Tags: Life Beautiful Journey EssayClassic Essays On PhotographyTextiles As Level CourseworkEssay Study Habits Of StudentsEsomar Research PaperBusiness Plan For Delivery ServiceWrite Essay Annotation
Recognizing the “Most Original” award for the pity-prize that it was, I grew increasingly hostile toward the very word “original.” If you win this cursed award, everyone around you offers feigned sympathy or, even worse, insincere congratulations. It’s an odd, vibrant place with odd, vibrant people.Phrases like “oh, bummer” or well-intentioned but half-hearted “well, good for you” circle the recipient, creating a cyclone of regret from which the “winner” will never recover. Originality is celebrated there – not in the half-hearted “good for you” way, but in the full-throated “GOOD FOR YOU! One of the first of my fellow students to befriend me wore corset tops and tutus and carried a parasol with which she punctuated her every utterance.
With moments to spare, I catch a glimpse of the boarding platform for my train. Like a compass with a broken magnetic strip, I can’t decide my true North.
Like a captain frantically seeking port in a storm, I haul myself through the turbulent ocean of people, trying to avoid being stranded – or trampled – in the dustiest city in the world: Beijing, capital of both China and smog. It is the summer of 2012, and Shanghai isn’t to be home for much longer. Unsettled, I turn to my ever-present book for comfort.
It takes great strength to defy the definitions of others, and because of that strength, those who create their own paths discover a different world than those who travel the same worn road. My appearance was certainly different – red streaks in my hair and a newfound fondness for tutus certainly made me stand out.
But the change went deeper than that: I had embraced the idea of being myself, no matter what others thought was cool or “normal.” Spending time in a place where “Most Original” was the highest compliment allowed me to explore myself without fear of being different or lesser, and I liked what I had found.
In our College Essay Clichés to Avoid post, we advised students against writing about moving to America from a foreign country.
Too often, such essays are formulaic and uninspiring – after all, while it’s certainly a challenge to learn a new language and culture, millions of people do it every day, so it simply isn’t something that sets a student apart.
Okay, maybe I’m overreacting – but I cannot for the life of me understand that award. Her best friend was a boy with purple hair who once wore a shirt with built in LED lights for Christmas.
“Most Original” always let me down, and as a result, I hated to be original in any context. They were the most popular people in school, in direct contrast to all that was socially acceptable in New Haven.
As I read, it is as if the tempest of my thoughts is spelled out on paper.
The overflowing sense of hyper-reality in Tim O’Brien’s words of warfare spills into my world.