COMMONAPP choice #1: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.A PERMANENT MARK
It was a Sunday morning-I clearly remember- when I had woken up completely mystified. I stood in front of the mirror, silently, staring at myself after a panicky attempt to rub off the big black mark that had grown on my face overnight. No facial cleanser could make even the least amount of difference. I tried every possible remedy, but the mark remained- glaring conspicuously on my left cheek. As if it deliberately wanted me to look ugly. I felt insecure, helpless, wondering what curse god had pronounced on me.
Trying to be pragmatic, I retraced my actions of last night, remembering that I had naively put some antiseptic on my acne, which had proven too harsh for my skin and the result was evident. A visit to the doctor revealed that the scar would go away completely, but its fading could take time. I was relieved that the damage done to my skin was not permanent, but the words "fading could take time" echoed through my nerves- mainly because the next day I had school.
School had always been a welcome haven for me and I enjoyed the company of friends and teachers. However, as we climbed further in High School, I became exceedingly conscious of how I looked. I made sure every morning that I was perfectly groomed. But this time, I had this big black scar standing out like a sore thumb that was the sole reason why I skipped the first two days at school. I was too embarrassed of what others would think of it - ugly, grotesque, perhaps even repulsive. I was sure that the scar would make me the laughingstock for the day.
But after two days of indecision, I finally gathered the courage to go to school. Not because the mark had faded in any way, but because I thought cowardice would not solve anything, and it was time I become a man.
The day I finally went to school, I saw a few heads turn, a few staring eyes. Some friends inquired what had happened. But nothing more. NOTHING MORE! No laughing, no verbal harassment. My friends did not change the way they treated me, even the girls. I was relieved as well as a little ashamed of my shallow considerations. I realized that I was valued for who I was, not for how I looked. That day, unknowingly, I had learnt one of the most important lessons of my life- that looks don't matter. They really don't. Somehow the clichĂ© "Never judge a book by its cover" seemed to fit perfectly in the jigsaw of my life. The scar was temporary, but the lesson it had taught me would remain with me my whole life.