Dear College Reader…

On the paper/computer application in front of you is me, or at least all you get to see of me before you deem me good enough or not.

It takes you 650-1000+ words for you to supposedly understand who I am, who I know myself to be and who I want to be. Yes, I wrote the words, I told you the stories, I’ve built from what I have in me, who I think I’m supposed to be. I’ve compressed seventeen years of life into eight or nine paragraphs expressly for your viewing pleasure.

But, reader, this one is different, this one will tell a different story because what you don’t see in the typical “What have you done to better your community” and “What is your passion” supplements (which have a strong undercurrent of “be impressive, we’re watching you”),  are the long nights, the tears and disgusting tissues, the pacing, the self-judgment, the pain of feeling so insanely inadequate that every achievement feels like a trivial pursuit or worse- a lie.

Painting Credit: Antoine Stevens

I’m here to tell you that I am more than just 1000 words. I am an incomplete but also fully whole person, and that I have not a f*$%^&g clue who I am, who I’m going to be.

I feel as if for the past six months I have been folding, bending, and working against every instinct I have to somehow force myself into a two dimensional version of myself.

I don’t blame you reader because you will remember that I am a person — a breathing person who worries and is bad at things, who is vain, loves shopping and small trivial things, is selfish and is trying all the time to be good enough for my friends, family, and the opportunities I’ve been granted — behind that application. I hope.

I have hidden behind pseudo-confidence and humor the fact that I am terrified of not being as good as I think I am, that my secret fear, that everyone lies to me when they say I’m good at something to spare my feelings, will be true.

I am terrified to have my future rest in the hands of someone else, because it rests in your hands. I’m scared that what you see on those applications is not the best me because I couldn’t get the right words out.

If I’m completely honest with you, reader, applying to college has made me feel like crap. Everyone else seems to have things figured out, they’re writing easy but I can’t remember how it was to breath without feeling like an anvil is sitting on my chest, without typing triple letters because my hands are shaking so badly.

I don’t know what I want and I don’t know what you and the college you represent want, but I just pray that I am what you want.

I hope that my sleepless nights, my years of homework, my work, my words, my bending and near breaking, my near misses, my wins, my losses, all my books, my stories, my short mostly un-lived life is enough for you, even if you don’t get to see all that in my edited, word pinched application.

Please let me be enough.

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