College Admissions Essay

Prompt: If, for a period of time, you could live the life of any individual, who would you choose? How does this choice reflect who you are?

“I am God.”
“That’s nice. I’m trying to write an important essay here,” I reply, concentrating on the task at hand.
“I think you misunderstand,” He boomed loudly. “I am God, the King of Kings, Jehovah, the Omniscient and the Omnipotent, the Alpha and the Omega. I am here to help you.” Thunder roared in the background while lightning bolts flashed like mad.
I was a little shocked. I thought only Zeus used lightning.
“But I’m agnostic. If you help me, does that mean I have to be Christian?”
“Not really. For all you know, I am a figment of your imagination,” the voice without a face responded. “I have come here to grant you a wish. You may live the life of any one person, fictional or non-fictional, for a period of time. Please choose wisely,” resounded the Voice.
“I can’t really think of a person who I would want to be. Why are you helping me anyway?”
“Must you question my motives? Most people would be happy if God suddenly appeared before them and gave them a wish. Stop being so skeptical and choose a person,” the Holy One demanded impatiently. “How about Einstein?”
“Not really. Too brainy, yet he failed Algebra.”
“Nope. Authorship problems. The Elizabethan Age didn’t seem like much fun, either.”
“No. I’m not sure why not.”
“Newton? Tchaikovsky? Gatsby? Huck Finn? Confucius? Wang Lung? Da Vinci?”
The names danced in my mind, names which I had considered before, but all which seemed strangely inadequate.
“Well, not really. I can’t explain it, but I don’t think there is a person that has a life I would want to experience.”
“You have to choose someone. Stanford deems it.”
“I don’t know. Why would I want to be someone else, even for a while?”
“So you can learn.”
“Can’t you just get me into Stanford? After all, you are all-powerful.”
“Well,” His voice a bit nervous, “I can’t do that. My wife won’t let me.”
One life seemed enough for me. How exactly do you explain to God that you like yourself the way you are, even if you have myopia and you spend too much time on the computer and you don’t heed your Chinese heritage and you think too much and you can’t play basketball for your life and you have hair that insists on defying gravity.
“How about me? Would you like to be God?”
“No way. Too much responsibility.”
“What are you talking about? Being God is great. I can do whatever I want. Come on, you know you want to. Everyone’s doing it.”
“Not really…. Oh, I know now!”
Inspiration struck me like a judo chop to the neck.
“Yes?” He stated impatiently.
“Charlie Brown.”
“Good grief! Of all the people in the world…”
“Charlie Brown is unassuming. He is perfectly normal. He might not have any special talents, but that doesn’t stop him from trying his best at everything. He takes the blame for things he doesn’t do. He never gives up baseball, even though he won exactly one game in over forty years. He never stops trying to fly that kite, even though that darn tree is always eating it up. He plays football with skill equal to mine. He never grows old, and, although shy and wishy-washy, he is a leader. I think he is the greatest character ever created. Everyone can relate to him, yet no one can be like him. He is unique in being non-unique; by not standing out, he stands out the most. The epitome of mediocrity. Plus, he has Snoopy as a pet.”
“True, true. I know what you mean,” He lied. “Well, if that’s who you want to be, so be it,” He sighed.
“Yeah, I know there’s probably someone who’s smarter, faster, and more respectable, but no one is more true-blue and human than good ol’ Charlie Brown.”
“Hah, hah, hah,” the Divine Being laughed, trembling the earth. “Good luck, you blockhead!”

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