Thursday, April 15, 1999

another college application essay

From the Archives
Okay, this one's real cringe-inducing, but you know, whatever.

Sixty-dollar, Nike running shoes sheltered my then size ten feet. I now loathe the idea that I once strived to be cool, like everybody else. My main goal in middle school was to fit in; take the bus to school, make it through the day with as little interaction with people as possible, get back on the bus, sit in the middle (not too close to the front so I won’t be a geek and not too close too the back with the cool people either, the middle’s just fine for blending), hurry home from the bus stop, and repeat, day after day for two hideous years. About every five months I begged my mom for a new, expensive pair of Nikes. They were mass-produced shoes with no personality that every person and their mother wore. That’s why I wanted them, because they weren’t loud or dorky—perfect for assimilation. I tied my laces so taut, I had to tuck the excess string into the inner side of the shoe, so there wouldn’t be the chance of tripping and embarrassing myself in front of the peers I emulated.

Finally it was over, and with my new, cheap, twenty-dollar, blue Converse Chuck all-stars, I walked into high school. High school. At the time it sounded so cool and mature. My shoes landed on the dull, gray, tiled floor without effort or determination ,as I strolled from class to class. After all, these were walking shoes, not running shoes. The blue color of my shoes reflected the mood I was in, in those days when grunge and Nirvana were it. I began to have many questions about the world that either were left unanswered or weren’t answered to my satisfaction. Also during this time I went through puberty and the accompanying loss of innocence. The laces on my shoe were no longer so tight, in fact they were loose, so I could slide my shoes on and off without having to retie them. No longer was it necessary to tuck the shoelaces into the side.

I continued to wear the blue chucks, which were now size eleven and a half, because they were one of the few shoes that weren’t made of leather, as I was now a vegetarian. But they soon got trendy and with that, retailers knew they could charge more; the price went up to around thirty dollars. After three years of blue Chucks I decided it was time for yet another change.

On the first day of my last two hundred and fifty or so of high school, beige Converse Jack Parcells softened my feet as they walked across the same gray, tiled floor that I’ve looked at way too many times and have determined that they must have been the cheapest tiles because they certainly aren’t the prettiest. Confident, and finally walking with determination, I now revel in my awkwardness.

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