The Soundtrack of My Life | Stanford University Undergraduate Application Essay

I lean my head against the cold glass window and watch the world fly by at 70 mph, as the soothing tones of stringed instruments and a dancing guitar line melt into Emm Gryner’s voice singing “Stereochrome.” I was 6 years old, riding in the backseat of my parent’s station wagon on a 4-hour road trip to our annual mountain biking destination. A few years pass and we meet 10-year-old me. I’m in my bedroom reading a “Magic Tree House” book, as my floor vibrates with a pulsating rhythm from the bass roaring downstairs. My Dad’s band is inconceivably loud. I still remember the muffled sound of a woman’s voice belting “Son of a Preacher Man.” Next thing I know, I’m an emotional 13-year-old middle schooler, sobbing into my pillow while the sound of Morrissey’s voice speaks to me through my earbuds and silences every other sound in the world. By next year I am 14, listening intently to the sound of my bassoon echoing off my living room walls, approaching my second hour of practice. Hundreds of hours of practicing later, I am 16, interacting with the sound of my bassoon as it resonates with the acoustics of the Kennedy Center, echoing across the hall and touching even the back row of the audience. Now, I am 17, standing in a tailcoat,…

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