To colleges, I probably don’t look very promising. I’m not the greatest test taker. I get anxious under pressure and I prefer to take lots of time to do things. I enjoy relaxed and slow work environments, and tests just don’t work like that. I’m also not the most fantastic student. Math and science are difficult for me to grasp. Thus, my grades aren’t straight A’s. They’re not horrible, but they certainly aren’t stellar.
What colleges can’t see is how I live. They can’t see me striving to live a life free of judgement. They can’t see me encouraging people when they make negative statements about themselves, or letting others borrow things from me, or making myself available to people if they need to talk. They can’t see me handing out lollipops with inspiring messages on them or holding up motivational signs on street corners. They don’t understand the immense adversity I’ve endured. They can’t hear the witty statements I make. They won’t read about the imaginary society I’ve created, or the alphabet I’ve invented. They’ll never see that acceptance and goodness, for me, are not traits – they are part of the way I live and think. Try telling me that these things are less important than grades and scores. I won’t believe you.
Colleges will look first at these grades and scores, though, and not who I am as a human being or what I value. How can I express that even though I’m not the finest student, I try to be a wonderful global citizen? For me, that’s far more important than a few numbers on a page, and I only wish colleges could see that first.