Personal Statement Essay | University of California – Santa Barbara Undergraduate Application Essay

“You’re in the wrong line, Melody!” my former classmate shouted across the blacktop. Heads turned and people stared, and my blushing cheeks complemented my hot pink shirt. I felt embarrassed and proud at the same time. On a hot September day in 2001, I skipped second grade. Was this a foolish choice or a smart move? I say everything in life happens for a reason, so I am sure it was the right decision, easy or not.

I was an early walker, talker, and reader. By kindergarten, I played Mozart sonatas on the piano and helped fourth-graders with their math. My handwriting was messy merely because my hand could not keep up with my brain. In first grade I was miles ahead of my classmates, so my parents and school officials agreed that I should skip second grade. On the first day of third grade, when all my friends formed lines on the blacktop behind their second-grade teachers, I gave a shy smile and nervously approached the crowd of unfamiliar third-grade faces. I was tempted to run away and shrink into the shadows.

Several months later, I moved to my current hometown of Palos Verdes, California. The story about my age spread quickly; here, skipping a grade is about as common as a high school hosting the Olympics. I started to become…

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