Common App Essay- Central Story

Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


It happened out of sheer stubbornness. Seemingly overnight, I went from being a cross country runner to the girl on crutches. I thought it was just a cramp. All runners have them from time to time, no big deal, right? I stopped running, stretched (big mistake), and ran through it (bigger mistake). The day after, I took my time warming up. My coach, noticing my discomfort, approached me, but I shrugged it off. Still, the discomfort persisted. I paced myself andrepeated “keep going, the pain is in your head” as a mantra to myself. The next day I couldn’t even make it past the first mile. I had ignored my coach’s suggestion to take it easy; I was fine, why give up? I didn’t want to seem weak, and I didn’t want to be the first one to stop running. I was pigheadedly intent on finishing my 3 miles.

A few X-Rays and MRI scans later proved that the pain was not in my head after all. A torn tendon and several fissures in my femur were the cause for my discomfort—cue the crutches. My Hispanic and ever hyperbolizingmother enforced the doctor’s orders to the letter: no physical effort, no activity. To complain about meals in bed, full nights of sleep, and less time spent in school-related activities seems odd for a teenager. When those...

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