I hate to be predictable. Therefore, I rarely share viral posts. I try to dig deeper, work a little harder for the beautiful things I present for your approval. But sometimes, there’s something so uplifting, so remarkable I can’t resist jumping on the bandwagon. Today is such a day.
In spite of what her school counselors no doubt told her, high schooler Abigail Mack decided to swing for the fences and apply to Harvard College. Though Mack is a good student, her 3.43% GPA wouldn’t typically have been enough to get her into one of the most prestigious colleges in the country. But Mack’s application included an essay that did for her what her GPA couldn’t.
“As I write this essay, there is a blue line under the word ‘parent’ telling me to check my grammar; even Grammarly assumes that I should have parents, but cancer doesn’t listen to edit suggestions.”
This unusual young woman lost her mother to cancer, but she has become the very definition of rising above. Rather than letting it defeat or define her, Mack used her loss as inspiration. When she shared her college admissions essay on TikTok, her story about being a teenager who tried to self-soothe after the loss of a parent by filling her time with sports, clubs, hobbies, and other extracurriculars. After spending way too much time distracting herself with anything and everything, Mack realized her true passions lay in three fields: theater, academics, and politics.
I am very pleased to report that Mack is now a proud member of the Harvard class of 2025. And she has some good advice for future college applicants.
“Pour your passion, whatever it is, into every fiber of your application. Your college application is a culmination of everything you’ve done in high school. You’ve already put in the work, so the hardest part is done. Now, you just have to put pen to paper, share what you’ve accomplished, and, most importantly, illustrate how you plan to make a difference going forward in your own, unique way.”