A Real College Essay

An Essay By Julie // 9/15/2009

When I sat down to write this essay, I wasn’t really sure what to say. “By the time they finish reading this essay, the reader should feel like he knows you—“ that’s what the articles about writing college essays say.

            But how do you pin yourself down so neatly? Can I really fit my entire personality—interests, goals, values—into an eight-inch space on the application form? I suppose I must try, but where do I start?
            Should I explain that I was homeschooled until high school, but have spent the past four years at public high school? Would anyone except a fellow homeschooler understand the differences in perspective and interests? How Michael Jackson is an enigma, but Michael W. Smith is familiar? How Harry Potter is overrated, but Dante’s Inferno is a masterpiece? How everything is “homework,” but we don’t go to school in pajamas unless the teacher’s still in them herself?
            Would it matter that I am the oldest of three siblings, with two brothers and no sisters? Would they care that my introverted nature results in my middle brother monopolizing the conversation on his latest obsession, while I am left to type out my passions to forums of similarly insane people?
            I suppose I should quit this monologue and write what they want me to; an essay about how Obama’s inauguration brought tears to my eyes or how losing the state basketball championship gave me a whole new perspective on victory. But I don’t care about sports, and Obama’s personal triumphs are overshadowed for me by his personal views. They would like a ‘safe’ essay, or a politically correct one. 
            But even though I’m not one to spark a debate, I can’t force myself into that box. My life is politically incorrect—a conservative, evangelical Christian—a fact that is only accented by the recent buzz after a fifth-grade Vermont homeschooled girl was forced into the public school to “learn other views” in the aftermath of a divorce. It is politically incorrect to present one view as correct. But does anyone notice that this view itself is presented as the only “correct” one? 
            Total objectivity is a myth. It doesn’t exist except in the minds of those who oppress Christianity. 
            I really should get back to the point of the matter. But why? They want to know me—this is who I am. Take it or leave it! You can criticize my choice of reading matter or laugh at my ignorance of country music—do I audibly do the same to you? If you want an honest, polite conversation, I am willing to do so. I may remain silent on popular culture because I know my views would be swiftly silenced, but I will not bend inside to the mold of the world.
            I won’t send this in—of course I won’t. It’s too long, too shrill, too argumentative. It doesn’t fit their mold.
            But neither do I.

Comments

<3

I love this, Kestrel. It's perfect.

LoriAnn | Fri, 09/18/2009

you expressed it perfectly

I'm only a Junior, but already I'm starting to wonder about my college application essay--and all the essays following. Will I write on "safe", neutral topics in order to get a good grade? Or express my true beliefs, and be labeled as a limited, short-sighted bigot? It will be hard, but in a way, rather exciting also. Being different--and so different--is worth it. This was an excellent essay, and I admire the way your four years in public school haven't kept you from being a homeschooler.

Annabel | Fri, 09/18/2009

This was very good.  It

This was very good.  It describes perfectly the fact that many, many people --like Christians, homeschoolers--do not need to conform to the world to be happy, or live a life of fulfillment.  Spot-on!

Clare Marie | Sun, 09/20/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

great job!

I'm not the only one going to a public high school!! sorry.it just seems like no one else is...

and I'm sort of like that, too. I don't fit their mold. my friends (the non-homeschooled ones, that is) wonder why I don't care about fashion or that singer's latest divorce or whatever, but it's simply that; i don't care. it doesn't really affect me (not that I stay in my own personal world or anything,) and it's the world, not me. go ahead and follow it, if you want, but don't criticise me for having a backbone.

i really liked the essay, Kestrel, really good job!! I know exactly what you're saying. perfect!!

Tori | Mon, 09/28/2009

“Oh Ronnie! I can’t believe you’re a prefect! That’s everyone in the family!” said Mrs. Weasley.
“What are Fred and I, next-door neighbors?”
–George Weasley