The Process Of Applying To College Forces Us To Hide Some Of The Most Impactful Events In Our Lives
Student Life

The Process Of Applying To College Forces Us To Hide Some Of The Most Impactful Events In Our Lives

The creative process is supposed to be one of endless possibilities, so why do I still feel restricted?

131

The time of year has come again for many high school seniors to open college admission letters. Some are filled with denials, and others are filled with rewarding acceptances. No matter what group you fall under, you should continue to reward yourself for all that you've overcome & all that you will accomplish. Nearly 1 year ago, I was in the same position- overfilled with joy when receiving acceptances, but all of that excitement was diminished with just one denial. I felt the endless hours I put into volunteering, striving for the best grades, and perfecting my college essays were just not enough.

I wish I had recognized the truth sooner, but unfortunately, it took me months. I had to remind myself: though I am a student, a friend, a daughter, a sister, before all of those- I am a person. Just like many of us do, I had experienced hardships that no high schooler should have to go through. I knew that every battle I overcame molded me into that talented student, but those who could not recognize how my pain translated into prosperity were those on the other side, reading my essays.

During my junior year of high school, I tragically lost my best friend in the entire world, my brother. With the main focus of junior year aimed towards SAT testing, applying to college, or perfecting those last grades to squeeze onto your transcripts, my mind was nowhere near any of those things. I missed weeks of school because I could not sit in a classroom for more than 20 minutes without breaking down. My grades began to quickly plummet, and the ambitious student inside of me was burning out. I had to complete the semester with grades that did not meet my satisfaction, but the last thing I could do was discipline myself in a time where I did not even recognize myself.

It was only two months later when I began the first drafts of my college essay. The prompt read "The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?". My inner writer was ready to tackle this essay. For the first time in months, I had a roaring crave inside of me to apply myself to school. My fingers began typing away and my mind was on a pursuit to explain the reinvented Gia De Jesus- the one who was destined to persevere, despite tragedy.

I approached my English teacher with the first draft with hopes of admiration, since it was my first time actively participating in school work, but that was not the case. She was only 3 sentences into my- what I thought was a masterpiece- before stating "Gia, you cannot write about this.". With confusion and anger, the words rushed to the tip of my tongue "What do you mean I can't write about this? There are no rules. THIS setback is what made me who I am, and isn't expressing your personality through your essay the focus of all of this?" I was then explained the "topics to avoid for your college admission essay"- death, divorce, and drugs.

While I settled for a topic that did not display my identity with the utmost acknowledgment, I knew I wasn't the only one who struggled to understand these limitations. So many of us are forced to direct our thoughts to a different aspect of life, which holds equal significance, simply due to the frequency of such topics. While I knew I had not been the only person out of the millions of people applying to college to be affected by a traumatic experience, I did not want my story to go unheard. It is more than just family deaths, there are people who are bullied, people who are separated from their families, people who suffer from mental illnesses, people who came from the worst of situations and made themselves into something better.

Some of the people who experience traumatic events are fortunate enough to have other family members to grieve/ vent with, but for others, they do not have that support system. These essays are perceived as an opportunity to open up and think with no boundaries, to speak truthfully, and to be heard- even when the readers remain unknown. Whether you still hold closely all of your family members, or you do not have an illness which requires you to be stabilized on medicine, we all have a story to share. If going to college is something that will inevitably become necessary for one to be successful, it is only fair to understand that applicant as a person, not for their lettered grades or their numbered scores.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Podcasts are such an integral part of some of our everyday lives that it can be hard to recall a time at which they didn't exist. Podcasts exist on about every single topic, from dating to celebrity gossip and Harry Potter.

Now more than ever, it's likely you're reeling from the news, and (hopefully) wanting to do something about it in order to educate yourself. Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information in a conversational, personal way from some of today's top educators, scholars, and theorists.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Stop Pitying Me Because I'm Single, I'm Very Happy With My Relationship With Myself

I don't need your opinions on why I'm single and you're not. We are two different people.

I'm so happy for my friends when they get into relationships, but that doesn't mean they get to have control over my love life, and that is what bothers me. For the record, I've been in four relationships, one lasting for three years, so I do understand relationships.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

13 Books About Race Absolutely Every American Should Read, Especially Now

Books about black lives, from classics to new must-reads.

It's likely you are seeing the current state of the world and wanting to do something about it. Whether you're only beginning to or wanting to deepen your understanding of the black experience, these books are precisely where to start.

Some, like Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, are classics you've probably heard of, but may not have picked up yet. Others, like Reni Eddo-Lodge's "Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race," are newer hits.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In June For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your summer binge-watch list.

Paramount Pictures

The first of the month is now here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones.

Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during June.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

I Was At The Atlanta George Floyd Protests, Here's What It Was Like Before The Violence Started

What started out as a peaceful protest quickly resulted in destruction, with mixed opinions leading narratives on both sides.

When I heard about the protests happening in my city in honor of George Floyd, a black man who was brutally and fatally detained by police in broad daylight, I was conflicted about the best way for me to support a cause that I was passionate about. The senseless killings of people of color in America had been weighing on me, and I was eager for a way to help, to do my part. I wanted to be out on the ground with my community, having our voices heard. However, there was the issue of the coronavirus, a very real and troublesome threat that is still controlling our daily lives.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

If You Can Eat Crap And Stay Thin You Aren't Healthy, You're Lucky

A high metabolism isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card!

Photo by Tarutoa on Unsplash

Everyone has that one friend — the one who eats to their heart's content but never gains an ounce. Meanwhile, you feel like you gain five pounds just stealing a glance at a hamburger! My childhood best friend was like that, much to my chagrin. Anyone who hadn't witnessed her eat might be tempted to say that she was thin because of her diet, but she would sometimes eat a bag of Sour Patch Kids as a "meal." One time, I watched in awe as she chowed down on a "salad" made up of one part romaine lettuce, two parts shredded cheddar cheese, and two parts French dressing — it was nothing more than a red lake of dressing with bits of green and orange debris floating in it. Clearly our definitions of "salad" were quite different, as were our perceptions of a balanced meal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I Started Dating A Guy Before Quarantine, But Now We Rarely Speak Unless I Double-Text

"He's really nice and cute and I like being around him when we see each other, but he's awful at communication."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments