Hope Heals: Quest for New York City - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Hope Heals: Quest for New York City

Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

My whole life I have thought about one thing and one thing only: how to get to New York, New York.

I don’t know the moment the dream took root; I think it may have been before I could remember. I have always been in love with the glow of city lights and, to me anyways, there isn’t a place that shines brighter.

I want the hustle and bustle. I want to take a ride in an all-yellow taxi. I want to take my own picture of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Someone once described New York City as a place where something is always happening.

“Where else would I want to be?” I thought to myself.

I made my little cousin pinky swear when we were 10 that we would run away at 18 to pursue our promising careers as actresses. Then, years passed and that dream got put on shelf to collect dust.

Inflation, rent, pandemic-related issues and rising crime rates are real issues in American life right now and, honestly, the thought of moving even one more time threatens to keep me in my apartment forever.

Then, a few months ago, I got this letter in the mail.

It was an invitation to apply to Columbia University, more specifically its School of General Studies.

I had never even considered an Ivy League school for myself so, completely ignorant of their locations, I was shocked to see the address of Columbia at the bottom of the letter read New York, New York.

Before that day, I was solely planning on transferring to Michigan State University because my mother was a State fan and the campus is close. And then that letter changed everything for me.

I saw something strange on the page and held the letter up to the light; there was a crown in invisible ink. I knew in that moment, come hell or high water, I was going to do my very best to get in.

Maybe I won’t, but maybe I will but I will try with everything I have. My GPA isn’t perfect, I don’t have rich parents to make a donation on my behalf, and I am 90 percent sure serious debt will occur.

I couldn’t care less. To me, a chance to go to a school like that would mean that good things really can happen and maybe, just maybe, the American dream isn’t as dead as I thought.

I would make Columbia proud because I am exactly am the student that had to get there using only my own sweat, blood and tears.

 I could have had less stress in my life, but at the same time, people aren’t wrong when they say struggle builds character. I promise I have had to work tirelessly for everything I have.

I am honored to even be invited to apply to an amazing institution like Columbia, and will be just as grateful to be an MSU student if things don’t work out. However I want to hold that acceptance letter marked with a crown so bad.

Wish me luck.



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