The essay guideline is:Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
And here's my essay:
It's the primary round of my school's talent show. As the performer, I was the center of attention in the auditorium. Everything was going just fine; every note flew out from my saxophone, and the background music was nice and clear. I was also enjoying this moment- it was fun watching the audience immerse themselves in my music.
Suddenly, the background music went silent, but it wasn't the end of the song. Something went wrong. I was shocked, but I couldn't stop unless I wanted to mess up my performance. After holding the last note as the music stopped, I improvised, at least improvising is better than to stopping the performance unnaturally. The judges' comment was "excellent performance with amazing improvisation without the background music, welcome to the final round!" I made it!
Improvisation, widely used in jazz, means to create and perform unprepared. However, it's not limited to jazz. I've been applying this skill to many areas in my life. Personally, improvisation means to make the best use of whatever I have.
One such example of a non-jazz improvisation could be a competition. In 2013, I led a group of 14 students from various cities in an academic research competition "China Thinks Big", organized by Harvard College. Each group needed to finish a college level academic essay based on their research questions. As always, everything seemed to be on track in the beginning; my group was one of the earliest groups that turned in our final research questions and introduction. However, as the writing went on, I received phone calls from some group members, who were all trying to procrastinate: "David, I don't think I can finish the task on time, can I hand it in later?" They were feeling all kinds of pressure; two of them even quit the competition. This situation threatened the survival of our group directly.
I suddenly realized how critical the situation was. Many thoughts were running through my head, "What should I do? The same thing is happening in other groups, and their group leaders are simply doing the work for them. Should I just ignore the irresponsible behavior of these members and do their work for them?" Thanks to my improvisation talent, I didn't surrender to my unwise idea; instead, I gathered everyone, explained the current situation, asked for their time schedule and the maximum time they can contribute to this competition. After listening to their plan and opinions, I reassigned the work load: I reduced the amount of work for rising seniors, since they were stressed from exams, and I increased the amount of work for myself and those who can contribute more for the competition. I changed some of the on-site experts' interviews into phone interviews, and I put more people into the essay editing group and changed the editing method from sequential to parallel; this way, group members could work on different parts of the essay simultaneously and cross-check each other's work. All these changes enabled us to submit our work before the deadline, and we succeeded in winning the "Outstanding Chinese Paper Award".
I discovered that, in music, academic, sports and everyday life, things usually don't work out exactly as I expected. It's like a music player in the shuffle mode, and I never know what comes next. When facing unexpected situation, most people would stop and start all over again, I don't. Improvisation saved my saxophone performance, helped my group get out of the critical situation and turned the table in many of my fencing competitions. That's why I call it a talent. I'm convinced that improvisation will be vital and useful in my upcoming university life and the life in this ever-changing world. I will be helping myself and the world in a unique way through my well-developed talent of improvisation.
This essay is quite important so I appreciate every suggestions!