I'm only a sophomore so I'm ages away from applying to college but I'm already fretting over the essay. I really want to talk about family issues and how they shaped me into an independent and motivated person. The thing about my family is my father is a narcissist/sociopath. He controls the clothes I wear, the things I do, when I can use the bathroom, when lights are off, and sometimes even kicks me out of the house.
Additionally, I think he is jealous of me because he discourages me from doing homework and keeping up my grades. He tells me constantly that I should quit speech and debate, stop doing science olympiads, won't let me do summer programs, and once told me "the more A's you get, the dumber you are to me". Once, when he saw me doing homework, he ripped up all my homework papers and shattered my phone and computer. Now, I'm really scared to do homework whenever he's awake and wait for him to fall asleep before tiptoeing to turn on the lights and finish my workload.
Even worse, he's constantly getting in fights with my mom which sometimes get physical :( My dad does not have a job so either. My mom is scared to file for divorce, because she is scared my dad will put our family in danger. It's incredibly hard to keep my grades up with a family like this, but at the same time I feel like my family has given me more motivation to push through the pain, and prove to my family and the world that I can be successful.
Do you guys think that this will make a good essay? I really want to write about this so that adcom understands why my grades aren't as good as other people, and why it's hard for me to do summer programs. At the same time, I'm scared that I'll be giving the impression that i'm asking for pity, when lots of families divorce. Also I heard that colleges are wary to accept people with family problems, because they might terrorize the school (I think there's a link between school shootings and family problems). What do you guys say?
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In my essay I intend to prove that many family problems are not actual problems and that a simple readjustment of priorities is all that is needed in order to fix the problem. The idea originally came to me whilst watching the movie “Saw 2”. The father and son are having problems in the movie, and then the serial killer in the movie points out that both father and son forget all past indiscretions when the son’s life is threatened. This opened up my mind to the idea that a shift in perspective may be all that is needed in order to fix family problems, and that is what I intend to prove here.
The expectations of parents and children differ in many ways. The child expects increased amounts of independence, whereas the parent expects increased amounts of responsibility from the child. This is a suitable format in which a family may move forwards, but if both parties do not feel that the other is delivering, friction will occur and family problems may arise.
In this case, there may be one perspective that is askew, or both may be askew. For example, the child may be acting with a reasonable amount of responsibility and yet the parents are not seeing it, or the parents may expect an unreasonable amount of responsibility and may even view smaller indiscretions such as a dirty bedroom as a sign of a lack of responsibility.
The child on the other hand may have very incorrect views on how much responsibility he or she is due at whatever age. The child may believe at the age of 11 that he or she can be left alone at night, or that at 15 he or she should be able to drink alcohol. The child may also have a skewered perception of how much responsibility he or she is getting. The child may receive quite a bit of responsibility and not realize it.
There are also times when both parties experience family problems because both do not realize the results of their actions. A child may mess up in a big way on one occasion and not realize that future requests for responsibility will be tarnished by previous actions. The parent may also not realize that there are times when they show their child they have no confidence in that child and it affects the way the child acts in the future. The child may give directions in a train station, but the parent still asks a stranger for directions. This may make the child feel uncomfortable putting his or herself forward for responsibility in the future.
In all instances, you can see how a slight change in perspectives can help avoid family problems. This change may be in the way of seeing the situation from the other person’s point of view, and at other times, it may need a change of perspective relating to how one or both parties understand the results of their actions. A slight change in perspective from one or both parties can avoid many family problems.