Four hours of sleep, two papers due, 10 college applications and a whole lot of expectations. That’s my life right now as a senior, the time when big decisions are made, few nights are slept, and endless running around is done to meet deadlines.
At first, my greatest fear about senior year at Beacon High School and applying to colleges was that I would not have the grades or enough extracurricular activities for a college to accept me. These thoughts ate away at my confidence. Considering that I am a first-generation graduate and received little help at home, the process appeared very daunting. The support I counted on was that given by my school and the multiple programs I attend such as Girls Write Now, Sadie Nash, and Columbia University’s Double Discovery Center.
The people at these various places assured me I would get into college but the fear that I would not look outstanding on paper still dwelled on my mind. Throughout the application process I thought to myself, what exactly are admissions officials looking for, what is it on paper that can make or break me?
It became clear from conversations with advisors and college admissions officials that the only thing that would set me apart — since my grades are decent but not outstanding — was a stellar essay.
Great, I thought, now on top of regular applications and school work, I had to think of an event in my life that changed me in such a way that colleges would not only find interesting, but unique enough to set me apart from everyone else. It had to be an essay that gave the college more insight on the type of person I am. I never thought that writing about myself would be so difficult.
After much thought, I decided to write about my relationship with my brother. What’s so unique about our relationship is that it has only been built on a couple of months of speaking and only two face to face meetings. I found out about my brother in August 2011. I met him for the very first time in January of this year. He has been the greatest gift given to me and I knew that my enthusiasm and life changing experience would be exactly what admissions officials wanted to read. I wanted to give a sense of fresh air with my essay and I achieved that.
Aside from college applications and my college essay, I struggled to keep up with school. The large amount of work caused me a great deal of stress and there were times when I had to take a break. Still, the one thing that has driven me to accomplish my goal is the end result: the rewarding feeling of receiving college acceptance letters. I know it will happen.