The Voyage to Ithaca

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

My earliest memories take place in airports; in these recollections, I blink sleep out of my eyes as the hypnotic conveyor belt spins round and round. It is hard to remember where I was in those jet-lagged moments—America, where I went to school, or Italy and Greece, where I spent summers with my grandparents. Balancing these three identities, cultures, and languages was a personal odyssey and, unfortunately, a source of self-doubt and shame, something I struggled to shed throughout my childhood.

I have never spent a full year in one continent, nor a full day in one language. Summers were spent in countries and cultures completely separate from my life at school, where I was placed in English as a Second Language courses. At home, my family spoke in a clamor of tongues, often switching between two or even three in the space of one conversation. English, Italian and Greek became a babble whose syntactical untangling frustrated and eluded me. My tongue tripped over words, unsure if I sounded correct or if my accent came out right. Whenever I’d attempt to share a joke, I’d find myself being interrupted and corrected before I could reach the punch line.

These encounters silenced me. I longed for the mastery over language that would...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 2099 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10958 literature essays, 2742 sample college application essays, 820 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