8 Personal Narrative

Yu-Chia Shun and Meg'n Blundell


Your personal narrative is an exercise in storytelling. It should consist of a 3 to 4-page narration of
an event, experience, or set of experiences that taught you something. Your narrative should thus be centered on an identifiable theme, lesson, or idea, and supported with specific evidence such as personal anecdotes, sensory details, and personal reflection. While the narrative is about you, the lesson, theme, or idea conveyed in the story should be relevant to your audience.

Key elements:

• The appeal of the narrative essay is the style of the writing and the personality of the narrator.
• The goal is to share an insight, usually one that uncovers a universal facet of the human
experience in order to bridge more overt differences.
• Readers must believe that the narrator is honest and someone who seeks a deeper level of understanding. As an author, you must consciously craft your narrator’s character.
• In personal narratives, narrators often exhibit vulnerability, which often involves sharing
his/her flaws with the reader, and ultimately attempt to assess or interrogate these flaws in order
to evolve past them.
• Narratives should explore the insights we can learn from examining everyday experiences.

Student Essay Models on the next page

Making History

 Darian Herring

My senior year of high school was an unforgettable journey, symbolizing both the trials and triumphs that defined those pivotal moments. At the heart of it all was a debilitating ankle injury that initially seemed like an insurmountable roadblock. Little did I know that this setback would lead to an incredible chapter in my life, marked by the exhilarating experience of taking my high school basketball team to the state tournament. Along the way, I was fortunate to be surrounded by exceptional individuals who provided unwavering support and guidance, transforming adversity into opportunity. Together, we created a path to make history, leaving an erasable mark not only in the record books but also through the lessons of resilience, teamwork, and perseverance that would shape my future.

Due to being out because of injury I had to watch my teammates train during the preseason, frustration and disappointment consumed me. I had dreamed of leading my team to victory in my final year, but it seemed like those dreams might be over before they even began. The pain in my ankle was relentless, and it tested my resolve like never before. Despite the setbacks, I refused to let adversity define my senior year. With unwavering dedication and countless hours of rehabilitation, I gradually made my way back onto the court. I got back to playing just in time, one week before our first game. Sitting out during most of the preseason allowed me to develop a deeper appreciation for the game and a newfound respect for resilience. Though it was a scary thought that I might not get to experience the feeling of running onto the court for the first time. I had goals this season that required me to play in every game. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to complete these goals.

Our journey through the season was nothing short of extraordinary. Against all odds, we clinched both the league and district championships, showcasing the sheer determination and unity of our team. During the district game, I reached a personal milestone by scoring my 1,000th point, a testament to years of hard work and dedication. Our victories against our rivals were particularly sweet, and we did it not once but four times, establishing our dominance and solidifying our bond as a team. The feeling you feel after making history with your bestfriends is an experience I will never forget. The icing on the cake was when we earned the opportunity to play at the Yakima Sundome for the first time in two decades, a moment that made us feel special.

The pinnacle of our season came when we earned a spot in the state tournament. We battled hard, won our first game, and faced a nail-biting showdown in our second. With seconds left on the clock and us only leading by one point, I was called for a foul. She made both free throws, putting them up by one. In a desperate last effort, I sprinted down the court and sank a three-pointer that would have put us up by two and possibly secured our spot in the next round. But it wasn’t meant to be; the buzzer had sounded just before the release, and my shot didn’t count. In the midst of this incredible season, I etched my name into the record books by tying the 1A state record for the most blocks in a single game. It was a testament to my dedication to the defensive end of the court and my commitment to helping my team in any way possible.

Although our journey ended in heartbreak that night, I walked away from my senior year feeling immensely accomplished. We had defied the odds, achieved more than anyone could have expected, and forged lifelong friendships. I couldn’t have done it without the love and support from my family and friends. Alongside with my coach who had taught me the importance of being a leader, and showed me how to play with confidence and dignity.  As I look ahead to playing at the collegiate level, I carry with me the lessons of resilience, teamwork, and unwavering determination that defined my senior year on the basketball court. My ankle injury may have cast a shadow, but it was the unwavering spirit of my team and the memories of that unforgettable season that casted the light.


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Music in Your Words Copyright © 2023 by Yu-Chia Shun and Meg'n Blundell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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