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I do not believe in personal statements. Nothing I am can be summed up in the space of two hundred to seven hundred words. No one person can be. And what are we, really, those of us beating our brains against the walls to impress boards of people we’ve never even seen? Nothing but young. Seventeen, eighteen. What we are, in this moment, means nothing. Our futures are about as steady as quicksand. The things we say we are now will not hold true next August as we stumble under heavy suitcases to our dorm rooms.

People are infinitely more complex than words on paper. More complex, even, than the DNA which is their foundation. They change and, unlike a butterfly, not in stages. A million tiny changes flip our fibers before we even recognize the change. How, then, can we accurately describe just what we are? What is now stubbornness may melt into determination. What is now passion could easily burn into a softer, candle-flame light. The things we love, those we hate, they may very well mean nothing in the months to come. Our tastes are changing more rapidly than we dare to think about.

I do not believe in personal statements, uet it was asked of me to write one. And I am willing to try anything at least once, and (though perhaps it is one of my downfalls) eager to please. I have always been the child who is satisfied with less than her own best. So, here I am. Seventeen years old, too young for my own good. Five foot three (and, no, I won’t tell you my weight. That’s a secret every seventeen year old girl should keep). Brown hair, blue eyes. Ink and charcoal-smudged hands, a voice used to song and laughter. A cross around my neck, a face free of makeup and a heart without scar tissue. Stubborn as the day is long and as curious as the proverbial cat. Friend, daughter, sister, confidante, niece, cousin, granddaughter, employee, student. Now, college applicant.

I am the girl who writes. Never seen without a book in her hand. A lover of music and art. A romantic with a love for hopeless causes and a bent toward routing for the underdog. Descended from immigrants, a real product of the American melting-pot like so many others. Born of the blood, sweat and tears of generations I have never known, all working to give me the future that now lays open at my feet: mine for the taking. Veni, vidi, vici, indeed. I am helplessly rooted in the past, yet caught in a breeze that threatens to drag me head-first into the future. Still, I watch the present, hoping, dreaming, wondering, naively believing that it is mine to change.

I am changing. Constantly changing, changing at a million miles per minute. I cannot promise that any or all of that which is written here will still be true by next week. All things considered, it’s entirely possible that there is no next week, nor even a tomorrow (not to delve into realms of the darkly cliché).

And yet, for all of this uncertainty, there are those things held above the ravages of time and happenstance. My belief, for one, does not threaten to take flight, nor does my deep-rooted familial loyalty that extends all bounds of blood to encompass the girls I’ve adopted as my sisters: my classmates. Perhaps most relevant, I know beyond the very shadow of the smallest doubt that a love for learning will always remain. Here it has always been rooted, and here shall it remain, guarded and nourished by a constant stream of books. Yet even the strongest faith can falter, and even the greatest minds fall flat. Which leads to one, final stream of things I can promise: I will change. I will grow. I will laugh, cry, love, and hate. I will succeed and I will struggle, I will fail, and I will learn from my failings. I am gazing at the uncharted map of my life as once the explorers of old gazed at new-found maps.
I have all the potential in the world, and I could write all about its beautiful opportunities.
But I do not believe in personal statements.
Therefore, I refuse to write one.



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