Early Mornings and Late Nights

What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time? (350 words)


I jolt up, my head rapidly whipping around. I angrily slam my hand down, snoozing the alarm. I’m all ready to head back to sleep, concluding I accidentally left my school alarm on last night, but then I jolt up yet again.

Debate! Today is the tournament, and I’m supposed to be at the school in 20 minutes. I hastily throw my trademark pantsuit on, tie hair into a power ponytail, and strap my 4-inch heels on. Then, I grab my bag stuffed with my laptop, flow paper, pens, and chargers. It’s going to be a long day.

My involvement with debate has changed my life in two ways: ruining my Saturday mornings and teaching me that, despite my own personal opinion, I don’t know it all. In winters, my typical Saturday consists of waking up at 6 a.m. to passionately debate hot-button issues with fellow teenagers. And while I swear my blood is 50% coffee, I wouldn’t change that for the world. I started debate in my freshman year solely at the urging of my friends. I stuck. I was drawn to a world where teenagers had fun arguing the merits of domestic surveillance and gaping wide-eyed at each other when they don’t agree on Kant’s Categorical Imperative. I remember looking up at the seniors on our team, both literally (I’m 5’1) and figuratively. I...

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