According to Webster's Dictionary, an antonym to success is failure. Yet the relationship between the two terms is more complex than that. People's roads to success are very different but their stories usually share some characteristics; they work hard work, hope and at some point they failed.
Senior year, my best friend and high schools SGA president convinced me to run for SGA vice President. (Actually he forged my name on the sign up ballet). I told him repeatedly it wasn't possible; my classmates called me crazy, weird and ugly. I thought that it would be a humiliating defeat in which I ended up with two votes: his and mine. Yet he was persistent. His constant encouragement and unwillingness to except discouraging facts eventually got me to believe in myself.
Once I started to believe in myself, I realized that winning this election would require hard work. Especially considering I was running against my school's homecoming princess, star cheerleader and model team captain. To combat my opponent, I gave away candy, had lunch with freshmen and practiced my speech incessantly. I did all of this for about two weeks and the day before the election I dragged my mom to office depot and spent two weeks lunch money on label papers. I used the label paper to print stickers that read "Vote Jestina!" Aligning the printer with the label paper proved to be a difficult and stressful task. At one point I almost gave up, but then I realized if I gave up and lost as a result I'd regret it forever. After about only an hour of sleep, I went to school an hour early to give out my campaign stickers to every student I could find. It was evident that I gave the campaign my blood, sweat and tears; so by election time I felt confident. As I walked through the halls between classes, countless people approached me saying, "Jestina I voted for you." I just couldn't wait for the afternoon announcements to confirm my victory. After years of being shy and fearful I finally stepped out of my comfort zone to run for a position I could only have dreamed about before. When fourth period announcements started, I yelled "shh" to silence my fourth period class; a friend tapped me and said, "What's the point? You already know you won." But I just had to hear it! The announcer went through all the class offices first and then they said it "The SGA vice president is Tanzania Rice."
I felt my belly drop. My face froze like a devoted wife would after discovering her husband cheated with a younger woman. It made no sense hard work and confidence should equal success! When we were dismissed I looked at all the sticker wearers as if they were that younger women. But soon went into denial: There must be a mistake? Sure, my opponent was 'popular' but I believed and gave it my best effort. I invested my money in candy and stickers! I dismissed all the definitions of me and redefined myself. I immediately found the election coordinator who confirmed I lost by 22 votes, which meant I got 398 more votes then I initially expected. However, it was still a loss.
I couldn't wait to get off my bus and home to my room. It was quiet dark and miserable. If I stayed there forever I would never fail at anything again. As I sat on my bedroom floor my mind started to wander. I thought about my favorite musical artist: Michael Jackson. As hard as it may be to believe considering his legacy today, Michael Jackson (along with his brothers) once received third place in a local talent show; a talent show that they worked night and day to win. Then I thought about Sarah Palin, who despite the criticisms she received during her Vice Presidential run, is interested in running for President in 2012. Finally my mind started to wonder about my own father, who has been thrown more curve balls than anyone I know. Since my dad received his degree in the Soviet Union it proved virtually useless in this country. But that didn't stop him from going back to school to study computers and when computer technician jobs seemed to disappear he didn't complain and he didn't give up. He is currently a registered nurse and I know that if he wasn't putting all his time and money towards me and my brother's educations he'd be back in the classroom again. Jackson, Palin and most importantly my father show me that success isn't just hope and hard work it is endurance.
Although I lost SGA Vice president, I gained confidence, I gained experience and I gained a lot of friends. The experience made my senior year of high school a thousand times more fun than my junior year.
This semester I applied to be an RA at my University. The application process was long and challenging and because of the rain and location of the submission office turning in the application proved to be a challenge in itself. Again I ignored the unlikely odds, worked hard and unfortunately I did not receive the position. As I read the letter sent by the RA coordinators to inform me that I would not become an RA, I was already thinking about what I would add to next year's application. Successful people work hard, take risk but if a person truly wishes to find happiness through success they must be willing to endure the pain of failure and keep on striving. In the words of the late Aaliyah "And if at first you don't succeed dust yourself off and try again"
I am not 100% confident in my grammar + should I break up the bigger paragraphs?