Friday, June 26, 2015

The College Essay: More than Numbers on a Page

This is the college essay I wish he would write.

Dear Colleges,

This is the story the numbers won't tell you. Here is my thesis: I am more than the numbers on the page. 

My GPA, my SAT's my ACT's my class rank, they are only one part of my story. They are also the main part of the story you will use to determine whether I should be part of your school. So I am worried; and I will now tell you what you will not learn from the numbers on the page.

  • You will not see my curiosity, which, when peaked is insatiable.
  • You will not see the passion with which I defend a point, theory or thought.
  • You will not see the epic daily battle waged between my intelligence and my brain chemistry. 
  • You will not see the courage it took to simply get out of bed and go to school when the dark side made it's seductively convincing argument about how much easier it is to give up.
  • You will not see the people who needed me to fit in a box instead of finding ways to unleash who I am.
  • You will not see the teachers who made me feel known, who made me see value in myself.
  • You will not see all the times I got up after I fell.
  • You will not see my sense of humor.
  • You will not see how hard I work, because it doesn't have conventional outcomes.
  • You will not see how brave I was to change schools, not because I had to, but because I no longer wanted to feel ashamed of who I am because I couldn't be who they wanted.
  • You will not see my confidence, because I'm still searching for it.
  • You will not see all of me.
I do not look like the perfect student. I am proud of my strengths and stronger for my flaws. I will continue to make mistakes and I will try to recognize the victories. I am my own worst enemy, but I believe I am worth the effort; I believe I am worth my effort. So, I will continue to become more three dimensional with all the challenges surprises failures and rewards that presents. I will strive to define myself not by numbers and labels but by actions, effort and the courage to show up.

I hope I can do this at your school.

Thank you for your consideration of the possible.


  1. This is beautiful, Mary. I wish I were a college admissions director and that your kids had written that. I'd give him a full scholarship!