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College is a frightening concept for many teens, especially in light of the recent election. Financially, college is hard for many families, and I think “How I Became a Monster,” by “Deb,” did a wonderful job of capturing the financial struggle for many families, and the accompanying stress that the future can place. In the piece, “Deb” describes how she worked so hard to be the perfect college applicant that she lost the happiness she had previously found in her family. She describes how when she was applying to a prestigious extracurricular program, her father submitted the application incorrectly, which cost her a spot in said program. In “How I Became a Monster,” “Deb” goes in depth about her personal struggles, and makes the piece very engaging and relatable for many.

Even for teens who will not struggle financially when it comes to college, “Deb’s” message hits home on a number of topics. First of all, she really shows how hard life can be in America for immigrants. She says “Life was better but not necessarily prosperous in the foreign land of America. Neither of my parents spoke fluent English, and neither of them had a professional career. My father worked as a pastor for several churches in Korea until he got tired of being discriminated against and unfairly fired for his physical disability. My mother never went to college, so the best-paying job she could get in the U.S. was as a masseuse in Korean spas.” I feel this really represents the issues that everyday immigrants face, as well as the issues that people with disabilities face as well. Second, she really showed the importance of staying true to your family, even when stress gets to you. “Deb” says that school and admissions ha turned her into a monster, hence the title. She also makes clear the difficulty that came along with the writing of the piece, which made it even more relatable for anyone who has had a painful or embarrassing story. In conclusion, “How I Became a Monster” accurately described the financial and familial struggles of college admissions, making it an enlightening piece for any teenage reader.




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