What Word Best Describes You?
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Student Life

What Word Best Describes You?

I've been prompted to reflect on my twenty years and try to conjure up myself in a few syllables.


While frantically seeking a summer internship, I'm constantly asked what word or words best describes me. In seeking an impressive response I've been prompted to reflect on my twenty years and try to conjure up myself in a few syllables.

From a young age, I've often had to do things twice. It became an ongoing joke of sorts within my family. It wasn't like I slacked off the first time around or anything, I just got unlucky, or I slipped through the cracks. There were instances before this, but a significant example emerged when I was applying to middle school. I desperately wanted to attend Harvard-Westlake because I felt like there was the most opportunity for me to succeed there. I was rejected, and my family and I were crushed. In eighth grade, I still had the itch for HW, so I buckled down and studied my hardest for the standardized tests, did the best I could in my academics and athletics, and I got in.

In high school I ran competitively in track and field. Freshman year, I missed the cut and was put on JV at the beginning of the season, and I was so driven to get on varsity that I outran all the varsity girls in the first 800 I was placed in. I made CIF that year.

When college applications rolled around, I soon discovered that I, wholeheartedly and without a doubt, wanted to attend USC School of Cinematic Arts. I was a great student with the GPA to match it, I was diversified in my pursuits beyond the classroom, whether on the track or in my community. I worked on my high school's film festivals, and I was already making movies as much as I could. I poured everything into my application. And, as you can probably guess, I did not get in. I not only was denied from SCA, but from USC altogether. And suddenly, I lost sight of who I was and the person I was growing to be. However, I was granted the opportunity to be deferred a year and study abroad, and potentially gain admittance to USC at the start of my sophomore year. Studying abroad was something I never thought of pursuing. Despite my nervousness and slight fear about living in a foreign country farther than I had ever been from home, I have always been taught to believe in making the best of life's situations. So I took a leap of faith, and with the support of my family and friends, I tried something crazy and moved to Paris. I have learned an immense amount about the world and about myself since I left home. From traveling through European countries, taking the metro to classes, walking in the streets or having a picnic with friends in the park, I have been exposed to an infinite amount of culture and vivacity I would probably have never seen otherwise. I never thought I wanted these experiences, but that's because I never knew how valuable they would come to be. The greatest souvenir was a broadened perspective.

When the time came to reapply, I once again gave it all I had. I think a piece of me went with the application when I finally hit the submit button. And that piece returned in the acceptance letter I got in the mail. Currently, I'm at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. I know that this is where I was always meant to be.

The most recent experience actually involves USC Panhellenic. I rushed in the fall, and I realized how strongly I wanted to join this community and become part of a tradition and family. Particularly, I fell in love with Kappa Alpha Theta. But on the third day, I was heartbroken to find that Theta had dropped me. I stuck it out for the next round, because I liked other houses too and thought maybe I fit well elsewhere, but then I felt in my heart that the ones I had left were not the best fit. This was a soul crusher; how can you not take it personally? So that semester, I focused on other avenues. I joined clubs, made great friends from unexpected places, and started writing my screenplay. I was happy, but then I remembered spring recruitment was approaching. For a while I reluctant to re-rush in light of what happened in the fall. However, there was still something telling me to try again.

Resilience. This is my strongest quality. Resilience to take rejection, to endure hardship, make the most of the road less travelled by, and try again. It's my ability to see beyond the denial, to consider opportunity elsewhere, and embrace all of the twists and turns life can throw at me. Because of this, I've allowed myself to experience a diverse range of places, projects, cultures and perspectives. I've become a well-rounded person, and I believe that I am the best version of myself. All these experiences have shaped me into the person I've grown to be, and who I continue to become. I know that someday when I look back on my lifetime, as it stretches and condenses into the mementos and memories, that I gave fate a chance. I know that I will face hardships again, and when I do, I will endure them as I always have.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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