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The most important essay I ever wrote.

It's that time of year where millions of High School seniors across America are running to their mailboxes in hopes to find over-sized envelopes from the schools of their hopes and dreams. I can still recall opening my letter, and refreshing the Penn State website to see the status of my application changed from pending to accepted.

I wanted to share on the BonkerBeat what I believe to be the most important essay I ever wrote- my personal statement college essay.

I was not the best student in High School. I was not the worst either. In fact, I was the EXACT middle student of my grade in terms of GPA, with a 3.5 (Sparta High School class of '14 had like 100 kids with above 4.0 GPAs it was wild) My SAT score was 1720, back when it was on the 2400 scale. Good, but nothing spectacular. Not enough to get into Penn State in most likelihood, at least that was what the numbers were showing in my guidance counselor's office.

But what made all the difference for me was not my GPA or SAT score. It was my personal statement essay. That last little add-on to your application before you clicked submit and crossed your fingers. That was my angle, and my little bit of leverage I had to use in order to get my application to the next level.

I wanted to share it with you all as a reminder to you all to not take yourself too seriously, and also to remind yourself that your most important quality and selling point that makes you special is just that. YOU. You are one in a Zillion too. There is no one else out there that thinks the same way you do, has the same set of skills as you, has the same experiences or the same vision as you. Own that and make it your superpower. It can unlock doors you never thought you could open.

One in a Zillion

By Gordy Bonker II

Yes, that name on the top of the paper you see is, in fact, mine; and no, I was not named after a cartoon character. I was named after my father; however, other than him, I am the only Gordon Bonker in the United States; in fact, I am the only other Gordon Bonker in the world. There are 131 people in the United States with the last name of Bonker, and there are only 24 states that have a citizen with Bonker as their last name. 313.9 million people live in America, and there are over seven billion people in the entire world. The chance of having a Gordon Bonker attend your university is .00000000014285714%. You have better chances of hitting the lottery, being struck by lightning, and discovering fourteen new species of fish that only exist in fresh water all in the same day. To say this is a once in a lifetime opportunity is an incredible understatement.

If being named Gordy Bonker isn’t unique enough, I didn't make the basketball team until I was a junior in high school, I live in a log cabin, I have an extreme fear of lettuce, and I participate in a multitude of High School and community programs such as High School Baseball, Basketball, History Club, Key Club, Operation Smile, PDP (Peer Development Program), Pass it Along, STAC (Students Taking Action in the Community) and Sparta Umpiring Division. I also work as a counselor at the Sparta Baseball School Summer Camp and Sparta High School Basketball Camp and as an intern sports writer for

Academically, I am proud of my achievements, as I have gotten stronger each and every year of high school. I am aware of the fact that my GPA is slightly below Penn State’s average; however, I have shown consistency throughout high school and have increased my involvement of sports and clubs in order to benefit the school community. Penn State University is a school full of students who share my enthusiasm and involvement for school related functions, and is a school full of students who care for their futures and academic achievement as much as I do. Penn State University is my number one choice of school, and I would be blessed to have the opportunity to become a Nittany Lion. Just remember, when you are deciding my fate as a possible future student of the great establishment you are so fortunate to be a part of, the opportunity of having another young man named Gordy Bonker attend Penn State University will never arise again for the rest of eternity.

Feel free to share this blog with any other prospective High School seniors, and be sure to follow me on all my socials and subscribe to the blog and podcast!


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