Common App Essay Example #9

Prompt #5: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Many of my friends seem to be in no rush to get their driver’s license, with many of their 16th birthdays passing by without even mention of beginning to drive. I, on the other hand, viewed my driver’s license as the next step in becoming an adult. After all, becoming a licensed driver entails much more than getting to avoid daily bus rides to school. In my family, the extra independence comes with an equal amount of responsibility.

When I turned 15 and began preparing for my learner’s permit, my parents and I sat down together to discuss the circumstances under which I could drive my own car. They offered to pay for a car if I agreed to help drive my younger brother to and from his baseball practice twice a week. In addition, I would be responsible for paying my own car insurance, which basically meant I needed a part-time job once I was ready to drive.

As my 16th birthday approached, I diligently studied for the written exam at the DMV, and practiced driving with my parents almost daily for my test behind the wheel. I also began searching for jobs so that I could pay my monthly car insurance bill. Not everyone would necessarily get excited by these steps, but I viewed it as an opportunity to test the waters of self-sufficiency.

I have now been driving and working part-time for over a year and it feels good to be a contributing member of my family. My brother and I have bonded on our regular car rides together and I often even stay at the baseball field to do homework and cheer him on. I’ve also learned how to value the money I earn and budget properly, preparing me to leave home and live on my own in a short time. Out of all the things I need to do to get ready for college, I know I have the skills and ability to responsibly support myself while serving as a valued member of my newly adopted community, wherever that may be.