Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

I would have never expected my life to change dramatically after a trip to the men’s room. However, on June 20, 2007, one did. I overheard a conversation that changed my point of view on nearly everything. “He didn’t even make it to Extemp Semifinals. Frankly I knew he wasn’t really that great of a speaker,” said the first young competitor. “Well, he may do okay in Impromptu,” replied the second one. “Only if the competition is mediocre,” said the first speaker as he was washing his hands. Then they both belted out a haughty laugh sending chills deep into my spine. I, Andrew Hosea, was eliminated from Extemp at Octafinals and would soon compete in another category, Impromptu. Feeling demoralized and downtrodden, I wondered how I would regroup for my upcoming Impromptu rounds at the national convention the following week.

Often, people change when they least expect it. Here I was a two-time national qualifier, the top speaker at my school, arguably one of the top speakers in town and I had been feeling like I was on top of the world. Initially, I felt much pride for my accomplishments. However, upon leaving that somewhat moldy and musty high school bathroom, I saw my self-esteem and confidence evaporate before my eyes quicker...

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