Personal Statement | Augustana College Undergraduate Application Essay

When I look back upon my life, I think of many things. I think of football and how it means the world to me. I think of school and how even though I hate waking up for it, in reality, I don’t know what I would do without it. I think of my friends and family and how they are the heart to my soul.

Then I’m asked to think about someone or something, fictional or historical, musical or literary, that has influenced me through my 17 years of existence, and I come up with a blank. I’m unable to pinpoint one person or thing that has influenced me. Could it be Kanye West’s “Stronger”? Or how about Jackie Robinson? Or even Frank Lloyd Wright, since I want to be an architect? No, no, no. Well, what about the young Scipio or Alex Rider from The Thief Lord and The Alex Rider Series, respectively? Nope. Neither one.

No, when I think back to who has influenced me the most, surprisingly, I come to Holden Caulfield, the teenager who sees everything in its purest form: “phony.” Sure, when I first read J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, I didn’t really care for it. I thought Holden needed to stop whining about all of the “phonies” in the world and just get back to school and back to his life. Remarkably, though, after reading it I soon…

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