Young and Free

by Teryan

What would you do if you were a genius? That was the essay prompt given to my eighth grade class just one month before we hit high school. World domination, write with the greats, and cure cancer. Those were the answers Ashley gave, and – just four short days later – she died of Leukemia.

She had spent the week doing all the same week as everyone else, with only a headache to slow her down. Wednesday had been a normal day, going along with no fears of tomorrow or thoughts of death. She was admitted into Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital Friday morning. By Sunday morning, the phone rang, but instead of the happy go lucky person on the other end, I was paralyzed with the news of her death. Her disappearance fed my desire to do my best to help the 1,545 kids under fifteen who die of cancer every year in the United States, like Ashley.

Ashley devoted her life to reading every book she could get her hands on. She spent every day greeting everyone with “Good morning, sunshine,” and never took the time to be cruel anyone. When her death hit Gardiner Middle School, the only question on everyone’s mind was “why Ashley?” She had such a warm heart, brilliant mind, and so many years of life ahead of her, and yet, she died at fourteen.

I took those initial thoughts and turned them into something that has encouraged me to crave a life where I can be the cause that a family is able to turn their world around. I figured that if there was a situation such as Ashley’s, then there must be other families in the exact same predicament. So why dwell on the death of Ashley, when I could take the emotion I felt, and transform that into aspirations, future destinations, and, most importantly, my character?

I refused to stay in that place of grief and panic. I know the kind of person I want others to describe me as: a leader, smart, kind, and strong. I feel that these things are reflected in my everyday actions. The world around me may not be a fair one or easy to get through, but I want to be one of the few people dedicated to not giving up on life. I want to never give up, follow through with my word, and always help the people that surround me. This character is who I believe myself to be today.

Read more from our collection of College Admission Essays and Scholarship Essays.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Teryan for sharing your college essay about your your friend Ashley. Best of luck to you in college.

A Chance at LIFE!

Nyia, Detroit, Mi, USA

Personal College/ Scholarship Essay:

“What did you do this past summer vacation?” The typical first-day-of-school-question in almost every English class. It never fails! Most responses

lack significance simply because many students fail to realize that in school, every question becomes educational. Therefore, the REAL question would be “What did you do this past summer that increased your knowledge or taught you a lesson?”

Many years have passed, and as I sit here as a senior in high school preparing for college, I realize that I learned a lot that summer. Here it goes, my late-by-three-years-response: “It was 2008, the summer before my freshmen year of high school. I can not remember the exact date or weather, but, my imagination tells me that the sun shined bright that day, little clouds and calm winds. l packed my luggage, jumped into the passenger side of the 2008 Ford Milan my grandmother drove, and headed toward Hardeeville, South Carolina. We drove for hours and hours, taking breaks at rest stops, then back on the road again. I struggled to keep my eyelids from meeting, but like magnets, they pulled together just as they do each night. The day light soon began to decline as the night swiftly rose upon our arrival.

Furthermore, the country was something I was somewhat familiar with since my childhood traveling years. I loved being in the country, its: open skies, dust roads, sunny days, breezy, calm and quiet nights all seemed so unreal to me. Each day I spent in Hardeeville was a pleasure. I was introduced to many family members that I never knew, yet they knew me-- strange! I spent an entire month with my grandmother, it was a family bonding type of summer vacation, one in which I really enjoyed. I then returned to Michigan and had great hopes on next years summer vacation being just as enjoyable! I couldn’t wait to pack up and leave with my grandmother again for every upcoming summer.”

Later, months passed and the day I’ve always hoped to never see showed its face. March 29th, 2009 was the day my grandmother lost her life to Cancer. That summer I learned many lessons, for instance: show love and appreciation toward those in your life because not a day is promised. My 2008 summer vacation was and still is the summer that means more to me than any other summer I’ve witnessed! My grandmothers death taught me many things about life itself, love, appreciation, and most of all being thankful! I learned that being thankful for having the opportunity to live life to its fullest potential is when you find real happiness. Not everyone gets a chance to live life, smile for the very first, go to school, plan a future or even love. Why not be thankful for having such great opportunities that come along with LIFE?

Read more from our collection of College Admission Essays and Scholarship Essays.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Nyia for sharing your personal college essay about life. Good luck to you.

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