One Year Later

by Michaelanne DeMarco
(Pullman)

Personal Experience Essay - Someone told me that where your mind wanders is where you heart truly lies. And I hope that's true. When my mind wanders, which it does frequently, I think of them. Of their laughter. Of their faces. Of their smiles. Of the good times we had. I try to think of all the good memories we had together; we had plenty. But eventually, my mind wanders to exactly one year ago today, when they were taken.


There are no words that can describe what it's like watching your little brother and sister be driven off in a car by a man neither you nor they know. Just driven off, into oblivion, never to be seen by you nor heard from again. Just gone. To live with a new family. A supposedly better family. And my family and I, just expected to stand on the blacktop and watch them leave, like this is an everyday occurrence. Like it's just typical for your heart and soul to be torn from you body and leave forever.

They called us, 16 hours before taking them, and informed us of the state mandated move. Two hours after that call I had ten government workers in my house, packing the kids up. While this was happening all around us, three case workers were giving my family, twins included, the "run-down" of events. They were telling us coping mechanisms for dealing with losing ones you love. The lady in charge told me that it might be healthy for me to write down every time I think of them. So that if I ever see them again I can show them just how often I thought of them.

But I think about them constantly. Not a day goes by where they haven't been on my mind and heart at least 50 times. Even a year later, everything reminds me of them. Joy, sadness, faith, love, grief-- it doesn't matter. Everything, simply everything, reminds me of something about them.

And I know it confuses people when I call them "my siblings." No one says it, but I know that everyone thinks, "they're not REALLY related to you, and especially not anymore." And it's always awkward when people ask me how many people are in my family. I always hesitate. Because in actuality? There are four people currently residing in my home. But my family will always be a family of six, no matter where the six of us are located or what our last names have been changed to.

So, it's one year later. My heart hurts just as badly as they day they left. If there is a God, I hope that one day he helps heal that hole inside of my soul and gives me some peace. But until then, I'll think about them and pray for them and send them happy thoughts. For as long as I live, my heart will always be with them and wander towards them.

"And the tears come streaming down your face. When you lose something you can't replace, when you love someone but it goes to waste, could it be worse?" -Coldplay, "Fix You"
"Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear
Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say
To think I might not see those eyes
Makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbye
I nearly do" - Snow Patrol, "Run"

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Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Michaelanne for sharing your moving personal experience essay to include in our examples of College Scholarship Essays. Your personal story is very moving. I hope you can see those kids again someday. Best of luck to you in college.

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The First of Many

by Akida
(Columbia, South Carolina, USA)

Music Scholarship Essay Example - As a vocalist and an individual who generally loves music, I must say that the weekend of March 19th, 2011, was my quintessential vision of heaven on earth.

I took a ride to a small chapel in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where I was to practice with other members of South Carolina’s first All-State Men’s Choir. However, this wasn’t merely a trip for me. No. This weekend meant more than that.

The year before, I had auditioned for All-State Chorus and had been accepted to be a part of the first All-State Men’s Choir. However, without any valid reason, the notion of having an All-Men’s Choir was eradicated. Poof. Gone. Needless to say, I was emotionally crushed underneath an anvil of despair and betrayal. It was at that very moment that I decided I had to be a part of that Choir next year, and that “No” wasn’t going to be an answer.

Not knowing what to expect or how to feel, I walked through the doors and took my seat in a chapel with 134 boys who were my musical equals or betters. Before anxiety or intimidation could set in, the director came into the room; he slowly lifted his hands without saying a word, signaling that it was time to warm up. Promptly, the harmonies of 135 basses, baritones and tenors blended together into an ethereal cornucopia of musical nirvana. I felt my spirit at one with not only every singer’s in the room but with the music itself. The director, without the slightest trace of emotion on his face, let his hands fall by his sides like a ballerina.

His eyes scanned the room with such passion and intensity that it chilled my soul as his petite figure towered over us while he nonchalantly leaned against the podium: "There are going to be two groups of people this weekend: One group is anticipating that you succeed in establishing a lasting legacy, and the other group is hoping that you walk away with your tail in between your legs; whichever group walks away happier is up to you."

A mixture of shock and aspiration was painted on the faces of everyone inside the chapel. As soon as those last words traveled through the aisles and rows of the chapel, a wave of camaraderie surged throughout the building—an immovable camaraderie that I knew would stick with me while I sang on stage with those 134 boys, and that would stick with me until the day my heart stops beating.

After I arrived home, I flung myself on my bed and cried like I hadn’t cried in years, but they weren’t tears of sadness… just tears of pure elation. I saved all of the music from that weekend’s performance in the exact order it was sung, and I tucked away the folder in the depths of my wardrobe. As I closed the oak door, I said to myself, “I think I’ll show these to my children one day.”


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Thank you Akida for sharing your scholarship essay example. Best of luck to you in college or music school.

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A Letter To My Best Friend

by Samarie Gaston
(Painesville, Ohio, USA)

*The picture that I submitted is a picture of my best friend (on the right) and his best friend. They both died in the car accident that night.*

*The picture that I submitted is a picture of my best friend (on the right) and his best friend. They both died in the car accident that night.*

Personal Essay- A Letter To My Best Friend - Dear Best Friend, Remember when you were in school, and they would teach you no drinking and driving? Remember how they would show you those videos of young teens getting killed in a car crash? Remember how you never really paid attention? I remember that. I remember looking at the videos and not really paying attention to them. I just thought that things like that only happened in the movies or miles away from me. It’s the worst feeling in the world when a tragedy hits close to home.

Dear Neil,

I called your phone at least thirty times if not more. But, for some reason, you wouldn’t answer. I was texting you. But, for some reason, I never got a response. Everyone was telling me that you were gone but I kept saying to myself that it wasn’t true. I had just talked to you the day before. Your birthday was the next day. We planned to hang out and eat strawberry cake together. I thought it was a joke. But, it wasn’t. My best friend was gone. My other half was gone. Just like that. For the longest I was depressed. For the longest I didn’t know what to do. I would be in school, and in the middle of class, I would start crying. People would ask me what was wrong and I couldn’t tell them…I was broken.

I just wanted to let you know that I miss you. I miss your laugh, our laughs together. I miss hanging out with you every weekend having fun. I miss everything. Because of you, I took an oath to never drink and drive. You showed me that life was short and that I should never take it for granted. I can’t wait to see you again in heaven. I love you.

Love,
Your Best Friend



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Thank you Samarie for sharing your touching Personal Essay- A Letter To My Best Friend. Best of luck to you.

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If You See a Problem Fix It

by Necani Mansfield
(Panama City, FL)




Advocate Essay for College - There are certain nights of your life that define you. For me, that night happened to be, ironically, just another by invitation only party. This night, however, was different than the others. Tonight I felt like an outsider looking in on my life from a new and unique perspective. As I analyzed the behavior of my peers, I noticed people ignoring each other in hopes of finding someone "important" to talk to. I then came to a startling realization; I lived in world were people cared more about their social status than the person standing right in front of them.

As I left this prestigious party and distanced myself from the elaborate mansion it was held in, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I was living in a superficial world where everyone was too busy fighting for status to care about actual individuals. In addition, as I considered the timeless psychological argument of Nature vs. Nurture, I became concerned with the possibility that I had learned and incorporated the patterns of my environment. I began to examine my life. I have always believed that all people are important and deserve to be treated equally and with love; however, I found myself starting to drift away from my beliefs and conform to my environment. This, to me, was unacceptable. Despite the arguments of countless psychologists, I would not let my environment dictate who I was; therefore, I decided to become an advocate for fair treatment.

I had always been involved in multiple areas of my church, but wasn't very active in the youth ministry. Recently, I heard about a youth event called Axis After Hours, the purpose of which was to make people from a variety of backgrounds feel welcome at church. I knew that the students at church struggled with treating everyone with kindness and respect, as my friends and I did, so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to begin working towards making everyone feel welcome regardless of their background or status. What better way to encourage people to do the same than to personally begin welcoming those who would typically be considered "weird" or "uncool"? I immediately became involved in the organizing and planning of Axis After Hours and was soon rewarded for my hard work by being given the opportunity to manage the event.

As I continued working on overseeing Axis After Hours, my passion for welcoming and showing love toward everyone was made evident to my youth pastor. He then asked me if I would like to prepare a message on the topic and present it on a Sunday. I quickly agreed, eager to share my thoughts, but I wanted to do more than that. I wanted to give people the opportunity to join me in making a difference. With the permission of my youth pastor, I started The Greeting Team; a group of people dedicated to making every person that walked into our student ministry feel welcome.

The Greeting Team has been a huge success. Around thirty dedicated students have joined me in the pursuit of developing a place where everyone feels welcome. As a team, we've faced our share of obstacles, but through these challenges I have been able to learn a lot about being a leader. I was ultimately able to successfully mobilize a group of people toward a common cause. Since the beginning of The Greeting Team, every student who has walked into youth has come back; a 100% success rate.

Since then, I have further grown as a leader in the youth ministry and now have more responsibility as I manage and initiate a variety of events and organizations. Through these opportunities, I have developed my leadership potential in a multitude of ways. I have learned how to successfully manage, organize and motivate people. With these skills, I intend to pursue my passions and conquer any obstacles that stand in my way.


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Thank you Necani for sharing your college essay about being an advocate to make everyone feel welcome. Best of luck to you in college.

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They Called Me Scar-Mouth

by Mallory Rogers
(Stone Mountain, GA, USA)





Personal Experience Essay - I remember a stream of lights, the sound of the crash, and the smoke that surrounded me and my mom. October 3, 2010 was the date of my first car accident. A woman turned into the front of my car. The impact trapped the car in drive, the keys jammed in the ignition, and the airbag deployed. After the police interviewed me, the paramedics took us to DeKalb Medical Hospital. This car accident inspired me to appreciate factors about myself such as having a courageous persona, having exceptional health and having people in my life who care about me.

At the time of the crash, I did not realize the airbag hit my face. My lips looked like humungous, red tomatoes oozing juices. My chin contained burned, exposed skin and was wet with blood and seepage. The skin under my eyes escalated to the size of olives. My nose had a small gash. Although I was excused from school for one week, I went back after one day. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. Everyone looked at me as if I was a virus under a microscope. Because of the four-inch gash on my face, students created names for me. Others made gestures below their mouth when I came near. Despite the treatment, I managed to persevere each day.

The crash made me realize that I have excellent health. Before this experience, I only went to the doctor for physicals. Afterward, I went to the chiropractor twice a week. I also had to see a dermatologist who prescribed a skin bleaching cream for my scar. The doctor told me it would fade within three months. While I was feeling sorry for myself, I realized some people have endured medical treatments since birth. I now know that I am blessed with good health.

Lastly, I learned that I have family and friends who care about me. My friends asked me how we felt weeks after the accident. I attended my Homecoming Dance and my cousin’s wedding on the same day. During the wedding, people asked me questions as if my scar defined me. After discussing it with my parents, I realized I can talk to them about anything. No subject is off limits; therefore I am unaffected by adolescent issues. When I attended my dance later, I took several pictures with my friends. In one photo, my face looked like an eight-by-ten display of my scar. My friends did not tease me. They taught me acts of kindness are endearing.

Overall, I learned not to take life for granted. I appreciate what I have and stopped pondering about what I do not have. I believe I am alive for a reason. Maybe it is to influence others through my acts of bravery, to utilize my health for the wellbeing of others, or to spend more moments with those closest to me. Whatever the reason, I will make sure every moment of my life counts.

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Thank you Mallory for submitting your college essay about your personal experience. Best of luck to you in your college education.

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The Value of Time

by Dodi
(USA)

Unique Event College Essay Example - Describe a unique event in your life that has left a lasting impression and why. - My science teacher does not tolerate complaining. If he hears a student whining, he often says, “You are healthy. You are alive. You have hair." He has a remarkable way of setting any complainer straight. Although humorous, his words impart wisdom.

To realize the value of a sister, ask someone who doesn't have one. To realize the value of ten years, ask a newly divorced couple. To realize the value of four years, ask a graduate. To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a final exam. To realize the value of nine months, ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn. To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby. To realize the value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper. To realize the value of one minute, ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane. To realize the value of one second, ask a person who has survived an accident. Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have.

In school last year, I read this anonymously written letter and the message left an impression. A year later, the value of a sister and the value of one second left me with the lasting impression to treasure every moment I have.

As I ate lunch, Friday, February 6th the household felt abnormally calm. Soon enough, my brothers returned from school along with the characteristic hustle and bustle of the busy afternoon. Everything was back to normal. Only a minute later, one phone call stopped time and made my heartbeat faster than it ever had before. As my friend drove toward the direction of the sirens, I prayed over and over again, begging God to make sure everything was okay. Only a few seconds later, one sight stopped time and my heart. The car was flipped over. CDs and cupcakes from her birthday party the night before littered the street, yet I did not see my sister. I approached an officer and on the verge of tears asked, “Where is she?” Three words have never hit me in the way his did: “In the car.” But as he pointed over my shoulder, I turned and saw my little sister sitting safe and sound in the passenger seat of my dad’s car. Cuts, bruises, broken arm and all, she was alive and truly had experienced a miracle. I did not need to ask her; then and there, I realized the value of one second.

Ethics of Our Fathers tells us, “If I am nothing to myself, who will be for me? And if I am for myself only, what am I? And if not now, when?” If I give up an opportunity to honor my parents, how can I risk losing such a privilege? If I procrastinate and tell myself that there will be time to accomplish later, when? How can one remain certain that life is not so fragile, with the potential to slip away in the blink of an eye? Time is precious and priceless. The average person acts lazily occasionally. But if not now, when? To treasure every single moment is the chance to climb a mountain, to cure a disease or to save a life.

Businessman Jack Keifer once suggested that we imagine we were each given a bank account containing $86,400 to spend any way, every day. Each night at 12 o’clock, our bank accounts would refill with another $86,400 to spend. Everyone in the world would be spending here and there, rushing to obtain his or hers day’s money’s worth, making sure not to waste a single penny. However, we do not need to imagine this scenario, for it is a reality. God provides us with 86,400 seconds in every 24-hour period, which we may “spend” or waste. Money, however, is replaceable. Time is not.

Value connotes appreciation or importance. Interestingly enough, most people use “value” as a noun or an adjective. I have learned that a value should be deemed a verb, and should indicate action upon that which we cherish. I was taught this lesson on a chaotic Friday afternoon in February, when God almost showed His ability to take away life as quickly as He creates it. A lasting impression remains in my mind, never allowing me to forget the 86,400 priceless seconds in each day. If I do not use them now, when?


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Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Dodi for your thoughtful college admission essay on the topic “Describe a unique event in your life that has left a lasting impression and why”. Best of luck to you in your college education.

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