As we approach the BULK of admissions season, I was thinking back to my own college application time. I vividly remember one aspect of the application process that brought along so much stress… ESSAYS. What do I write about? How can I stand out? What are they looking for? Millions of uncertainties and questions filled my mind and left me with an extreme amount of writer’s block.
Today I thought I would share with you one of my favorite college essays I wrote as a little inspiration for you all!!
Vincent Van Gogh ate yellow paint. His seemingly illogical act all boiled down to one reasoning: get the happiness inside of him. People looked at him purposely consuming toxic chemicals and mocked at his “uniqueness,” but I believe he was just like the rest of us. All of us desperately searching for what will paint our internal organs yellow. Society is constantly in pursuit of what will create that inner happiness, that will ultimately become outer joy as well. Today we do not see people downing a bottle of yellow paint, but we do see drug addictions, failed relationships, and alcoholics. What is the difference? People ingest toxic habits as apart of their identity, no matter the repercussions. Society dismisses the potential for overdose, heartbreak, poisoning. Self-deprecation is encouraged, and for what? People are constantly trying to fill a void with the yellow paints of life. Everyone has their yellow paint. For me, my yellow paint actually came down to an art supply.
I can vividly remember sitting down at a dining room table with the little girl I was babysitting, up way past her bedtime. But after six hours of babysitting, I didn’t have the energy for that battle, so there we sat coloring. As she reached for the box of crayons, her high-pitched voice squeaked out something that rocked my world. “If you were a crayon, you’d be the yellow one. Yellow makes it feel like it’s sunny even if it’s raining.” As she carried on with her refrigerator-worthy drawing, I sat there running that over in my head. The night went on, her parents came home, and my job was complete. But, the next morning all I could think about was that yellow crayon. Prior to the night before, the word yellow was merely a word used to describe clothing, sunsets, and something in a can labeled Sherwin Williams; so how did I fit into this definition? My people-pleasing nature decided to live out this child’s perception of me. I began trying to live my life as a “yellow person.” I wanted to feel like sunshine, bring happiness, be bold. I wanted to brighten a room like a can of yellow paint and wanted to live a life where a complete stranger could feel my exuding yellowness at first glance. So I bought the yellow phone case, wore the yellow Vans, and carried the yellow backpack. I incorporated so much yellow into my life that everyone knew my favorite color without a doubt. I drank the yellow paint. I let the yellow paint pour over every aspect of my life. I had achieved “Yellow.”
But that wasn’t the goal I was hoping to achieve. You see, yellow is just a color without the actions to back it up. I still felt dull, still had a lack of fulfillment. I wanted to achieve “yellow” so badly that I painted myself in the obvious yellow things, only taking time for one coat, and leaving the color to chip away like cheap nail polish. I needed a base coat, primer, and then the first, second, and third coat of yellow paint. So this time, I booked the mission trip, joined the life group, and paid for the person behind me in the drive-through. In the end, painting on the primer made the yellow brighter. These were the things that made me feel like sunshine. I didn’t need to physically implement the color, because the color came naturally. The boldness, happiness, and kindness that comes with yellow had finally tinted my life. You can still catch me sporting the now worn-up yellow phone case, scuffed up yellow Vans, and way overfilled yellow backpack, but now I know the difference between forced happiness and true joy. True joy comes from things that aren’t obviously yellow.
This essay is my favorite because I took a super unique approach to a very common topic. I think uniqueness is an extremely important factor to consider– always make sure the style of writing, the topic, and the wording gives the reader insight into your personality. Take risks! I promise admissions counselors love the chance to read super bold and unusual college essays. So if ya ever need a proofreader… I’m your girl- Rosemary Cruse