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How a Moldy Refrigerator Changed My Life: College Admission Essay Sample

  • Category: Scholarship Application Essays
  • University:The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Pages: 2
  • Words: 593
  • Published: 20 May 2018
  • Downloads:356
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Some seventh graders look forward to driving or dating or getting their own cell phone, but I looked forward to drinking cans of soda from a moldy refrigerator. The day I gained that privilege would be the day I joined the youth group. After years of waiting, I sat in the same room as the moldy refrigerator and the big girls – the youth room of Bethlehem Baptist Church. I went to church that night expecting to leave feeling better than when I came; instead, I left close to tears. None of the people I admired talked to me or acknowledged my existence.

I didn’t let that night stop me. I continued to attend youth meetings weekly, to grab a soda, to play volleyball with the wall, and, sometimes, to sit by myself. I went to summer camp and the other trips, hoping to find my place in the group under the influence of nightly worship services and constant encouragement to “make new friends.” Still, I saw that everyone was so caught up in their cliques that they forgot about the broken people around them; thus, they forgot about me. I don’t know why I refused to quit, but today, I’m glad I was stubborn. In my loneliness, I forgot that the rising seventh graders were approaching their right of passage into the youth group. As soon as they arrived, my situation improved slightly. I finally had a few people to talk to, and I was thankful for them – even if they weren’t the big girls. Every year, this pattern continued; as new groups came in, I had more opportunities to mentor younger girls. As I got older, I realized that years of rejection and frustration prepared me for the spot I hold today – now, I’m one of the big girls.

My memories drive me. A trigger switches on when I see someone being excluded, and my instinct kicks in. Before I know it, I’m setting my cup of coffee aside so I can shake hands with the new girl. It switches on again when I see a younger friend who needs someone to listen. Before I know it, I’m listening to stories about back-stabbing and regrets and self-harm, and trying to be the mentor that I wish someone would have been for me. Anyone. My compassion for hurting people comes from the echoes of my own pain. I see myself in them, and I do my best to ensure that they don’t feel forgotten.

Sometimes, the only way to learn is through experience. The big girls became comfortable in their cliques, complacent in their efforts, and oblivious to everything outside of their circles. As much as it hurts, I know that something good came out of my pain – empathy.

I don’t believe I can change the world, because I can’t even change the big girls in my youth group. I can’t convince them that a one-year age difference is an invalid reason to ignore someone. However, their attitude towards me doesn’t mean I can’t inspire those who are willing to learn. If I can encourage one person to dream about their potential or share wisdom with one person or compel one person to action, I will make a difference. But, before they care how much I know, I have to let them know how much I care.

I’ll start with the moldy refrigerator in my youth room, because I know there’s someone who probably needs a soda and a friend.

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How a Moldy Refrigerator Changed My Life: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, May 20). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 26, 2022, from
“How a Moldy Refrigerator Changed My Life: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 20 May 2018,
How a Moldy Refrigerator Changed My Life: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Jan. 2022].
How a Moldy Refrigerator Changed My Life: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 May 20 [cited 2022 Jan 26]. Available from:
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