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Set Apart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


They say a college essay should set you apart, telling the tale of a bruised young soul overcoming a major obstacle. However, what if you don't have a story of triumph and courage, showing leadership and dignity? Well, then you write.

You write of your past and what brought you to this moment, sitting and pondering each choice you've made that led up to now. You write about the present, how you are confused, stressed, and don't know who to turn to in times of trouble. You write about the future – that is, if you know anything at all about what you want to do, including your major and profession, and how you are going to save the world, one cure for cancer at a time.

Or you write to show the college admissions officers what truly makes you tick. You show the person behind those extracurricular activities and community service hours on your application. You show them you.

I kicked a soccer ball the moment I could scrunch my toes. I started doing community service at the age of 8. I traveled 11 hours on a stuffy bus in one day to play two soccer games.

Mission trips have allowed me to meet amazing people. I have helped raise almost $100,000 for the American Diabetes Association. My Saturdays have been spent in soup kitchens and at church car washes.

I have sung along to over 25 concerts in my 16 years of breathing, while my brother has yet to experience one.

I have watched my father break my mother's and sister's hearts, packing a suitcase to leave town. My breaks have been spent reading Nicholas Sparks' romantic novels, wishing they were true, and my first steps were taken at the magical world of Disney.

I have gotten sick after taking one bite of a jalapeno pepper. My team won a state championship soccer game and my team lost a state championship soccer game. I have experienced love, but not as it is in the movies. I have begun to live my life.

I have never tasted the salty bite of an olive. I have never found a cure for a disease or gotten over a 97 on a chemistry test. I have never baked a soufflé to perfection or stood in the Food Network Kitchens next to my idols. I have never played the acoustic guitar or traveled to a third-world country to help those in need. I have never sat in a tub eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream because my boyfriend broke my heart, and I have never told someone I hated them and meant it. I have never broken a bone or suffered poison ivy's itch.

I have never seen anyone as strong as my mother, and I will never see anyone as strong as my mother. I have never written a college essay, but when I do, this is how I plan to do it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 6 comments. Post your own!

Mr Everett said...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm:
Nice essay!  Best of luck beyond Ramapo. You deserve it.
 
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dreamer07 said...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 9:17 am:
I especially love the ending.
 
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Alex said...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm:
I adored this. It brought tears to my eyes too.
 
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Hillary B. said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm:
This made me smile, and brought tears to my eyes for some strange reason. You did an amazing job
 
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SarahRae said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm:
This is amazing
 
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dpscholar said...
Oct. 31, 2010 at 5:16 pm:
very unique intro.
 
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