College Essay

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is my college admission essay describing the hardships I've faced and how I turned them into positives.

Submitted: January 14, 2014

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Submitted: January 14, 2014

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My name is Joey Kearns and I am many things. I like to think of myself as kind, intelligent, funny, and most of all human. I added that last bit as a catch-all, to prove that I am aware of potential faults, even while explaining them away. Neat little trick I know.

Physically, I have light brown hair, blue eyes and stand about 5’10 or so, although I am hopeful that I will continue to grow. There is after all my ongoing affair with McDonalds to consider. Oh, and I am also an “Aspie.”

No, this does not mean I attend conventions dressed in alien attire, although I must admit I do feel that way a good portion of the time. It is instead, a term used to describe someone who has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a neurodevelopment disorder that often manifests itself in social impairment and difficulties with executive function. In other words, I am the proverbial square peg who doesn’t fit in the round hole. Allow me to elaborate.

Every day existence as an “Aspie” feels a bit like being dropped in a foreign country where you don’t know the language or the culture and yet somehow, social expectations apply. It’s a state of being where memorization and impressionist skills, replace instinct and intuition. It’s about recognizing that your laughter is just a millisecond behind the group’s, and knowing that you have to adjust your timing because that’s an easier task than attempting to understand the humor behind the joke itself.

Being an “Aspie” makes me a literal thinker and communicator, and yet society sometimes discourages these traits as we navigate everyday interpersonal relationships. My family and friends for instance, know better than to expect anything other than a straight forward answer when they ask my opinion on something, accepting that the “little white lie” is not in my repertoire. For my part, I can admit that despite an ongoing struggle with sub-text, innuendo and slang, sometimes “see ya” really is just a euphemism for goodbye and not an observation of my physical existence.

It’s all about baby steps.

That’s what has gotten me to this point in my life. Instead of trying to modify or disguise the behaviors that characterize my uniqueness, I choose instead to accept, explore, and celebrate them. The fact is, I now recognize that people like myself, the “square peg movement,” actually provide an essential contribution to society at large.

We hold up the mirror and demand that every now and then, all of us take a good honest look. We encourage including and respecting all individuals, and strive to ensure that new ideas and concepts get a fair shake, even when they appear unconventional. Because we of all people recognize that often, untapped talent and innovation lies beyond this very facade.

We celebrate strength, perseverance, and resolution in the pursuit of accomplishment, even when the direction heeded is away from the crowd. Sometimes it’s all about trying the knob anyway, even as the closed sign is being put on the door.

Asperger’s Syndrome may define and explain particular personality traits I hold, but it doesn’t restrain or limit me. On the contrary, it infuses me with vision and potential. Give me a box and I can pretty much guarantee I will be thinking outside it! And these days, that is by design.

I am incredibly eager to move through life and see what opportunities and experiences are out there for me. Along the way, I will no doubt continue to acquire labels and commit the more-than occasional social faux pas. So be it.

After all, who says life is always about coloring inside the lines?


© Copyright 2019 John Kenway. All rights reserved.

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