Common App Essay

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Outstanding American author Marya Hornbacher stated in her book, Madness: A Bipolar Life that “When you are mad, mad like this, you don't know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else's reality, it's still reality to you.” In my short seventeen years of life, I have experienced the “mad” feeling Hornbacher describes. I have faced a rougher side of life and survived. To date, I have overcome depression and anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I am continually growing and learning. I accept that each day is a new day with new experiences. I have high expectations for my life. Success will be the new reality I choose to see. Before medication, before therapy, before everything, I was miserable. Sadness filled my world with faded shades of blue and grey. At times, there were moments of sparkling white that brought happiness into my soul. I obsessed over my schoolwork, so I could maintain as much control as possible. I was always pushed; pushed by my peers, pushed by my family, but mostly pushed by myself. To my peers, I was a loser. But they did not know me. To my teachers, I was a girl with potential. But they did not know me, either. I took solace in the routine of school and found my identity as a student. Focusing on my schoolwork helped me get by, but I needed more to begin to heal from my past and flourish. From the abusive experiences of my childhood, my distorted reality reminded me daily of why I had to move away, optimistically, from the hurt. In seventh grade, I went to a CRISIS Center to deal with the issues that were tormenting me and that hospitalization started my recovery. My healing began with the help of those caring professionals I encountered. Their impact on me helped me find strength to deal with my traumatic experiences. Every day they persuaded me to continue on, attend each group and smile a little more. When I left, everything began to work out for me. I began...
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