Four Students

Part of college admissions today; require the applicant to write an essay. In the Business Day section of the NYT this Saturday, Ron Lieber described how four applicants wrote about money. These students did not write about privilege, or lack thereof. They wrote about how they dealt with situations in their lives which impacted their present financial situation with wit, candor and practicality. Not one of them expressed a bit of self-pity. Nevertheless, each wrote in a manner that that moved the reader. As Lieber put it, “the officers (readers of the essays) crave, but don’t see as often as they like: the applicant’s brain, laid bare on the page, wrapping itself around the topic that most people don’t write enough about or don’t write about in a deep or moving way.” One student wrote about having to drive around to other students houses to borrow their computers or WIFI because at the time, she was homeless. Another student wrote about adjusting to shopping at thrift stores for clothes; still another, about working at McDonald’s. The last of the four had to accept the changes in his father’s behavior after he lost his job. It is heartening to know that there are young people of college age today who are able to face financial challenges as part of the big picture of life and who willingly forge ahead relying on their own talents to see them through.

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