a month ago
Admissions Advice

Do I have a good essay for the common app essay prompt I chose?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

"Still waiting for a big smile out of you, you're up 2-0… what's the story? Are you not happy, half happy, or- "What's there to be happy about?" "You're up 2-0!" "Job's not finished. [Is] the job finished? I don't think so." This exchange between the late Kobe Bryant and a reporter regarding his lack of exuberance after taking a 2-0 lead in the NBA finals is engraved into my hippocampus, not entirely because of my massive fanhood of basketball but also because his message taught me to maintain an objective, calculated mentality meant to avoid complacency and hopelessness.

I was born with many health issues, such as a missing septum pellucidum, midline abnormalities, asthma, tachycardia, hearing loss, and Moebius Sequence, as well as undergoing several procedures such as a tracheostomy and skin grafts that became necessary due to an IV that burned tissue in my ankle, all of which inhibited my ability to live a "normal" life, and labeled a lifelong vegetable by doctors. I've had every excuse to throw in the proverbial towel and be content with all I've accomplished thus far despite my hardships. My father always called me his champion. And while I take great pride in my dad's high view of me, I wish for nothing more than to continue to give him increasingly additional reasons to be proud of me. It's why I've chosen to attend college, always asked to be on the normal soccer teams during childhood, and always tried to finish my test before anyone else, even with my 1.5x extra time accommodation from my IEP. Because of this mentality, I wish to attend law school after receiving my degree and become a lawyer. I never want to stop achieving because, for all the joy I derive from what I accomplish, I derive greater motivation to keep going and maximize my potential.

Kobe's interview, however, hasn't exclusively helped with the positive experiences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation had severe effects on my mental health, some of which I still grapple with today. I have always been the "introverted extrovert" who has few friends but is generally well known. That being said, I became extremely anxious, depressed, and hopeless during my time locked away in my bedroom because of how little social interaction I had and how unengaging school was because of this. My futility-driven mindset peaked when I had ankle surgery to rectify the aforementioned skin grafts and the effects they were having on my ability to walk. For months, I was bound to the couch, watching my parents go on walks, watching my friends hang up on Facetime to go on runs, and watching my then 3-month-old puppy play fetch, her galloping-esque pursuit of the green tennis balls supported by completely healthy paws. I hated everything. The bane of my existence was existing itself. I thought my life would never improve, that the universe had played some sick joke, perpetually designating me to sit on the sidelines, forced to watch others live better than myself. In retrospect, my first-world privilege rendered me unable to remember that I still had better circumstances than many people worldwide who don't even have access to basic amenities required for everyday life, and that fact itself should've reminded me to stay positive. However, daily dosages of several painkillers paired with a gradually increased jealousy of others' healthy lives restricted my empathy to myself. What helped me, however, was seeing a TikTok of that Kobe interview, which reminded me that irrespective of a good or bad situation, one cannot assume success or, in my case, concede failure until the outcome is final.

Kobe wasn't my idol or favorite athlete, but his mindset reminded me that I am who I am and where I am because I, like him, accept that until the casket is in the ground, the job's not finished. Not bad for a lifelong vegetable.


Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.
What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works