I’ve always thought it strange how excited the college counselors are when they introduce the college essay.
‘its your one chance,’
they say, their radii of their eyes reaching a magnitude that is foreign to us sleep deprived protégé
‘for you to sell yourself to colleges. for you to become more than your test scores, more than your gpa.’
(haven’t i’ve been more than my test scores and my gpa my whole life? I mean, I dind’t even get those things until five months ago. was i nothing before then?)
they say it like its a black friday sale, something that is too good to miss
(a sale that is so good that you have to set your alarm for 1 am simply to have a chance at having a chance at getting in line to have the chance to buy the coveted flat screen tv with a 20% mail in rebate, the one that everyone wants)
(a sale that might not be worth it in the end)
‘it’s one of the more important parts of your application; it gives colleges the chance to really know you’
(is that how we get to know each other now, via essays? it would make sense, since I am trying to get to know you via brochures and your websites and your youtube channels and your campus and your student guides and the ceaseless mail ((very harry potter-esque, by the way)) and the twitters and the student run blogs. it would make sense for me to get a page to introduce myself to you. how thoughtful and kind of you to take the time to get to know me)
‘you want to tell your story, tell how you have become who you are today’
(you know the life you’ve been living? now, take that life, the life that you’ve spent literally your whole life living, and put it into a five-hundred word essay. but take out all the parts that didn’t shape who you are today ((but did not every moment of my life shape me? maybe this is all just some naïve Gestalt psychology notion that the whole will always be greater than the sum of the parts or maybe i’m just being a whiny high school student, but I have to hope (((for reasons that include my own sanity))) that everything that I’ve done, every conversation, every blink, every sneeze, every time I tripped over my shoes, every time I’ve done anything and everything has had at least a tiny influence on who I am)) just share the important parts, show a time you changed ((are we not constantly changing, especially at this age)), show a time that you were a leader, talk about how global awareness is important to you)
with this I stop listening and continue on my own college essay (life)
PS: The book The Opposite of Loneliness appeared in my Easter basket today, and I highly recommend it to all who like to spend their time reading well-written, thought-provoking books.