common app prompt essay
I wrote this essay for the common app prompt. My English teacher urged us to stay away from cancer stories, but I feel this essay really speaks to my identity. Please let me know what you think, and if there are any corrections/if you think I should change the topic completely. Thanks!
Growing is an easy effort, and is hard to avoid due to the fact that it is inescapable when traveling through the journey of life. Growing up, however, can be colloquially defined as maturing your emotions and attitudes to those of an adult. Being raised as an only child was a privilege in my opinion. Although I had to experience my parents getting divorced and my father remarrying, my life was distant from being characterized as hard. The most substantial change in my life happened just after I had turned ten, when my brother was born.
Several months after my brother was born, he was diagnosed with Leukemia. That was one of the few times I witnessed my father cry. I had a hard time comprehending this concept at my age, and was tormented by thoughts of his future and health not reaching their fulfillment. I had made a promise to myself that I needed to be the best big sister and become a role model for him. My mom had custody of me at the time, and I was only able to see my brother around once a month. Each time I saw him, he displayed more and more signs of the illness. He was around 2 now, and bald from chemotherapy. He was so pale his veins were visible through his skin, and he had a port cut into his chest. At this point, I began to lose faith in God, wondering why he was taking life away from a child who had barely lived.
Unfortunately, in society today, healthcare is extravagantly expensive to the point where only the wealthy can afford to become sick. My family held fundraisers to help with the medical bills, but the costs were overwhelming. I thought my life at home couldn't get any worse, and I thought everything had hit rock bottom. This was until my stepmom, my brother's biological mother, decided to leave my family and move to Florida.
I was around thirteen now, and I knew that I had to keep the promise I had made to my brother 3 years ago. At this point, my father developed alcoholism, and my brother had no one. Not only was I his big sister, I was forced to morph into a maternal figure since his mother had left. This experience forced me to grow up incredibly fast, and I became incredibly mature for my age.
My experience in dealing with my brothers struggle through cancer changed me as a person. I was driven to become a better sister, daughter, and student because I have always been and always will be focused on making my family proud. I see the world through a different lense after almost losing my brother, now knowing that time is precious and shouldn't be wasted. My 5 year old brother taught me so much about life, and I carry his loving and fighting spirit with me everywhere I go. I hope that one day, I will be able to teach him some of what he taught me, and I hope he will be able to look at me as a role model.