PERSONAL STORIES

COLLEGE ESSAY

PERSONAL STORIES

COLLEGE ESSAY

Not so long ago, I wanted to be one of the sophisticated elite featured in the Style section of the New York Times. I dreamed of being photographed as I paraded down Fifth Avenue BEDECKED IN MY Ugg boots AND SPORTING MY Coach purse WHILE my rat-sized dog, SNUGGLES UNDER MY ARM. This “Styles-Type” fame would show the world that I, the always bubbly and sometimes klutzy girl, had arrived. I would no longer be known for the many things that I couldn’t…quite…do right. While others zipped through books on their own, my mother was reading them to me. While my friends watched their favorite shows, I sat on the couch MEMORIZING flashcards. Things spilled out of my mouth, my backpack, and my desk when they shouldn’t. I often couldn’t find the things that I needed. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t completely hopeless—but fluent reading, ORGANIZATION and timely work never came easily.

I now realize that I want to be defined by things other than glitz and glamour so I begin my days by reading the front page OF THE NEW YORK TIMES trying to grasp the details of Election ’08. I have become a political nerd. I leave parties to watch presidential debates, devote countless hours volunteering at the Democratic Town Committee, and sometimes even wish that Keith Olbermann WERE my father. I have learned that I CAN do many things exceptionally well. I can speak spontaneously to a roomful of adults about the Fairfield Ludlowe Democrats Club (and hear from my mom’s friends that I actually sounded articulate). I can organize debates between the

Ludlowe Democrats and the Fairfield Prep Republicans; we won one and they won one. I spent days making phone calls and knocking on doors to ensure that people voted, putting into action all of the things that I learned about voter registration, phone banking, and turf cutting during three days of Obama Organizing Fellow training. I created a system to track campaign volunteers during the weeks leading to Election Day (although my own calendar and notebooks remained a bit of a jumble). I helped disabled adults to cast their votes on Election Day. I wept with joy that night when I saw the fruit of the efforts of so many devoted Americans. How exhilarating to discover that the many things that I CAN do well are the very things that are the heart and soul of the political process. I can hardly wait to learn more about how this process works, to engage in more campaigns, and to discover ways to change our educational systems so that intelligent but dyslexic/ADHD students like myself need not wait until high school to discover how capable they are. I no longer see myself as a well-dressed and materially obsessed woman appearing in the New York Times. I envision myself as a HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL woman who will continue to make a MEANINGFUL impact on this remarkable nation.

The author, a graduate of a public high school in Fairfield County and a student with ADHD and Dyslexia, earned her BA from The George Washington University, Washington, DC, and has an active career as a political research director.

Not so long ago, I wanted to be one of the sophisticated elite featured in the Style section of the New York Times. I dreamed of being photographed as I paraded down Fifth Avenue BEDECKED IN MY Ugg boots AND SPORTING MY Coach purse WHILE my rat-sized dog, SNUGGLES UNDER MY ARM. This “Styles-Type” fame would show the world that I, the always bubbly and sometimes klutzy girl, had arrived. I would no longer be known for the many things that I couldn’t…quite…do right. While others zipped through books on their own, my mother was reading them to me. While my friends watched their favorite shows, I sat on the couch MEMORIZING flashcards. Things spilled out of my mouth, my backpack, and my desk when they shouldn’t. I often couldn’t find the things that I needed. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t completely hopeless—but fluent reading, ORGANIZATION and timely work never came easily.

I now realize that I want to be defined by things other than glitz and glamour so I begin my days by reading the front page OF THE NEW YORK TIMES trying to grasp the details of Election ’08. I have become a political nerd. I leave parties to watch presidential debates, devote countless hours volunteering at the Democratic Town Committee, and sometimes even wish that Keith Olbermann WERE my father. I have learned that I CAN do many things exceptionally well. I can speak spontaneously to a roomful of adults about the Fairfield Ludlowe Democrats Club (and hear from my mom’s friends that I actually sounded articulate). I can organize debates between the

Ludlowe Democrats and the Fairfield Prep Republicans; we won one and they won one. I spent days making phone calls and knocking on doors to ensure that people voted, putting into action all of the things that I learned about voter registration, phone banking, and turf cutting during three days of Obama Organizing Fellow training. I created a system to track campaign volunteers during the weeks leading to Election Day (although my own calendar and notebooks remained a bit of a jumble). I helped disabled adults to cast their votes on Election Day. I wept with joy that night when I saw the fruit of the efforts of so many devoted Americans. How exhilarating to discover that the many things that I CAN do well are the very things that are the heart and soul of the political process. I can hardly wait to learn more about how this process works, to engage in more campaigns, and to discover ways to change our educational systems so that intelligent but dyslexic/ADHD students like myself need not wait until high school to discover how capable they are. I no longer see myself as a well-dressed and materially obsessed woman appearing in the New York Times. I envision myself as a HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL woman who will continue to make a MEANINGFUL impact on this remarkable nation.

The author, a graduate of a public high school in Fairfield County and a student with ADHD and Dyslexia, earned her BA from The George Washington University, Washington, DC, and has an active career as a political research director.

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