Prompt: Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Every Saturday, I roll out of bed at 9:00 and await the text from my best friend, “Snook and I are coming.” As I prepare for her to come, my hair is normally unbrushed and I am lucky if I have managed to get out of my pajamas; however, my tote bag is always packed with the essentials. The essentials of course are vegan cream cheese, reusable plastic straw for the disposable Dunkin cup, and a Vera Bradley wallet found in the back of my closet stuffed with cash and gift cards. When her car, which has coined the name “Snook,” pulls into the driveway it is vital to skip to the car, fling the door open, and scream “Good Morning, Snook!” This of course is the only acceptable greeting for Snook. On our way to the infamous O’bagel and Dunkin’ drive-through, it is key to scream-sing Taylor Swift and various theater songs. As we sip on iced black coffees we laugh about our weeks, cry about our lives, and eat some delicious Jersey bagels. This weekly ritual is known as our trip to get “bags.”
I break bread, or bagels if you will, with the people closest to me. As a nervous kindergartner, I shared dinosaur chicken nuggets and boxed apple juice with the same friend who I dine with every Saturday morning. At the farmers market when I was ten, I would eat pickles on a stick with my brother, sampling every pickle before we could make our decision. On Tuesdays, I rush to the movie theater with friends for half-off tubs of popcorn. At work, we giggle into the piece of pie that I have deemed mangled far past its serving point. With my dad, I eat food I would never think to try on my own; our most recent adventure involved octopus.
Often, I am reminded of the simplicity of these activities. We eat; an act necessary for survival has turned into something more meaningful. The Italian in me knows every seasoning and step to make my grandmother’s meatballs, the experimental side of me has vegan mac and cheese recipes memorized like the back of my hand, and I bake and deliver bread to struggling friends.
With these acts, I am able to build a deeper connection with those around me. I know my best friend’s bagel order as if it were my own; it is the little things that help you understand a person. It is the little dislikes and preferences, the avoiding of cucumbers in a salad, the love of broccoli only in an omelet, and the embrace of any kind of chocolate. Food has unconsciously become a way for me to express love to the people I hold dear to my heart. To me, true love is knowing someone’s order; never do I feel more appreciated than when someone can flawlessly order my burrito bowl without even glancing at me. There is a sort of intimacy found in these acts, an increased understanding and trust when you learn someone knows not only what nourishes your body, but also your soul. Food is my love language, a common thread I carry throughout my whole life connecting all those I love. There is a reason Thanksgiving is a meal shared with family, school lunches are enjoyed in a loud cafeteria, and dinner parties exist; it is because food fosters a community built upon communication and trust. We connect, grow, learn, and prosper under the guise of a meal.
Last weekend, as I left Snook, I turned to my best friend and noticed how far I have come. I have graduated from the simplicity of boxes of apple juice and chicken nuggets; I am proud of the black coffee-drinking, octopus eater I am today.
Tips for Writing:
Love what you write, that is the biggest piece of advice I can give. Like many others, I went through many topics before I could finally find something I was passionate about. Your essay should never feel like something you are forced to do, it should be something you enjoy writing about and genuinely want to work on. In terms of topics, choose something that resonates with you, even if you think it is a little silly. My thought process is that admission counselors are going to get bored reading the same exact essay about personal accomplishments over again and over again; you want your essay to be something that sticks out. On that same point, if a college has a supplementary question like: why do you want to go here? Do not answer with facts about their campus or something you could just find on their website. I promise you that is what hundreds of other people will be writing on those supplements. Write a story, connect it back to your personal life, and again make it specific to you! Make them visualize you on campus. Finally, do not overly stress about it, if you find yourself at a loss for words, open a new doc and try again. It can be really daunting at first, but once you know what you want to say, it will be fantastic!