Posted by: Staff | 12.11.2008

College Essay XVI: Mom – by Anonymous

My mom did so much coke that at times she felt her body shutting down. She didn’t have a reason to live. She has had four different types of cancer, one stemming from having un-protected sex. By the age of 15, my mom had experienced more highs and lows than many people ever do and was pregnant with my older brother. She ended up dropping out of high school because she didn’t care about her studies or her future. She physically abused her mother and everyone who loved her. Eventually, my grandmother went in front of a judge and said she never wanted to see my mom again. My mom was a monster then, but now she has become my inspiration and my hero.

I was adopted at birth by two of the most spectacular, loving and supportive human beings I could have ever asked for. I am in an open adoption and my birth mom is in the center of my wallet as a constant reminder of my past. She has always shared everything I wanted to know about her. When I was little she would talk to me on the phone and would tell me about losing her job, moving, or my sister going to foster care. She told me that no-one in my family had ever gone to college and how my father dropped out of high school because he didn’t believe he was smart enough to graduate. Nothing has stung me more than knowing that nobody I am blood related to ever believed in themselves. This feeling has motivated me more than anything else.

While I do not share my family dynamic openly with my peers, it defines my drive and ambition. When my college advisor asked me to show who I really am in this essay, this topic was my only choice. Few teenagers have chosen to do what I do and my reason for being who I am is simple. I know how bad life can get because my mom has been there. Although drugs and alcohol are very prevalent in high school life, I have chosen not to do them because I have seen their negative effects on someone I love. I have taken the maximum number of classes at my school and always ask my teachers to challenge me more than anyone else, because I have that chance. Working harder than everybody else is just something that I’ve done subconsciously because I have always felt that I have ground to make up. I’m flooded with frustration when I see kids from privileged families throw away the opportunities that they are handed. I know that these opportunities are precious, so I have taken take full advantage of them and will continue to do so in college.

I have done everything I set out to do in high school. I’ve transformed myself to become one of the top students in my class. I have learned how to excel in school with a large course load and a steady job. By surrounding myself with so many different experiences, I have developed true passions that I will explore for the rest of my life. I have discovered a love for business, by both starting my own businesses and working at a restaurant. In school, history has become a passion of mine and it has sparked an interest in politics. None of this would have been possible if it was not for my mom. She gave me up for adoption, expanding the possibilities for my life. But she did something more important for me. She let me learn from her experiences and I could never be more grateful for this.

My mom currently ranks in the top 1% in terms of the most loving moms in the world. She is on the phone at two in the morning if I have a problem and I need someone to talk to. She will listen to me, no matter what I want to talk about. She works overtime at a low paying job and no matter her struggles, puts money away every paycheck to come from Boise to Boston so she can see me graduate. We have both grown together to form our own individual goals. I will go to college with an unwavering determination. My mother will see me receive my diploma and know the hard choices she made were worth it.

If you would like to submit your own essay, either anonymously or attributed, please send an email to Ali Cooper or Michael Firer.

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