Can you give me some feedback on my PS? I think the story might be a little too long and the substance too short, so I need to know where I should cut stuff out.
One of the first nights of college, I sat in my room frantically conducting research on the internet. I pulled up articles, took direct quotations from each one, and analyzed each one with adept focus on the topic at hand. It only took me four hours, but I had included every minuscule detail and made sure it was void of all grammatical errors. I wrote my first essay of college not for a class, but to respond to a comment someone had made about me earlier in the day.
My swim team began to practice on the first day of school in preparation for the upcoming season. We all met in the team room for a short meeting to discuss the goals that our coaches had for the month then headed upstairs for a short swim. The distance swimmers did the entire workout, but most of the sprinters opted to sit on the wall and talk about the team and our new coaches since they were not on deck at the time. One girl mentioned the photos in the team room because of the lack of diverse representation on the team in every single picture since the early 1900s. I noticed it as well but kept it to myself because that particular year, I was the only minority on the women's team and did not want to draw anymore attention to myself than necessary. Instead of changing the subject, another girl expanded on this and said that she had read an article claiming that black people could not swim because their bones were denser than the average Caucasian person.
While this was the most absurd thing I had ever heard in my life, especially because I was part African-American and I was an accomplished swimmer, I decided to conduct my own research into the matter before I responded to her. I discovered, as I expected, that this study was unfounded and the main reason minorities do not swim is because of socioeconomic factors. I was still not able to change her attitude on the matter with my research or my own personal performance in the water, [a state of mind that I encountered many times throughout my duration at college. Some of the people on my team were so close-minded that they ignored who I was outside of my ethnic background. I received derogatory comments about my love of rap music, my Philippine background, and one of my teammates even asked if I would stick a feather in my headband since I was American Indian. It was definitely an eye-opening experience, but it just became another point in my life where I knew I had to rise to the occasion and demonstrate to others that there was more to me than my ethnic background.
The ignorance/intolerance I faced on my team is one of the largest obstacles I have faced up to this point in my life. I felt as if I were constantly battling to win over everyone’s confidence in my abilities as a swimmer and a student. Even my coach commented more on my ethnicity than he did on my accomplishments in the water. After a while, when I realized that it was an impossible goal to try to win over the good graces of some of my teammates, I knew that their perceptions of me did not matter. I was always going to be a hard worker, a dedicated swimmer and student, and a good friend to those who respected me. Through this experience I learned a great deal about the person who I had become in college and my future aspirations.
In the months leading up to my graduation, I made the firm decision that I wanted to practice law. Not only had a proven my research skills throughout the four years, including that very first essay that I had written before classes had even started, but I knew that I wanted to help others overcome any discrimination they may have faced in their places of work, school and even in everyday life. I was fortunate to have already built a strong belief in myself to the point that I knew that I would be able to achieve any goal that I set for myself, but others may not have built the same confidence in themselves. I am unsure of what the actual focus of my legal studies will be, but I know that this profession will equip me with the tools needed to hopefully change the perceptions of others and give some minorities the credibility they deserve.