No Pain, No Gain

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.

First, it was my leg. I was three years old, running around the grassy backyard in my sparkly purple leotard, quietly catching glances of my neighbors flying up and down from across the lawn. With a misguided confidence, I determined that I, too, should climb on the trampoline with the older kids: Mistake #1. The summer heat made my hair stick to my face and, wiping it aside, I took my first jump: Mistake #2. My feet met the hot, elastic surface with my knees bent and - snap. At age three, my oh so promising gymnastics career was over.

Next, it was my hip. I had put the days of my neon green leg cast behind me and was focused on much bigger and better things: sixth grade soccer. It was an autumn morning game with crunchy leaves rustling against the pavement of the parking lot and a calm breeze murmuring in my ears. Second half. Up by one. Playing right attack, I took one powerful umph to the ball and - pop - proceeded to tear tendons in my right hip. My season was over.

A couple of years later, it was my nose. Between rehab from my hip and tendonitis in both of my knees, I decided to take a break from soccer and focus on basketball. It was a valid decision - I polished off three consecutive seasons without injuring myself: an...

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