Battle Scars

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.

Of all markings that can grace the human body -- above moles, freckles, or even tattoos -- scars hold the most meaningful anecdotes. They display proudly won battles and mistakes on the individual who bears them. I have a few scars myself, the most prominent bisecting my dorsal side like the equator. Each time someone catches a glimpse of it when the back of my shirt falls below the nape of my neck, he inevitably asks, “What is that from?”

My mother is surprised that I’m never insulted when people ask; after all, scars aren’t a sign of beauty by our cultural standards. However, I am pleased that people wish to understand me better. So I gladly tell them the story of my battle -- my struggle with scoliosis. The fight I fought from second grade until seventh grade, when the problem was finally resolved, leaving my back scarred, but straight. This issue resulted in many x-rays (so many that sometimes I feel radioactive), many visits to the orthopedic office, and many years of wearing a back brace, a correctional apparatus that resembles a Shakespearean-Era corset.

When I first wore my brace to school, it was a game. I would coyly approach unsuspecting third graders and say, withholding a smirk, “punch my stomach.” They would...

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