College Admissions Essay: I’m Not Deaf, and I’m Not Dumb!

College Admissions Essay: I’m Not Deaf, and I’m Not Dumb!

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I’m Not Deaf, and I’m Certainly Not Dumb!


A hearing loss can present many obstacles in one's life. I have faced many issues throughout my life, many of which affected me deeply. When I first realized that I was hearing-impaired, I didn't know what it meant. As I grew older, I came to understand why I was different from everyone. It was hard to like myself or feel good about myself because I was often teased. However, I started to change my attitude and see that wearing hearing aids was no different than people wearing glasses to see.


I attended the BOCES Program for the Hearing Impaired for eleven years. I initially liked BOCES but later grew to dislike this program. The teachers often made me feel incapable of doing what the "normal kids" were doing. I wanted to do more challenging things! I remember that one time I asked one of my teachers if I could take a Spanish class. Her reply was "NO!". She didn't think I could handle it because I had a hearing loss. I was persistent and took the class anyway. I did very well. I proved her wrong. But above all, I proved to myself that if I wanted something enough, I could do it. It was a great feeling!


    During my junior year of high school, I was transferred from the Boces Program to East Meadow High School. This was an exciting time in my life! I was finally going to attend classes with "hearing" students. So many emotions filled my head. I was happy but, on the other hand, I was scared. I thought these kids would tease me and not accept me for who I am. When I went into the classroom, every student looked at me as if I were different, but they liked me anyway. Much to my surprise, within a couple of days I had made friends. I quickly realized that they didn't think of or treat me as I were different. They saw me for who I am on the inside, not a person with hearing aids on the outside.


    Although I have a hearing problem, it doesn't stop me from living the life of a teenager. I enjoy doing things with friends and I am involved in school activities. I had the opportunity of joining Key Club this year and participating in their community-related services.

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When I am with friends, I may not understand what they are talking about but they are nice enough to repeat it.


    A requirement for graduation is completing a Senior Project. This project involves working for 25 hours within the community. I have been fortunate enough to tutor an elementary school student who is also hearing-impaired. As I get to know her, she shares with me the obstacles she faces. Many of these are similar to my own experiences. Being able to offer suggestins for different situations not only helps her cope with heearing loss, it benefits me too. It's nice to be able to give back some words of wisdom and guidance that so many have offered to me over the years.


    As I near the end of my senior year, I have made plans and set goals. I will be attending Briarcliffe in September and will further mys studies in business. My teachers have helped me in many ways preparing me for the future but the one most important thing they have taught me is to be thankful for who I am. Having a hearing loss does not mean that I can't do what "normal people" do. I know that deep down in my heart I can be anything that I want.


    I truly believe that it doesn't matter if you are hearing impaired or physically challenged. All that matters is who you are! It's like the old saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover"!
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