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Describe a specific accomplishment or experience and its influence on you.


The blazing summer heat wears away at my body. I stare at the children laughing and splashing each other in the cool pool water. Sweat drips down my back begging me to jump in. I sit there, letting my mind race with ideas of excuses to leave. I wanted to be at home, in my bed, with gelid air conditioning. Instead, six days a week, I sat up in chairs watching and waiting for potential emergency situations. I counteract my lazy thoughts with thoughts of having the chance of jumping in to aid someone, these are the thoughts that drive me to stay.

I was half an hour into my six hour shift that sweltering afternoon, when my manager came up behind my chair and asked me to participate in our monthly Starguard audit. The pool’s monthly audits consist of “real-life” scenarios to test the skills of select lifeguards. As a first year guard, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Next thing I know, I am standing on deck, backboard in hands. The camera begins rolling. The sound of three tweets from my co-worker’s whistle echoes in my ear. My heart begins racing, my anxiety bubbles up in my chest, and my mind is screaming ideas of how this could go wrong. I force myself to shove down the worrying that I do too often.

Everything feels...

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