Bittersweet Endings

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


I have an affinity for magnificent endings. The final words of a novel, the last bite of a salted caramel chocolate bar, or the teetering crescendos of a timpani at the end of a grand symphony by Beethoven are just a few examples. When life presents you with beautifully packaged situations, like Christmas presents on display during the holidays, you can almost taste the finality and accomplishment that is waiting for you at the end of it all. Thus, as I nervously approached the fifteen-foot metal podium to conduct the finale of my last senior year marching band show, I wondered if the conclusion of my marching band experience would live up to what I had hoped for.

I rubbed my sweaty hands anxiously in anticipation for the second half of the show, in which I was to conduct the finale. I am aware of the brilliant dazzling lights as well as the crowd’s cheers competing with the band blasting the jazzy runs of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen. And as I do before every performance, I mentally review the few checkpoints that prepare me for this last hurrah. In fact, it is these very checkpoints that translate to the bigger lessons that I have gathered from my experience in marching band.

The first is to stay confident. My...

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