Week of 4.25.08
College Summit Student Essays
More From NOW: College Summit | Paying for College: Where the Candidates Stand | College Summit Student Essays | Writing a Winning Personal Essay | Feedback Forum | TranscriptCollege Summit encourages students to write personal essays to help them find and share their unique voices. This training helps them create effective personal statements required by college admission offices.
Below, a sampling of some of these personal essays provides sharp insight into high school students' lives.
Duval Senior High School, Maryland
"Forget about material things and focus on education. I don't know you, I don't know your name, I'm not interested in you, but I smell you in the hallway and you think you're cool. I can smell both kinds of smoke.
They look like they don't have any purpose in life. Always talking about who I'm wearing, LRG, Sean John, whatever. As we all know teenagers of today do not value education like the way it is supposed to be valued. But they tend to pay attention to unimportant stuff like drinking, smoking, and not taking advantage of the free education they have in the United States. Other countries have to pay in order to get education.
On the Discovery Channel I saw a documentary about how African countries have to pay to go to school and how some parents do not have the money to pay. Some parents were poor, unemployed, so it was not easy for them to pay their school fees. They interviewed some of the parents and they looked really sad. I could not understand their language but I could feel the pain and struggle they were going through from their facial expressions and how they were talking with tears in their eyes ..."
Read Asiedu's full essay
Inglewood High School, California
"The clear blue water with a soft light golden sand. My feet leaving footprints everywhere I walked. Breathing in the smell of the salt water. The clear sky sun bright as can be. The boats coming to shore, restaurant shakes with drinks and food scent fly under my nose. My feet touching the water, my legs going deeper and deeper in the ocean my whole body is going under. I can finally let go.
One day after school. You said "Meisha come here I have something to tell you. " I said. "Coming daddy." I came and smell the liquor as soon as I step in the door. "Where is mommy?" I asked." She went to the store. Come here I want to show you something! Come sit next to me on the bed." I walked over slowly the curtains were closed. You were wearing an undershirt and black pants with socks on, your shoes by the bed. Your hands were sweaty...My life has changed from that day.
In my Chicago bedroom this reflection I see of myself is trapped in its own world not letting anyone in, blaming myself for your mistakes. Seeing a part of the world I should have never seen not feeling worthy for anything. Do I matter? I'm shattered into little pieces ..."
Read Reneau's full essay
Suitland High School, Maryland
"I am the only child on my mother's side of the family, because my father did not want me as his son. I have no idea why, but at this point in my life I don't care. I don't want anything to do with him. I have brothers and sisters I never seen except one, Isaiah. He is the only piece of my father I have ever endured. The reason he came to live with my mother and I, I'm not for sure. I just woke up and there was a short, chubby boy, about four foot eleven in my house. My mother stated, "This is your little brother and he's come to stay for a while." I didn't know what to think. As I looked in his sad eyes, it seemed like I saw him before. He looks like the man in the old picture my mother keeps in her mirror. I realized that he was my father's son.
At first I didn't want to be around him because he favored that man, my father. It was hard to even show any type of emotion to him. Isaiah was a total stranger to me. One day I was going outside to see if my friends were out, and my mother wanted me to take Isaiah with me. I had to do it because my mother is not a person to play with ..."
Read Herring's full essay
College Summit—Best Student Essays Book [pdf]