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An interesting story in the Harvard Gazette profiles Eni Dervishi’s journey from Albania to Harvard that began with two simple words: "table" and "chair". Fascinated by language, Eni, soon developed a passion for learning languages.
“I fell in love with languages,” she said. “Through languages I was able to see a different world. It opened my imagination to what was out there.”
Eni is from a small town in Albania. Her father had no formal education. Neither did her mother, though she returned to school as an adult. Her mother had to balance both school and house work and showed Eni with her actions that education is important.
Eni's small-town high school had no one to guide her in the application process. “My teachers hadn’t written letters of recommendation before,” she said. “I had to teach them.” When she needed to send official documents, such as transcripts, she found another hurdle. “I thought of faxing them, but there was no fax machine in my hometown.”
Despite these odds, Eni persevered and got accepted at Harvard. As you can see, Eni is from a modest background and did not have to climb Mount Everest, or take several extra co-curricular classes, or be a team captain, or, well, impress people. She followed her passion for learning languages. In addition to English, she learned some French,
some Italian, Spanish and even Portuguese. Many people believe that to stand out in their college essays, they have to do something remarkable--like climb Mount Everest or start a company in their pyjamas--to impress the admissions committee.
“Never give up on your dreams. Never let your circumstances define who you are.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. As Eni demonstrates you should be true to yourself. What are you passionate about? What do you want from life?
People are chasing internships or want to climb mount everest or be a Doctor because parents want you to be one. All of that does not matter. What matters are the small things that can have a huge impact on your life. Things that can change your perspective on life and your purpose on earth. Just like Eni, two simple words made a dramatic impact on her life and got her from a little town in Albania to Harvard University. Her passion and sense of purpose made her truly unique. It showed her independence and her drive to succeed, and that is truly impressive.
Discover your passion
What are you passionate about? It does not have to be a big thing. Small things can have a huge impact on your perspective and purpose on life. As an example, there was a guy who loved photography and everyday took photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge. He discovered that some people were committing suicide!! He did his research about these people and contacted the families because he cared about people in despair.
You don't have to climb Mount Everest or do 50 internships or extra-curricular activities to shine on your college or high school essays. Talk about yourself. What matters to you and why? It does not have to be a big thing. One student wrote an essay about his insecurity of girls and trying to overcompensate and how it affected him. Once he realized his insecurity, that completely changed his perspective and he became a confident young man and of course got into the college of his dreams by writing an essay talking about his journey of self discovery.
We recommend you follow Eni Dervishi's example. Just 2 words changed her life. What are the small things, the important things in your life that have had a great impact on you? If you can't figure it out, think about your past. If still you can't figure it out, look around you and see what is out there. We are sure you will find something that matters to you.
And that matters to the admissions committee. They are looking for passion, drive and what makes you unique. They don't expect you to do extra ordinary things. They expect you to be, well, yourself. But, first, you have to discover what really matters to you.
If you are having difficulty figuring all of this out, let us know. We would be happy to assist you in your path to self discovery and in your quest to your high school or college of your dreams. And, of course, we can help you with your essay. Just contact us below.