So, to prove to you, my invisible friends on the world wide web, that I’m being productive and not just ignoring my blag, I thought I’d entertain with a couple scholarship essays I wrote this week. I happen to be particularly proud of them, so don’t judge!
And P.S. It’s legal for an under-21 to drink with his/her parents in Texas. I love the south.
Essay #1: Why I Want to be a Writer
I used to be a hopeless traditionalist. I resisted change anywhere it reared its inconsistent head and dreamed my life would be the story of an independent yet desperately feminine Barbie: I would get a job in a hot new industry, learn to support myself and then fall madly in love and raise two-point-five kids without letting go of my career or sense of style. Then I discovered writing.
Who are writers? They are authors, researchers, bookkeepers. In short, they are old news. Writing, in and of itself, is not a hot new industry. Writing is Shakespeare, writing is Thoreau, writing is the girl with the awkward beret in the same old coffee shop. What can be new about writing?
To me, everything. Throughout grade school each subject came easily to me, straight As down the page. Whether it was science, math, or English, the hot new industry I dreamed of fell under a subject in which I always excelled. It was too easy. I never even considered a career in writing until my junior year of high school when my English teacher handed back an essay with a comment that forever changed my mind: “This could be in a magazine.” Until that point, a writer in my mind was the stereotypical genius behind intricate fantasy stories spun in circles to culminate in a baffling blowout ending. There are no such stories in my head. My English teacher’s comment opened a new world of writing to me: writing the stories of reality.
Writing is not like science or math in which there is one goal. Writing is much more abstract, and although teachers attempt to assign a numerical grade to a student’s work, both teacher and student know the number is rather meaningless. As a writer, one will never reach perfection but instead work to hone constantly evolving skills. Thankfully, writing will challenge me for the rest of my life.
And as far as that hot new industry goes, I still want to chase it. I may not dream anymore to be at the front of a breakthrough technology, but I do want to be there when it happens, to tell its story.
Essay #2: A Family Affair
Most people don’t expect a nineteen-year-old American college student to have a preference in wines. The typical college kid just likes booze and uses it for only one purpose: getting drunk. In fact, this trend holds true until the initial excitement of legal drinking wears away. This phenomenon is rampant throughout America.
My mother was raised in a German household. She recalls sharing beers with her grandfather on Saturday nights and having sips of bourbon from the open bar on Christmas day. Alcohol was not a large part of my childhood, in fact, there was very little of it until I was about fifteen, when my parents developed a wonderful habit: a glass of red wine every night before bed. Because of my mother’s German heritage, I was often offered a taste, and those were the very beginnings of my love affair with wine.
My parents began like most starter wine drinkers, with boxed wine, but as time went on their tastes (and consequently my own) developed. My mother still likes the sweeter wines, the blushes and the sweet reds, and my dad enjoys the driest wines, but my favorites tend to be the bold, rich reds like Merlot and Shiraz. None of us are sommeliers yet, but we know we definitely share an affinity for Sangiovese grapes.
Now that I’m in college, sharing a bottle of wine with my parents has become a bonding experience. When we go to wine tastings my dad and I discuss the various merits of the wines at the bar while my mom frowns at him for letting me drink so much. When I come home from college and tell my mom about guy trouble, she knows to have a bottle of wine on hand to gently rinse away my sorrows. Drinking wine with my mom and dad has brought me closer to them, not just as parents, but as my friends. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah, a glass of red wine will always remind me of family.