My Hero, My Rock When many people think of heroes, their minds immediately go to unrealistic superheroes, charismatic politicians, and popular stars in Hollywood. However, my mind drifts to someone who is genuine and supremely real. Though this person may be less fascinating than fictional characters or stylish stars, there is no one that I would rather be. Her name is Erin, and she was brought to me at the very moment I needed someone the most. Right before I reached my breaking point, she came to me and saved me in every way a person can save another. I had no idea how much Erin would come to mean to me when I met her. I was oblivious to the depth of her thoughts and strength of her opinions; I was oblivious to her passions and ideas. Her straightforwardness even caught me off guard during our first few encounters. She came off as condescending and disdainful, but we shared a common love from the first time we met: reading. Our first few conversations consisted only of sharing and critiquing recent authors and books that interested us. This general interest slowly formed a bond that would grow stronger with each passing day, bringing us closer together than both of us ever imagined. When Erin first came into my life, I was incredibly unhappy with my surroundings. Above all, I was filled with misery at school. I spent my days at school wondering what I was doing there, wondering if it benefited me in any way. Reading became my escape. I would loose myself in literature, and this would later serve as discussion between Erin and me. The more passionately I heard her speak of literature, the more I fell in love with it. I read as much as I possibly could and used all my brain power in attempt to gain the level of understanding that she had. These frequent academic conversations gradually evolved into personal conversations concerning my delicate situations at school. I felt as if she was actually listening to what I had to say, and she developed a caring concern for my situation. The more conversations we shared, the more she learned about me. This gave her the ability to personalize the advice she gave me. I was knocked down day after day, but she built me back up time after time. When I felt like I was all alone, she appeared by my side and served as my rock. Her frankness gave me the constructive criticism that made me a better person, both on an academic and social level. Even when it meant putting herself at risk, she stood up for me. The encouragement she offered was what gave me the courage to break away and change schools. I am now happier than I have ever been, and I owe it all to her. She taught me numerous ideas that I treasure and remember in difficult situations. First of all, she taught me the importance of self-creation. I was in a place where I was incredibly different from everyone else, but she said that this was an admirable quality. I was my own person with my own thoughts and opinions; I did not fit into the conformity of society. Also, she said that to whom much is given, much is expected. This gave me a sense of hope and responsibility. I knew that I was the person she was referring to. She put me in the mindset that I could do anything I wanted to do. None of the amazing things that have taken place this year would have happened if it was not for her. Her encouragement, criticism, support, and care allowed me to be the person I am today. Our conversations gave me something to look forward to on a daily basis. I still look forward to talking and debating with her. As she shares her thoughts and opinions with me, I listen in awe and think of the countless ways I look up to her. My hero, I owe my happiness to you.