I love writing college essays

Which makes it even more sad that so many of the ones that I wrote ended up not getting me where I hoped they would. Still, I’m proud of all the essays I’ve written over the past, what, 6-7 months. All the frustrated groans and coffee shots were worth it.

I’ll probably post some of the ones I’m really proud of, including the following short answer essay. This was meant to go to a university which I was applying to as a last-ditch effort to go to Boston but then I made the decision to stay. It took me ages to figure out which three books I wanted to talk about but I did it!

“Think about the books you have read during your high school years (inside and outside of the classroom); rank the three best in order. Explain the reason for your top selection.”

I can’t even remember all the books I have read in the past four years – I’m the offspring of two very voracious readers and I often don’t get to finish a book before I get distracted by another. It took me a while, but I have managed to come up with three incredible books that rocked me to my core:

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Looking for Alaska – John Green

All three are from completely different points in time, and from very different authors as well. John Green is one of my role models; he symbolizes, to me, the importance of being true to yourself despite what society may think of you, and the importance of constantly satisfying and fertilizing ones thirst for knowledge. Looking for Alaska is about escaping the labyrinth of pain, but to escape something, one must accept it first. It’s a very different concept for the Young Adult genre, and for good reason – John Green writes his books knowing that teenagers are intelligent and capable of understanding things most adults would never give them the chance to.

Meanwhile, The Picture of Dorian Gray is about the ugliness of vanity. It is a surprisingly macabre novel for an author who prides himself on being contrary to Victorian Society’s penchant for prudence, and serves as an important lesson for people whose sole goal in life is short and fast bursts of pleasure. Selfishness will only lead you to a dead end.

To Kill A Mockingbird, on the other hand, reinforces my own raison d’être; in a time where you were shunned for not being white, Christian and even male in some cases, Atticus Finch, without faltering, stood up for a man no one else would even consider defending. Everyone in this world must strive to stand up for the little man because if you don’t, who else will?

Three great books from three different eras and three different contexts, yet each with one common message; the importance of humanity, the need for compassion, and the essentiality of the drive to understand.

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