Describe one activity that has impacted your life significantly.

When I first heard of Forensics, I imagined a combination of Family Feud and a presidential inauguration. There I would stand – on a wide stage, a never-ending sea of people staring, and spotlights shining down. Imagine my surprise – and immense relief – when I discovered that I would only be speaking in a normal school classroom, in front of six other students and a judge.

And so, as a carefree freshman, I originally signed up for Forensics with no clue about what the actual activity was – something about murder and science, right? – and only because my crush at the time was very active in it. Yet on my first day of high school, I found myself in the most crowded class I had ever seen, learning that I would not only have to write ten minute-long speeches, but also memorize them and perform them over and over again – all while wearing a suit. I was horrified.

I will never forget my first tournament, how desperately I tried to find the rooms of my rounds and how nervously I delivered my speech for the very first time. When I exited my first round, I was greeted by our team’s varsity members, all clapping and cheering for me and the other novices. It was then that I learned the magic of competing on one of the largest and most...

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