed" implies that he was successful--I get the shock factor you're going for here, but it left me very perplexed when you said he committed suicide, then when you said he survived. I think "attempted" is the proper word here.

Also, I would give your best friend a first name, even if you don't use his real name. That way you won't have to refer to him as "he" the entire time.
mayfl0wer 6 / 48  
Dec 30, 2012   #14
Whoa.

Definitely teared up a bit.

This entire thing is beautifully written, but the middle was a bit confusing for me. Although you were referring to your friend, I often read the 'him' / 'he' as your grandpa.
Shoko0229 4 / 14 3  
Dec 31, 2012   #15
Hi, thanks for helping me with my essay for Grinnell.

Your story is so great. It's really touching and it conveys your feelings very well.
Though it first seems to focus on the event itself too much as some say, I think you've explained its influence on you enough through the detailed description of the process of your thoughts. It shows your change and resolution nicely.

But you should definetely do something about the confusing "he"s as everyone says.

Hope it helped:) Good luck!
ktminnieheartsa 2 / 6 2  
Dec 31, 2012   #16
hmm try having a thesis. (does wonders for college essays, just saying) So that way, essay readers don't have to search for a point. You focus a lot on your friend and how he affected you, and that's fine, but wow the college readers by also mentioning how YOU can affect others, the college, and the college's community by how you grew from this experience.

all clarification has been mentioned, so I'll omit those comments
How can you employ your growth from this experience to your growth in education and employing knowledge to your life?
My reward for working through this painful process was of course more pain, sadness because I still didn't know why, but most horrifyingly, an overwhelming sense of regret because I realized that all these years, I had never told him how much he meant to me - run on. use colons, semicolons, they make you look smart :)

Busy to the point I never could even find a moment to tell him he meant the world to me - sentence fragment. yes, you could have done it on purpose, and it sounds great like this, but for college essay readers, go the safe way and make it into a complete sentence.

overall, i loved your essay... i can't remember how many times i said "i'm so jealous... wish i could write like this" or "omigod. amazing". also, heart-tugging, and tear jerking through and through. i really don't have much to correct... (your grammar seems flawless!... to me, at least) ;) good luck on your essays and hope you get accepted to the college of your desire! (plz look at my essay too! once i post it...) once again, these are my suggestions on how i think they convey your message in your essay better. If you think my suggestions hinder your essay, don't use them.
OP alicederp 10 / 56 4  
Dec 31, 2012   #17
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for all the great feedback! I corrected the ambiguity with the him and my grandfather. Still working on rephrasing and less focus on the event.

One thing though "My reward for working through this painful process was of course more pain, sadness because I still didn't know why, but most horrifyingly, an overwhelming sense of regret because I realized that all these years, I had never told him how much he meant to me."

^ I've always been bad with semicolons and colons. Could somebody help me rephrase using them please?

If anyone would like me to check out an essay I would be glad too!
headshot0313 7 / 15 1  
Dec 31, 2012   #18
It is very touching, I an totally impressed.~~
You must have gone through the life's up and down~~


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