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Writing The College Essay -- Be Unique and Different (3021 hits)

When my son applied for college and the John B. Ervin program, he had to write an essay on a book that impacted his life. He chose "The Little Engine That Could". At first when he said he would use this simple book, I told him are you sure. Should you be using a book that is bigger and better? He told me, momma don't worry this is my book and this will be the one I used.

Well, he was right. He not only got accepted to the school, he also got accepted as a John B. Ervin Scholar.

As students register for college, they need to decide what essay they need to write. It is important that they write something that allows them to stand out. I always tell people that preparing for college to get scholarships is like a "beauty pageant without the beauty". What you write and say can determine if you get in or not. In many cases you are competing with people throughout the country or your area.

I wanted to share his essay and hope that it inspires others in writing theirs:

Question: Tell about a book you have read and the impact it has had on your life.


I gained a lot of inspiration from reading the book, The Little Engine That Could. Even though it is a children's book, the themes are still very universal. Some themes of the story to me are to have faith in yourself and never give up without trying. However the more I read the book, the more insight I gained about life.

Lately, I have been applying these themes to my life and the results have been terrific. First of all, I was selected to Governor's school for the Arts, a feat which surprised me, because I was not considered one of the best artists in my class at that particular time. Another thing which made it interesting was that I was only 1 of 15 African Americans out of approximately 250 students that attended the school during the Summer of 1997 (June 15 through July 12). This gave me a heavy boost of self-confidence. The reason is that it showed me that the judges did base their decision on my skills and that they believed I was qualified to attend a school of this magnitude.

Secondly, I was selected to be vice-president of Class Affairs for my senior class (Class of '98). This was very spectacular in that no one hardly knew me. In addition to that I won by 1 vote, so I knew this was meant to be.

Lastly, I feel that by following the principles in The Little Engine That Could, it helped me to excel academically. I was inducted into the National Honor Society due to the high achieving goals that I have set for myself. The book also helped me to see that if I believe in myself, other will too. Just recently my former Algebra II teacher nominated me as a Scholar for the National Young Leaders Conference which will be held in Washington DC. Through the generosity of donations made by my family, friends, community and strangers, I plan on attending.

In conclusion, the book in general helped me to gain a whole new perspective on life totally. It showed me that success should not be measured by how many rewards or accolades one receives but by how much one learns from trying and shriving to be the best he/she can.
Posted By: C H
Sunday, January 24th 2010 at 3:54PM
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