Many college applications, including The Common Application , ask an essay question about “the most influential person in your life” and why, or how, that person influenced you. A key tip to answering this essay is to remember that it is not necessarily about whom you choose to write about but how you write the essay and connect it back to yourself.
One of the most common responses that students give when writing on this essay topic was that it was either a parent or a grandparent who influenced them. For some, it may be a teacher, a coach, a friend, a child, a counselor, or numerous other options. When writing this essay think about spending less time writing about whom that person was, but actually how they influenced you. Remember that the admission counselor reading your application wants to learn about you, not necessarily the person who influenced you.
For example, if you choose to write about your grandfather consider the following. Many students write that their grandfather influenced their life because they were kind, generous, overcame adversity, taught them new things, were a hard worker, etc. Some students spend the entire essay spouting all of the wonderful attributes about their grandfather but forget that the essay is supposed to show the admission committee who they (the student) are. You don’t want the admission committee to want to admit your grandfather at the end of reading your essay- you want them to want to admit you!
This is not to say don’t write about your grandfather (or grandmother, mother, father, or person of your choice). It is simply to say, think about writing the essay in a way that connects the individual you choose to write about back to you. What makes you a person that the college would want to have as part of their community? Can you elaborate on specific examples from your relationship with that influential person that impacted your way of thinking? Or, can you can discuss certain actions you took as a result of lessons learned from that individual? Perhaps, you can even consider relating what you learned from that influential person to something that you hope to do, or accomplish, in college or in the future.
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Filed Under: Application TipsTagged With: College admission, college advice, college essay, Common Application, influential person
Le Moyne College, Gannon University, and Daemen College “Person of Influence” Essay
Prompt: Indicate a specific person who has had a significant influence on you, describe that influence.
There are many people in my life who have had an influence on me. I must say that my mother Danette White has had the most significant influence on me because she is always pushing me to do better and has also taught me to be independent and strong. I admire my mom for her strength and independence and for pushing me to be different.
I have always thought of my mom as strong and independent. My mom is the mother of four children, all of which she raised on her own. I know that raising children alone is not easy at all, which is one reason why I always thought of my mom as strong. My mom managed to work, raise her children and keep us happy and healthy. My mom has told me before that raising her children was hard and she did struggle at times. I commend my mother for staying strong and making her children her first priority. As I was growing up I learned to be independent from my mother. She has always taught me that if I wanted something or needed something done that I had to do it for myself. I learned to depend on no one but myself from my mother. I really look up to my mother for everything she has done to provide for her family, even during hard times.
My mother is the one person in my life that is constantly encouraging me in anything I do. Whenever I want to give up my mom is always there let me know that if I try my hardest at whatever I do I can succeeded at it. My mom has always done whatever she could to ensure that I had better opportunities in life including moving into a better neighborhood so that I could have a better education. I am very thankful for the move she decide to make because I know that I have greater opportunities at the school I attend now. While I was growing up my older siblings made a lot of mistakes that I know disappointed my mom. I have learned to listen to what my mother has to say because I know it is important to her that I learn from their mistakes as well as hers and do not make the same ones. Now that I am in high school my mom is always encouraging me to focus on what I want to be in life. My mom has always informed me that there will be downfall in life but I should never let them bring me down.
My mother is the most influential person in my life. I have learned so much from her, just from seeing her care for my siblings and myself. My mother has taught me that strength and independence are important in life and that I can never stop at what I want to do. I am very thankful for the support I receive from my mother.