Scholarship Essay Example 3

On March 12 of last year, my mother informed my brother and I that she had cancer. I remember the setting with such clarity and precision that it seems somehow unreal: a figment of an overactive imagination. It was an early Spring day, unseasonably warm and bright. The birds in our backyard seemed chirpier than ever. It was one of those days when the world seems waiting to be reborn. The promise and potential of the day and the season only served to heighten the unreality of what my mother was trying to convey.

“I have ovarian cancer and unfortunately, it's metastasized out of my ovaries into...” I couldn't even hear the rest. Cancer? Metastasized? What did these words even mean? How could this be? Why? My mom was in her mid-40's and while that seemed ancient to me, I knew it was way too young to have cancer. I had a lot to learn.

It wasn't just my mom's age that made this disease seem impossible; it was her vitality, her sense of life. In addition to working as a librarian for our city library, she also wrote poetry and volunteered with a local literacy program, teaching adults to read. And she was the glue that held our family together. I knew my dad loved us, but he's a flake. He was either at work or talking and thinking about work. And my pint-sized younger brother? Worse than useless. What was going to become of us? These were the thoughts echoing in my head as I drifted back to what my mother was saying. Even now I blush at my selfishness.

“...and there are new treatments and medicines being discovered all the time. So there's no need to start worrying. We'll get through this...” I looked at my brother and tears were streaming down his face. As if being given permission, I also started crying. My mom joined in and soon we were huddled together: a frightened, sad and confused mound of humanity.

That was about a year and a half ago. My mom is still with us. She is getting ready to begin a new experimental chemo treatment. The family lexicon has been enlarged by many new words and much new medical terminology – knowledge I wouldn't wish on anyone. Our family is holding up surprisingly well. Instead of being flaky or worse than useless, my dad and brother have been strong and supportive. This experience without them is completely unimaginable.

Finally, I turn to why I want to go to college. I need to go to college so that I can continue to grow, mature and learn. I need to go to college so that one day I can be an adult capable of strength in the face of adversity, capable of giving back to the community, capable of being an example to others as my mom is to me. I don't expect the college experience to magically transform me into a wise and all-knowing adult. But I am relying on it to help me explore the world of ideas. Armed with this knowledge, I may then be capable of emulating the strongest, most courageous person I know, my mom.