Okay, I hope to upload and add this to my open applications today, but I wanted to post it one last time and hope that a few more sets of eyes can review it and catch anything I may have missed:
I awake to a rumble. I squint to see the time on the faint digital clock by the bed, but my vision is blurred by sleep and confusion. “We do not get earthquakes like this is Maryland”, I think with a clouded mind. Dazed, I reach across the mattress, through the heavy comforter and damp sheets, trying to wake my mother. I grab her shoulder, but she doesn’t respond. I stumble through the dark, bang my leg against the nightstand, and curse out into the dark. I hope against hope that my mother didn’t hear that, and reach around in the dark room for the light switch. As I adjust to the sharp light piercing my eyes, a dreadful scene comes into focus: SHE is shaking the bed, in the grip of a seizure so severe that she has bitten off the sides of her tongue. Panic causes my senses to sharpen, and everything in the room is amplified: the smell of urine, the color of the deep red blood, and the heart-stopping choking sound emitting from her mouth.
The date is March 8, 2006, a day that would prove to be one of the most influential of my life. On that day, I was called upon to be the breadwinner, the decision-maker, and the legally responsible party of my household. On that day my mother went from overworked single mother of two to cancer patient. On that day my mother nearly died.
I had always been expected to attend college. I am first generation American on my mother’s side, and as my grandmother always reminded me, she “didn’t come to America so I could end up with no education and no future.” I had worked hard for years; I was accepted to any and every accelerated program public school could offer me. When the time came to apply for college, I sent off a grand total of 2 applications, gladly accepted a full scholarship to the University of Virginia, and simply waited for my high school diploma. I was more interested in planning for prom than in sweating the application process. Education was, and is, the key to everything; it was the tool I would use to dig myself out of a life of poverty and despair. This daughter of an immigrant mother and an incarcerated father was going to become more than just an all too common statistic on the next Department of Health and Human Services annual report.
But now, things were different. How could I possibly go off to school when I was needed most at home? What kind of selfish, self-serving, ungrateful child would abandon their only parent in their time of need? “The kind of child who refuses to let adversity derail their dreams,” was the answer my mother gave. To her, missing out on college was simply not an option. There were things in life that I had not yet accomplished, things I was destined to achieve, and a setback like this was not enough to deny me that destiny. Her firm faith in God was enough to keep her optimistic. I hoped her faith would be enough to sustain me as well.
This life-changing experience solidified in me the determination to continue to pursue even my loftiest educational goal: a law degree. I had always been interested in law school, but over the years had concluded that it was simply unattainable. My newfound resolve, implanted in me by my mother, enabled me to once again pursue a career in law, something that I could use to not only benefit myself, but to help others who, like me, had to look adversity in the face and find a way to emerge the victor. Although my problems were not legal in nature, I know the feeling of being backed into a corner with seemingly no way out, and I look forward to assisting others to find relief the way my mother helped me.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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