Marilyn D.

$1,000 Scholarships.com English Scholarship Award Winner

I was in fifth grade when a classmate and I decided to write a book together. By the end of the year, I had a new best friend and twenty clumsy chapters of poorly-edited escapism. We’ve since lost the pages, but not the principle: at an age when we were still restricted to safety scissors, a story was an art form that fit in our nine-year-old hands.



I was (a mess) in middle school when I began writing short fiction. It was all angst and allegory back then, Chicken Soup for the Preteen Shipwreck, characters with names like “Princess Crylenar” and “Gloria Rose.” My teachers were too generous to encourage me: “Send me a copy of your first novel,” they said, and I promised I would. It gave me purpose.

I was fourteen when I started swooning over sentences. A well-placed simile could give me shivers; grammar rules destroyed and rebuilt my universes with thrilling regularity. I edited articles for my school newspaper, keeping cadence with proofreader marks and red pens. I wondered if authors and writers always saw the world like this — ready for revision.

I was eighteen when my doctor gave me medication for depression. I spent three months feeling like a failure before reaching back into the past for poetry, sifting for salvage. What I found was unoriginal, but enough: “Write. Read.” Now I cling to my malfunctions like inspiration, like ammunition.

I’m twenty now, and still unimpressive, and still stretching for the words. What has influenced my decision to pursue English? What hasn’t influenced my decision to pursue English? English has gifted me with my best friend, a beacon, a rhythm, a meaning. It has shown me how to read beauty between the lines of a bad book. Most importantly, it’s given me a way to describe how the world looks on these days when I am sitting in school between Steinbeck and Shakespeare, pen in hand, degree distant on the horizon: infinite.

English will let me be anything. I will let it be everything to me — it’s the least I can do.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Top Majors for College Class of 2014 Announced

by Suada Kolovic

If you're struggling to come up with ideas for possible majors and post-collegiate careers, looking at majors that are sought after may not be a bad place to start. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), organizations are most interested in hiring new college graduates with bachelor's degrees in the business, engineering and computer science [...]

Register and Win $500 from Scholarships.com

by Suada Kolovic

Looking for a way to pay for your college education that includes free money? Well, you’re in luck! Here at Scholarships.com, we provide users with the most relevant scholarships and educational information out there. By registering at Scholarships.com, you’ll have access to more than 2.7 million local, state and national college scholarships and grants worth $1.9 billion...and did [...]

Udacity Discontinues Free Certificates

by Suada Kolovic

With the cost of a college education continuing to skyrocket, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become increasingly popular. If you’re not familiar with MOOCs, they provide students with the opportunity to study high quality courses online with prestigious universities – we’re talking Harvard, Yale and Stanford – for free. Well, at least, that used to be the case: Udacity, one of the [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed