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Emily Udel

Need Level

4.5/5

Amount Needed

$623

Merit Level

3.4/5

Class Standing

Sophomore

College GPA

3.94

Major

Creative Writing

UIUC

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Personal Statement

In my preschool years, I never liked naptime. My ravioli-size fists much preferred clutching hardcover storybooks over pillows on cots. After our routine lunch, the teachers would let me sit in their chair, fifteen pairs of hazy eyes and cross-legged limbs staring up at me from the rug, and read to my peers. At the end of each day my teachers would flash proud smiles at my mother and proclaim that I was unlike the others. I didn't know it yet, but oh, were they right.

Picture little me some years later in a pillowy rolling chair, sitting on dictionaries and towels to reach the keyboard, composing the first short story of many on my mother's outdated Microsoft Word program. I was too young to fully understand technology, but I understood words and how to make them appear with the prowess akin to a magician conjuring a white-tailed rabbit from a top hat. I respun candid versions of people that I knew, twisting pieces of personality and dialogue I had overheard and features of faces I had seen into caricatures. These stories were not just my life, but another life all at once.

I was born into a bloodline of writers. My grandmother transformed her trauma from a shimmering chrysalis into butterflies and didn’t mind the world watching her soar. She would stay up late crafting children's stories, poetry, and pulp fiction until the dawn crept in. As a child, my mother grew up eavesdropping on soliloquies through paper walls; in turn I did just the same from her. From these tremendously strong women, I learned the importance of being earnest, cerebral, and impassioned.

My grandmother published in vintage literary magazines. My mother lost all her writing in a flooded basement one month after buying my childhood home. Me, I have become a horde of poetry that sleeplessly pours out of me in the small hours of the night, of the lyrics behind songs without melodies, of novels whose endings I am eager to pen down. I have moved a room full of fifteen pairs of riveted high school eyes to tears with the first personal speech I ever gave: seven pages, twenty minutes worth of the endless anguish I faced and how I chose to glow regardless. I embrace my abnormal with Moleskine-leather armor and Vonnegut’s quotes drawn mindlessly on my palms. Oh, were they right.

Student Info

Ethnicity:

Citizenship:

Gender:

Veterans:

LGBTQ+ :

White (including Middle Eastern)

Marital Status:

US Citizen

First Generation:

Female

Personal Dependents:

No

Family Dependents:

Single

Yes

0

2

n/a

High School GPA:

Graduation Year:

Major GPA:

5.8 out of 6.0

SAT/ACT Score:

2023

Open to Mentorship:

4

High School Name:

1330

Yes

Lane Technical College Preparatory High School