- For Teachers
This is my common app essay. Does this show enough about me? (Applications are annoying :P)
She barely finished the fifth grade; I am applying to college. In many ways we are incredibly different, in several we are exactly the same. I used to look at her as a simply tenacious woman to whom I aspired to be like; I still do, only now with greater understanding. Raised half a world apart and with a difference of 60 years, my grandmother and I are proof that some history repeats itself, whether you see it coming or not.
Her story unfolds somewhat like a Lifetime movie. It opens with a young girl struggling through the suicide of her own father; the drug and alcohol abuse that she was too young to notice tearing her family to shreds. The girl soon realizes that she holds more responsibility than ever; at age nine, school is no longer an option or a part of her future. The years pass, as she helps her mother to keep the family farm afloat and care for her younger sister and brother. Rose stoically fulfills her duties, she is painfully selfless and before you know it she has grown into a young adult. Time and time again Rose chooses family over herself, watching the love of her life move across an ocean and dreams of going with him slip away. Instead she works to put her sister through nursing school and buries her mother next to the father that abandoned them. Rose worked harder than anyone and put her family first everyday of her life.
This story has a sequel. Much like any epilogue, spin-off, or remake, my life is not nearly as dramatic as my grandmothers. Still, this year has been filled with more turmoil than I'd care to admit, even to myself. My illusion of having the perfect family was just that, an illusion. My eyes were opened to my own father's drug and alcohol addiction, that in part my state of oblivion probably enabled. His depression became worse than ever and Rose's son was hospitalized to prevent him from the fate of her father. Unlike Rose's mother, my own mother left during our family's greatest hour of weakness, and I don't blame her. How I have been so blind to reality over the past seventeen years I don't know, I do know that there is more to this saga than several generations of a family in ruins.
Rose's lifelong mantra was "work hard and be nice," she lived this idea without hesitation. While she didn't go across the Atlantic with her teenage love, she chased after him once her responsibilities were filled. When he returned from his tour of duty, she was down on one knee waiting for him. My grandmother had two boys and later 4 healthy grandchildren. She did put her family first and worked every day of her life, but she loved doing it and lived without regrets. The wounds in my family are still fresh and painful, but the memory of my grandmother's strength and wisdom has already helped us to begin in healing. My father is one month sober.