Falling Toward the Future

This was a essay of choice on the Common Application.


“Samantha Nicole!” my mother began. The deliberate usage of my middle name indicated she was preparing to reprimand me. I instantly knew I had been caught peering underneath my neon pink Barbie bandage. As do most young children, I chose to satisfy my curiosity over my mother. The scrape I had received from the playground pavement was just too intriguing to ignore. My eyes widened in wonder at the little red circle on my knee. Just a day ago, it had been brand new, and now, with the help of a modest amount of hydrogen peroxide, it was half the size. Although as a six year old observer I had no comprehension of the complex mechanisms at work, my fascination with the body’s ability to heal was already apparent.

Scrapes were the most serious injuries I needed to worry about until last October. The Friday before the season’s third football game, I fell six feet during a cheerleading stunt. I attempted to land on my feet, but rolled my right ankle. After the doctor exclaimed that my bruised and swollen ankle was the worst he had seen in his career, I knew that the injury would not heal in the amount of time initially projected by my school’s athletic trainer. Usually, a hairline fracture on a talus bone and a sprained ankle would...

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