I'll be honest, writing my college essay took forever. The writer's block and the procrastination that led me to gain inspiration from an essay that I wrote during my junior year of high school was massive and gave me a headache almost every time I opened my laptop. How was I going to write 18 years of my life into a short essay for college admissions? Pressure much? But as I finally finished it, probably at 2 a.m. one night knowing myself, I think my perfectionist mind finally gave up on trying to change it.
I've written a lot of material in my life. My high school graduation speech, my middle school graduation speech, a picture book in elementary school, and these articles are some of the things I have written. But one of the documents I think about the most is my college essay.
I think about how I would have rewritten it, why it made my friends tear up when I finally let them read it at lunch, and if I could have rewritten it, what would I say? It's nothing fancy. I don't think any of my writing is amazing; I don't have a vast knowledge of vocabulary or a certain style of writing.
I do know that I worked hard on this essay and it got me into the colleges and Honors programs I applied for (OK, they weren't Ivy Leagues, but you get the point). Here is my college essay that I wrote about two years ago.
P.S. I don't know why you would want to, but please don't plagiarize my writing.
"Hard black concrete turns into soft green grass as the trail continues from the parking lot and into the woods. A safe haven from the bright sun is the tree canopy above, and below is an entire world that only feet and bike tires know. The smell of rain still lingers in the air like the dew sticking to the grass at my feet. Creatures scurry against the dusty trail, knowing where the roots and rocks protrude the dust. It's a narrow trail, only wide enough so two friends can walk together, arms brushing against each other in comfort. Just wide enough for students to sail past the trees on their bikes, the only thing left of them, their tracks. To the right of the path is a sewer grate that is sometimes left open to let wanderers wonder who was brave enough to venture into the darkness, or at least consider the thought. The only things seen through the opening are the rusted ladder rungs, light shining down to the shadows but never reaching the bottom. Most of the time it is closed, sealing the questions up with nails scraping against a chalkboard. Past the dirt lies thin grass and dead leaves, the shades of faded umber forgotten and discarded into a layer of sorrow and memories of many seasons.
Straight ahead is a field of trunks, thin and thick depending on their ancestry. The bark is rugged against fingertips, like the feeling of concrete or brick. The scars on their bark tell their stories, some having more than others. Some trees twist in the same direction as the others, some bend away from the sunlight. To the right of the trail is a meadow with tall, pale grass where deer prance away from the nomads of the woods, only to run into giggling children on the other side. Insects fly and buzz about, adjoining all of their voices in a droning choir.
Above me are the leaves that disappear in the winter and return in the spring, now sprinkled with golden specks of a new morning. The world exhales for a moment, shaking the branches on the tall trees, awakening the woods to a new day of restlessness. I feel the wind against my back, pushing me forward, urging me to continue on and reach my destination.
For years, I have used this trail for early morning walks to school, sleep still lingering in my eyes, a granola bar in my hands. I have used it for balmy journeys to the police station, where every summer I helped kids going into kindergarten learn about safety. I've walked home from countless football games, anticipation and excitement running through my veins. I've shown the trail to young runners during cross country practices, watching their curious eyes brighten at the possibility of a shorter route. I've walked through these woods next to my older sister during her senior year, watching her excitement grow as she began to count down the days of her high school career. My cello case has hit the floor of the woods during my journeys to school every morning as I took a break from carrying it, my hands and fingers aching from practicing.
Now I walk through these woods knowing the days are limited. Each print in the woods marks another step closer to graduation. When I move out to college, my family will be moving out, as well, into the house of my grandmother, who passed away this past summer. We'll never use these woods again. It hits me as I'm walking to school on the first day of senior year. The woods that have always been there for me will be nothing but a memory. The wind pushes against my shoulders and I notice again, knowing that soon it will push me toward my next destination: my future."
I know, right? It's a bit cringey and I completely understand that. I mean, I am the one who wrote that a few years ago. But at the same time, I think writing can give you a look into a piece of your world at the time. I haven't gone through those woods in almost two years now, and I'm going to be a sophomore in college, but reading this essay lets me look at how I felt about entering life after high school: nervous, excited, sentimental, the list goes on.
I encourage that for your college essay, dig into the strengths that you have, come up with original ideas and narratives, and genuinely be yourself in your writing. If you write about things you're passionate about or care about, you're bound to show college admissions that you also care about your future at their institution.