First Attempt

Applying to college is a daunting task, one that fills me with trepidation. It’s not because I am afraid of going to college but rather that I am afraid to put everything about myself into an envelope, and mail it off for evaluation. As I fill out applications, I worry what the world will think of me. I begin to doubt my course selections in high school and worry that I need more extracurricular activities. I have told my mother about my anxieties and concerns and she told me not to worry. She believes that as long as someone can sell themselves, they can achieve great things. I now focus all my energy on selling myself to the colleges of my choice. As I proceed through the process it became clear that if I was to effectively sell myself, it would be in either my interview or my essay. The piece of paper upon which my essay is contained now became tremendously important.

If it were an assignment in high school, I would consider it to be a final. Perhaps this is the most significant essay I have written and therefore I need to write impeccably well. The dilemma which aroused was that I needed to choose a topic. I need to present myself to complete strangers in a way that convinces them I would be an asset to their school. My application will show the academic and agricultural sides of my high school career. I have spent many nights fretting over this decision, and the conclusion that I came to was that best way to sell myself would be sell proudest accomplishment. In the past months I have found a new passion in which I have tremendous amounts of pride.
I started writing and have written around sixty poems to date. I’m not the next Shel Silverstein or Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but I believe that I can write decently. Whenever I feel like my emotions are getting to be too much, I write. It’s a creative outlet and it allows me to say what I didn’t think could be expressed in words. I compose lines, simple letters strung together, which don’t even usually rhyme. They may seem silly to others, but to me, they’re invaluable. Without them my emotions would overflow. Being a teenager, involves many ups and downs. High school is not easy for anyone; we all have to struggle to find who we are. I have discovered that I am a writer. I never knew I could write how I feel, let alone create poetry. After writing them I return to them and edit them. I rewrite them until I am truly pleased with what I have written. Rereading the poems filled me with a pride I have never known. My whole life I’ve been drawing and I have been satisfied with my work before, but it doesn’t compare to how I feel about my writing. I have noticed that there is a significant difference between my drawings and my writing. When drawing I often find it hard to convey my current feelings. When writing my emotion flows effortlessly. I cannot write without feeling something.
I have put so much time, effort, and soul into my poems that I have been too afraid to share them. If I was to allow someone to read them, it would not only be my writing that was under scrutiny, but also myself. I would be putting my heart and my soul into someone’s hands. It would create a vulnerability that I am not prepared to handle. I am too scared to let someone close to me see the poems, through which they would see me. I fear judgment too much to allow anyone to see my proudest accomplishment. I feel more pride for my writing than anything else in my life, and I cannot share it with anyone.
I needed to let someone see my writing; I was too excited about it to keep it a complete secret. There is a website called Teen Ink which I would swear was created solely for me if it had not been around long before I existed. On the website I can publish my work anonymously. To me, this was a perfect solution. It was a world in which I became just another girl from Walpole who wrote poems. I felt as though it was my poetry that passed under judgment, not me. Online I hide behind a curtain of anonymity and I feel save; untouchable.
At first the website was just another way of saving my work. It was in the database, a few people read it but nothing happened on a larger scale. Then one of my articles began to get attention. It actually got a lot of attention which shocked me. This poem was not one of my favorites; in fact, I believed it to be poorer quality than many of my other poems. Despite my opinion, more and more people read it. I was floored that these people cared about something I had written. When I reached fifty people, I felt that I had escalated to celebrity status. I don’t know if you can imagine the euphoria I felt when the numbers continued to climb to a hundred and thirty nine views. Not only did people read my writing but they rated it. This was what I was so petrified of; I didn’t want to be a failure. I didn’t know what to expect from the ratings. I know that I did not think I would get a four out of five star rating. I was unassuming that anyone could really enjoy my writing, and now that this many people did … I felt as though I was walking on clouds.
The best part of this experience is yet to come. Just when I felt as though it couldn’t get better, I received comments on my work. Strangers across the world were taking time out of their day to write me an opinion on my work. They were all positive comments too. I could truly not believe this. I thought there had to be a mistake. Multiple people liked my writing and understood the feelings I tried to express. One comment will stay with me forever; it is embossed upon my brain. The comment was posted on July 9th, 2010. A complete stranger made my day and left me a message that I will not forget. Four little words that I had never heard before; “You have a talent”. Someone else believed in me. I was already overflowing with pride at my writing, when I read that comment I just didn’t know what to do. I was overwhelmed with happiness and pride. My writing is the single proudest accomplishment in my lifetime.
The fact that someone supports me without even knowing me gives me courage. Courage to share this with you. In an attempt to sell myself to you, I will share my secret with you. I am showing you a side that no one knows and I sincerely hope that you appreciate what it means to me. This short piece of literature represents my emotions, my age, my courage, my fear, and my pride. I hope you take more from it than just simple words typed in black ink upon an 8.5 by 11 inch paper, because it means so much more.
I also hope that you, just as a stranger did, take the time to believe in me. Below is the poem which I have discussed. Thank you for your time, and I hope to correspond with you again soon.

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“I know you know
I can tell.
The way our eyes meet,
How nothing else matters,
It’s there,
I doubt I can imagine something this strong.
You know; I know,
It’s in the way we watch each other,
The way we talk to only each other,
And the knowing looks we get from adults.
I swear you know,
You blow off others for me,
And there’s the way you hurt my heart,
The way I get nervous still,
I know you know.
But I’m too afraid to find out,
Because even if you know,
You might not return it at all.
That, I don’t know,
But I know you know …
Can you please know,
And please feel the same.“

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