May 1st is fast approaching, and the time for the high school class of 2019 to make their final college decisions is dwindling. Choosing which college to go to is overwhelming, but the dozens of essays one has to write to merely apply is even more daunting. It also doesn't help when you apply to way too many schools (13 to be exact), nearly all of which want you to outline what makes their school stand out. It was all too easy to get trapped in the cycle of repetitive phrases and "smart-sounding language."

However, when it came to writing my actual college essay which was to be sent to every school, it seemed to just flow onto the paper. Despite not choosing a specific Common App prompt, I knew exactly what I was going to write about—food. 

Unlike fellow applicants, I did not have an incredible story to tell, nor an obstacle that I overcame worth a college admission officer's time. What I did have standing behind me was a passion for peanut butter and jelly, the best desserts in New Jersey, and outlandish food gadgets that probably no one needs.

The Essay

I am a massive foodie. By definition, I am a person who really appreciates a good meal. It also makes me the person who makes dinner reservations for a vacation before the plane tickets and hotel rooms are booked, and one that celebrates a ten mile run with a slice of Cheesecake Factory’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake. Is it the most healthy hobby? Probably not. But fun? Of course.

I am not sure what drew me to food, but maybe it is the fact that my earliest memories are of grabbing every sample possible at Sam’s Club, eating holiday dinners of kugel and brisket, and standing on the countertop making a batch of Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. I learned to read a nutrition label before I could read a book and I learned the basics of food before I could count to ten. From childhood until now, although my taste buds have changed, and I have grown a liking for broccoli and lasagna, my infatuation with food remains constant.

Marisa Palace

Or maybe it is because I love how food is a social event. My family makes a point to eat our dinners as a unit. You can even count on my dog joining us in the kitchen when dinner is served. Whether we are eating one of my mom’s extravagant home-cooked meals or scarfing down a delivery pizza before we have to run out of the house, my family congregates at the table to catch up with each other.

Fridays are our nights out to dinner to celebrate the fact that we made it through another week. The choice of restaurant depends on whoever’s turn it is. My brother, not at all a food fanatic, always says anywhere. My dad loves to joke that Anywhere is too far or too expensive or whatever excuse he could make to get a chuckle out of me. To this day, I can always count on Friday night plans, even if it means eating dinner out with my parents. After dinner, you might discover my sister and I binge-watching the latest documentary about the juice cleanse (we’ve seen all three) while munching on a bag of Chex Mix.

Marisa Palace

This communion continues with my friends. You can find me on any given Saturday night chatting about the latest gossip and sharing our opinions on last night’s Bachelor in Paradise episode. This conversation isn’t complete unless we are chowing down on a smorgasbord of chicken chow mein, mozzarella sticks, and Pringles. Our way of celebrating our gratefulness towards one another is by hosting a Friendsgiving. Our annual feast boasts piles of our favorite foods. Luckily, when you are with friends, calories do not count.

I adore food. Not in the way where I don’t have a limit, but in the way that food just so happens to be a vital part of so many happy moments. I’m not a glutton, I just really like to smile. I cannot remember a time when food did not in one way or another make me or someone else happy. Even during the saddest or most stressful of situations, spending some quality time with Ben and Jerry can make it all better. Food is one of the most basic human needs, but it has grown into an integral aspect of our society where people look to it for comfort. When you are surrounded by foods and people who care for you, you don’t need much more. Although, extra dessert never hurts.

Where the Essay Led Me

Marisa Palace

After a few rejections, long college road-trips, and some delicious college cookies as seen in the photo above, I have officially committed to Northeastern University. I am so excited to start the next journey of my education as a Husky. Although my time at Spoon High School comes to a close, Spoon Northeastern awaits.