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common app essay- Saint Thomas vs Penn Relays

art4bg 2 / 4  
Nov 24, 2012   #1
Common App essay topic #1- evaluate a significant experience and its impact on you. Advice please!
I love to run. I love to race. To compete at Penn Relays was my ultimate goal. Since my freshman year, I dreamed that I would, one day, be good enough to run with the best in the nation at this exclusive high school track meet. To get there, my 4x800 meter relay team would have to qualify at an invitational meet. The only invitational meet left in the season before the deadline, was one scheduled over my spring break, junior year. My dream of running at Penn Relays could only become a reality if I could overcome one big obstacle: my parents.

With good intentions, my parents had scheduled a vacation for my family over spring break to the beautiful Caribbean Island of Saint Thomas. At any other time I would love to spend a whole week relaxing on the beach and soaking in the sun, but running in the meet was much more important to me. I did not want to let my team down.

Immediately, I began to think of a way to make competing possible. I decided the best option was to go on vacation with my family for a few days, train in Saint Thomas, and then leave early. This meant that I would be flying on an airplane to New Jersey by myself. I pitched my idea to my parents and the first words that came out of their mouths were, "no, that's not going to happen." I was devastated.

I spent the next several weeks trying to convince my parents that I was independent enough to fly alone. I reminded them that because I had flown with them on an airplane many times before, I was confident I could fly home alone. I explained that I felt comfortable navigating through the airport and catching the train because we had done those things so many times together. My parents spent many hours contemplating the idea. Finally, they agreed. Their decision to let me come home early meant the world to me.

After a short vacation, I boarded the airplane from Saint Thomas to New Jersey and made it home safely. At the qualifying meet, my relay team won the race, broke the school record and qualified for Penn Relays.

Some people might think I was crazy to give up a Caribbean vacation so I could run in a track meet; but to me, it was an easy decision. The sacrifice I made was worth it. Not only did I accomplish my dream of qualifying for Penn Relays by training hard and racing fast, I overcame a challenge. Because of the experience, I had the opportunity to show my parents how independent I had become. My parents also saw my commitment to my team and that I was willing to sacrifice a vacation so I could achieve my goal. I had the chance to grow and become more confident through this experience and will carry forward these traits through college and my future endeavors.
amandaisabel 2 / 4 1  
Nov 24, 2012   #2
It's a great obstacle that you faced and you clearly showed how you overcame the challenge! Try not to use so many "I"s in your sentences and combine short sentences like My parents spent many hours contemplating the idea. Finally, they agreed. Their decision to let me come home early meant the world to me. instead of saying this, try something like " After countless hours my parents finally agreed to allow me to come home early, that decision meant the world.

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