I want to preface this by saying that I’m sorry if this question is SUPER dumb and I should know already that I shouldn’t write about this as an essay topic.
Basically, I have gone through my 4 years of high school wondering what makes me stand out from others - what makes me unique. What do I spend my time doing that can’t be paralleled in others? I know what the answer is, and it’s a thing that has enthralled my interests for 5 years now. But I don’t know if I can write about it.
When I was in 8th grade, I started gaining an interest in true crime. I would read books, watch documentaries, read Wikipedia articles for hours of my time. It was my hobby. I would sit there huddled up in a blanket on a Saturday night trying to solve murder cases or try to understand the world that goes on behind the mind of a particular serial killer. By grade 9 I could relay to you the story of some of the most famous kidnapping cases of all time. I have been especially interested in shootings, and what goes into the people that commit them. I have read as many books as I could find on Columbine, and I even have talked to the family of a victim (after talking to others, they definitely advise against talking about this specific part of my interest in true crime). I know that everyone loves true crime and some good mysteries, but this is my hobby, just like painting or basketball might be yours.
My interest in true crime has sparked a huge interest in neuroscience and psychology in that I have always wanted to understand why people are the way they are and what I could do to help. These cases do not only interest me, but through them I have found myself more connected with the world around me. I have learned to think and feel deeply in ways I could have never imagined. I understand pain, life, loss, and empathy in so many more dimensions. It is a defining part of who I am, and I have learned through this the ability to go beyond numbers of victims to understanding the dimensional lives lost to malfeasance.
I have always been told to write in my essay what defines me as a person and what makes me special. I can’t think of much in the past 4 years that can define me much more than my love for true crime. I, however, understand that this is an essay topic that could raise red flags in admissions. I could always write about something that does not matter to me for the sake of not raising red flags in admissions, but if this will not raise any red flags I would love to be able to talk about it. I want to focus on how learning the three-dimensional lives lost to violence and evil has fostered new waves of empathy and how as a neuroscientist I want to use my knowledge and power to prevent these things from ever happening. I would not mention myself as a sufferer of any kind of mental illness as I know that raises red flags and instead focus on how I want to help stop this in other people.
Please let me know your thoughts, and if this is an essay topic I should absolutely steer clear of then, by all means, let me know.