Sparked by My Being the

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

I also believe that my punctuality and determination to be on time is a strong quality of mine. My tendency to pay attention to details and to be organized is evident in little things, like the way I organize my books by their height.

A withdrew from the summer semester at Florida State University, resulting in a WD on my transcript. It was my first encounter with college, and my first time away from home. Until that point, I lived a sheltered life: my parents would not allow me to come home after dark. I lived at home until that summer, so I took advantage of my first taste of freedom. Enamored by images of college life I had seen in movies, I dove right in and had fun. I met new people, expanded my horizons, and relished a new life. However, this soon took its toll on my schoolwork. Only when it was too late did I finally realize that I was acting like an unruly little girl, oblivious to the future. I tried to repair the damage I had done in that GEA 1000 class, but it was too late: I missed two exams. Embarrassed and disappointed, I understood that I failed to act responsibly. My parents reminded me to be a good role model to my younger siblings. This experience clarified my path and helped me recognize my true goals and ambitions.

Luckily, none of my close family members has ever been severely ill. I know it would be devastating and difficult for me if I should find myself in the position to care for one of my parents. However, my care giving qualities came to the fore when I accompanied my friend to the hospital for an abortion. The trauma of having an abortion was overwhelming to her; she felt an acute sense of humiliation and guilt. I was one of the only people she could confide in and one of only three people she told about the procedure. I not only helped her on the physical level, but also on the mental and emotional levels as well. She needed someone to drive her to and from the clinic, as she was to be heavily anesthetized. I held her hand before the operation, and immediately afterwards, I helped her walk, prepare food, and function until the drugs wore off.

The physical trauma of the procedure was probably the least of her problems. My friend was an emotional mess, as she did not expect to get pregnant and did not believe an abortion was necessarily the best course of action. Her parents would have strongly disapproved, and so would some of our friends. She struggled with the decision but realized that she was way too young to start a family. Her boyfriend would not assume any responsibility for the baby. Thus, she felt completely lost and alone. I was honored to have her trust during such a personal crisis. The anger, guilt, and fear my friend was feeling were acute and consumed her life for weeks. In fact, I am sure she still suffers the lingering effects from her decision. The entire experience definitely deepened our friendship and helped me realize that I have the capacity to be…