I figured I'd post this on here. Many of you know quite a bit about writing and I'd really appreciate any constructive feedback.
Essay for Flagler College
The sharp, piercing pain shot across my abdomen as I gasped for air. I was drenched in a steady stream of water, clutching onto the shower curtain as the burning sensation stretched throughout my back. The internal pain reminded me of what I had endured the entire semester --the aggravating flare ups that would randomly occur, picking and choosing its arrival at the most inconvenient moments. At this time, I felt an even more intense sensation, as if my inner organs were suddenly engulfed in flames. I desperately crawled on all fours out of the shower and to my nearby cell phone, weakly dialing my parents who were fast asleep four hours north in New Hampshire. It was that subfreezing December morning that I pleaded with them to come and pick me up. They were the first people I told about the lingering hell I was living in.
About a month into classes at Western Connecticut State University, the debilitating stomach pains began. I started missing countless lunches, dinners, and even the occasional class. I acted erratically around my roommates and new friends, uncharacteristically confined to the walls of my cramped dorm room and rapidly shedding weight. I shrugged off the throbbing soreness for far too long, blaming it on my diet of greasy cafeteria food. However, when I could barely stand during that routine shower, I knew I had to get to the hospital and finally tell others how much I was really suffering, even if I did not want to hear the ramifications of my particular ailment.
My parents screeched in to the parking lot a few hours later. When we arrived at a local hospital, I could barely walk to the emergency room, needing assistance from my handicapped father's walking cane to pathetically trudge through the front doors. The three of us made our way into a hospital room, where they administered an MRI and hooked me up with IV's. When I awoke from a dazed slumber, the doctor immediately met my eyes with a concerned look. He stated that I had Crohn's Disease, a rare and incurable ailment which signified that I have an inflamed colon.
Until the doctors found a medication that responded effectively, I still felt the pain and actually began feeling worse. Frequent puking and intense stomach aches followed and I reluctantly decided to take the second semester off. Finally, a gastrologist recommended I try a relatively new procedure called Remicade. It was still in its beginning stages, but this promising IV infusion took place only once every eight weeks and would likely allow me to live pain free and without any medication. Incredibly, I felt better almost immediately after the first session. It's been almost a year now and I have thankfully experienced a normal life with the introduction of Remicade. The doctors have assured me that I will remain completely healthy if continuing treatment in college. I have attended Hesser College for night classes since September, receiving straight A’s during my first term and headed towards a repeat of that this semester.
A benefit of taking a semester off came from being able to travel a bit more than in the past. One of the trips I took with my parents to visit family ended with us driving up and down the coast of Florida. I peered out the car window, breathless at the diverse beauty and assorted cultures spotted from Miami to Jacksonville. The exotic state completely enticed this lifelong New Englander, quickly snatching my heart with its wavy palm trees, perpetually sticky weather, and beautiful architecture. I vowed to return and finish my education in Florida. After meticulously researching schools I fell in love with Flagler College, a small yet exquisite campus that is one of the top educational institutions in the southern states.
When inquiring about this college, I discovered that Flagler is a top-notch destination for aspiring journalists. While reading The Gargoyle online, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and talent on the staff. I feel like I could bring extensive experience in writing, layout, photography, and editing to the paper and become an asset to some of the aspiring writers while simultaneously learning more about the profession. At Pinkerton Academy, I wrote, took pictures, and worked on page design for the school newspaper, The Kaleidoscope, an award-winning publication headed by former Concord Monitor journalist Nancie Stone. At the end of my junior and senior years of high school, I was chosen to receive the prestigious New Hampshire High School Sports Journalist of the Year award presented by the state’s largest and most widely circulated newspaper, the New Hampshire Union Leader. After I returned from college in Connecticut, I called the sports editor and he remembered my columns. I was given an opportunity at the paper that evolved into a paying job involving three columns per week covering high school sports, as well as additional coverage during postseason tournaments. Making the most out of opportunities is a key element to success in life and the Union Leader presented a unique chance which I pursued with a substantial amount of enthusiasm.
I possess a variety of interests that allow me to relate to people from different walks of life. I am intently interested in student government and politics in general, including volunteering for the Dennis Kucinich campaign during the New Hampshire primaries in January. I enjoy participating in intramural sports and played for Pinkerton Academy’s renowned football program. I have always been fond of theatre and drama, having acted in a handful of church and school productions. I volunteered for my church in the past and would like to pursue some rewarding volunteer work in Florida. I am hands-on and outgoing but maintain a lifelong passion for learning and bettering myself that continues to motivate me.
My thirst for knowledge and Flagler's excellence in education is an ideal match. I expect a rigorous academic load and openly embrace that challenge -- one that I am sure Flagler is also prepared for. The size of the school is perfect, since it is far easier to communicate and interact with professors and classmates in the smaller classes that Flagler offers. Relocating and becoming an active member of the St. Augustine community would be a thrilling change. I am a history connoisseur and was fascinated after discovering St. Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the United States. Flagler is also the most visually stunning college that I have ever seen in a gorgeous part of the city close to the ocean. I believe that my friendly demeanor and relentless academic approach attitude would fit right in and quickly make a positive impact in the city and on campus.
Much like every person, I have dealt with tragedy and obstacles. My mother nearly lost a battle with breast cancer five years ago and now suffers from Chronic Pain Syndrome. My older sister is recovering from anorexia while my younger sister has severe brain damage stemming from a car accident a decade ago. I could perhaps use these, and other struggles endured, as a crutch of sorts, as an excuse to not entirely fulfill the goals set for myself. Jim Abbott, a former Major League Baseball pitcher born without a right hand, said "life is full of ups and downs and how we respond to adversity makes us who we are." I have evolved into the ambitious, optimistic man I am today in large part because of my past experiences. Crohn's Disease may have caused me tremendous pain, but the life lessons learned are well worth what I endured. I now savor every day and vigorously pursue my lofty dreams, one of which includes enrolling as a fulltime student at Flagler College.