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Decisions: College Admission Essay Sample

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I was up to my ears in water, fighting to stay afloat. I was more concerned about not drowning than wondering if I would ever be good enough to lead my team to a championship. Four years later, I can elevate out of the water above my waist and block shots from any direction.

In sixth grade, I was over 6 feet tall with a 78-inch wingspan. The gym was my home and entering high school, basketball was more important to me than academics. That’s when my mom ended my basketball career. I pleaded to stay in the game, trying to convince her that NBA riches would pay for my triplet siblings’ education. My dad said, “Listen to you mother,” which puzzled me since there is no bigger sports fan than he is.

I learned just how much my mom and dad believe education breaks all barriers. In 1954, my grandmother was the first African-American student to graduate with a dental hygienist certificate from her college. My maternal great grandmother finished her high school diploma at age 69 going to night school, while raising six children. My paternal grandfather was the first in his family to be born in the United States as his parents emigrated from Germany and Peru.

In retrospect, my mom’s decision changed the trajectory of my high school experience. Instead of basketball, I studied, socialized, and explored. My friends said I changed from jock to geek. I became more interested in reading The Economist and studying physics than hanging out in the gym.

After my freshman year, I was nominated to participate in Model UN — something typically reserved for juniors and seniors — and traveled to Asia to study the Mekong River as it flows through China, Thailand, and Cambodia. My circle of friends became more diverse, expanding to Greece, Japan, China, Korea, Tanzania, South Africa, Pakistan, Ireland, Chile, and Australia. We talk about our cultures and global issues, and I enrolled in the Global Online Academy through my high school to gain a more worldly perspective.

I didn’t want to lose my jock friends so I created a debate club, a forum where my old and new friends could come together. Some didn’t think this was cool, but at a school assembly I announced my geekish idea. I even called out the basketball team for volunteers. It worked. I started the club, kept it going for four years, and have a successor in place to take over next year.

So what was I doing in the pool one stroke away from drowning? My friend, Kevin Zhang, talked me into giving water polo a try. My wingspan convinced the coach to make me a goalie. My “baller” friends made fun of me, reminding me, as an African-American, of that old stereotype: “White men can’t jump and Black guys can’t swim.” Well, I swim just fine now and I had a successful four years of water polo, including twice competing in the Junior Olympics.

I started my high school journey heartbroken over a lost love, basketball, but I learned that my true passion was for knowledge and new experiences. This would have been impossible without my mom’s fateful decision. I still enjoy basketball today, but there is much more to my game now.

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Decisions: College Admission Essay Sample. (2018, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-admission-essays/decisions-college-admission-essay-sample/
“Decisions: College Admission Essay Sample.” GradesFixer, 26 Apr. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-admission-essays/decisions-college-admission-essay-sample/
Decisions: College Admission Essay Sample. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-admission-essays/decisions-college-admission-essay-sample/> [Accessed 8 Aug. 2022].
Decisions: College Admission Essay Sample [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Apr 26 [cited 2022 Aug 8]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-admission-essays/decisions-college-admission-essay-sample/
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