October 26, 2008
By Natalie Fullam, Charlotte, NC

I’ve been curious since birth. When I was in preschool, my class made noise-makers out of beans and coffee cans. While the other children played with their noise-makers, I sat in a corner trying to get the tape off of my can. I want to see what was making the noise. But, curiosity also led me to the darkest point of my life.
Last year, I was annoyed with my appearance, with my weight. I was discouraged that no one noticed me; that I was the perfect daughter no one saw. I was struggling under the pressure of my classes and figuring out a plan for college. My hypothesis was that if I lost weight, then people would notice me, everything in my life would fall right into place, the world would stop moving so fast.
And so I started my experiment, eating apples and egg whites, seeing how long it would take for everyone to notice. They didn’t. Months passed. My lips turned blue from lack of body fat. But, no one saw. No one wanted to see.
And so, I became curious about how long I’d go until I died, depression and isolation consumed me. Curiosity did, by the way, kill the cat.
But, my curiosity didn’t kill me; rather, it saved my life. I got help, treatment was a blessing. And I became curious about what it would be like to live again, to laugh again, to love myself again.

The author's comments:
This was a college essay that I wrote for UNC- Chapel Hill. The prompt was: Carolina seeks students who are exceptionally curious. Tell us about a time when your curiosity led you someplace you weren’t expecting to go.

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