College Essay: Sabrina Mihailescu to Attend The Ohio State University


Sabrina Mihailescu, Contributor '23

I live in a snow globe world. Sometimes, I compare my life to the lives of my friends with far better circumstances than my family. My parents came from Bucharest, Romania to the United States in 1997 with four pieces of luggage and two thousand dollars cash, with no one in America waiting for them. America was a dream to them, learning about it when they were kids from watching Hollywood movies, never thinking they would one day live there. I’m fortunate enough to go to private school, something that my parents, having grown up in Communist Romania, never would have ever dreamed of. My parents value education, having been top of their class. That’s a tough thing to live up to. So, when someone asks me who I look up to most, there’s no question that it’s my parents.

I love my family’s background despite the reality of being a first-generation, only child, brings. Being from two different cultures can be complicated, sometimes stressful. Most people can’t guess where I’m from. They see my last name as a long word with a bunch of vowels that gets butchered every time the announcer announces me before a volleyball or lacrosse game (funniest one sounded like “Molestu”). I love when people ask me where it’s from or how to pronounce it, to which I always respond “Me-hey-less-q”. My least favorite part, however, is that my parents and I only get to see our family once a year. It takes us nearly twenty hours to travel to Romania every summer, a trip that we can only afford to make once a year. That means no family Christmases, no family Thanksgivings, and no Easter reunions. It’s been extremely hard on us when we finally do see them that one time of year at my grandmother’s apartment in Bucharest. Every year, I leave not knowing if I’ll see my Bucharest grandmother the following year. I know my Mom and Dad miss them too, but they remind themselves that they are living a much better life here. But it can be lonely at times.

My father’s father built a country house in a small town about forty minutes from Bucharest. One night, one of the local girls, Anastasia, took me out on a bike ride through the little town. We passed by a small park, several houses, a train station, and at the end of the street took a dark path through a cornfield back home because the bike she gave me broke down. She told me that she had the most she ever had that night. For me, it was a night in a whole different world where I got to experience fun in the simplest way: buying a Hell energy drink from the closest corner store, picking off a stack of corn to chew on, trying raw sunflower seeds for the first time, and riding a tiny bike to the train station where the kids in that little town all go to hang out. For her, this was a normal night; for me it was special. Because she has never traveled outside the country, I was the most international thing she’s ever known.

When I came home after that trip, I returned to my alternate world; a world in which I am a Smoothie King employee. It is through this job that I live up to my parents in terms of perseverance. On October 1, 2021, our manager quit which caused the rest of our staff to put in their immediate leave. I was crushed by this sudden change. Smoothie King had been like a second home, where everyone was close, but I had to accept that it was over. I was overworked due to having no staff and I had done things beyond what my job required me to do. After several months of having no staff, our store had become a mess. I despised my job, but I could not leave. I’m not a quitter. I am what I like to call the only member of Og Smoothie king that remains. My parents never quit, nor should I – plus with the extra money maybe I’ll use it to buy Anastasia a Hell energy drink this summer.