Make Your Own Sunshine

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story.

My story starts here, in San Francisco. Today, I hate it. I hate the sweat trickling down my back from the walk to breakfast on the steep ascent of Castro Street. I hate the suspicious gunshot-like sounds ringing outside my window as I try to sleep in a hostel. I hate the occasional smell from the sewer, the pigeon excrement infiltrating every crack in the sidewalk. The bald man snoring on the train with a “hail Satan” tattoo etched across his forehead. Too much of it differs from my small hometown, Aspen, where the only bald men I see are billionaires sporting fur coats.

But this isn’t the problem today, there is something else gnawing at my skin underneath my shirt, causing wrinkle lines on my forehead. It is three weeks after Lucas killed himself. He was my best friend. My mom brought me here, to the golden city, on vacation. She just wants to help. It’s not enough.

A fog creeps through the alleyways, it whispers through the cracks in our car. I shut the door and walk through the parking lot to the Safeway. A homeless man stutters. He twirls around, like a displaced ballet dancer, and swings a bottle of Jack Daniels. I duck, even though I am far beyond range. He giggles, then burps. I survey him from a safe distance, ten...

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