A Massachusetts high school student shared the poignant essay on college admission that helped her get accepted into Harvard University.
Abigail Mack, 18, wrote in her Common App essay that she hates the letter ‘S’, explaining that the ‘S’ in ‘parents’ has haunted her since she lost her mother to cancer.
But it also motivated her to keep busy, filling her schedule with AP classes and extracurricular activities – and now, thanks to her excellent track record and a well-written essay, she’s heading to Harvard in the fall.
Takeoff: Abigail Mack, 18, will be attending Harvard University in the fall and went viral this month after reading the Common App essay that helped her get in
Distressing: Abigail said she hates the letter ‘S’ since she lost her mother to cancer
Abigail read her essay in a series of TikTok videos that have gone viral, with the first part getting 18 million views.
“I hate the letter ‘S,'” Abigail wrote. “Of the 164,777 words with ‘S’, I struggle with only one. Condemning an entire letter for using it. 0006 percent of the time sounds statistically absurd, but that one case changed 100 percent of my life.
“I used to have two parents, but now I have one, and the” S “in” parents “isn’t going anywhere.
“S” follows me. I can’t get through a day without being reminded that while my friends went out to dinner with their parents, I ate with my parents.
As I write this essay, there is a blue line below the word ‘parent’ that tells me to check my grammar; even Grammar assumes I should have parents, but Cancer doesn’t listen to editing suggestions.
I won’t argue that my situation is as unique as the one at 164777, but it’s still an exception to the rule – an outlier. The world is not meant for this special case, ”she wrote.
Haunting: Massachusetts high school said the ‘S’ in ‘parents’ in particular follows her
“I can’t get through a day without being reminded that while my friends went out to dinner with their parents, I ate with my parents,” she explained.
Harsh: She wrote that her grammar checker app kept suggesting she correct the word ‘parent’ to ‘parents’, but ‘cancer doesn’t listen to suggestions to edit’
“The world wouldn’t leave” S “because of me, so I tried to leave” S “. I could get away from “S” if I kept busy; you cannot have dinner with your “parent” (thanks again grammatically) if you are too busy to have a family dinner. I filled every free time I had. I became known as “the busy kid” – the one who always asks everyone, “How do you have time?” ‘
She filled her calendar with morning meetings, classes, after-school meetings, volleyball practice, dance lessons, rehearsal in Boston, and homework.
She explained, “I couldn’t make up for the loss the“ S ”left in my life, but at least I could make sure I didn’t have to think about it. There were so many things in my life that I couldn’t control, so I controlled what I could: my schedule.
“I have never succumbed to the stress of possibly over-commitment. I thrived. ‘
Juggling all her obligations became a challenge, but she soon found a ‘rhythm’.
“But rhythm wasn’t what I wanted,” she said. Rhythm may not have an ‘S’, but ‘S’ certainly liked to drop by when I was inactive. So I added another ball, and another, and another. I soon noticed that the same “colored” balls kept falling into my hands – theater, academics, politics.
‘The world wouldn’t leave’ S ‘because of me, so I tried to leave’ S ‘,’ ‘she wrote, explaining how she kept herself busy
“ I couldn’t fill the loss the ‘S’ left in my life, but at least I could make sure I didn’t have to think about it, ” she wrote
“I have never succumbed to the stress of possibly over-commitment. I thrived, ”she said
Soon she stopped ‘running away from’ S ‘and started changing a double’ S ‘- pasSie’
“I’m not perfectly healed, but I’m perfect at navigating the best way to heal me,” she concluded
“I wanted to interact with this more and more, so I further narrowed the scope of my color wheel and increased the range of hues in my primary colors,” she wrote.
I stopped running from “S” and started changing a double “S” passion. Passion has given me purpose. I was chained to “S” while trying to escape the constraints of the traditional family structure.
‘No matter how far I ran,’ S ‘stayed behind, because I kept looking back. I’ve finally learned to move forward instead of moving away, and it’s liberating. “S” kept me moving, but it didn’t keep me going. ‘
However, she admitted that life is ‘complicated’, and while it’s great that her motivation has propelled her forward, it also kept her from looking back – and she wishes she could claim she was braver than that. .
‘I am not perfectly healed, but I am perfect at navigating the best way to heal me. I’m not going to look for grief, so “S” has to stay on the sidelines, and until I’m all set, motivation is more than enough for me. ‘
Abigail, who used the Common App to apply to eight schools, was also admitted to Northwestern, Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Dartmouth.
Woohoo! Abigail decided to go to Harvard and filmed the moment she saw that she had been accepted
Options: Abigail, who used the Common App to apply to eight schools, was also accepted for Northwestern, Notre Dame, Georgetown and Dartmouth
Parent: Abigail, pictured with her dad, advises other high school students to pour ‘their passion’ into their job applications
She decided to go to Harvard and filmed the moment she saw that she had been accepted.
There was a lot of shouting – I lost my voice for about a week after that – and I was about to cry, ” she said. BuzzFeed.
While she has not yet chosen a major or chosen a career path, Abigial said she plans to study humanities and social sciences with a possible focus on French and foreign policy, and has recently taken an interest in politics.
‘When the Black Lives Matter demonstrations took place last summer, I realized how passionate I thought about politics. I knew I could no longer stand idly by as the world leaped forward without me, ”she said.
She competed in the 2020 election cycle as a fellow in Senator Ed Markey’s reelection campaign and was also involved in telephone banking for President Joe Biden.
Abigail suggests that other high school students who apply to college “put their passion into their job applications.
‘Your application to college is the result of everything you did in high school. You’ve already done the work, so the hardest part is done. Now all you have to do is put pen to paper, share what you have achieved and, most importantly, illustrate how you intend to make a difference in your own unique way, ”she said.