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'Learning to accept the facts' - UC #2 - Stuttering

xamanda 8 / 21 2  
Nov 25, 2012   #1
Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

//This is my common app essay, I got pretty good feedback from both my AP English Language and my AP English Lit teachers so I wanted to use it. I changed it a little to fit the prompt more, but I'm scared it still doesn't answer the question. I'm going off the "experience" part of the prompt, but I'm worried it doesn't show enough about me ("how does it relate to the person you are?").

I think my stuttering began when Felicia yelled at me for knocking down her Lego tower. The favorite of all the teachers, Felicia ruled the Over the Rainbow daycare center with her countless Barbie dolls and her too-cool-for-nap-time attitude. So, when it was my word against her very convincing, "She did it on purpose!" I panicked. Spluttering out a few incoherent syllables, I clenched my Beanie Baby and began to cry.

And so began my speech impediment and the package that came with it-listening to insensitive, yet spot-on imitations from classmates, facing questions of "Why do you t-t-talk like th-th-this," being denied a speaking role in our third grade production of Share Bears, and even being assigned an English as a Second Language specialist after my second grade teacher mistook my stutter as a lack of fluency in English (after a couple sessions of reciting, "One house. Two houses. One mouse. Two mice," followed by copious, overenthusiastic praise, it was determined I had no problem understanding English and I was left to read Charlotte's Web in peace).

However, most of the burden was emotional. A flurry of questions constantly occupied my head: Am I going to stutter? What if I stutter? Will this person be angry? Will this person laugh? Many people, people who actually spoke every syllable the correct number of times, frequently offered suggestions that all boiled down to one phrase: self-confidence. It surrounded me like an overplayed infomercial: Have more self-confidence and all your problems will be over! Basically, I was told to tell myself this problem doesn't exist, and I'd always roll my eyes at this unrealistically oversimplified solution. As a realist, I knew there was no magical cure-I was a stutterer.

And so, I began learning to accept the facts. I stopped feeling panicked when I began stuttering. I stopped wrinkling my face in disgust whenever I watched a video of myself talking. I started feeling more comfortable raising my hand in class, ordering food, or talking on the phone. What used to be a fear of stuttering was, over time, reduced to an annoyance that I was tired of putting up with. With a so-be-it attitude, I learned to feel comfortable about my speech. But ironically enough, this, in itself, is self-confidence. Self-confidence is not necessarily thinking everything is perfect; it's making the best of playing the cards you were dealt. I overcame the worst of my stutter by accepting the fact that I have a stutter.

I had the unfortunate experience of growing up with a speech impediment, and as a child it often made me feel insecure and frustrated. However, it ultimately taught me how to simultaneously accept and overcome my hardships. It taught me that not all imperfections are worth losing sleep over. It taught me that even problems that seem like they will always haunt me don't have to last forever. And strangely enough, it didn't strike me until recently that in general I could speak fine. One incident I particularly remember occurred about two years ago. Tensions were high as I flipped through the menu, seeing our waiter approach. He pulled out a notebook, and all eyes turned on me. I rapidly rehearsed in my head and hoped for the best. With darting eyes and a quickened pulse, I pointed to the middle of the page and addressed him in a clear voice.

"Can I have the fettuccine Alfredo with a side salad?"
And though I knocked down a glass of fruit punch while handing him the menu, in that moment I knew that my speech impediment would no longer be my greatest burden.

Jennyflower81 - / 690 96  
Nov 27, 2012   #2
Hi :) I think that your essay is fantastic. You have great skill for writing and your topic is very interesting. I can't find any errors, and I have no suggestions for changing it- looks good the way it is! I think you have shown maturity and individuality, along with demonstrating an ability to overcome obstacles. Your personality really shines through, and I think any college will be lucky to have you as a student. Good luck in school :)
diebysenioritis 7 / 17 7  
Nov 27, 2012   #3
This essay is terrific. The only things that bothered me were two sentences that felt a little repetitious.

I overcame the worst of my stutter by accepting the fact that I have a stutter. Mentioning stutter twice sounds a little off. What I read this as was that you became more comfortable with yourself.

I had the unfortunate experience of growing up with a speech impediment, and as a child it often made me feel insecure and frustrated. I know this restates your initial idea, but maybe you could signify your conclusion more subtly?

But other than that I think you're just about ready to submit. Good luck!

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