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Mom: Teacher, Counselor, Role Model, and Friend

Mom: Teacher, Counselor, Role Model, and Friend

When asked to identify the person who has had the most powerful influence in my life, the most obvious choice is my mom. She has been my teacher, counselor, role model, and friend for the past 17 years. For me, she has become a source of inspiration and a constant reminder of what true love really means.

In considering my mother’s position and influence as a role model, I am reminded of a quote from Charlotte Bronte’s Villette: “In addition she gave me the originality of her character to study: the steadiness of her virtues…the power of her passions to admire, the truth of her feelings to trust. All these things she had, and for these things I clung to her.” (Chap. 4) The virtues that stand out most poignantly in my mother’s character are her dedication and self sacrifice. On the strength of her principles, she gave up a successful career in order to give my brother and I the strongest educational foundation possible. No obstacle seems insurmountable when it comes to our education; even when my algebra classes seemed to ha…

An Experience that Changed My Life

It was Socrates who declared that to understand the mysteries of the Universe, a man must first know himself. When I consider the intellectual events that have most affected me, I find most striking those that have let me understand myself more deeply. When I first read the topic requested for this essay, I began thinking back upon the many recent intellectual challenges that have involved me.

A few experiences stood out. There was the philosophy and worldview retreat I attended in November that helped me understand the thought-forms of my culture. There was my literature tutorship, which has taught me not only about great books, but also about Western culture, philosophy and, most importantly, solid reasoning. There were the discussions I’ve had with friends that have influenced my thinking and honed my rhetorical skills.

But in recent months, there has been one experience that, perhaps more than any other, has allowed me to better understand myself. And that experience, ironically enough, has been writing college application essays. I am, at this time, applying to six colleges. Perhaps I have chosen so many because they each have an aspect that entices me; perhaps it is because I lack decision-making skills. But whatever the reason, I have found myself spending a great deal of this fall and winter on the word processor, composing essays. The questions I have tackled have ranged from the profound to the inane, but all have required a good deal of time to answer properly.

Such a task, while weighty, may not seem like the most significant mental assignment. But as I began responding to the questions placed before me, an interesting thing occurred. Instead of just telling others abo…

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…tter. When a scholarship application wanted to know about my service work, my description let me better understand how my efforts had made a difference. Each question brought more discoveries.

Even as I sit here now, I am realizing something new about myself. Until writing this piece, I had never realized how important writing essays has been to developing an honest conception of myself. I now find, looking back, that writing these essays has served multiple purposes, and that my original reason for taking on the task – acceptance into schools – may not have been the most important. Even if the schools for which I wrote these pieces do not select me, the time I’ve spent has been tremendously worthwhile. For I have uncovered and polished hidden truths about myself, and those discoveries will last long after my college experience is complete.

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