Prompt : Gettysburg Supplemental essay: Gettysburg College students are engaged learners and "make a difference both on and off campus through their academic and extracurricular activities. Describe a situation in which you have made a difference in your school or community and what you learned from that experience.
I stand behind the stage, desperately trying to ignore the clamorous roar of the crowd. The performance preceding mine is good. When the applause reaches my ears, I can tell it's quite a success. I am excited yet filled with anxiety, because after the minute introduction the next performance is mine. It's the annual AIDS Talent Show Fund-raising concert, and there is one thing I cannot avoid: my group is next on stage.
Nervousness penetrates my body. My feet grow heavy and stick to the floor. My hand holding the microphone is half-frozen. My partner stares at me with worry. I fall short of returning a reassuring glance. This time, after two months of rehearsals, I can't let her down just because of my nervous temperament. I once aspired for a chance to showcase my ability. But now something is blocking me, hampering me from going ahead. There are two sides of me fighting. One side pulls me back, indignantly screaming, trying to convince me that I'll be the object of ridicule. The other side is encouraging, pushes me forward toward the stage. I don't want to look foolish in front of the crowd. I have an epiphany: I don't take risks.
When we enter the stage, my feelings are a mixture of reluctance and a desire for exposure. My heart is going to jump out of my chest as I inhale the cold air of the winter night. The dazzling rays from the floodlight above make my face wrinkle. I'm simultaneously dizzied by the music from a speaker only a few feet away. It is awkward seeing my partner remember exactly every step, and move on skillfully as we have always practiced. I timidly sing, "There is a place in your heart. And I know that it is love. And this place could be much brighter than tomorrow. And if you really try, you will find that there is no need to cry." All of a sudden my voice cracks on a high note. My concentration breaks. I forget the lyrics to the song. The stage is now engulfed with silence. Then I see people frowning at me. Realizing that I ruin the performance, I find myself on the horns of a dilemma.
Then it hits me. I'm not doing this show for me. I'm doing this for a cause I champion. Giving up here isn't going to affect only me. I signed up to give people a show and help raise money. I spent months preparing for it. I won't waste this chance. I know the moves. I know the lyrics. To break through the crowd's mumbling, I walk frontwards and scream for attention. With their eyes on me, I raise the microphone and begin singing. I struggle a bit with the steps, but I can control my voice. People begin to focus on the stage. I continue singing, "Heal the world, for a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race" The rhyme and lyric harmonize, accented by the beautiful dance between us. The audiences are screaming, dancing and waiving their hands enthusiastically under the reign of music. This feeling is so unforgettable, in a sense, it's magical. Never have I thought that I would reverse the situation but, this is reality. This is true. I have done it and I have accomplished.
That night I won the award for Most Impressive Performance and the show received the largest donation ever and full supports from people who really care for patients suffering from AIDS. The pride that you can change a situation, you can turn "bad" to "good", you can do "the impossible" and the feeling that the stage and the audiences are yours count more. I realize that I can't be afraid to take risks. There's always something more at stake - whether it's something I believe in or learning to pick myself up when I fall down.
Please help me with feedback. I have to submit this to common application soon. My friends tell that there are some choppy sentences. Please suggest me ways to improve the conclusion as I'm not yet satisfied with it. Thank you so much for your help in advance !
It's the annual AIDS Talent Show fund -raising concert...
I guess I just think that you should edit for conciseness. Try to take out a few sentences and phrases. It is a great, inspiring story, but tone down the anxiety you felt before going on stage. The great part is when you experience the mixture of "reluctance and a desire for exposure"... I really like that!!
I think you should omit the song lyrics.
Yes, it is great to realize that your success also means success for those you support! Very well done.