University of Southern California
For a Time Such as This
Common App Essay
“Help, I can’t move,” cried a feeble voice. It was a trapped “victim.” At first, I froze in fear until my team leader yelled, “Radio out!” I composed myself, called our Incident Commander on the walkie-talkie, and reported, “Female, green top, red bottom, broken arm.”
"Perform the head-to-toe assessment and evacuate!” he instructed.
“Copy,” I responded.
We conducted a triage and carried the victim out of the bunker.
“Good job,” our section chief congratulated us upon our conclusion of the search and rescue drill. It was gratifying to be commended as the youngest team member in the exercise. Everyone was impressed with my confidence, especially after I tied a tourniquet on the victim's broken arm with my scarf. For me, this simulation activity was more than a routine training program for civilians - it was a watershed moment, a stark contrast to the turmoil I recently experienced.
Unexpected family emergencies disrupted my school life, from grappling with my mother’s cancer prognosis in Honolulu during my sophomore year to coping with my father’s quadruple heart bypass surgery in Singapore in my junior year. Soon after, my grandmother battled terminal cancer while my grandfather’s dementia deteriorated. It was heartbreaking...
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