Common App

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?


As I sat there, a wave of apprehension rolled over me. I don't have to do this. Nobody is forcing me to. In fact, there would be a score of people happy to see me give up. I drew a heavy sigh as I crumpled the paper in front of me and tossed it, letting it join the host of incomplete thoughts in the waste bin. A glance at the calendar told me I had three days until the band passes judgment on my ability to serve as the next drum major. Spurred by the approaching deadline, I retrieved the paper from the bin and headed to the mirror to rehearse my speech. Standing tall, I pretended to gaze around my audience.

"Hello, I'm trying out..." my voice faltered as I caught sight of my reflection. I paused, taking a moment to reassess myself. I am a freshman, yet the girl in the mirror looked older. If I was indeed older, perhaps I would've been met with less opposition from the senior class. To try out for drum major as a freshman was taboo, and many doubted that I could succeed due to my "lack of experience" in the marching band. Rather than being discouraged, their opposition propelled me to dedicate hours into preparing for the audition. In the days leading up to the audition, I convinced myself that if I studied the music score hard...

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