I finished the supplemental essay to my Amherst application today. To be honest, I dreaded writing it. College is the strongest love-hate relationship I have ever known.
I am happy with the outcome, though, in particular the latter-half of it.
"...For my thirteenth birthday, my friend gave me a small orange notebook, undoubtedly intended as a diary. A month later, it resembled more of a shrine to my inner-most middle-school thoughts than a daily account of preteen activity. I carried it with me wherever I went: to parties, on vacations, even to school itself. Anything and everything that inspired me or resonated with me went into that book. By the time I filled its last pages, the binding had cracked and its sheets were held in place with the help of a rubber band.
I have gone through five “orange notebooks” since then. Over time, my own work has become the predominant element among these pages. Somewhere along the line, poetry completely eradicated what remnants of short prose I had left in me. Every indescribable emotion that flickered inside of me, every phrase that rang in my ears long after its first utterance, every beautiful, beautiful word that made the corners of my mouth curl into a smile went into these books. Poetry is multidimensional. On the surface lay the denotations, the rough abstracts, perhaps even generalizations. But inside each poem lingers a meaning, a feeling far more significant than any summary could convey. Inside each poem hides a story, an exploration of human emotion and thought. Poetry has allowed me to express everything that I cannot, or do not wish to, communicate externally.
Two weeks ago, while cleaning out my room, I stumbled across the original orange notebook. For reasons I can’t explain, my heart beat faster than usual as I turned the pages and relived my early teenage years. Apparently, I had nine crushes alone in eighth grade, and knew a startling number of corny band jokes. Yet I also found poetry about my parents, and how afraid I was of divorce; about my body, and how truly uncomfortable middle school made me feel; about my future, and how uncertain it seemed at the time. How beautiful to know that, in those words, I had unknowingly preserved my own past.
What I write today will be my past preserved tomorrow.
This I know is the only weapon against time."