Personal Statement for Mason Edmund, Class of 2022
As you consider me for your swim program, I am excited to share insights about how my life-long commitment to swimming has helped to shape the person I am today. I first started swimming when I was five years old because my parents insisted I enroll in a sport to burn off energy. Hundreds of thousands of yards later, despite the two-a-day grind of practices, I swim today because I love the sport and how it has shaped me as a person and a leader. I am eager to continue swimming in college, and I am confident that swimming will help me achieve the rigorous academic, competitive, and leadership goals I have set for myself.
Both of my parents graduated college. My mother pursued a career in teaching; my father is a lawyer. They have always emphasized to me that excelling in the classroom is most important and takes precedence over conflicting obligations, including swimming conflicts. For me, though, swimming and academics do not compete with each other. I know I am a better student because of the hard work ethic, perseverance, and leadership skills I have learned from swimming. As my family moved for career opportunities, I have attended several different schools — some public, some private — across Ohio, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. In each one, I have received straight As (and have an unweighted 4.0 GPA) while taking some of the most challenging classes offered by the school. Swimming has given me the confidence to know that whatever challenge is put in front of me, I can rely on my hard work ethic and disciplined thinking to overcome it. More than that, swimming relieves my stress, focuses my energy, and helps me calmly persevere where others give up. I have learned to work through setbacks and consistently give my best. I am a top student because I am a top athlete, not in spite of it.
I feel fortunate to have had tremendous success as a swimmer, earning state championships in several events in Arizona and Florida, and now competing at the highest levels in Texas. Shortly after turning 15 years old, I won bronze in the 800M freestyle at Futures championships. I excel in distance swimming; I feel those are the events where my mental toughness and physical endurance combine to give me the best edge over my competition. While swimming is an inseparable part of my life, my swimming career has not been without challenges. Some of the biggest have come as a result of my family’s moves to different states. Adapting to the coaching styles of five different swim teams and two high school teams has not been easy. Each time I’ve moved, first from Ohio to Arizona, then to Florida, and now to Texas, the competition has become harder. Meeting and making new friends was not easy. After one move, I had a two-year plateau in my times, and persevering through that was mentally challenging for me. But if you talked to the coaches on any of those teams and asked them who rose to be a clear leader, who inspired others to do their best, and who set a great example every day in practice, I would hope they would say I fit each of these descriptions. Swimming has taught me to be a leader, and through swimming, I am continually learning how to improve my leadership skills.
That is my goal in college. I’m confident I will be a great student. I know I will do whatever it takes to be a great swimmer. What I want most of all is to continue to learn the skills needed to be the best leader and person I can be in life.