<p>I wrote what I consider to be a rough draft of what could maybe be a college essay. I'd appreciate any and all feedback. Honest and critical, please :)</p>
<p>When I was around seven years old, for reasons I can hardly fathom now, I wanted glasses. I loved the way they looked, the way the people that wore glasses appeared interesting, intelligent, and unique. I even went so far as to tell my mother that I was having trouble seeing in class. Imagine my extreme disappointment, when the optometrist informed my mom and me that my vision was perfectly fine, and that glasses would be completely unnecessary. If only that seven year old version of me could know I just would experience about a decade later.
Barely a year after my failed attempt to obtain glasses, the chalkboard was becoming increasingly more difficult to read, and an appointment with the optometrist confirmed what I once wished to hear. As the optometrist examined my eyes, he had told my mother that I had tiny specks on my lenses. He called them cataracts, a word that meant nothing to me and told my mother we would keep a watch on them. I wore my glasses proudly, and I picked out the frames myself. Fast forward to sixth grade, where the glasses, once a highly prized object of a fantasy, were a harsh reality and a burden I detested to carry. I simply stopped wearing my glasses. It did not help at all that I had just moved from Washington D.C. to Southern California, and I felt like enough of an outsider already.
Sooner than I thought possible, I was in high school and I discovered contacts. The freedom and ability to see without the social stigma I believed was attached to wearing glasses. On one fateful afternoon, I was at DMV attempting to obtain my learners permit. However, I couldnt pass the simple vision testeven with my contacts! I was referred to my optometrist, who gravely told me that I had fully fledged cataracts. Though most people associate cataracts with the elderly, they do rarely occur in newborn babies and young children. I didnt understand his implications or my parents concern. I assumed they would simply give me a stronger prescription and Id be on my way. It was then explained to me that the cataracts has gotten to the point where the best I could see with corrective vision was 20/60. I stared at the computer screen of the picture of the star-shaped figures, eerily graceful and white, that covered my entire lens.
I sat there in an uncomfortable plastic chair and tried to process the news. Visions of being a camp counselor or attending a summer program at a prestigious university were completely out of the picture. I would now be spending my summer in an operating room having these cataracts removed. Filled with emotion, I didnt know what to do. I was angry at my parents for making me have the surgery over my whole summer, disappointed with myself for having the cataracts (like it was something I could possibly control), and scared about the procedure.</p>
<p>However, the removal of the cataracts had taught me something. Through the discomfort and disappointment of that summer, I realized I was grateful for my parents for going through the expenses and strains of the surgery. When I came home from the hospital, and the patches were off my eyes, it was all I could do not to cry. The world was open, beautiful, clear, and full of possibilities. It was up to me to do with it as I wished, and now that I could truly see, I understood that maybe this wouldnt be a summer Id remember for fun at the beach, but it would be a summer that Id remember as the summer Id received the gift of a lifetime: the ability to see.</p>