Rate my college essay - Is it too long? (733 words)?
Then it happened. In a futile attempt to break up a double play, I broke my ankle sliding. When the results of the x-ray came back, it was worse than I could have imagined: out for the season. School had not even ended and my whole summer was already ruined.
As an athletic kid, all I could think about was playing on my baseball teams. Coping with my immobility was difficult and X-Box tided me over for a few weeks, but being trapped at home and playing X-Box soon grew boring. Then my mom proposed an idea to me that would help curb my restlessness and lack of competition: Scrabble. I had gained the title of “Scrabble Genius” of my family, after consistently defeating my grandmother, a lifelong English teacher, on a regular basis.
In my first game on the Internet Scrabble Club (ISC), I was vanquished. The biggest challenge for me, and what separates mediocre and good players are the 2 and 3 letter words that, after hours of studying, are now permanently ingrained in my head. After challenging and subsequently losing my turn when my opponent played “qi”, (a different spelling of chi) and “za”, (an abridged form of pizza), I knew that the difference between being the family Scrabble champion and being a successful competitive player was much larger than I had thought.
That summer consisted of at least 4 hours of Scrabble a day and sometimes upwards of 10 hours a day, often until 3 in the morning, all in the pursuit of becoming the best at Scrabble, having shifted my focus from baseball. I found a Scrabble club that met once a week for 3 or 4 hours and I went there every Wednesday, honing my skills against successful tournament players. I focused on obtaining everything that could help my game when given the chance – sheets with all the 2-letter words, 3-letter words and stems; I skimmed through the Official Scrabble Dictionary; I found anagram websites that tested my ability to find all the possible words.
In 8th grade, I learned about the National School Scrabble Championship that took place in April. It was open to 8th grade and under, and the championship round was broadcasted on ESPN. It was in Rhode Island, a short drive, and top prize was $10,000. I also got to miss school for a day – what a deal!
The three-day tournament ended with me coming in 4th place out of 100 teams, having only lost once. I received a prize of $750, but that was not the real prize. The real prize was that I had proved to myself that I am capable of doing great things outside of athletics if I put my energy and time into it. This was highlighted by my success in a major Scrabble tournament when I had not even been playing seriously for more than a year.
My competitive nature has been very crucial to my development as a better student/athlete, even though it can sometimes become an obsession. From learning all the 2 and 3-letter words to “wasting” days staying up until “oh-dark-hundred” playing skillful adversaries on ISC, my drive to become the best in whatever I desire is integral to my competitive personality. In High School, as I have become interested in a multitude of activities, my focuses have become more parochial. Although school and golf take up a majority of my time, I often still play Scrabble online in my free time. My attitude towards Scrabble does not only pertain to games, but academics and golf too. Scrabble has made me a better person and a better student by proving to myself that I am able to overcome adversity and thrive in environments that challenge me mentally and physically. Unbeknownst to me on what the future holds in store, I know that I will be able to overcome many, if not all obstructions that lay in between me and my goals.
The early admission is today and I am worrying a little bit about the length -