My Story: My College Application Essay

My story can be interpreted as a sign of weakness or a sign of strength, but I strive to inspire others and improve the world in any way I can, so I don’t mind opening up to share it. What I have gone through has made me who I am today.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt like I live in a negative, critical, depressive environment, like I’m never good enough, and can’t ever do anything right. My mother and I haven’t ever gotten along very well, and my little sister was the focus of attention. After my parents divorced, I felt like I was left out, living with my mom and sister and their tight bond.

Because of feeling like I’m good enough, being left out and ignored, being criticized about almost everything, and feeling brought down by everyone around me, I was always a perfectionist and high stressed person.

Skip ahead to 8th grade, where I found a new passion: cheerleading. Joining the team had positive and negative effects. I was involved in something non-academic, but I still never felt good enough. I was a little bit chubby, as kids seem to be before they hit their major growth spurt, but I felt like that was part of my problem.

I started dieting, healthfully at first, but after reaching a healthy goal weight at the end of 9th grade, I started taking my weight way too seriously. Whenever I felt criticized, not good enough, or had feelings I didn’t want to feel, I would restrict what I eat and exercise to the point of pain. But even as the number on the scale scale kept going lower and lower. I needed help, but I felt too trapped. My anorexia went on for over a year before anyone around me caught on and dragged me in for serious help. Even with professional help, I still continued my destructive behaviors for several months.

My turning point of finally deciding to help myself occurred just over a year ago. I had a weigh-in before my 10th grade academic award ceremony. I didn’t make it to the ceremony, because I was stuck in Albany Medical Center. That day was the scariest day of my life, but without it, I may not be alive today.

Deciding to get better was still an uphill battle. In a year, I experienced all of my shoved-down emotions, learned some positive coping skills after using some not-so-great ones, unwillingly gained quite a bit of weight, and became very aware of how much I didn’t like my home and life situation. But the biggest surprise for me was: It got better.

I became stronger, and distanced myself from those who weren’t good for me. I found new role models, positive people who I didn’t know existed. I started looking forward to the freedom of my life, the one thing that I had full control over.

Now, my story may give you the impression that “She’s just a crazy, unstable girl who deals with family problems like everyone does. She’s going to have stress problems come back in college.”

I can assure you, I’m miles away from where I was in my eating disorder. That time in my life was terrible, and I know that I CANNOT ever let myself go back. And I won’t. I’ve accumulated so much strength, freedom, hope, and happiness that I would never want to go back.

I know I’m not perfect, but who is? I try my best, and every day, I’m still getting better. I get stronger. I gain hope. I pursue my passions. I inspire others and become inspired. I go on adventures and try new things. I learn. I smile. I move forward. I live.

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