Teen's Harvard admission essay about losing a parent to cancer goes viral

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A video of a soon-to-be Harvard freshman sharing her admissions essay that details her experience with losing a parent has gone viral.

Brockton, Massachusetts native Abigail Mack, 18, shared her heartfelt story about losing a parent to cancer, explaining how the letter “s” has been a reminder of her loss and how she’s used her grief as fuel to excel in extracurricular activities and ultimately find her passion, Buzzfeed News first reported. 

“I hate the letter ‘S,'” Mack’s college admission essay starts. “Of the 164,777 words with ‘S,’ I only grapple with one. To condemn an entire letter because of its use .0006 percent of the time sounds statistically absurd, but that one case changed 100 percent of my life. I used to have two parents, but now I have one, and the ‘S’ in ‘parents’ isn’t going anywhere.” 

A video of a soon-to-be Harvard freshman sharing her admissions essay that details her experience with losing a parent has gone viral.
(iStock)

Mack noted that even while she wrote her college essay the word “parent” was highlighted in blue, a symbol to check her grammar by the tool Grammarly, which, she says “assumes that I should have parents, but cancer doesn’t listen to edit suggestions.”

MISSING UTAH WOMAN FOUND LIVING IN A NATIONAL FOREST REPORTEDLY WANTED ‘SOLITUDE AND ISOLATION’

The Common App Essay that got me into Harvard #harvard #ShadowAndBone #SkipTheRinse #college #loss #singleparent #fyp

Mack’s essay details how she tried to distract herself from the thought of losing her mother – and all of the plural words with the letter “S” that reminded her of her loss – by signing up for clubs and extracurricular activities.

“You can’t have dinner with your parent … if you’re too busy to have family dinner,” she said, adding that she couldn’t fill the loss but that she could take control of her schedule and how she chose to fill her time.

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Then, she started taking note of what she really enjoyed doing, taking an interest in art and politics outside of just keeping busy to distract herself from feeling sad.

The teen’s story about living with grief garnered a slew of comments from teens who resonated with her experience. 

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“As a fellow Havard student who also had a parent die to cancer when I was young, this is beautiful. And WELCOME!! I can’t wait to meet you,” one TikTok user commented as reported by BuzzFeed.

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