I Hate the Letter S

Writing a college essay is a difficult task. It has all the elements of writing a typical personal or narrative essay but the stakes get too high. You need to compete with thousands of aspirants who are always hungrier and seemingly better for the coveted seat at one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation. 

Three things account for college admission: excellent grades in high school, proof of participation in extracurricular activities, and a well-written personal essay. The latter plays a major role because this is what helps students showcase their uniqueness, creativity, and aspirations for the future.

In this blog, we will take a look at one of the most popular college admission essays “I Hate the Letter S”. But before that, let us examine what a college admission essay is and how you can write the one that can stand out!

What Is A College Admission Essay?

A college admission essay is a personal narrative essay that highlights the academic and personal achievements of the writer in such a way that it impresses the admissions committee. It has a clear opening and closing with the major part in the middle in the form of the body. Over the years, we have seen many students attempting this and raising the bar for the next generation to come. Covering academic achievements does not mean that you need to spell out your resume. Instead, you need to fuse the personal and academic challenges in a single line of battle and how you conquered it through sheer resilience and determination. 

Keep in mind that the members of admission committees are always looking for personal stories. If you have faced death, loss, or any other form of tragedy, but it made you stronger and better while helping you get out of the trauma dig, you must use it in your essay.

Answering The Question “Why Us?”

A big part of the college admission essay is telling the college admission committee your academic aspirations and how that particular college and its faculties can help you with that. This is where many aspirants go wrong. Instead of highlighting the synergy of the student and the college, they will talk about the features and facilities of the college which the members of the committee know better than him.

The proper way to address this is to build a case and showcase to the readers that you are academically inclined to pursue a program that that college offers which will help you in achieving your career goals. This will result in both your success as well as your alma mater.

Elements of A Good College Admission Essay

In this section, we will take a look at the three distinct sections of a solid college admission essay, especially how they balance one another without getting in their way.

Attention-Grabbing Opening

The opening lines of your essay should be excellent in every aspect of the word. Whether it is about connecting the dots between the introduction and the body or the closing paragraph, you need to make sure that all the bases are covered. In most cases, the most successful aspirants start with the onset of a tragedy or its peak and how it changed the way they live and think.

Clear Body of the Essay

As with all other types or kinds of essays, the body of the essay needs to address the main points or topics of the essay. In the case of a college admission essay, the writer needs to show the readers his plans for the future and that particular college will help him in fulfilling those dreams. We have already covered this part of the essay in the heading above titled “Answering The Question “Why Us?”.

Closing On A High Note

The closing lines of the essay need to summarize the heart and soul of the essay without repeating the thoughts and words. When you are writing a college admission essay, you need to leave the readers in awe. This can be achieved by going through the successful essays of the past or by consulting with your teachers and instructors from high school.

I Hate the Letter S Full Essay – A Tale of Personal Loss

Now, let’s get to the essay that broke the internet. It was about a young girl in the US who lost her mother to cancer before she graduated high school. Since it was the biggest trauma she had ever faced in her life, and at such a young age, it left an unhealing scar. While writing the college admission essay for Harvard, she was reluctant about using this element of her life. But with the help of her teacher and her father, she started working on an essay. 

In the beginning, she was not even sure if it would get her a place in college, let alone become an internet sensation on TikTok and inspire millions of people across the world.

Writing The Perfect College Admission Essay

We have already covered the elements or purpose of writing a college admission essay. Abigail Mack, the teen who wrote the viral essay, knew the assignment but it was hard for her to get the best of the opportunity. Instead of using trivial things from her life, she based the college admission essay on one element that shook her to her core.

Why it was the perfect college admission essay? Here are the reasons:

  • It strikes at the core of being human and feeling pain
  • It is a personal story of someone who faced loss and tragedy and came out stronger
  • When you show your pain, it is not always about gaining sympathy. It could be about inspiring others and moving them to become better
  • A perfect college admission essay is incomplete without showcasing the trials of life and how that person overcame them

Losing the “S” in Parents

The hatred for the letter “S” came when Abigail lost her mother. She realized that now she would never be able to use the plural iteration of the word “parent” because one has been lost for good. The essay throws light on the statistics of how words come into play and how they either lose meaning or get better with the addition of another alphabet.

Becoming An Inspiration For Aspirants

After getting admission to Harvard for the class of 2025, Abigail shared her experience on the popular social media application TikTok. Initially, she shared a gist of what the whole journey was all about. Once it got traction, she shared the complete essay and started a series where she is now helping other aspirants tackle issues they face during the admission phase. In a short span, her videos and tutorials have been watched a million times, making her an internet sensation and an agent of positive change.

This is the Story of Mack

If you see heads on, this is the story of a single person, a girl named Mack, who overcame pain and suffering to keep her dreams and the memories of her mother alive. But if you take a step back, you can see that it is the story of many boys and girls who suffer tragedies and losses in life. At moments, they feel overwhelmed and unable to get out of the pit. But with determination and to keep the memories of their loved ones alive, they rise to the occasion and make them proud!

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