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"The biggest fear is fear itself." - application essay

pallakg 2 / 3  
Jan 17, 2009   #1
please point out if there are any grammatical errors or any points which should be added/omitted. is the essay good??????

"The biggest fear is fear itself."

I do not know where I heard these words or when.

But they were engraved in my mind through out the warm up. I had to fight the fear.

This was the first time I made it so far in a tennis tournament. Just one step to the finals and two to the under-14 city title. For me it was a double battle, one on the court and another in my mind.

My opponent was one of the top players in the city and seeded number one in the tournament. I had played against her twice before and lost both times. But that had only made me more determined to train harder and improve my game.

So here I was, better than the last time, more trained, more experienced. I knew I could win this time. Yet, in a corner of my mind there was a fear - a fear that I was still not good enough, a fear of losing. And this fear kept pulling me back from doing my best.

During the first hour, as desperately as I tried I could not clinch even a single game. It was the same thing over and over again. The game would be tied at deuce and then the fear would rear its ugly head. I would get so conscious about winning that I would always hold back and try to keep it safe. This would only result in another game lost.

The score was 4-0. During the break, I decided that it was now or never. Defeating the fear had become more important than the game itself. The next game started. Again, a deuce. Again, the fear. I pushed it away and just concentrated on the ball. This time, there was no holding back. And I got the game!

There was no time to celebrate though. 4-1. I needed 5 more games for the set and the match. The fear was still trying to push me down. But I pushed back. 4-4. The score got tied. 4-5. One game lead. Deuce. Match point.

The fear returned. But this time, it was not so huge. I just ignored it. The result? Game. Set. Match. I won the final match and the title too.

Now, the fear materializes time and again. It is always waiting to pounce whenever I have a hard task at hand or I am trying something new. But I just look past it. And then slowly, it just shrivels up and disappears, just like in the tennis match that day.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 17, 2009   #2
Overall a strong essay. You might want to go into a bit more detail about how you overcame the fear, but I realize that is difficult to describe, given that it is all internal. Still, emotions are felt only through the body, so maybe you could talk about the physical symptoms of fear that you felt, and how you focused on controlling them.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 18, 2009   #3
At the outset, you make a mistake by mentioning a famous quote by Roosevelt and then revealing that you don't know who said it. It's better to mention Roosevelt if you are going to quote him. See his 1932 inaugural address for inspiration: historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/

Now, when he first said this, about having nothing to fear except for fear itself, it was during an economically difficult time. Americans were in fear about their futures. Perhaps you could add to the beginning of this essay so that it shows how you feared the effect that the outcome of this tournament would have on your future.

If you are going to talk about overcoming fear during this tournament, add a sentence that conveys your concern about how the outcome would affect your future -- even if you have to exaggerate a little! :)
OP pallakg 2 / 3  
Jan 18, 2009   #4
Oh guess I am a little weak with American History... :)
Thank you for the suggestion and for letting me know whose quote it is.. but I already submitted the essay due to the deadline... Still thanks a lot...
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 18, 2009   #5
Oh, well good luck to you!! :)
onindo 5 / 20  
Jan 18, 2009   #6
great essay friend

but as Kevin said, you gotta mention Roosevelt
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 19, 2009   #7
I don't think omitting Roosevelt will have hurt you. After all, what you say is that you don't remember where you heard those words and when, which is perfectly true. I'm guessing you weren't there for Roosevelt's initial speech, and so presumably knowing that he was the first person to say it doesn't help much in that regard.
OP pallakg 2 / 3  
Jan 19, 2009   #8
lol I don't think it should... i really didn't know who said it... and maybe being Asian i might just get away with it :) cuz i never studied this part of American history
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 19, 2009   #9
I knew that the quote was Roosevelt, but I think the first time I heard it was on an episode of Stark Trek:TNG, and for a long time I had no idea where the original came from.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 19, 2009   #10
...but I think the first time I heard it was on an episode of Star Trek:TNG...

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 20, 2009   #11
Whoops. Yes, I did indeed mean Star Trek, and not Stark Trek, though the latter could be a great title for a parody of some sort.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 21, 2009   #12
Oh, that was a bad joke for me to make! I thought I was so funny when I made that correction...don't mind my foul humor.


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