The Phoenix

Hannah - Bridgeport, Connecticut
Entered on June 3, 2008

The Phoenix

Some people may consider their favorite animal to be a lion or an elephant because they symbolize strength and power. I am not one of those people. In fact, strangely, my favorite animal is not 500 pounds and it does not contain ferocious teeth. My favorite animal is approximately 50 pounds, has flaming red feathers, and is completely fictional. My favorite animal is the phoenix.

The University of Southern California always seemed like an unattainable fantasy to me; a glorified dream that had been with me ever since I discovered its existence. I was planning to go into film; I had been since I was five years old. This school has the oldest film school in America and produces some of the best that the industry has to offer. I knew in my heart that there was no way that I would ever get into that school. They only accept 50 students worldwide into their film school every year.

In April, I got a letter from the USC Office of Admissions. It was thin and light-weight. If you’ve been accepted to a college, everyone knows the envelope is thick and large. As I unfolded the letter, my eyes weren’t prepared for the news printed there in black and white. I had been accepted into the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Tears poured down my cheeks and I called my mom and began the spread of good news.

Then came the little problem of whether or not I could afford to go. The school had given me a scholarship of $17,000 a year, but tuition is $49,000. My parents could see how much I wanted it and at first told me I could go, but eventually revoked their okay. I do not remember what happened after they told me the news because apparently I fainted. I went into a shock, placing me in a catatonic state. My mom called the paramedic who was able to bring me back into consciousness.

The next day, after spending a majority of it in bed, feeling unbelievably sorry for myself, I pulled something out of my heart that I didn’t think I was capable of doing, courage. I decided to go to the Admitted Students Ceremony in New York City. There would be financial aid people there to talk to so I channeled my anger and pain into a usable and willful power.

Apparently I made an impression with my story. I was granted $13,000 more towards my scholarship and on top of that they offered me a job in their office on campus when I go out there.

People who saw me through that time are still in awe about how I handled the situation. It showed my true strength and will to accomplish my dreams. That is why the phoenix is such an admirable creature to me because I am able to relate so strongly to its mythology. The phoenix bird symbolizes immorality, resurrection and life after death. I believe in rising from the ashes.