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Anna: College Admission Essay Sample

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I owe it all to Anna. Three years ago when she tapped my shoulder, I was an overwhelmed freshman lost in the pulsing sea known as Club Rush. Turning around, I found myself face-to-face with a petite, quivering girl. Although she held herself in a way I would learn was common for those with cerebral palsy, it was her wide eyes–shining, brown and reflective–that stopped me. Anna smiled and waved some flyers, swinging the neon paper like a pendulum in front of her. Wordlessly, she handed me one.

“BEST BUDDIES–A MOVEMENT FOR INCLUSION!” it advertised. Intrigued, I navigated my way through the horde of students to the crowded table where seniors were distributing more information to a large audience. Best Buddies, they said, matches students with intellectual disabilities to students without who are interested in breaking down social barriers through inclusion. Members eat lunch with their match in addition to attending monthly club-sponsored events like picnics. You can never have enough friends, I thought, while scrawling my name on the list to sign up.

Ironically, I was matched with Anna.

If this was a fairytale, I would say here that we had an instant bond. The truth is that Anna and I were painfully awkward together for weeks. Propped up against the Special Education Department’s worn white walls during our lunches together, I asked questions; Anna nodded her head. Neither of us knew how to genuinely connect on a level that didn’t involve playing the “gently used” board games that had definitely seen better days.

However, it was over “girl talk,” not checkers, that we finally bonded. With an offhand mention of my giant crush on Ryan Gosling, Anna lit up and her excited reply was music to my ears. For too long I had focused on trying to be “understanding” of her disability when the answer had been in plain sight. Disability or not, we were both teenage girls. Our next lunch together, we took a walk around campus, enjoying the warm sun, only stopping our chatter when the lunch bell rang.

Anna taught me the importance of keeping an open mind. Too often, our preconceptions prevent us from seeing the obvious. I had let just two words, “intellectual disability,” prevent a more immediate first blooming of a friendship–the “disability” had been mine, and I’m grateful for Anna’s patience with my learning curve. Gradually, Anna and I shared our entire worlds with each other: my friends eventually became hers, and hers mine. Drew, the World War II expert, and Chloe, the constantly transforming fashionista, became regulars in my life.

Besides expanding my world, Best Buddies has opened my eyes to the realities those with disabilities face. Before joining, I was completely unaware of the challenges, from social prejudices to physically inaccessible locations, students like Anna have to overcome daily. Since then, I’ve become inspired and empowered to improve lives by becoming more involved in the disability rights movement, from leading my own Best Buddies chapter to lobbying politicians on passing legislation to even teaching other student leaders at the Best Buddies International Conference how to improve their own chapters. Our main goal? To put ourselves out of business. I dream of a day where disabilities are a nonissue and I owe it all to Anna.

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Anna: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, May 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 26, 2023, from
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