Hello. I am having hard time figuring out if I am on the right track for the common app essay. I wanted to show how my experience at the place have changed me.
Any comment or advice is welcomed. Please don't hesitate to criticize anything that doesn't seem right. THANKS !!
Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
I tightly held the blade in my sweaty hands. I didn't know my heart could beat so fast until that night.
No one expected me to come this far but I was there and there was no going back. In that dark tunnel, I could feel all my intestines and organs twisting and squeezing so hardly; I thought I was going to burst into pieces. I have never felt such a feeling before. All I knew for sure was that I was insanely nervous.
I leaned against the wall and saw kiss marks all over it. Thousands and thousands of other guard girls and boys had been in my place, peeking into the grand arena and watching the groups before us telling their stories. What could have they been thinking, waiting impatiently behind the curtain?
Nothing came into my mind other than all the possible mistakes I could make on that floor; I could drop my saber on that toss or I could bump into Amy like I did on that one rehearsal. I even shook my head, trying to shake off all the bad thoughts with no success. I peeked into the arena again and could easily estimate the spectator number to be more than 5,000. I was about to run up the tunnel and out of the arena.
While aimlessly looking around, I saw a sentence written on the wall.
'You know what to do'
Of course, my head immediately thought 'Do I really know?' My auto self-doubt activated again. I mean, I knew the show, and I knew where to go. But what if... That had been my question for everything. I couldn't resist thinking about the possibilities that had not even shown itself to me.
I thought back to the past 10 months I had spent with these girls; I remembered that we had spent 24 hours a week sweating, bleeding, breaking, and exhausting ourselves just to be in this tunnel at this moment. We began from pointing out foot to throwing weapons and flags in the air and catch them like it's no one's business. I had been sleeping 2 or 3 hours a day, trying to catch up with school work and keep my standard high, so I could enjoy this moment as much as, if not more than, these girls around me. Of course I knew what to do. I spent so many hours and so much effort to "know" what I would do that night. I even knew that making mistakes was a way to gain the recovery points. I looked into myself again. Without my acknowledgement, I was enjoying this moment as much as I wanted to escape it. I did know what to do and I just had to believe in myself that I knew. That easy.
The feeling of Dayton Arena - I know call it - was tension with extreme excitement, and I could feel it because I trusted me. The little freshmen I was, it wasn't too late to engrave a new word in my heart. I walked out of the tunnel with "confidence" newly added to my list.
"Please welcome Walton High School." The crowd went wild.
"Is the guard ready?" I answered, yes.
I revisited the tunnel just a few months ago, with different flags, different makeup, different costume, different show, and different me. It was the same arena but this time, it felt like I was at my home ground. It was where I learned to put away self-doubts and to be myself. The sentence on the tunnel wall that hit me couple of years ago, was still there. I left my kiss mark right next to it and showed it to my little freshmen guard sister so she could comeback in a couple of years with different herself.
I thought it was really great! It was well thought out and compelling. I am assuming that your answer to "why is it meaningful to you" was that you gained confidence? I think, however, that you should highlight this point a little more. Great story, but WHY are you so perfectly content there? WHY does it mean so much to you?
There were also a couple of small grammatical errors like misplaced commas or a change in words might make the sentence more clear. These are the sentences I noticed. Replace those and do some fine-tuning and I will look at it again if you'd like.
No one expected me to come this far but I was there, and there was no going back.
I would change "hardly" to "tightly" regarding your intestines.
Thousands and thousands of other guard girls and boys had been in my place, peeking into the grand arena and watching the groups before THEM telling their stories.
While aimlessly looking around, I saw a sentence written on the wall: "You know what to do."
Of course, I immediately thought... (rather than "my head")
I would not use auto, but rather "automatic".
I couldn't resist thinking about the possibilities that had not even OCCURRED to me.
When writing numbers, you should spell them out: ten, two, three
The feeling of Dayton Arena, I now call it, (improper use of dashes)
...and I could feel it because I trusted MYSELF.
The YOUNG freshman I was...
"The little freshmen I was, it wasn't too late to engrave a new word in my heart. I walked out of the tunnel with "confidence" newly added to my list."
^This thought isn't entirely coherent. "It" wasn't too late? And what list??? Try rewording this to get the thought across better.
Take the comma out after "ago". It is unnecessary. (both times in the last paragraph)
Self doubt is not hyphenated nor is it plural.
come back is not one word
"with different herself" is not clear. I'm not sure what you are trying to say.