Starting From Scratch

As I sat on my living room floor writing my personal statement for medical school applications, I found myself approaching the character limit having written almost nothing about medicine or my desire to go into the field. Instead, what I had on the screen in front of me amounted to nothing more than a farewell letter to tennis.

Without realizing it, for the first time since graduating college, I had put into words what the sport meant to me and the vulnerability I experienced as it slowly faded away into my history. As a Division I tennis player, I was confident in my identity as a student-athlete and my life felt meaningful. Even two years after my last match, I was still trying my best to hold onto that identity, despite knowing that it was no longer me. I had always told myself that I would go into medicine after my tennis career was over, but the reality of that transition was still hitting me, even as I was finishing my medical school applications.

While it may not have been a suitable personal statement, I realized the necessity in writing this farewell letter. The mix of nostalgia, sadness, and pride I felt as I summed up sixteen years of my life as a tennis player into 5,300 characters was cathartic. As I re-read my essay one final time, I cried. Then, I deleted the entire draft and started from scratch.

--ANONYMOUS, COLLEGE ATHLETE

 

**Pictures do not represent the author in the blog piece.

 


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