So I was trying to think of something new to share with you guys for this Wordy Wednesday — because I think you’re probably getting a bit sick of short stories and poetry/songs — and then it hit me. DUH. MY COLLEGE ESSAY!!
For those not in the know, most colleges require you to write a kickbutt essay in order to get accepted, and a lot of the time there’s a prompt that you have to follow when writing that essay, and all the different colleges that you apply to will, more than likely, have different prompts for their application essays… which basically means that you end up writing a tonnn of essays. (I’m not kidding. A metric ton. Don’t challenge me on this.)
I did this essay for the common application, which I used to apply to the University of Michigan (WHICH IS WHERE I’M GOING NEXT YEAR AHHHH!!!!!). Lucky for me, it was basically a free write in 250-500 words, so I could talk about whatever I wanted to in it. (Also, if you’re curious, mine’s 500 words exactly. BOO to the YA.) It’s titled “Forever.”
(Please Note that the name of the literary agent has been changed for obvious reasons — the actual agent is super sweet and a fantastic woman anyone would be lucky to work with, but I was totally freaking out and panicking when I met her, so hence why I make her sound a bit, well, evil towards the beginning of this.)
(Oh, and also Please Note that the literary agent who was, at the time I applied to colleges, reading my full manuscript rejected me a couple of weeks after this, but with the nicest and most complimentary rejection I’ve ever received, with some great suggestions for how to improve my manuscript that I’ve since implemented.)
My entire life, I’ve been searching for forever. Other kids want to be lawyers and doctors, but I just want to be remembered. I want to change the world.
There are many ways to go about achieving this. I could be president, a philanthropist, or an animal rights activist. But while all of these are worthy pursuits, none of them appeal to me individually. Instead, I look at the way books can change people and bring strangers closer together, and I see the effect writing has had on my own life, and I know that this – being a writer – is what I want to do.
In January, 2011, I had the opportunity to fly to New York City to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference and the subsequent pitch slam. They lined the conference room’s walls with tables where writers could sit and discuss their novels with various literary agents and perhaps get a business card, which signified that the agent may be interested in representing the project to publishing houses.
I was so nervous, I felt like I was going to hurl.
My first pitch was with a woman named Martha Wrath, who was severe looking with a last name to match. Upon laying eyes on me, the only minor there, she raised her thin, dark eyebrows and said skeptically, “Hello, what do you have for me today?”
I hesitated a second before sitting down at her table, and forced a smile as I introduced myself. She leaned back in her chair and I noticed her nails were painted blood red. Perfect.
“Continue,” she murmured.
With a deep breath, I read my pitch and tried to keep my hands from shaking. When I finished, her fingers inched toward her stack of business cards, but then moved back away. I felt something die within me.
She didn’t speak for a moment, and my pulse spiked in fear, but then she finally cracked a smile and said, “Well, I think your plot is really intriguing and I’d like to definitely read some of it.”
I didn’t take my eyes off her as she picked a business card up and examined it before sliding it across the table to me. My stomach flipped over.
Genuinely smiling, she said, “I can’t wait to hear from you!”
“Thank you!” I stood up, practically dancing.
Although I received seven more business cards by the end of the pitch slam, none of them mattered as much as the first. I proved myself with it; I not only wanted to be a writer, but I am one.
Now, as I wait to hear back from a literary agent reading my full manuscript, I dream about how I’ll change the world… While I know my destination, I don’t know what hurdles I’ll have to overcome to reach it and I have a feeling that college will best prepare me to take them on.
My entire life, I’ve been searching for forever. I think college will help me find it.
And yup! That’s my college essay! 🙂 Thanks for reading!!!
Also, SOMEBODY LEAKED A NEW JONAS BROTHERS SONG ONTO YOUTUBE!! (I feel like the excessive use of caps lock in this post has definitely been necessary, especially here.) (Don’t laugh at me for liking the Jonas Brothers, or I’ll have to play the Nyan Cat song on repeat, and then you’ll be sorry… you’ve been warned…)