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'being around people I don't know' - Common App


missrchelle 1 / 2  
Dec 8, 2011   #1
So I've sent this essay to a couple of my English teachers to edit, but I would definitely love some more input. I would be eternally grateful for some helpful comments! (This is my first draft)

The question is

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

The time had arrived. Anxiety ran amok and vocalizations resonated throughout the room. I can't say for sure how everyone else felt about this particular night, but for me, I knew exactly what was racing through my mind, coursing through my veins: uncertainty.

First, a little background: I am not one of your typical, dime-a-dozen girls. Sure, I dress like everyone else, talk like everyone else, and act like everyone else, but I spend my time differently. I, like the majority of my friends, am involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. Most of my time is spent being around people I don't know. Yet, for some reason, I was still very shy and soft spoken. I have lived under the spotlight but have never known exactly what to do with so many eyes watching me; instinctively I freeze. However, this night I would abandon instinct.

Just as quickly as the time arrived, the minutes took flight and careened out of control, going at a speed of Mach 15. Taking a life supporting breath, I walked down the hallway with shaking knees. I grabbed my microphone and approached the stage door, praying for a miraculous moment of awe-striking singing.

The last chords of "Will You Go With Me" echoed through the auditorium, followed by a thunderous applause. I walked out onstage as the red curtain was closing and set my microphone stand. A beam of light shone on me as the first notes of my song played. Indeed, the time had arrived.

Before then, I have never given a song so much emotion or care. In this moment, however, I poured my heart out to the hundreds of ears listening, desperately telling them my struggles, my pain, and my promise of a victory. At the climax of the song, I hit the D flawlessly and an eruption of applause waved through the audience. I knew then I made my point and it identified with everyone in the theater. I ended the song softly and the light dimmed, making room for a roar of applause.

I walked off the stage that night thinking about the change that occurred somewhere in the four minutes I was in the spotlight. I don't usually show so much of who I am to people, especially since I had never opened myself up to that hidden inner person. But that night, when I sang, it felt like I was finally breaking through the walls I have built up in myself and letting a light shine through. I had locked the true me in a prison cell and music held the key to free the captive. Being on the stage opened my heart to the possibility of a future in music, not just for enjoyment, but to partake in a never-ending journey of discovering myself.
leviator 7 / 39  
Dec 9, 2011   #2
I can't say for sure how everyone else felt about this particular night, but for me, I knew exactly what was racing through my mind, coursing through my veins: uncertainty.

This is a bit wordy. You could rewrite it as "I can't be sure of how others felt about this particular night, but I knew exactly what was racing through my mind: uncertainty."

Yet, for some reason, I was still very shy and soft spoken. I have lived under the spotlight but have never known...
Were you, or are you? The tense in these two sentences seems a bit off.

Just as quickly as the time arrived, the minutes took flight and...
Again, too wordy. All you're trying to say is the time to the event just flew by, so there's no need to state it again and again, in different ways.

"I knew then THAT I.."

There are a few places where you have used the passive voice when it isn't really required. Maybe you could try changing that.

Overall, I liked the idea, but I am a bit confused, if you have been living under the spotlight, why was this particular incident challenging or risky to you? Maybe you'd want to talk more about your lack of confidence. The ending is very nice :)


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