A College Essay that Works

A College Essay that Works

by Brave Writer student, Adrian
Written for our College Admissions Essay class

I sat on my bed with my laptop, watching my mouse hover over a bright orange checkout button. This virtual shopping cart was not simply holding a book or phone charger. My cart contained every cent I had in the form of computer parts. “I should just wait a little longer for a dell computer. They are more expensive, but there is no chance for me to break it.” Despite this reasoning, I would not let my nerves sway me, so I ignored the knots in my stomach and clicked.

I had wanted to build a desktop for over a year. At first, I planned on ordering a brand name desktop online, but while looking at reviews I saw an article titled “Building Your Desktop!” Building a desktop would cost less and perform better than name brand products. The one glaring issue however was that, if I messed up, I wouldn’t be able to call anyone to help. I was responsible for picking the right hardware and fixing any issues.

But I had decided to go through with it. I saved up my money, mowing lawns, working at a kennel, and collecting coins. Once I had enough I ordered the parts I needed. Waiting them to ship was like counting threads on a shirt, but I won’t forget the day they finally arrived. It was a late Thursday afternoon and it was pouring rain. My brother texted me at work to say, “IT’S HERE!!”

When I arrived home, I found two large boxes covered in a clear plastic sheet, speckled with rain. The first box contained my large and hefty case: a black tower with a glass side. The second box had everything else. Nothing was missing or damaged and my unease immediately lifted. I slept thinking about tomorrow’s exciting task.

The next morning I carried everything downstairs to my basement. It was cold and slightly damp from yesterday’s storm, but it was the perfect place to work. My father had not built a computer since people went to grab a coffee while they’re computer booted up, so he was as excited as I was. Once everything was out of its packaging and I had stripped to my boxers (more traditional than practical) I began. Everything was going smoothly. Although, there were two moments where everything seemed to have been ruined.

My first dilemma took place during the homestretch. Everything was put together and the days’ work was coming to a close. I was pushing my memory card into its slot, but it was being very difficult. I pushed as hard as I dared, watching the motherboard bend to a gut wrenching extent. I was just about to stop when I heard an ear-splitting crack. I looked up at my father who was staring at the computer wide eyed. “What…What was that?” he said. I knew it was the motherboard. An entire day’s effort ruined and several weeks of waiting seemed inevitable, but by the grace of the universe my motherboard was unharmed. A loose bolt had simply shot out of its hole. I had never felt so sick to my stomach before finding the bolt. The final hurdle occurred after everything had been put together. The operating system would not load. I spent an entire day uninstalling, reinstalling, repairing and troubleshooting. I finally tried returning my hard drive. Three days later I was sent a new one and my computer ran like a dream.

Even a year later my computer (The_Bull) runs like new. Since that day I have convinced several of my friends and my brother to build their own desktops and have helped them along the way. Everything from picking a case to putting into their rooms. I even helped a few friends back in India. I love working with computers and helping other people enjoy them. I want to help them click that bright orange button.


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