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Harvard-bound high-schooler shares poignant college admissions essay

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Massachusetts high school senior who was earned herself a highly sought-after spot at Harvard University has now also earned viral fame after publicly sharing the heart-rending college admissions essay she wrote about the death of her mother.  

In what began seemingly as a focused essay on grammar, , 18, detailed in her Common App essay why she hates the letter 'S', before explaining that, since she lost her mother to cancer, the 'S' in 'parents' has haunted her.

But it also motivated her to keep busy, filling her schedule with AP classes and extracurricular activities — and now, thanks to her stellar record and a well-written essay, she's headed to Harvard in the fall.

Taking off: Abigail Mack, 18, is headed to Harvard University in the fall, and this month has gone viral after reading the Common App essay that helped get her in

Taking off: Abigail Mack, 18, is headed to Harvard University in the fall, and this month has gone viral after reading the Common App essay that helped get her in

Poignant: Abigail said that she hates the letter 'S' since losing her mother to cancer

Poignant: Abigail said that she hates the letter 'S' since losing her mother to cancer

Abigail read her essay in a series of TikTok videos which have gone viral, with the first part racking up 18 million views. 

'I hate the letter "S,"' Abigail wrote. 'Of the 164,777 words with "S," I only grapple with one. To condemn an entire letter because of its use .0006 percent of the time sounds statistically absurd, but that one case changed 100 percent of my life. 

'I used to have two parents, but now I have one, and the "S" in "parents" isn't going anywhere. 

'"S" follows me. 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. 

'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. 

'I won't claim that my situation is as unique as one in 164,777, but it is still an exception to the rule — an outlier. The world isn't meant for this special case,' she wrote.

asked Aug 26, 2021 by GeneN081191 (140 points)

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