Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

For most high schoolers, a best friend is someone who lends you the physics notes when you miss class. Someone who says you look like a marshmallow in your parka but silences anyone who does the same. Someone who sponsors midnight Stop & Shop runs to satisfy your popcorn cravings. My best friend was different. She chose crossword puzzles over vector diagrams and compression slippers over winter fashion. Her dentures made popcorn a pipe dream, so we filled our Friday afternoons with cranberry juice and maple walnut sundaes. Kay Quinn was, in many ways, a stereotypical old lady. But the hundreds of hours I spent with her taught me just how much lay beneath the surface.

I met Kay my first evening at Traditions of Wayland, a cushy assisted living facility in my hometown. Fresh out of middle school, I was heading up a student-senior outreach program in search of a surrogate grandmother. I navigated the sea of walkers with a tight smile and no inkling of what to expect. Would the residents be grouchy? Would they mistake me for their granddaughter? What if I called the same bingo number twice and they thought I was stupid?

I shouldn’t have worried. That night was a flurry of warm introductions, miscounted dimes, and compliments...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 2135 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10972 literature essays, 2745 sample college application essays, 840 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in