College Essay | Teen Ink

College Essay

October 15, 2009
By coreybirdie7 SILVER, Cincinnati, Ohio
coreybirdie7 SILVER, Cincinnati, Ohio
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Everyday I ask myself a somewhat trite question, what do I want to be when I grow up? Even though this it such a cliché, it’s still something that I think about. Am I --right now--who I want to be, what I dreamed I'd be, doing what I always wanted to do? I am completely honest with myself when doing so. I’ve noticed that sometimes people find themselves achieving victories that are pointless and empty. It’s like gaining successes at the expense of things far more valuable. “If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.”

To avoid this I “Begin with the end in mind.” Each day I begin a task, or project with a clear vision of the destination I desire. By doing so I am the leader of my own life. To make things happen, I see myself walking across a stage, dressed in a cap and gown, slowly reaching for my diploma. I envision opening a letter from an Ivy League university and reading the words, congratulations followed by an exclamation mark. I envision this when I get weary of schoolwork and feel like giving up. These are the moments that make me want to press on. These are the moments that I want to live.

To me beginning with the end in mind is also starting with a purpose. When I begin anything whether education, work, or church related I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” This saves me time and energy. Many people begin things not knowing why they are doing it in the first place. “Begin with the end in mind” has to do with purposes. It also has a great deal to do with visualization. I have quite and imagination and am able to visualize things as if they were really occurring. This is why I am so determined in whatever I do.

“My mother,” just saying that stirs up so many emotions and memories. My mother is my reason for wanting to succeed. She’s the reason for my determination and thirst for education. I want to make my mother proud. Yes, everyone says this, but I sincerely mean it. Even now as I’m writing this my eyes are tear stricken, my throat is tight from trying to hold back the tears. Images of my mother’s struggles, her times of success, and disappointments are racing through my mind. The main thing is her strength; she never gave or gives up. She has overcome poverty, divorce, bankruptcy, going to school while raising sick children, and most of all being a single parent. In today’s society, single-parent homes have become quite common. What sets my mom apart is her ability to multi-tasking. How many parents go back to school for an MBA, battle sickness, raise their children, pay bills, participate in demanding church activities, train for and earn 1st and 2nd degree black belts, have a 3rd shift part-time job, and come still manage to come out victorious? I’ll answer that…….hardly any.

I know, I know…you must be pondering, absolutely dumbfounded on how she did and still is doing this. I know my mother well, her answer would be simple, yet powerful…..GOD. My mother has taught my siblings and me many things, but keeping a faithful relationship with God has been stressed time and time again. My mom is the reason why I chose to continue to have a good relationship with God and remain a faithful Christian. I have seen her go through many trials and tribulations to the point were I thought she wouldn’t recover. I myself have experienced something that shook the very foundation of my life.

“The eyes are the window to the soul.” I’ve heard this many times; from movies, commercials, the elderly, but I never quiet understood it. Saying something is entirely different from actually experiencing it. Stop….just one second….imagine being near a peer, a young girl, breaths away from her last. What happened to her you ask? She was hit by a car while on her way to school.

It’s early, Monday morning. I’m on my way to school, dreading the day. As I walk up the hill, I see my friend making her way to the top; we meet up and head to our bus stop. Were walking, just joking around and taking goofy picture. As we come to a stop at the cross walk, I hear someone screaming at the top of their lungs. I quickly follow the screech and see a girl kneeling over something. I had forgotten my glasses so all I could make out was a dark image. I concluded that it was a dog.

“Carla, look, that girl’s dog is just lying there. Awww….something must’ve happened as they were walking,” I tell her in a remorseful tone.

“Corey, that’s not a dog….it’s a person!” she shouted.

I managed to squint hard enough to see that the dark image was indeed a person; a teenage girl. I raced across the street leaving my friend behind. As I approach the once shouting girl, she now is hysterically crying on her cell phone, trying to explain the situation to the operator.

“My friend… friend……she’s fifteen and she just got hit by a car!” she cries, “she’s bleeding, her head’s bleeding, she’s only fifteen!”

I cautiously looked down and lying at my feet was a stream of blood. My eyes followed the stream and were led to a helpless teenage girl. I am drawn to the blood flowing from her head. I look down and meet her eyes. Her eyes! “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” I expected to see fear, agony, pain, helplessness, but saw the opposite. In her eyes I saw serenity, courage, peace, hope. It was astonishing to me. In the mist of everything around her, she knew she would be okay.

That moment has been plastered in my mind for a while. The rest of the day all I could think about was what if that was me or perhaps someone I knew? I had an epiphany and decided that life is too short. The day prior to that accident, I had been stressed over schoolwork, standardized test, and time period. I had been contemplating on whether or not if I was Ivy League material. For some reason, had I temporarily had lost my determination, my perseverance, my passion for greatness that makes me…me. From that day on I’ve decided that I’m going to continue to do my best and strive for excellence. I began to tell myself “Why shouldn’t I apply to Harvard or any other Ivy League school for that matter?” What do I have to lose?” If a girl, practically lying on her death bed, can muster up peace, what am I so afraid of?”

It’s funny how God always has a way of using a situation or person to uplift us from our lowest moments. To show us that what we’re going through is nothing compared to what’s happening to people everyday. I don’t know the fate of that girl, but I pray everyday that she recovered. If I ever see her again, I want to thank her. I want to thank her for her courage, for inspiring me.

I too have shown courage. I’ve done so by overcoming my fear of mathematics. My confidence was destroyed by my fear of math. I always would say, “I hate math”, but how could I hate something that as no life? I was allowing my fear to take over my mind, thus I refused to try. Every time I saw a math problem, I began to feel a pain in my stomach. Thankfully, I no longer think like that. Going to church and getting right with God, showed me I nothing to fear. Joining karate also prepared my mind. It helped me to remain calm every time I felt nervous. I didn’t get that panicky feeling every time a math test was passed out. If I didn’t do so well…I didn’t get angry; I just asked what I did wrong and tried again. Simple huh?

Although I have overcome my fear of math, I’ve come to realize that I will occasionally struggle. I’ve just started taking Pre-Calculus and I’ll admit, it’s pretty challenging, but I haven’t given up. In the past I would’ve cried about my D on midterm instead of calming down and doing something about it. I know what I’m capable of and a D isn’t it. I simply refuse to fail.

The author's comments:
This was an English assignment that turned out to be a really good piece.

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