From http://www.cultbox.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Doctor-Who-Listen2.jpg, courtesy of the Google Machine. 'Tis a screenshot from the inspirationally well-written Doctor Who episode with which this essay shares its title.I rarely write personal essays, and when one is assigned despite my protests, I make a conscious effort to write more about others--or, better yet, abstract concepts--than I do about myself. I don't know why, other that I'm a very private person. And yet, whenever I write about the characters I've created, or about the writing process in general, the resulting essay reveals more about me than I ever intended.
That's what ended up happening with this essay, "Listen". I wrote it as part of my college application, which I sent to six colleges, five of which accepted me. The college which I will be attending in the fall started their acceptance letter with a quote from the essay and a note on how deeply it resonated with their admissions staff. My parents' initial reaction was more along the lines of "...that's... different... very you, though." And I have to agree. "Listen" is a meditation on an integral part of my identity; it speaks to an experience that many and yet few share. And it is utterly, undeniably mine.
Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.