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My great singing performance in the Talent Show of Harvard AUSCR Summit for Young Leaders in China


Jessica Xie 5 / 10 5  
Dec 12, 2016   #1
Supplement essay: Beyond your academic credentials and extra curricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful? Provide us with some suggestion of the type of person you are. Anything goes! Inspire us, impress us, or just make us laugh. Think of this optional opportunity as show and tell by proxy and with an attitude.

Based on this question, I wrote a writing sample about singing. However, I noticed that it says "beyond extra curricular accomplishments", so I'm a little uncertain here. Does this essay fit the question well? And also, any comments or thoughts would be much appreciated.

(I'm actually thinking of deleting the first paragraph, it seems a little wordy and unnecessary here, will it be better to just delete it or save it?)

This is not a story of straight success. Maybe some people would not even regard singing as my greatest talent as I've failed so many times. But this is a story about myself, about how I changed the way I sing and why I sing.

I was told to have a great voice since I was young. So it came naturally when I was selected into the elementary school choir, performing at multiple places since then. Three years of experience in the choir gave me a lot of happiness. Singing in the spotlight proudly in front of the audience, I always felt being recognized and appreciated. Yet beyond this sense of achievement, I didn't know what singing actually meant to me.

When I stepped into Junior High, there was no choir owing to academic pressure. Hoping to get my happiness back, I turned to singing competition in school. However, it did't work this time. For the first time in my life, I stood on the stage on my own instead of just following others, feeling deeply tenacious and lost. I kept forgetting the lyrics and the performance was just a sprawling mess. I at last could not come up with a single word and had to wait there until the host sent me off the stage! After this "scandal", nearly everyone thought I was about to give it up. Nonetheless, my tough nature came into play and it did not take long for me to refill energy and hope again.


Waiting for next year's competition, I practiced through my phone and learned from performance videos whenever I was free. After another semi-successful attempt in Junior, I was all the way through the finals and made it to Top10 out of 300. I went to the judge after the competition and asked him why I was not good enough to be the best. He told me that I grasped all the skills but emotion. Sadly, I was not able to touch the audience.

I was confused by what he said for a long time until the day I watched the Voice of China with my parents. Surprisingly, my father wept hearing the singer's emotional interpretation of the song. I seemed to understand something. Beyond the good voice and skills, what a singer need is the emotion from within. Clearly, a song is great most because of the emotion that is vested by the singer. From that time, not only did I practice, but I studied the song, learned the stories behind, and interpreted it again and again. My endeavors paid off and I was allowed to pass the super selective audition in Talent Show of Harvard AUSCR Summit for Young Leaders in China (Hsylc) and became one of the three people who got a chance to sing in front of a hall of people from the whole country. After the show, a girl came to me and expressed her appreciation for my performance. She said she was brought by my singing to her happiest moment. There were no better compliments. I knew I finally made it. Over the years, singing has long ceased to be my way of getting recognized by others. Instead, it is an enjoyment. I enjoyed this process of bringing other people emotional impact. No matter what I do in the future, I shall always keep singing.

Holt [Contributor] - / 9,305 2862  
Dec 12, 2016   #2
Jessica, this is your opportunity to show a different side of your personality to the reviewer. Do you really want to use it talking more about singing when you are being encouraged to think outside of your comfort zone and present a side of you that the reviewer may not know about based upon the standard application prompts? Personally, I would strongly encourage you to present something other than singing to the reviewer.

Perhaps you have a quirky character trait like collecting colorful rubber bands. Or a strange interest such as taking care of an ant farm. Maybe you can ride a unicycle. Think of sharing some information about you that will have the reviewer believe that there is still more to you as a person than just being a good singer. Aside from singing, what other activity do you enjoy doing? Try to share that side with the reviewer.

As a supplemental essay, this is your chance to talk about something other than what the reviewer knows you are applying for, so go beyond singing. Find that unique something about you that could help the reviewer decide that you just might have more to you than meets the eye.
OP Jessica Xie 5 / 10 5  
Dec 12, 2016   #3
@Holt
Thank you for your feedback!

When you are saying an unusual character, actually the first word that came up to my mind is"stubborn". I think I am a kind of stubborn person who will insist what I believe to be right. There is one thing, I think, that may reflect my "stubborn" character. However, I'm not so sure about the topic, it's a little complicated. Could you please help check it? So the thing is:

When I previewed my transcript online for college application, I found that I didn't have grade for one of the course in 10th grade(instead, it's a slash). So I when to the school authority only to find that neither of the students has grades for this course because the teacher submitted the wrong format to school and they just kelp this way for 2 years without correcting it!! It seemed that I was the first person who found this problem, yet the school refused to correct because they thought it was just too troublesome and not worth for simply adding a number.( It means everyone's transcripts had to be revised.) Although everyone(even some of my classmates) didn't want to be entangled with this, I refused to compromise because even though it was just a number, it was also the proof of our hard work. So I went to the various people in charge time after time, hoping to solve this problem. And then one day, I waited our headmaster outside her office for nearly four hours, finally getting a chance to discuss this with her. Upon my strong request, this problem was eventually settled and everyone got their grade back.

Sorry it's a bit wordy, but this is basically how it goes. Please let me know if this topic is ok for this essay. Thanks a lot!
Holt [Contributor] - / 9,305 2862  
Dec 12, 2016   #4
It is definitely okay and you should develop it further for the presentation. Don't forget, the reviewer will be looking for the humorous side to your stubbornness so make sure to inject some laughs into the narration. This is a very lighthearted essay that should not take itself too seriously, even if the topic you are discussing is as serious as a heart attack. Before I forget, there are some grammatical alterations that need to be done because you are using the wrong term in the essay. These corrections are as follows: o ... when to = went to... , kelp = kept, and WAS not worth for simply adding a number, waited FOR our headmaster. I decided to correct these portions in your current work now because I have a feeling that you will be using those sentences in their original presentations and positions in the paper. We might as well correct those now. I am still looking forward to the revised and enhanced version of this new essay of yours though. From what I can read so far, I am sure this is going to be one funny story by the time you are done with it.


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