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College Essay Jeanette

Essay by   •  December 22, 2010  •  Essay  •  498 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,008 Views

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"Find a penny, pick it up. For three days, you'll have good luck." The first time I heard that expression I was watching an American movie in a theatre 50 miles from my house. It just so happened that I had never seen an American before, and I was so amazed at how they looked so different, yet sounded just like my friends and family. The next day home my father explained to me the magic of voice-overs.

It took a few months for me to get over my embarrassment to ask my father what exactly that saying meant. And, it would take a few years for me to actually hold a penny in my hand. In Pakistan there is no money on the streets. Whether you've seen the huge mountain ranges in the paper (supposedly home Bin Laden), or clips of the ferocious, never-ending battle for Kashmir, its common knowledge that Pakistan is not a country of wealth. To find a penny on the ground would be like finding a twenty dollar bill on the ground in the U.S., something you wouldn't need to tell me even once to pick up. At least, that's what I thought before coming to America.

In America pennies cost more to make than they are worth. Americans are virtually LOSING money on the production of them. And no one even wants them. Not only are the streets littered with them, but at every food service store across the country there are small garbage cans solely for them labeled "tip jar." Even at the Subway I work at, many customers refuse to even touch the dirty coin and instead motion towards its small garbage can with a nod of the head or hand. After all, there is nothing you can buy for 1 cent. Only the occasional sympathetic vending machine gives away small snacks for under a dollar.

Within my first year of living in America, I had become discouraged with the penny and all its worthlessness. How could good luck come from a penny? Or worse yet, how could ANYTHING come from a penny?

It was in this moment of despair, when I was flipping through the channels on the TV after a long day of school, when I saw an ad for CoinStar. I watched as the old man dramatically smashed open his piggy band, dumped it into a giant vacuum, and fresh green cash flew into his hands. It wasn't that there was much money that anyone could really get out of loose change, it was that something could be made out of something worthless, and that's what America is all about. I realized that in life, you can start with nothing and end

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