Hey! This is my supplement for Princeton University. I chose prompt two ("Princeton in the Service of the Nation and In the Service of All Nations."), and wrote about how a personal experience inspired me. I'm not a very good writer (as you'll soon see, haha), but I'm willing to work hard to improve this essay. I appreciate constructive criticism immensely. Thank you!
Prompt:Using the statement below as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world:
"Princeton in the Nation's Service" was the title of a speech given by Woodrow Wilson on the 150th anniversary of the University. It became the unofficial Princeton motto and was expanded for the University's 250th anniversary to "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations."
- Woodrow Wilson, Princeton Class of 1879, served on the faculty and was Princeton's president from 1902 to 1910.
"Faggot." The obscenity flared and then collapsed into itself in the dazzling white of a half second, leaving a stunned and sudden silence between us. In an instant, I realized coming out to my father - a conservative man from a Catholic family who had more crucifixes than family photos mounted to their walls- had been a mistake.
Suddenly, my father stood up, towering over the table. His rage was palpable; it burned fiercely, like a blazing oil slick on the surface of a storm strewn sea. My nails dug into the soft, cheap wood of his dining room table, and I braced myself for the worst.
I flinched as he landed the first punch. The harsh sound of bone-on-flesh cracked through my father's dining room, and I was knocked out of my chair, onto the hardwood floor. I pulled myself up and ran, but he cornered me, and began to beat me. He punched my chest and stomach until I fell again, sobbing. He kicked me as I crawled away, and continued kicking me as I begged him to stop. I clambered up and stumbled as his fists struck, again and again. I escaped, ran into the bathroom, locked the door, and collapsed. He punched the door, nearly breaking it, and yelled through it at me. I sat in the dark for a long time while he screamed at me.
Eventually, he left, his rage spent. After waiting several hours, I mustered my courage and stepped out of the bathroom into the darkened house. It was silent, and he was out of sight. I gathered my things and left. I navigated my way out of the neighborhood in which my father lived, found a major avenue, and ventured down it. The Las Vegas Strip, glimmering in the distance like Christmas tinsel, was my destination. Although my body ached from the beating, I pressed on, my body shivering in the crisp and brumal air.
I arrived hours later, just as the sun peaked over the horizon. Golden warmth washed over the dry plains of southern Nevada, banishing the brumal midwinter's night chill. I found a payphone, and called my aunt. Through tears, I explained what happened, and said that I needed help immediately. She drove from Los Angeles, arriving 6 hours later. Our car ride back to LA was mostly silent - my injuries and the dried blood across my face said more than words ever could.
I haven't seen or talked to my father since that night. My father and his family refuse to associate with me and have disowned me, simply because I'm gay. I could've been ruined by their blind hatred, but instead, I've been empowered.
I believe that hate only survives in silence - bruised, blistered, unspoken silences between fathers and sons, nephews and their uncles and aunts, grandparents and grandchildren. Hate only survives when the hated are intimidated into inaction. Hate only survives when it goes to seed in the soul of the victimized, and its wicked roots spread outward. But hate will wither when those who suffer silently speak up and demand respect, as I have.
I refuse to be beaten into silence or cowed into apathy. I will fight hate -every kind of hate-, but not with fists and fury. I will fight it with my words and the authority of the law, with quiet resolve and my characteristic stubbornness. I will fight hate in every corner of America, and every corner of the world. I will fight hate in the name of the abused and the oppressed, the berated and the beaten. I will fight it, in efforts to empower all who suffer at the hands of the hateful. I will fight hate so as to achieve complete equality for not only homosexual Americans, but for every American who suffers from social persecution, civil discrimination, or hate in any other name or form. I will fight against hate and fight for equality, in any way, with any means, with complete conviction and my entire being, and I will not stop until I take my dying breath.