A Real College Essay
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.