She wrote her college essay on grief and the relationship with the letter 'S,' which got her accepted into Harvard University.
Grief affects everyone differently. Whether sitting at a restaurant, looking at the menu and spotting your loved one’s favorite dish or a random Sunday afternoon where you realize how much they would’ve loved the weather that day, there’s almost always something to remind us of our loved ones who passed away. However, every so often, there is an opportunity to channel our grief into something valuable for our lives and that’s exactly what Abigail Mack—who goes by @a_vmack on TikTok—did when she worked on her college essay for Harvard University.
In a series of viral videos on TikTok, Mack showed how she managed to impress the Harvard admissions board by writing about losing her mother and how she processed the grief that came with it. In one of her videos, she reads out the introduction of her essay, “I hate the letter ‘s.’ 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.”
Mack threw a very genuine light on how the letter ‘S’ has a profound impact and meaning on her life. She continued, “‘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.”
It resonated with many on TikTok and people in the comment section gave their feedback on her profound essay. @briseayy said, “This sounds like it should be narrated over a movie. So good.” The video was loved by many viewers and became so widely popular that Abigail made a second video where she talked further about her essay. She picked the second video up from where she left off and shared further about how “the world wouldn’t abandon ‘S,’” so instead, she “tried to abandon ‘S.’ “You can’t have dinner with your ‘parent,’ if you’re too busy to have family dinner. Any spare time that I had I filled, I became known as the ‘busy kid,’ the one that everyone always asks, ‘How do you have time?’”
Harvard University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and according to U.S.News, it has an acceptance rate of 3%. For Mack to have secured a spot in the university with her heartfelt and honest essay is remarkably inspiring. The comments section can be seen praising Mack’s efforts. @jonas.dizon said, “This essay deserves a TED talk.”
@pinedairiana, said, “Close your eyes while listening to both parts. A movie is playing in my head! Congrats and good luck in Harvard.” Mack’s TikTok videos have given great ideas and inspiration to prospective Harvard University students on how to transfer their life experiences into a great piece of writing that can be a turning point for their college applications.
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