The Road Less Traveled By

University of California Prompt: Describe the world you come from- for example, your family, community or school- and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations

In Sammamish, soccer moms don’t cart their kids around in minivans; they chauffer in Escalades. Elementary kids text away on expensive cell phones, and teenager’s ears contain the ear buds of their iPhones. Most parents accept drinking and drug usage as part of the “high school experience” and turn a blind eye when their teen stumbles in at four in the morning. They assume their role as temporary financial providers, cooks, and Laundromats. Sammamish families quintessentially live the American Dream.

The privileged lifestyle common to our suburb often detracts from teenager’s potential. The desire to create a better life for themselves, to be the first in the family to earn a degree, or to make a difference in the world rarely exists. Unlike the majority of my graduating class, I plan to follow the path expected of me, not because of the people it will please, but because it will provide me with the experience I need to succeed at what I love most.

I don’t possess the stereotypical American Dream of a woman, to be a housewife; I want to write. I have to write. My imagination is an object subject to inertia, always in motion and any material I read acts as an applied force often changing the direction of my inspiration, but never decreasing its momentum.

Many find motivation through logic; get the job done and all will be well. Others find it through words of others: Jesse Jackson wrote, “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.” Unlike most, I find motivation when I am inspired to imitate works in which I encounter a world other than my own. For six hundred pages, I can run from assassins while solving complex clues throughout Vatican City, or I can travel back in time to East Egg and stare across the water at a distant light. I can memorize literature and flee from robotic firehouse dogs, or I can take the road less traveled by. The perfectly strung sentences of authors not only of novels, but articles and poetry as well, instigate writing of my own. Their work compels me to increase my vocabulary, perfect my punctuation and organize my undeveloped thoughts.

Writers who weave intricate stories, report events impeccably, and touch readers with melodic phrases fascinate me and I aspire to join them. I struggle to compete with countless examples of flawless writing, but the current inadequacy I maintain drives me to improve. The romance of Daisy and Gatsby and the life of Guy Montag are two of many works that inspire me, and I strive to construct a comparable world. I was blessed with a privileged upbringing, but now that the future is mine I know what to do with it, thanks to the authors whose works have provided me with the motivation to pursue a career that allows me to do what I love.

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