Updated: May 17, 2021 11:21:05 am
Getting admitted into an Ivy League college is a dream for many young students around the world. However, it’s not an easy feat, especially if one’s goal is Harvard. But thanks to a poignant essay by a bright high school student, she not only got in but her essay is now going viral, leaving millions around the world emotional.
Abigail Mack, 18, like any other student, was preparing for her college admissions and was working on what to write for the essay section in her application forms, which is often deemed as the deciding factor for a green signal. Writing an essay on the Common App, a well known platform used by students to apply to various colleges for their undergraduate admission, she wrote why she hates the letter S.
The unique title surely is enough to hook many but it was her beautiful explanation that struck a chord with many online. The admission essay was about finding passion for life while dealing with the loss of her mother, who passed away battling cancer. In a series of videos, Mack later shared her college admissions essay on TikTok, where it went viral.
“I used to have two parents but now I have one, and the ‘s’ in parents isn’t going anywhere,” she was heard in the video. “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 parent,” she added in a heartbreaking clip. “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,” she added in her candid video.
Her essay has sparked an outpouring of support from all over the world, with many sharing their own stories about losing a parent, and how her video resonated with them. Not just that, the application essay also got her to Harvard, and she also shared an update with her followers in another video capturing the moment when she received the confirmation on mail.
“I had been really hesitant to share it just because it’s so personal,” she told Boston Globe. “But I thought about it some more … so I decided to share it,” talking about her video that has amassed more than 17 million views on TikTok. “I’ve gotten so many bittersweet comments from people who have had similar experiences, saying I had put into words what they had been feeling,” she said. “It’s been so nice to feel like I’ve connected with so many people about that topic.”
Her mother, Julie, died of cancer in 2014 when Abigail was just 12. Julie was a dance teacher and had opened a new studio “Julie’s Studio of Dance” in West Bridgewater with her husband Jonathan shortly before she passed away. While Mack’s father Jonathan continues to operate the studio, she is a teacher there on the weekends, CBS Boston reported.
“She just had this magnetic personality that captivated you with the kids and the families, and Abigail has that too. So I’m really glad that she embodies Julie in the best possible ways,” her father said.
Talking to Buzzfeed, the valedictorian of her school, she said that losing her mother at a young age she tried to escape the reality by filling her time with extracurriculars and passion, mostly theatre.
“I grew up in a very artistic family — my mother opened a dance studio that my father still runs, and my father is a piano teacher — so theater has always been part of my life,” she said. “There [is] something cathartic in escaping to a new world and being someone else for even just a few hours on stage,” the student added.
Although the final acceptance decision date for Ivy Leagues was weeks away, Mack was surprised to get an early update from Harvard. “I received a Likely Letter, which informs an applicant that they’ve been admitted prior to the official decision release date in the hopes that the applicant will make the school their first choice,” she told BuzzFeed. “Likely Letters are really rare, and I’m so fortunate to have received one!”
Mack, who also got into Notre Dame, Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, and Northwestern University, hasn’t decided her major yet but is sure to attend classes in Harvard in October.
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