My common application is done.
I have applied to the several schools that I am currently interested in. I am looking forward to receiving my decisions soon. We will be waiting until the official transcript comes out on September 15th and all my letter of recommendation are in. It has been a long but meaningful road that much like my driving lessons my parents started the journey but they then put me behind the wheel and now I am driving towards a goal. I still will make some accepted student visits and will have to wait on financial aid to determine the best “value” as my Dad says.
I thought I would share my college essay after six revisions here it is:
My mom is Goofy and I want to be just like her.
You cannot always tell a runner from their clothes, their shoes, or what size they are. In the case of my family, the last one is definitely true. We are what you would call “fluffy” runners. I love running—the challenge, the exercise, and the ability to focus your thoughts—but it wasn’t always like that for me and my mom. When my mom married into my dad’s family, little did she know she was signing up for years of holidays spent discussing races, shoes, and, most of all, achievements.
One day, we went to Disneyland to run and see the parks, but mostly to run. I soon found myself at the starting line of the Fifth Fabulous 5k, which was more like a concert than a road race, with music and special guests both celebrity and furry. With a horn we were off into the early morning, running into the heart of Disneyland.
We emerged from the darkness into the sunshine as we passed steadily through Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Running down Walt’s Main Street, we bunched together and exited the park to loud cheers. As we entered California Adventure, however, I suddenly started to feel the weight of the crowd. My father, whom I was running with, told me to go with the flow and look for our family at the finish. It was on the wooden boardwalk of Paradise Pier that my legs simply gave out. I was feeling light-headed and nauseous from the smells and the music was now pounding to the beat of my pulse. Unable to run, I limped along with the crowd, focused only on the finish line across the bay.
“Finish strong” is my family’s running mantra, so I mustered up everything I had left and managed a slow trot towards the finish, my thoughts on the medal that I would show off at the next family gathering. With a final burst of energy, I crossed the line and was handed a slip of paper that read, “Due to a shipping oversight we are sorry to have run out of medals”.
When I was reunited with my family, I was sulking. As we were leaving the race, however, a man emerged from the crowd and asked me if I had just finished, and whether or not I received a medal. I muttered no, a flash of disappointment crossing my face. He took off his medal and placed it around my neck. I stood dumfounded, unable to hold back tears. I remember little of that first trip to Disneyland, but I remember this man and his simple act of kindness. I have numerous medals displayed alongside my parents’ in our living room but only one hangs in my bedroom.
I have long outgrown the sneakers that I ran this race with, and I no longer need to run with my parents. In the morning when I lace up my shoes and set my playlist, I see an open road of possibilities. As this road rises to meet me I push aside the day’s trepidations with the confidence, perseverance and determination I’ve gained from running. I turn the corner and a small dog barks at me, apparently unaware of my volunteer work at the local SPCA—work inspired by the compassion I remember each time I set eyes on my finishers medal above my bed. My love of running has helped me find my place in my family, school and community. Now it is time to head out and find my place in the world.
Four months later, I would finish another 5k at Disney World. My mother would run the half marathon and then the full marathon the next day, officially known as the “Goofy”. An achievement that effectively ended all family holiday dinner teasing. That is until I do it.