Wordiness comes in many forms with many different names -- deadwood, repetition, redundancy, BS, filler, fluff -- but whatever the type, those extraneous words have no place in a winning college admissions essay.
In the brief sample above, all the words in yellow can be pared back or cut entirely. The near repetition of the phrase "the first times I set foot on the stage" entirely saps the passage of energy and forward momentum. The author is merely spinning his wheels.
Consider how much tighter and more engaging the passage is without all the unnecessary language: "Theater did not come naturally to me, and I felt remarkably self-conscious and nervous the first few times I set foot on stage in the eighth grade. My best friend had talked me into auditioning for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet."