Alternately titled; “I’ve been getting a lot of college application oriented asks:”
I guess it’s college application season? Kind of? Idk. I was more of a “LOL WAIT TIL THE LAST MINUTE” application type. I am a “wait til the last minute” everything type. (#As long as it gets done by the deadline mentality, ftw.)
But a handful of peeps have asked me about my application/personal essays, so rather than keep sending them off over fanmail, I’m just going to make a masterpost, mkay? I’m not going to find the final draft because that’s logged away in the asscrack of my old email account folders, but this is like the second closest to final— it just hadn’t been edited for length, yet.
Actual essays below the cut
I’m not going to copy the prompt word for word because lol is that legal? They asked what our intended major was, and how our interest in the major came to be/ any experience we have in our intended fields/what we’ve gained as people from our involvement in the field/major/whateverdealie.
I am a social sciences and media studies major, as well as a young Black woman. Beyond that, I am published writer and journalist, an artist, an aspiring producer, and an ardent hater of Oreos. While I hold no personal grudges against Nabisco, I do loathe the cookie I was forced to identify with growing up.
The key to the moniker lies in the cookie’s composition; black on the outside, white on the inside. According to those who fell back on ‘Oreo’ as my nickname, my intelligence, my manner of speaking, my ability to quote Shakespeare just as well as I could Shakur, and my drive to learn somehow negated my being African American.
For a while I embraced it. Sure, the nickname itself made me uncomfortable, but I took my supposed Whiteness to be a compliment. After all, there weren’t’ many well known pop culture figures to refute the idea. For every “Well just look at Oprah!” I had retorted with, there were a hundred more examples of what Black was supposed to be, and it wasn’t successful and well spoken.
My “I want to pursue media studies” epiphany came in the form of Spirit Week. It was character day, where each of the students had to dress as their cartoon doppelganger. It may not sound like a big deal, let alone an eye opening moment, but I will never forget the creeping sense of dread that came with looking for one -just one- notable character that looked like me. I ended up with about four (arguably) well known characters to choose from.
While I was tediously searching television archives, my White friends had the privilege of narrowing down their dozens of choices by outfit, hairstyle plausibility, even eye color.
It was then that I started to hate Oreos. Or rather, what they represented; looking at the world in black and white. The world is undoubtedly diverse, so why were some groups represented in a number of roles while others were marginalized or excluded altogether?
All at once I realized the power of media as an agent of socialization, and how it helped shape the way we think. Simply because there weren’t many mainstream sources suggesting otherwise, I had been shutting out an integral part of who I was -my race- because people perceived my positive traits as the antithesis Blackness.
Rather than fill me with all out disillusionment, the incident spurred my interest in social sciences and media studies alike. I recognized that my interest in art and media was dual; I loved the process of producing it, but I was also fascinated by its influence on our society.
Since then I’ve become involved in a number of creative media projects, each of which ties into countering the Oreo myth and reaching underrepresented groups. I serve as a staff writer for Racebending.com, a grassroots movement that has grown into a major voice for equal representation in the media, as well as Features Editor for Lip Gloss Teen Magazine, which has been heralded as the minority girl’s answer to Teen Vogue.
I have the talent to make a difference; it’s my drive for a solid background in that which I hope to mold that lead me to my major. It might sound tired, but I want to be the change that I want to see in the world, and I believe this is the best way to achieve that.
((That’s a-one. I tightened up some transitions and redid some phrasing, but that’s just about the final draft. I like this one more than the second, which I found incredibly boring as a prompt and as a response xD))
Prompt: This one was essentially the “tell us about yourself” prompt. A talent, accomplishment, personality trait, experience, etc. that is important to us. What about the _________ makes us proud, how did it shape who we are now, blahblahblah.
I consider my ingenuity to be the trait that I’m most proud of. In fact, I would say that my talents, experiences and contributions alike stem from that quality in one way or another
I’ve always had a passion for the arts, but as an AP student, I was constantly told that there weren’t enough Black professors, doctors, or lawyers that looked like me. My counselors and parents alike would point out that “a passion for the arts is the reason unemployment lines exist.”
While the latter didn’t convince me, the former was true; there was a dearth of people like me in those fields. During my last years of high school, I decided that I had to make a difference through that avenue, and that ‘veterinarian’ was the way to go. As a result, I spent my first semesters in college suffering through chemistry and statistics, trying to convince myself that I wanted to be a vet because it was meant to be, and not because I was denied a dog growing up and reluctantly picked animal care as a result.
Ironically, it was the threat of the unemployment line that prompted me to put my ingenuity to use and pursue the creative arts. Both my parents were working to not only support my sister and I, but two aunts; one elderly and the other diagnosed with breast cancer. We needed money.
To help out, I decided to utilize my talent and headed to the internet with ‘exposure’ as my mantra. I created my own commission policy and got an account on DeviantArt. I created two tee-shirt ventures. I entered illustration, poetry, and prose contests. I even began my own blog.
It paid off.
One of the contests I entered ended with me not only illustrating a book, but receiving a cash prize that helped out with my families bills for the next four months. An avatar I created for my blog led to a Young Adult author commissioning me to design her next website. The websites I created still average about five commissions a month.
More importantly, I came into myself in the process. I realized that while I was smart enough to pursue medical or law school, my heart was in creative media. I have a rich imagination and can apply knowledge outside of its usual context, and I’d managed to make my artistic ends meet one job at a time. I’m proud because that same ingenuity and drive is what continues to help me open doors to this day.
In essence, the integral role my ingenuity plays in who I am -my central ability to not only makes the best of situations but to thrive- is what makes me proud.
OKAY THAT’S IT :D
Asks are on, replies are on, and I’m down to continue talking if you need it :D