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Teen Shares Powerful Essay That Got Her Into Harvard



Quick Smiles:

  • Abigail Mack, a high school senior from Massachusetts, got accepted into Harvard with a powerful essay about the letter ‘S.’
  • Her essay, which focused on her experience of losing a parent, has gone viral with over 16 million views.
  • She’s using her newfound fame to help other students perfect their college essays, advising them to pour their passion into every part of their application.

Abigail Mack, a high school senior from Massachusetts, is one of the lucky few to be accepted into Harvard’s class of 2025. This year, the esteemed institution had its lowest acceptance rate ever, with only 1,968 of 57,435 first-year applicants making the cut.

Abigail’s acceptance is due in no small part to her powerful and thought-provoking essay. She took to TikTok to share a snippet of her work, which focused on an unusual theme: the letter ‘S.’

“I hate the letter ‘S,’” she read aloud on TikTok. “Of the 164,777 words with ‘S,’ I only grapple with one.”

Her essay delved into her personal struggle with the letter ‘S’ in the word ‘parents.’ After losing her mother to cancer, the constant reminder of the ‘S’ in ‘parents’ was a painful one.

“I used to have two parents, but now I have one, and the ‘S’ in ‘parents’ isn’t going anywhere,” she shared.


Abigail’s essay wasn’t just about her dislike for the letter ‘S.’ It was also about how she coped with her loss. She threw herself into school activities, joining clubs, sports, and performing in theatrical productions.

“There were so many things in my life I couldn’t control, so I controlled what I could – my schedule,” she said.

Eventually, Abigail realized she was hiding from her pain and decided to face it head-on. She honed her interests down to academics, theater, and politics, taking over the ‘S’ for her own purposes. Now, instead of thinking about the ‘S’ in parents, she concentrates on the double ‘S’ in passion.

Her unique approach to her essay didn’t just get her into Harvard. She also received offers from other top colleges like Northwestern and Notre Dame.

When she received a “Likely Letter” from Harvard, she reacted with “a lot of screaming” and couldn’t wait to get her official admission letter.

Abigail is excited to pursue her passion in Cambridge, Massachusetts, next fall. She plans to study humanities and social sciences, possibly focusing on French and foreign policy. In the meantime, her essay has gone viral with over 16 million views!


She’s using her social media platform to help other seniors hone their own college essays, advising them, “Pour your passion, whatever it is, into every fiber of your application.”

Abigail’s story is a shining example of how to channel personal experiences into something meaningful. We’re certain her mom would be incredibly proud of her!