From http://www.cultbox.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Doctor-Who-Listen2.jpg, courtesy of the Google Machine. 'Tis a screenshot from the inspirationally well-written Doctor Who episode with which this essay shares its title.I rarely write personal essays, and when one is assigned despite my protests, I make a conscious effort to write more about others--or, better yet, abstract concepts--than I do about myself. I don't know why, other that I'm a very private person. And yet, whenever I write about the characters I've created, or about the writing process in general, the resulting essay reveals more about me than I ever intended.
That's what ended up happening with this essay, "Listen". I wrote it as part of my college application, which I sent to six colleges, five of which accepted me. The college which I will be attending in the fall started their acceptance letter with a quote from the essay and a note on how deeply it resonated with their admissions staff. My parents' initial reaction was more along the lines of "...that's... different... very you, though." And I have to agree. "Listen" is a meditation on an integral part of my identity; it speaks to an experience that many and yet few share. And it is utterly, undeniably mine.
Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
Listen. I am going to tell you how I write, which will answer the question of why I write. And because I am what I do, because my view of the world has been changed by those I create, my writing will show you more of who I am than any lesson I've learned in life.