Describe a Life Event Which You Feel Has Prepared You to Be Successful in College: Personal Narrative Essay

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Since the age of 5, I’ve been taking piano lessons. Every year I complete a piano exam, which requires me to learn 3 new pieces of music to play. Perfecting 3 pieces of music takes a lot of hard work, effort, and time. There was one exam in particular that made me learn a key lesson in life and that I feel prepared me to be successful in college.

It was the day of my second piano exam. I was standing outside in the ice-cold autumn air outside my front door with my dad, ready to leave. As we drove to the train station, you could see the sun peeking over the horizon. We arrived at the train station and entered the train carriage.

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The train ride felt like forever. I was gazing at the clouds going by, oh how I wish I could live on a cloud. I visualized the image in my head. I could be leaping from one cloud to another, living carelessly, without any trouble. I felt the smooth texture of the clouds underneath my hands. But on the spur of the moment, something hit me. It was called reality. Just at that moment, my imaginary bubble burst as my father shook my arm, indicating that it was now time to get off the train because our destination had arrived.

After a brisk 15-minute walk, we were sitting in the waiting room. Stark white walls. Cold serious voices. My fingers were brittle. I could barely coordinate taking the lid off my water bottle, let alone run my fingers along the keys of a piano.

I felt juxtaposed against the dull feel of this waiting room. A frail, thoughtful-looking receptionist scribbled on a small notepad on her desk, greeting students as they entered. She wore thin-framed glasses connected with a silver chain around the back of her neck. A small clock on the wall was meticulously ticking every second, breaking the silence of the room. The time between each tick on the clock seemed like minutes, rather than seconds. My fingers firmly clenched my knees, and my legs frantically moved up and down like a sewing machine.

“Emily Cicurel?”, a voice called.

I walked over to the hallway, where a lady in a pink flowy dress greeted me. “Hi Emily, I’ll be your examiner for today”. She smiled as I followed her into a small room at the end of the hallway.

I walked to the piano sitting in the middle of the room. I took a huge, deep breath before sitting down and attempting to familiarize myself with the grand piano. It was very different from the one at home. I admired the craftsmanship, both inside and out. The jet-black wood of the piano seamlessly wrapped and curved around the tightly stretched strings on the inside. The black exterior was contrasted with the wood and bright metallic internals. Two hundred and thirty strings stretch the span of the instrument. It is said that beauty is not only skin-deep but also extends throughout the inside as well. This piano was no exception.

I felt dwarfed by the instrument and once again noticed my sweaty palms clenching each thigh. I peered at the examiner who was now sitting behind a large, wooden desk. A tall glass of water and a bowl of lollies camouflaged a selection of ballpoint pens. She ripped out a piece of paper from a bag on the floor beside her, then glanced up. Staring directly into my eyes, she nodded her head and asked me to begin.

I took a deep breath, adjusted my position on the red velvet piano stool, and steadily positioned my fingers on the keys, performing my first piece. Each piece had its own character, and I tried to include some of my own as well. Twenty-two minutes later it was all over. I shook the examiner’s hand and left the building.

One month later, a large envelope arrived. It was my piano exam results. I carefully tore the envelope and reached my hand in, inside was a certificate saying I passed with a distinction. I was relieved.

This event in particular made me learn that after the challenging obstacles I faced, and countless hours of early morning practices, the black and white keys represent a sea of success. I learned how to prepare for the worst outcome and hope for the best outcome. Not only had I graduated with my 2nd piano exam, but I had also learned ruthless dedication and persistence. All this, I am convinced, is absolutely necessary for my successful studies in college. College is a kind of survival school, a place where my further professional and personal prosperity depends on success. I am grateful for that exam, which I feel has prepared me for what lies ahead.

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Describe a Life Event Which You Feel Has Prepared You to Be Successful in College: Personal Narrative Essay. (2024, March 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“Describe a Life Event Which You Feel Has Prepared You to Be Successful in College: Personal Narrative Essay.” Edubirdie, 19 Mar. 2024,
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