January 11, 2010
By acannon828 BRONZE, Centerbrook, Connecticut
acannon828 BRONZE, Centerbrook, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Prompt: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be and why?

It is not easy to describe oneself in one word (or even five hundred for that matter). Simply by chance, my mind first strays to sports. I think of the label “athlete” but then quickly realize this ignores my quirky, theatrical side. Actor? This doesn’t account for my passion for knowledge. Student? I love music too much. Musician? No, that leaves out athletics. In this struggle to define my role and myself, I arrive at the conclusion that I am a collection of many different, equally significant personas and that it is impossible for me to choose just one. In a word, I am Undecided.
Many people feel it is wiser to wholly commit oneself to one or two pastimes than to spread one’s time and attention throughout several, but I disagree. Had I decided to give up acting could I have been a better athlete? Most likely. Had I decided to relinquish my love of music could I have been a better actor? Sure. Had I decided to quit sports could I have been a better musician? Definitely. Focusing my efforts on just one or two of these activities might have earned me a few more medals to pin to my chest, or a few more awards to list on my résumé, but I never would have exposed myself to so many different perspectives nor befriended the many different people that I have. More importantly, I would have sacrificed the different aspects of my personality that each one of my many pursuits enhances. Theater highlights my more carefree, playful, foolish side. Sports complement my competitive edge. Music supplements my creative, sensitive psyche, and my studies obviously add discipline to my more academic, scholarly self. Whether from the school play, a sports team, a music school, or a trivia club, the word I claim for each of my many passions represents merely a single definition from the dictionary of my multi-faceted personality. To describe myself with (by?) just one or two of these words would be a dishonest portrayal of who I really am. If you’re looking for a professional teenage actor, or an all-state athlete, or a boy genius, or a nationally recognized piano player, I really hate to disappoint you, but I would be lying if I claimed to be any of these. Though not a master of any one of these trades, I am a jack of all of them, a Renaissance man, a pursuer of the liberal arts.
Inevitably, there will come a time when I can no longer afford to be Undecided. Just as I will eventually have to choose a field of study, I will eventually have to choose a hobby to preserve into adulthood. For now, at least, this decision can be delayed. I can continue to feast on the smorgasbord of life, sampling the many tastes I crave without having to choose any single one. At least for now, I can continue to remain proudly Undecided. Word.

The author's comments:
I submitted this essay as part of my Common Application under "Topic of my Choice"

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