Posted by: Staff | 02.07.2008

College Essay V: Stephanie Elias

STEPHANIE ELIAS ’08

When we walked into the restaurant, my friends’ looked confused. When I introduced my dad, they stared at me like I was psychotic. I had brought my father to my weekly Saturday night dinner with all my girlfriends, and bringing along parents was definitely not normal. He ended up being the life of the party. He offered advice on boys, and even told my friends that the secret to getting boys interested was to lead them on. Not exactly the most fatherly advice my friends had ever received.

That night turned out to be one of the most memorable of my sophomore year. After meeting my friends for the first time, my dad was engaging in in-depth discussions with them. Watching him connect with my friends made me realize the special connection I have with my father. We have very similar personalities, social skills, and interests. We share a passion for music, we make friends easily, and we are very laid back. That is why my father and I have such a close relationship despite our geographical distance.

My mom, on the other hand, is a successful business-woman, who keeps to a schedule and takes the time to efficiently think through all of her decisions. She is reserved and doesn’t express her feelings outwardly at times. She enjoys homey activities like crocheting. She doesn’t appreciate my carefree nature, and pesters me constantly about every little thing. She has to know every little detail of plans I make, and we argue about my curfew and my friends.

Based on their drastically different personalities, it is no surprise that my parents’ marriage did not last long. They divorced when I was three years old, and have had many ups and downs in their relationship since they separated. Sometimes, they’re friendly and can carry on good conversations. Other times, they cannot talk without screaming at each other. Currently, my parents no longer speak unless forced to and only correspond by e-mail. If I want to go to Arizona to visit my dad, I have to make my plans independently. The stress their relationship puts on me is completely invisible to both of them. Though I know they both love me, I wish that they could get along better.

I respect my father, and listen to his valuable advice because I feel like his insight prepares me for a lot of the situations I have faced and will encounter in the future. He has taught me to think about decisions with a level head, and to not give into peer pressure. Our similarities bring us closer together and I’m glad we can talk openly about almost everything. But, looking back on the dinner with my dad, I realize that he is more of a friend than a parent. This past year, my mom and I have grown closer. I respect the way my mother raised me in her household. Her stern approach taught me good values and a sense of self that no one else my age seems to possess. I value her advice and intelligence, and I think that my mother has influenced my character more than I would like to admit. As different as they are, it turns out there is one place where my parents’ special qualities can happily coexist: in my own unique personality.

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