08/21/2012 09:08 am ET Updated Oct 21, 2012

The Little Essay That Could

One of the most stressful times of the year for high school students is most likely the college application process time. We are thrown into the task of applying to college. We are plunged into the responsibilities of choosing which colleges to apply to, making sure a bunch of fees are covered, and worst of all, feeling that tremendous pressure of deadlines. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? No, it does not.

One of the most crucial parts of applying to college is the essay requirement. I learned that this essay not only proves to the admissions office that you know how to write (or not), but it also displays a piece of who you are, how you rationalize, and/or your opinion on certain topics. I wanted to take some authority over this application process. For my college application essay, I decided to take a risk to stand out, but still be me at the same time. I wrote a story about myself from the perspective of someone else. I was proud of my essay idea -- I felt that my essay totally exhibited who I am, and would be a hit at the admissions offices. My college advisor hated my essay, saying that the tone was pretentious and arrogant. He claimed that my idea was nice, but something about it rubbed him the wrong way. He recommended that I go to Mrs. P., a top Advanced Placement (AP) teacher, so that she could give feedback as well. Mrs. P's reaction was even worse than my college advisor's. She stated: "Nothing about it grabs me at all." Not only did she not like my writing, but she didn't even think the idea of my application essay was interesting.

Granted, there were a few colleagues and other teachers who liked my essay, but I was shocked that two highly esteemed officials would posses such opposition to the product of my idea. They both suggested that I use a generic essay topic to write about. I didn't want to have a generic essay -- I felt like I wouldn't be doing myself justice. I sent my essay out to the colleges against my college advisor's and Mrs. P's wishes.

Nevertheless, when I sent out my full application to the University at Albany and SUNY College at Brockport, my top two choices, I would shortly receive acceptances from BOTH institutions -- they liked my essay. I will be attending SUNY the College at Brockport this August.

The thing that I believe was a really big accomplishment was the fact that I had confidence in who I was and what I had written. Without that confidence, I might have never found out my true writing potential. I believed that my essay would be a hit at the admissions offices and it was. Through the confidence I possessed, I was able to achieve my goals.

Despite heavy opposition, if you trust yourself and believe in your abilities, nothing should stop you from going forward and achieving greatness. If you don't believe in yourself, who will?