College Essay This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 23, 2011
By , West Hartford, CT
Strolling through the Walbaum’s entrance, the automatic doors opened for me as if I was royalty. Directly in front of me was a young lady that welcomed me in to the store. She had no idea that I was about to begin my first grocery shopping adventure. My mission was to pick up the items that my mother had requested for dinner. At first sight I was blown away by the endless rows of foods and household products. Going through the never-ending rows of canned foods, boxed foods, and drinks, I concentrated on just the items that I had been asked to purchase. A nervous feeling came over me as I scanned through each aisle, making sure to only get the items on the list, and also always conscious of the price of each item because times were tough with neither of my parents working. Only the necessities were to be purchased. In the last eight months I have become an adult faster than I would have ever imagined.
I often think back to my days in middle school where my major responsibilities were to excel in the classroom and on the field. For years my dad would meet with my teachers to ensure that I was doing my homework and getting good grades, sign me up for sports, and make sure I was involved in activities throughout the town. Now I realize how much my father did for me then.
The good life carried on through the early years of high school until last April when my father was diagnosed with cancer. Life did a complete 180° and now I have taken on the majority of my father's responsibilities for the rest of the family. Weekends that use to be spent hanging out with friends, playing video games and going to the gym, are now spent mowing the lawn, taking my father to doctor appointments and treatments, and driving my brother wherever he asks to go. I am now one that people look to for support, not only at home but also as captain for my football and track teams. Juggling all these new roles and responsibilities has been challenging, however this has made me appreciate my father and all he has done in making me the person I am today.
Although my family is going through a difficult time right now our bond has never been as strong as it is now. By becoming a support system for my family both emotionally and spiritually, I have proven to myself that I am not only capable of handling challenging situations, but also helping others through tough times. I am comforted to know how much people care about me and my family and when I move on to college I know I will still have their support. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I know that this year has prepared me and I am ready for whatever challenges lie ahead.

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