Opening the Door to Strength

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

My heavy breathing was the only sound echoing within the room. This was it. The moment where all of our hours of research and practice were being evaluated in a 10 minute documentary followed by an intense Q&A. "My documentary has to be perfect. My answers have to be perfect," thoughts of perfection bombarded my mind. Then, the judge’s lips parted open, “Your group may begin.”

National History Day: a competition that annually engages students across the globe to conduct original research on a chosen historical topic. My participation benefited me in aspects beyond expectations. Especially with the guidance of my 8th grade teacher Ms. Marrella, the skills I developed during the months of preparation have allowed me to achieve the academic success I strive for; one skill being the ability of conducting serious research. My familiarity with resources such as Facts on File gave me an advantage when entering high school. My experiences through National History Day benefited me both in academic and personal aspects.

Staring at the floor, I felt my hands shaking in my pockets. This was the tenth time I practiced my public speaking skills in a single day; however, no progress was visible through my perspective. I was still not...

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