College Essay

December 15, 2008
By Jeff Silvestri, Chapel Hill, NC

We all search for acceptance. Whether it be social acceptance, acceptance from our parents, or even self acceptance, we all want it. And we all deserve it. But I think we all have felt like we don't really fit in or we've been taken for granted at one point or another. Even if we try to hide it to make ourselves look better, that longing to be noticed and to be appreciated will always be there. But what is acceptance? What is that feeling that we all are looking for? Is acceptance really just to be noticed or to be thanked for our efforts? Or is it more than that? I think acceptance is a more selfish concept that isn't measured by how many people like you or how many times we are thanked; but as self recognition, acknowledgments of our achievements and the challenges we overcame to achieve them. Acceptance is recognizing self worth and building self esteem. Most people think acceptance involves other people to accept us, but we look to them to accept us because we don't accept ourselves.

With that said, you could probably guess that I'm very interested in psychology and have decided to declare that as my major at your institution. I have known that psychology was what I wanted to pursue since the seventh grade. At the age of twelve years old, I was the product of abuse; verbal, mental and physical. I was also the product of a single mother who did her best to raise me on her own. I'm not a stranger to neglect. My father was absent in my life as a young child, and still is. I am a product of divorce and as a result, succumbed to depression. But that is all in my past. My past has definitely influenced me, but it will not control me. Rather, it has given me a mold to break. An example to live by or avoid. A way of life to distance from, or to embrace. My dark past has paved a dark road which I will not travel by. Through all of my experiences, I have made it out alive. I have survived the most difficult times of my life and it has made me a better person, a stronger one. I have overcome my depression and learned to deal with my past; and this is what made me appreciate psychology. The help that was given to me in my time of need, is what I want to give to others suffering from experiences like my own. Getting the help I needed opened my eyes to the opportunities to help others just like myself, when help seems so out of reach. I want to be able to use those negative experiences as a way to help other people put their life back together and feel good enough. Good enough to keep moving forward when the going gets tough, good enough to live their life and take advantage of all it has to offer, good enough to love again; others and themselves, good enough to not have to look to others for acceptance anymore. Good enough to accept their past and themselves, because they are good enough

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This article has 1 comment.

sneesester said...
on Nov. 1 2009 at 9:01 pm
This was very inspiring because I agree with a lot of what you said. We all have different paths and different minds. I never had anything happen to me that was as bad as what you have (and are still) going through, but I wanted to say that I've had a similar struggle with self-worth. As have many teens. I think it's great that you will be there for the next generation. Good luck!

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