Shift your perspective from “I’m gonna die!” to “End of life” insight
Probably the last thing on your mind while writing your college essay is your end-of-life perspective.
Now, it’s also true that, while working on your college applications, you might catch yourself saying things like:
“I am gonna DIE from this stress!” or
“I will DIE if I don’t get into XYZ school!”
But actually: you won’t die. You are being figurative.
(And here’s some comic relief for you. Go laugh.)
However, at the very moment you swear, “This workload is killing me” (no, no it isn’t), many people actually are dying. And the dying frequently say painfully honest, instructive things.
We’re going to mix it up a bit. Take a break from the pressure and anxiety of the application process. Consider instead the refreshing and challenging vantage dying people can offer– all of us.
End-of-life influence on your essay
Your college essay, if it’s to be anything other than a hurdle and obligation, is an opportunity to get honest in that same way. This 650-word spotlight on you gives you unique opportunity to look closely at your life, let go of what isn’t working (on the page and off), and to say something fresh.
Something that at your end-of-life self might give a high-five.
Kerry Egan, essayists and end-of-life chaplain, culls some brilliant advice from the dying here. It’s advice in the form of their wistfulness, of their regret. Most wish they could have listened to their inner impulses and just loved themselves, their bodies. For whatever those bodies were, for all that those bodies did. Read their words, and soak in them.
A love like that
Can your personal essay be an act of rebellious love? Why not?
What if you adopt this end-of-life perspective, and love yourself, truly? Your one and only body, the service it does for you and others?
Can you even include in that love whatever is wrong with you, or whatever other people say is wrong with you, and make this essay a place to model that love? Would that be so bad?
I think not. It might even be ridiculously courageous.
And what if by adopting that end-of-life perspective, you could simultaneously judge others less, love them more?
You might make an admissions officer sit up and do the same.
Wouldn’t that be a college essay worth reading.
Want some cheer-leading and guidance? We got your back in this intense process. But first…lighten your load by looking down at the baby feet.
(These were once your tiny feet. It was easy to love them.)