It was just over 2 years ago, that I created my blog here, Just Shine On. Naturally, it was time to update my About Page, so I just did that. My life has changed in some big ways! One of those big changes has been moving to college. I applied and was accepted to six Catholic colleges, and submitted the below essay, to each of them. I recently found this essay on my computer, and thought sharing it with you all, might be a great post. The essay prompt was: “Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?”
I hope you enjoy reading it.
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My College Application Essay
A sense of belonging seeps into my soul as I slip through the doors of my parish. I have loved it here since birth, like another home. Yet restlessness has begun to roam in my heart. I know I have a greater purpose out in the world, and I am eager to discover it.
Because my faith is my top priority, I have let the Catholic Church mold me into the person I am today. However, I know that I have plenty of room to continue to grow. As a Catholic, my duty is to focus on many things, but mainly one in particular: myself, and how I, as a living stone of the Church, can discover my vocation, and grow into the person I was created to be.
Many people think of the Catholic Church as a series of buildings spread throughout the world. Others may think of the Vatican. But the Catholic Church that I know is much more than just a series of buildings. The Catholic Church is a collection of over one billion individuals, each fulfilling a role in the Church that is unique and important in the eyes of the One they serve. The ways in which they serve their Lord is an aspect I find most interesting. This collection of people certainly includes priests, nuns, and monks; but serving the Church isn’t limited to just these roles, as crucial as they are. We as laymen also have significant obligations to serve this universal community, using our unique gifts and abilities. Over the years, I have been presented with a few roles to fulfill during my quest to feed the flame of my soul, and each one has taken place in a different area within the Church.
Being part of the Church has both encouraged me to serve others, and given me ways to do so. I have been an altar server for 8 years, spent several summers volunteering as a catechesis teachers’ aid for my parish, and I served as a co-host on LIVE television during Catholic TV’s coverage of World Youth Day Rio. Spending four days at a broadcasting center was an intriguing experience that helped spark my interest in Communications, and opened my eyes to all the possibilities that were out there for me. It showed me that I can serve the Church in ways that go beyond the walls of my parish, and in fact, reach out to the world. Both experiences, although different in many ways, helped to give me a sense of direction as to where I belong within the Church.
I know I want to use my life to make a positive and powerful impact on others. I want to serve a broader community. One way I have attempted to fulfill that call was by launching my own blog, ‘Just Shine On’, as well as accompanying social media accounts, to aid in my mission of encouraging the younger generation to unleash their inner light and grow spiritually. Through these platforms, I have reached people around the world with messages that I feel need to be heard; messages that explore the Church and how we can relate to it, but also reach into the spirit, mind, and heart, and stretch beyond walls.
I believe attending college will continue to give me opportunities to serve, not only while I am there, but also in the future. Furthering my education will help me to strengthen my gifts, equip me with new tools, and prepare me to take new paths in my life. I will gain a sense of clarity in terms of how I, as a living stone of the Catholic Church, can continue to grow spiritually, while serving others. I am eager to expand my horizons, and in doing so, expand the environment in which I find fulfillment. Not just within the walls of a church building, but among the vast community of the world.