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This is for my common app essay. Below is my draft, but think Im am struggling to tie it back what I have learned about life and the world thanks to that experience of being born premature.
Do you ever wonder how you came into the world? July 5, 2022, granted me legal access to my medical records allowing me to research the day I was born. Before this, all I have known is what has been told to me by story and compared to something one might view on an episode of Greys Anatomy. My records confirm my first fifteen minutes of my life were complete turmoil and reading the fact that I had to be resuscitated sends chills down my back. At 9 inches my head was the size of baseball. Being born premature at 28 weeks gestational, tipping the scales at a mere 2 pounds 12 ounces, I lived in an incubator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital. It was home for 74 days.
The strength that kept me alive back then still drives me today.
I have no actual
memory from those days in the NICU but I knew what it meant to be resilient
long before I actually knew what resilient was. October 2021, the front of my car
became an Accordion after I rear-ended another vehicle. Thankfully no one was
hurt, but I killed my car leaving me to feel ashamed. Devastated knowing I lost a sense of independence I established a personal Uber in my best friend. The motivation for a new car
drove me to start Franks Beach Service business. I became an entrepreneur to accelerate
my savings. Saving money was not nearly as important as the lesson I learned or the rides I took with my best friend laughing, creating memories.
I live each day from sunrise to sunset reaching for the stars to fulfill my dreams and goals. Waking up the past 10 years on the morning of my birthday, I have shouted my countdown to reach my larger-than-life goal. My eighteenth birthday arrived, there was nothing to shout. This was it, the year I could skydive. When my feet hit the ground the sense of accomplishment was overwhelming yet so satisfying when I checked it off my bucket list. Next on the list is to run the Detroit Free Press Marathon 2023. Unthinkable to some, I am confident I can complete the 26.2 miles of physical and mental endurance. Im fortunate to have found a running companion on this challenge. Every step of the journey, we will be encouraging and supporting one another.
Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back, Walter Payton said it best, We are stronger together than we are alone. I dreaded the 5:30 am football workouts when we were all still half asleep. Coming off a losing season, I see the value Coach Smith was teaching the team. To be successful we needed to create chemistry and be able to push through difficult situations. His methods proved successful. I am still not a fan of early works, but grateful for the impact it has had on me and the team.
Every July, with the exception of Covid years, my mother and I take a field trip to the hospital NICU where I once resided. We bring gifts for the staff and tiny blankets for the newest members of the preemie group as we have in the past. A small token in comparison to what my family and I have received. This year was different, as I said my good-byes and stepped on the elevator, I experienced a really powerful sense of realization. My 74-day NICU journey is my unique ladder for life and makes me who I am. Giving me strength to take nothing for granted, live each day to the fullest and explore life reaching my goals.