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Constant Progress on Maturing and Returning the Favor - Essay for Scholarship Application

Hatif 2 / 5 1  
Jul 1, 2017   #1
Hi all! This is an essay for my scholarship application. The topic of the essay is: "Greatest Success in Life", and need to be in max 700 words. Any comments, corrections, and inputs, it will be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help. :)


constant work in progress

The conception of success is based on each of own personal measurement, perception, and personal value. My conception of success had evolved as I matured and grew older, but the defining moment happened a year after my father passed away. In 2007, our family was in the process on adjusting to new circumstances and difficulties that were present following the bereavement. During the grief, I had the opportunity to represent DKI Jakarta for a national competition among 18 other finalists from all over Indonesia; an emotional moment of proud for my mother, for she was the one struggling the most to ensure our well-being. I see that experience as a purpose to look forward and re-live later in life ever since, and started to learn that success in life is as simple as returning the favor by making her proud of what I have become. I believe, success is a moment of satisfaction and gratitude for me and my mother, and a series of process of continual growth to be a better person of myself. Although my conception of success is fluid and continuous, there are two events that stood out and illustrated my greatest success in life.

To begin with, the years I attended Universitas Padjadjaran in Bandung, West Java, were the first phase of success and maturing for me. I was dependent as a child, living in Bandung and being away from home is the first thing I deemed a milestone. From my experiences in college, I learnt the value of team work, perseverance, and time management by playing in the Marching Band, and succeeded to perform with my team in a national competition. In the same year, I also participated in two international forums for youth, and learnt to embrace different cultures and backgrounds while benefiting from the courses and international exposure.

In 2013 to 2014, I learnt about social volunteer, leadership and how to adapt to new environment from being a vice village coordinator of student study service (KKN) in a remote village. In one month, we lived with the local people and conducted several programs in education, sharing experiences and motivating session to the local youth, and capacity building for local business. I challenged myself to take two leadership roles in two different organizations, which was rewarding to gain experiences in managing people. By the time I graduated from university, a word of appreciation from my mother felt priceless, and I felt fulfilled; I have proven that I could be involved in many activities, met many inspiring people, and matured as a person amidst maintaining a good grade.

Another phase of success for me was my working experience. As a fresh graduate who used to work in a peer of youths in organization, I was struggling during my first month to work in a team with age differences. I overcame my obstacle by adjusting to the new system of bureaucracy, and encouraged myself to be opinionated and inquisitive. By the end of the first month, I found the pace and became very committed in doing my job. I felt content in working on my field of interest, as well as being able to implement my study. Not long after eight months of work, my commitment and hard work was appreciated by the Director General; based on my performances, I was selected among many other employees as one of the Delegate of Indonesia to participate in UN Climate Change Conference in Morocco. Being selected as the delegate was definitely a prize, but the process on reaching to the stage as a fresh graduate and entry-level employee was another milestone for me.

To conclude, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, my greatest success in life is a constant work in progress. All the courses in my life; the moments of fulfillment and hardships, have contributed to who I am now. As long as I have the purpose to make my mother proud of what I have become and returning the favor and sacrifices of raising me, all these experiences I deemed success would be my stepping stone to reach further in life.

numissh 2 / 8 2  
Jul 3, 2017   #2
Hi! this is such an inspiring essay. However, there are few things that i need to highlight.

1) "Although my conception of success is fluid and continuous".
Actually i think you might want to have another term to replace this fluid thing. Idk with others, but for me, i was frowned for a second finding a meaning of this sentence. But, if you consider this to be right, stick with your gut :)

2) "...were the first phase of success and maturing for me"
I think you should add in "process" after maturing, therefore it would be "maturing process for me".

3) "...the first thing I deemed a milestone".
I think you should write one of this two sentence below.
>> The first thing I deemed to be a milestone
>> The first thing I considered a milestone

4) I've been reading some advice on how to produce a good essay. I found out that some scholarship committees often refuse to read the whole essay. Therefore it might be good for you to point out the most important thing in the essay or in a paragraph by making it bold or italic or whatever it takes to make your judges understand the main purpose of your essay. For example, you might want to bold this.

>> "I believe, success is a moment of satisfaction and gratitude for me and my mother, and a series of process of continual growth to be a better person of myself."

>> "...my greatest success in life is a constant work in progress"

In the end, it's still up to you. I am sorry if i gave you wrong information. Good luck with your application!
OP Hatif 2 / 5 1  
Jul 4, 2017   #3
Hi! @numissh
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I really appreciate your comments.

Actually, for your #1 comment, I wanted to say that goes along the line of "variable", but I do understand your concern. Will try to look for another word to best represent my feeling about this sentence :)

Not at all, @numissh. It's a great help for my writing. Thank you very much :D
Holt [Contributor] - / 8,564 2483  
Jul 4, 2017   #4
Hatif, as I read your essay what I learned about was a series of half baked successes that had no relation to showing your actual potential as a scholar. There is no significant achievement in your essay that would allow a scholarship reviewer to be amazed by your skills as a student, a civic leader, or a person. Rather, you are presenting all of your character traits that help you make you a success. While I applaud the hard work of your mother, and her inspiration for making you strive to achieve in life, defining success instead of actually proving that you have the ability to succeed in doing one simple thing is not the focal point of this essay. What you should instead do is focus on the competition that you joined, that is, if you were successful in that competition. Aside from the personal conflict brought about by your father's death, discuss other factors that could have prevented you from winning the competition that you were able to overcome. Once you have convincingly portrayed the obstacles you had to overcome, how you overcame these problems, and then achieved success in the competition, then the essay will have provided the correct information for the reviewer. This is all about showing the scholarship committee how you manage to create success out of adversity. This is not about defining success in various aspects of your life.

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