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The Perfect Role Model: College Admission Essay Sample

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Open-Ended This question seeks to give students the opportunity to share important aspects of their schooling or their lives – such as their personal circumstances, family experiences and opportunities that were or were not available at their school or college – that may not have been sufficiently addressed elsewhere in the application.

Role models walk in and out of our lives, granting us opportunities to better ourselves. My role model is no actor or actress, no athlete or genius, but a bipolar (manic-depressive) brother who has been arrested eleven times for gang-related activities and family abuse but who, despite his character flaws, has managed to teach me a lesson I never could have learned from anyone else. My first two years of high school were the shakiest of my life. My brother went though his mood swings almost daily, and I would leave home in the middle of the evening just to finish up my homework else, sometimes going days hiding at a relative’s house just to ensure my safety from him. His constant violent threats towards my mom and me were a bit repetitive, and we chose to over look them, figuring hew as just in a bad mood. He would yell for hours about how my parents were unloving, thoughtless, self-centered people, which was definitely not the case.

Things began going downhill when his threats finally started coming true. Throughout the next year, my mom and I lived in constant fear, always too afraid to report him to the police. I preferred to stay at the library until closing time or at a friend’s house as late as possible to avoid coming home. Home to me was a prison rather than a safe haven. It wasn’t the place of security and happiness that most people often resort to. I could only stay out as late and as far away as possible, but I inevitably had to return. My grades slipped drastically, and friends in middle school couldn’t figure out why I had changed so much in such a short period of time. I kept my life at school separate from my life at home, and even as the nightmares worsened each day, I kept a smile in front of others. I learned to wipe away my tears, ignore my bruises, keep my chin up, and continue on with life. Within weeks, I learned to completely cover up my suffering just as simple as kicking dirt over a drop of blood to cover up the evidence.

From my brother’s yelling, I realized I had taken my parents (especially my mother) for granted these past fourteen years of my life, and I didn’t truly begin to appreciate them until someone else stopped. Looking back on those days, I’d like to think that it was all a joke. Now seeing my brother, I don’t think of someone who has tainted my life, but I see someone whose life experiences have molded me into the person that I am today. Without him, I probably never would have realized just how much people are taken for granted and how hard it is to love someone despite dangerous setbacks. He is not the perfect role model in the way he acts, but in the way his mistakes have taught me to respect others, to forgive no matter the circumstances, and to be merciful even to those who do not express that same kindness. In this, I owe him many things, for I have learned that the worst experiences of our lives can, in the end, be one of our best lessons.

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