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Quitting Basketball - Common App Essay

maxn 1 / -  
Nov 28, 2023   #1
Prompt(s): Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

I had played and enjoyed basketball my whole life. I had grown up surrounded by basketball and its community my whole life. So why was I now questioning playing it?

I was at a loss. It was my junior year of high school, and I had been around the game for 16 years, born to a Dad who loved anything and everything about the sport. I'd played the game for as long as I could remember, with countless teams, teammates, coaches, schools, and in two separate states.

As these thoughts continued to arise in my head throughout the weeks and days leading up to tryouts, I became more and more adamant on not playing. Upon reflection, I began to realize that I had slowly been approaching this point, and had gradually, over the years, felt more and more disconnected from the sport. Practices had turned into and felt like more of a chore than anything. Games only took time out of my nights and my weekends. The sport was not bringing me the same exhilaration it once had.

I told no one about this disconnect or my feelings towards the sport, or that I didn't wish to play it at all. Not my parents, not my coaches, no one. How was I supposed to? How was I going to tell my parents that I wanted to give up a sport that was so central to both our lives? I worried that I was tied too closely with basketball, that I couldn't just leave the community I had been with for years.

I couldn't quite bring myself to tell anyone. So I waited. Waited until the last minute, out of fear and worry for what people may say, or what my parents might do. Eventually, I told my parents about not wanting to play, just a night before tryouts.

What I was immediately able to realize is that those close to me, those same people I was worried about, supported me in my decision. My parents? While maybe a bit surprised and taken aback, they weren't overly upset. They didn't force me to play, they helped me out of it. People in the community? Some were sad to see me go, but they all seemed to understand.

Understanding this helped me further realize that having my own ideas and choices is fine, great even. I might dislike certain sports that some love. I may befriend people some would avoid. I'm still young, and I assume I have not yet discovered all of my interests. I've accepted and now understand that those interests don't have to be what anyone else expects them or wants them to be.

Nearly a year later, I'm getting into my senior year, still comfortable with my decision and forever glad I made it. I played soccer throughout the spring and fall, and enjoyed both seasons. I was lucky enough to travel to a few beautiful cities in Italy and broaden my worldview through those experiences. I've met many new amazing, interesting, and beautiful people who I will remember for the rest of my life, all during this past year. Now looking back, I see myself stepping away from basketball as an event and a time that changed my thinking ever so slightly - but just slightly enough.

I've realized now that I have the means to take and walk my own paths. I am not my Dad, nor am I my coach. I am my own person, M-- N--, with my own thoughts, ideas, passions, and feelings towards things. Only I know how I truly feel about things, and only I can see the way that I see. I now understand that these thoughts, these ideas, they may differ from and disappoint those around me, and that is all right. The only person I must never disappoint is myself.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,669 4754  
Nov 28, 2023   #2
This is a very personal story told from an emotional point of view. It works. It shows the reviewer just enough of your mindset to help him understand how you process emotional and life changing situations. It creates an image of a responsible young man who is confident in who is and what his beliefs in life are. There is nothing in this essay that would be taken as a negative by the reviewer. If anything, he may even admire your work and remember you as the applicant who took a chance on being himself rather than who the community and his parents wanted him to be. You show that you are your own person and that, is a very good trait to have.
ductam06 3 / 2  
Nov 29, 2023   #3
I've met many new amazing, interesting, and beautiful people who I will remember for the rest of my life, all during this past year

If it is in the context of the past then u should have written "i met", not i've met

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