Personal News

College Essays & Identity

Whew, it’s been a long time!

It’s good to be back on the blog after so long, though; the expectations for a blog post are much less intimidating than those of, say, a college application essay.

The beginning of senior year has been huge, to say the least. (College app tip: don’t put it off, but don’t do ten applications in a row. Burn out is REAL.) I’ve had to make decisions about the future, like where I’m going to live, what I want to be, and how I’m going to pay for it all. Most impactful, though, has been my three English-related classes.

They’re all focusing on themes of identity, which is one thing I find myself coming back to in my writing, again and again. In AP Literature, we tried to define what it means to be Southern, especially in a city like Louisville, which is hard to pin down as Southern or Not. (The jury’s still out on that one.) We discussed what “masks” we wear, and how they might or might not define us. Who am I, when I feel like somebody different depending on the company I’m in? This tied into the multiplicity of truths we’re discussing in Great Books–the idea that multiple, contradictory things can be true. And I think that’s definitely a factor in identity. In many ways, I am out of the closet, and in many ways, I’m still deep in the back near the pile of shoes I can’t wear anymore.

There’s been a lot of introspection this year, and I think it’s true that you start to figure out who you are and who you want to be in high school. I’ve got dreams for Future-Me, but I’ve also learned not to plan too strictly for things out of my control. And that sometimes, taking a leap of faith and pushing your comfort zone is exactly what you need. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, right?

So this year, I’m trying to push my comfort zone and embrace personal change. It feels like it’s working so far–I’ve never been so scared yet exhilarated in my life.

I think my advice for this year is to not be afraid to push yourself, whether it be academically, socially, or creatively. That facing your fear head-on is one of the best things you can do.

-Kaelyn

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