What do you do with an opportunity to speak?
There`s a running troupe in New York, about the lengths up and coming artists go in order to get people to listen to their mix tapes. From standing outside on the corner all day, passing out their albums to people passing by, to constantly advertising their music on every social media platform possible. Not in the hopes of collecting money, but for the chance to be heard.
The opportunity to share your thoughts and be heard is a privilege. It`s one of the reasons why Chance the Rapper, winner of three Grammys in 2017, allows for fans to stream his music for free, because the opportunity to be heard is priceless.
So what do you do, with this rare opportunity to have your words, thoughts, read?
In all honesty there is no one holding you accountable for the words you choose to write for your college essay. If you pleased, you could orchestrate a dramatic retelling of your favorite movie. You could describe the time you lost your loved one, how you travelled across the country, put your faith in new friends made along the way, all so that you could successfully arrive at P Sherman 41 Wallaby Way.
One could have someone write their college essay. They could write a piece that is generic and impersonal. An essay encapsulated with quotes from great characters in history such as John Jay and Catherine the Great, to really show one`s intellectual prowess.
And perhaps for a second, you are tempted to fake your way thru this part of the college application. Describe yourself in 500 words., There is no doubt that this task is daunting.
Amazingly, the college essay is the first time to speak about who you are. In the 15 years spent in a school system learning grammar, reading works written in Middle English by deceased poets, analyzing the meaning of epic Greek tales written before the birth of Jesus Christ, there you aren`t given the opportunity to tell your own story.
Who are you? Who are you to your friends, to your family? What makes you different than the other soccer players taking AP US History.
For 18 years, you have lived with a limited vocabulary of ways to describe yourself. Society has readily provided you with nouns and adjectives such as scholar, athlete, actress, actor, kind, driven, insightful, to describe yourself, and now you are given 500 words to describe yourself, to tell your story.
This task is even more overwhelming when you feel as though you don`t have a substantive story to tell.
Not everyone has lost a loved one that irreconcilably changes there life. Not everyone has found a cause that they`re passion about. Perhaps who you are, can`t be explained by a life changing summer in the Dominican Republic building schools.
And that`s okay.
Even without a grandiose tale, the college essay serves it`s purpose in letting students know that one day they will have a story, there will come a time when they have to face the entire world, not just the pairs of eyes in an admissions` office, and boldly confess who they are.
When you get down to the nitty-gritty purpose of the college essay, it`s a reminder of your freedom of speech.
You have a voice and it`s time to use it.