A Surprising Role Model

Describe an experience you have had, a person who has influenced you, or an obstacle you have overcome. Explain why this is meaningful to you.

I could feel the tears coming. My brother’s words pierced me like bullets, one by one, slowly overpowering my determination. I turned to face him and cleared my mind. After receiving the ball, I noticed him hesitate slightly and on instinct I started dribbling towards the basket. Unfortunately, he reacted just in time; momentarily after the sure layup sailed into the air, it came right back down. More trash talk ensued. I was about to explode at any moment. He bombarded me with insults, “You think you would EVER have a chance to make the middle school basketball team? Would they even let you try out?” The hateful words came in a barrage. I ran towards the steps without hesitation and locked the door behind me. My brother was left outside in the cold for the next half hour before I finally let him in.Believe it or not, my brother has been a role model for me throughout my life. He had his own “creative ways” to teach me lessons – his trash talking caused me to be a stronger person. My confidence grew not only with basketball, but also with all other parts of my life. After that incident, no words could pierce my new suit of armor. My brother is a very strong individual. Although I was just a baby when my family emigrated to America, my brother was twelve years old, and he did not fit in at school. Regardless, he tried to find new friends and even joined the baseball team even though he did not know a single person on it. I admired my brother’s courage when he told me his painful memories years later. My brother also inspired me to pursue new interests, no matter where my natural level of talent lies. “Don’t worry about those around you; reach your own potential; and then exceed it,” he told me. His advice shaped many of my future interests as well as my approach to challenges I encountered. For example, I have been playing guitar for five years. Although my technique on the guitar has grown substantially since I began learning, my vocals have lacked. In the past, even the thought alone of singing in front of a crowd has been enough to persuade me to pass up the opportunity. I soon realized that my fears only placed me on a never-ending path to failure; my true passion for music drove me to face my weakness. Over the past few summers at a camp, I played and sang for a crowd of a few hundred people without any hesitation. My brother’s advice helped me realize that there is no ceiling to anything I do; I can only create a ceiling inside my own mind.My brother encouraged me to pursue many other interests in addition to guitar. As I watched my brother win consecutive national chess championships, I was fascinated and took the game up from an early age. After I learned the crucial elements of perseverance and patience, I won two state titles of my own. Computer Science is my intended major, just as it was my brother’s. I became obsessed with computer coding after I discovered how much math was involved. I could hardly wait for my brother to return home so that I could show him the new game I had programmed on my TI-84 Silver Edition.Every time that my brother visits, a game of basketball is inevitable. We play to our peaks, neither of us succumbing to the other’s trash talk. I become more like my brother with every passing day. Even when he is not around, his ideas linger in my mind. My brother has not only influenced me in the way I live my life, he has also influenced my passions and everyday actions.

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