1.If you were to describe yourself by a quotation,what would the quote be? Explain youranswer. ( Dartmouth)
2.Tell us about the neighborhood that you grew up in and how it helped shape you into thekind of person you are today.( Yale and the University of Chicago)
've just written a 300-page autobiography.Send us page 7.(University of Pennsylvania)4.If you could be a "fly on the wall" to observe any situation -- historical, personal, or
otherwise -- describe what you would choose to observe and why. what would you hope tolearn and how would it benefit you?(University of Pittsburgh/94)
5. If we could only admit one more student to the University of Pittsburgh,why should it beyou? (University of Pittsburgh/94)
6. Describe a risk that you have taken and discuss its impact on your life. (KalamazooCollege/93)
7.If you could spend a year with any real or fictional person in the past, present, or future,whom would you choose? Why? (Kalamazoo College/93)
8. What invention would the world be better off without, and why? (Kalamazoo)9. Write you own essay question and answer it. (Kalamazoo College/93)
10.If you had the power to change three things in your community or in the world, what wouldyou change and why? (Middle East Technical University in Turkey/93, provided by an exchangestudent)
When my parents met, my mom was a 16-year-old, straight-A student from Indiana and myfather was a 26-year-old convenience store employee. "Don't date him," they told her. "He'stoo old for you, and it will be nothing but trouble." My mom didn't listen.
But those people were right.He was nothing but trouble.He isolated my mother from herfamily and convinced her that things would be better if she moved in with him.Before long,she was pregnant with me."Don't have the baby," they told her. "He'll just leave and you'll beraising the baby on your own." My mom didn't listen.
But those people were right. My father left shortly after I was born, and she was alone with meat 17 years old."Don't drop out of school to raise the baby," they told her. "It will be too hardand you won't be able to make to make it work without an education." My mom didn't listen.But those people were right.By the time I was in middle school, my mother was selling drugsto pay the bills, and she used them as well. she thought I didn't know, but she wasn't verygood at hiding it. "The daughter is going to end up just like the mother," they said. "Herfather's gone and her mom's a drug dealer, she'll never amount to anything."
But those people were wrong.
l may not have had parents to guide me, but I had books that showed me a better way. I couldsee myself in the characters and experience the same range of emotions that I read on eachpage. I learned about things that were possible with hard work, and envisioned worlds thatexisted only in fantasy.But in every book, I got inspiration.
Whereas some people saw tragedy when they read about Anne Shirley being sent to GreenGables, I saw a young woman who put in the work to achieve her goals and disprove everyonewho made assumptions about her.And when I read about Mary Lennox's quest to find theSecret Garden, I didn't see a spoiled rich girl. Instead, I saw a young woman who usedimagination and inspiration to create her own happy endings.
Reading was the one thing I could do without having to ask for money, or a ride to the
bookstore. I could check out an eBook from my library and download it right to my phone as Isat on my front porch. I was able to tune out everything else going on in my life and focus onwhat was possible.And it wasn't just the characters who inspired me, but the writers as well.Idecided that if these strangers could create stories that captivated and motivated readers, thenI could do it too.
Instead of reading every day, I started writing. Paragraphs became pages, whichthe time summer arrived, I had written an entire book with 36 chapters and anarray of adventures. I hope to share the book with young adults in the future so they can be asinspired by my words as I have been by the writing of others.
But my book isn't ready for its debut yet. It sits in a file on my computer, waiting for the righttime to bring it to light. what's important is that it's there, telling the story of a young girl whoovercame her challenges and went on to life of strength. Her family's situation didn't pre-defineher, and the opinions of others didn't shape who she became.
It's a story that I'm proud to have written, and I'm not worried about whether anyone everreads it. What matters is that it's possible for a girl like me to create my own ending.