UC Prompt #2: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

When one envisions winning a state championship, it’s not usually pictured from the bench player’s perspective. However, as the seconds ticked down on the game clock and I sat in my dry swimsuit on the sidelines, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic as the crowd behind me erupted and the eyes of every player on my team became wet, not just from the pool, but with joy.

Joining water polo my freshman year, I had never even seen a single game played before. As a transfer student to Troy, from a city 45 minutes away, I knew no more than a handful of other students and had simply signed up as a way to meet people. Years of competitive swimming had made me fast in the water, but throwing a ball and other players into the mix was entirely new.

Two years and countless rookie mistakes later, I finally made the Troy varsity team. The practices--three hours a day--were longer, and the stakes--our three-year record as league champions--were higher. Every day, the entire team began practice by emptying a full five-gallon water jug while treading in the deep end and our enemy, the timer, callous as plastic can be, showed us our daily improvement, or lack of. Those nights, I would collapse on my bed after finishing homework, exhausted both...

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