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Queen's University Personal Statement of Experience
Question: Choose one extracurricular activity or one employment opportunity you have listed above. In 300 words, or fewer, describe the impact of this experience and the greatest learning outcome for you.
Response: Every time I auditioned for the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy, I always ended up occupying the seat at the very back of the ensemble. I despised my seat. In my eyes, being placed in the last row of my section meant that I was inferior to all of the violinists in front of me. In addition, I had difficulty following the conductor because dozens of musicians blocked my view while my neighbor piccoloist deafened me. However, my greatest issue with the seat was the inability to be seen or heard by the audience. During concerts, my presence went completely unnoticed, almost as if I was not there. I felt useless, even unwanted. It was truly a pitiful seat.
What I discovered from being part of the orchestra was my desire to amaze people. I realized that the reason I initially joined the academy was to demonstrate the music I could produce to the audience. And this applied to everything I did; whether I performed a violin concerto, solved a challenging math problem or executed a deceptive shot in badminton, I did it all for show- not to boast, but to entertain. In essence, I learned that I enjoy displaying my creativity and capabilities. The five years I have spent at the academy have not gone to waste: although I was unable to stand out as a musician, experiencing the feeling of failure has transformed me to strive. The regret of not taking action to change my situation back then has become my greatest motivator today.
During my post-secondary studies, I refuse to repeat my mistakes and remain at the back, powerless. I will aim to take the concertmaster's seat where I can clearly show myself and my genius to the audience.