18-year-old’s heartbreaking essay on hating letter ‘S’ after shedding a guardian will get a Harvard College seat

Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, May 14

This 18-year-old’s essay is one of the most heartbreaking things you will read today.

Abigail Mack’s essay on hating the letter ‘S’ has earned her a seat at the Harvard University. The teenager, in a video, talked about how this single letter has haunted her. She revealed that she started hating the letter after losing a parent to cancer.

The clip has been reposted on all social media platforms. 

She says, “I hate the letter ‘s’. Of the 164,777 words with ‘s’ I only grapple with one. To condemn an entire letter because of its use 0.0006 per cent of the time sounds statistically absurd, but that one case changed 100 per cent of my life.

I used to have two parents, but now I have one, and the ‘s’ in ‘parents’ isn’t going anywhere. ‘S’ follows me. I can’t get through a day without being reminded that while my friends went out to dinner with their parents, I ate with my parent.

As I write this essay, there is a blue line under the word ‘parent’ telling me to check my grammar; even Grammarly assumes that I should have parents, but cancer doesn’t listen to edit suggestions. I won’t claim that my situation is as unique as one in 164,777, but it is still an exception to the rule – an outlier. The world isn’t meant for this special case.”

The student says that she spent time distracting herself from the letter, and the absence of her mother that it represents. 

She, eventually, learned to stop running away from the letter ‘s’.

She is now pursuing a ‘double s’ – passion. 

She said: “‘S’ got me moving, but it hasn’t kept me going. I don’t seek out sadness, so ‘s’ must stay on the sidelines, and until I am completely ready, motivation is more than enough for me.”

Abigail’s essay has touched the hearts of millions.

One user said: “So this is what a great writer looks like.” another wrote: “Well at least now Ik how high the bar is. A third user added: “I never knew that the opening line of an essay could be this beautiful.” Yet another commented, “You are an amazing writer. Harvard is lucky to have you! Hope you have the time of your life!”


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