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Common App Essay #4: How Whistling Changed My Perspective On Life

pdjr43dm 1 / -  
Nov 3, 2015   #1
For University of Virginia : Word Count range(250-650 words)
Here is my essay:
I was not born a genie who could magically accomplish tasks, but my dad catapulted me in that direction. It was a Sunday afternoon when I was in third grade; I could hear dishes clanking like the tinkles of wind chimes from one corner of the house and amorphous voices and buzz from another corner. All these sounds were typical and had become white noise for me. However, within the mix of noises a sustained high frequency pitch stood out. Like a dog, I sniffed out the noise. What sat in front of me was not an inanimate object, but my father. As I observed, he blew a puff of air and the pitch came of his mouth. He was the most relaxed I had seen in a while. I immediately thought, "Oh, that was so relaxing. It would definitely help get stress out of me sometimes. I got to learn this!" Mesmerized, I asked, "Daddy, how did you do that?" He was the not best instructor, but his instructions were simple and to the point. "Make an O and blow," he said. Without hesitation, I molded my mouth into an O shape and gave my best blow, as if blowing the candles on my sweet-sixteen cake. Despite the effort, nothing came out. Relentlessly, I blew several more times one after another until my mouth was worn completely sore. What I didn't know was that within a few hours I would be on the web researching whistling competitions. As random and as ridiculous as it seemed during that moment it actually encouraged me to practice my whistle. My inner competitive self told me not to run away from trying but to approach whistling in the same way I learned other skills such as routine practice, despite the possibility of failing to whistle. My goal was simply to whistle with no intentions of becoming a professional at it.

At school, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of whistlers among my friends. They were perfect subjects to observe since they had already mastered the unprofessional form of whistling. Watching them whistle with ease, I tried doing the same first by imagining the whistling then reenacting it. Over the next several weeks, I gradually tweaked my muscles and with each blow the pitch improved. First, it was disconnected and scratchy, however slowly the tone improved but was not complete. One day, I was just carelessly whistling and a pitch perfect whistle came out. Although, I did not dedicate hours to practicing whistling like I would with an instrument, that whistle brought great satisfaction.

From this whistling experience, I realized that life provides many opportunities, but those opportunities can only become concrete experiences when I desire more knowledge and persevere in their pursuit. Had I not been persistent with my whistling, it would have been unlikely for me to see how small events can be significant. An event does not have to be monumental to be impactful; sometimes, the smallest most unnoticed events have the most impact. This quality is truly versatile in any situation whether it be college life, where opportunities are presented, or in the real world where responsibility are to be taken. As I approach the next stage of my life, college, I understand that opportunities do not emerge out the clear blue sky. It takes curiosity and drive for learning and then persistence to achieve success.

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