This is the rough draft of a college essay I never sent. I wrote it sometime during the fall of 2017, my
senior year of high school. I gave up on the essay when I realized I would not be able to provide justice to
the topic and background of what I was trying to get across in my head. Therefore, it sat on my desktop,
untouched, until a few days ago. (Please forgive the poor syntax and wording, this is the only draft from
Prompt: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe
their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No
Imagine waking up on a deflated air mattress littered with pretzel crumbs, possibly surrounded by
approximately 110 half-finished soda cans all flat from the night before, or possibly a hangover,
depending on the year. In AP psychology during my junior year of high school we learned about the
concept of nature v. nurture, and I’ve always leaned my beliefs towards nurture. To me, everyone is the
way they are, for the most part, because of their surroundings and what was made of them. So I guess in
order for you, the admissions officer, to have a better understanding of me, I’ll have to give you a brief
synopsis of my Friday nights for the first 14 years of my life. The environment that I grew up in to that
turned me into the person I am today.
They weren’t too wild, the women that raised me. It consisted of my sister and three of my cousins at
our Babcia’s house (meaning grandmother in Polish). We referred to ourselves as the “Polish Kin”, all
of us being a mere one-half Polish and not knowing how to say anything greater than “I love you” or
“milk” in the language. Growing up with these girls, by far more than any other factor, made me who I
am today. Every Friday night from my earliest memories we were at Babcia’s, it gave the parents all a
night off and all of us kids a night together.
Being the youngest of all 7 grandchildren, I was always trying to tag along. The 2 boy cousins didn’t
really hang because they had no interest in hanging out with their female counterparts, but to me it was
an honor. From the very beginning I took the backseat with my eyes wide open. I played, suggested, and
did all the dares they told me to do. I was always following their lead in any situation. I idolized these
girls. Being 4 years my senior they had already, and continue to, experienced things I could only
phantom. They were bruised, mean, funny, and curious and they were all so different from each other,
creating this super Pac of coexisting independent alpha females that radiated in an aura of estrogen and
insults. They raised me.
Looking back now, I can see how much of myself is from them. I got my work ethic from my cousin
Sarah, who would roll up the air mattresses and fold the blankets while the older sisters snuck off. She too
was a little sister like me, so I always sided with her. She never pitched a fit, she just did what was needed
to be done, and did good job at it whether she liked it or not. She was a woman of her actions and lead by
example, not her words. Or Lydia her older sister, showing me to never judge someone off their
circumstances but off of who they are. Lydia and I always had the same levels of energy and looking back
now I believe I got a lot of my mentalities from watching Lydia conduct herself. Or Emily, showing me
how to be kind, in the most genuine way a person can be, and no matter what attempting to understand
anyone from high to low in a situation. Or my sister Katie, who was the leading trail blazer for us all.
Who went through and did everything first, always getting the wrath but never the less clearing a way for
the other to follow for anything new in our world. At home we all had our siblings, but at Babcia’s we
were all cousins. These girls, mixed with a creek down the road and a Polish grandmother with a wooden
spoon were my best friends.
So, when my home life wasn’t good and school was the only thing I knew how to do well, these girls
supplemented my childhood with a rich back ground of experience and love. I know this essay is supposed
to supplement what my application doesn’t provide, so I hope this background shows you. I am not
naturally gifted, but I am a hard worker. My parents didn’t care about my grades, but I did what I
thought was best even with no one to account to. I made lifelong friendships based on the examples of
character shown to me as a kid. My interests span as far as the eye can see and I don’t have a clear path
ahead of me, but it’s okay because I’m well rounded and equipped mentally, physically, and emotionally
for anything. I assume I am the first to write this essay, and so it seems now that I can’t look to see what
they did, but it’s okay, because the cousins have given me the building blocks to a great life, and I am
forever thankful, except for our lack of effort to keep the air mattresses afloat.
On April 29th, 2018, a few months after this essay was written and saved, my cousin Sarah died in a car
crash. I had spoken to her hours before the accident that night on our cousin group on Snapchat and we all
woke hours later to the news. The reason I wanted to post this was to show someone, even if it’s just
strangers on the Internet. I want to make it known somewhere out there in writing that the love I profess
about my family has been strong since the beginning. I don’t really regret not showing Sarah, or anyone
else for that matter, because the love and memories we share will always be with us. But I felt like this
essay needed to be read by someone…. I don’t know.