The two characteristics that appeal to me most came to me via the lessons one learns from navigating the unexpected waters of life. These two characteristics are learning and leadership. In my first year of high school, I joined the cross country team and fell in love with running. Freshman year was carefree and my responsibilities revolved around getting good grades and a fast time on my mile. Then reality kicked in and I began to visualize my future. As my single parent mom struggled to make ends meet at home, I realized the dream I always had of attending Florida State wasn't a guarantee, it was something that I had to work for to make a reality. I had to decide my pathway and in order to do that I needed to make sacrifices. In my first hard lesson learned, I realized I had to give up some extracurricular activities such as sports, and the five day a week training, to have a job. Florida had just posted the worst unemployment rate in decades, but my focus on getting an afterschool and weekend job was as intense as achieving my six minute mile. I knew I could do it with perseverance. I found a position as a Subway Sandwich artist where I have been working for two years. Starting as a food prep person sorting cold cuts, the skill sets I gained and knowledge of teamwork, exceptional customer service, time management, and responsibility have advanced my position to include running the entire Subway shop and training new employees. This is where the characteristic of leadership comes in. The choices I have made on my own have empowered me. I know I will never take the opportunity to go to college for granted, as I have made some difficult choices to get there. I have evolved into a leader I feel proud of, and enthusiastically tell all who are starting down the path I took, that the rewards are far greater than I ever could have hoped for. I look back on the lessons I have learned from my mom's high work ethic and my brother, who struggled financially at his first year at FSU and am proud I was able, through the sacrifice of extracurricular, to turn them into valuable life lessons. I am confident I will be able to pay my own way through college, by organizing my time and focusing on that ultimate goal. I would be honored to have the opportunity to share my leadership skills and what I have learned with the student body of Florida State University. Go 'Noles!
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