Prompt: In the Villanova community, we believe that we all learn from one another. What is a lesson in life that you have learned that you would want to share with others?
Coming into this world eight weeks premature at three pounds and fourteen ounces, doctors weren’t sure that my twin brother and I were going to survive. We spent our first five weeks of life in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, as any child or parent who spent significant time there calls it. Seventeen years later, both my brother and I are perfectly healthy and happy teenagers. When I was younger, I didn’t fully understand the gravity of my situation. Now I recognize that every day truly is a gift. For this exact reason, I have learned that it is important to always be grateful for everything in life; I often try to share this sentiment with others.
My Pop-Pop is another reason why I remain thankful for my circumstances. He grew up during the Great Depression, a time when food wasn’t a guarantee. One thing I will always remember about him is the joy that the “dolla fifty” Costco hot dog and soda brought him. He would happily accompany my family to the warehouse just so he could buy his hot dog, fully loaded with sauerkraut, onions, and condiments. I used to think it was silly, but I’ve realized that he did this because he was appreciative that he could get food for a reasonable price, unlike in his childhood.
Gratitude is a powerful force, especially in today’s materialistic and competitive world. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the endless stream of pictures of expensive cars, clothing or jewelry on social media that many young adults don’t realize how fortunate they truly are. It’s more important now than ever to set the phone down and appreciate the people around us, the opportunities we are granted, and the time and environment we live in.
Tips for Writing: The one thing I wish someone had told me before writing all of my essays is this: the best writing comes from the heart. I found that my favorite essays were the ones that answered prompts I was passionate about. They were the ones that covered topics that I truly cared about, through which I was able to express myself and my own opinions. The most important part about writing college essays is about being able to convey your own voice. Colleges don’t want to read the same essays over and over again; find something that is so specific to you, that no one else in this country could write about the same thing. Most of all, don’t stress too much about writing them. Trust me, I completely understand that applying to college is one of the most stressful times, but when you feel anxious, it can come across in your writing. Sit down months in advance and at least brainstorm ideas. You don’t need to write all of your essays over the summer, but at least getting a general idea of what you want to say really helps.