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"Come on man, one more rep, one more!" - Shooting for above average


duedateguy 2 / 8 1  
Dec 25, 2014   #1
Prompt: Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

"Come on man, one more rep, one more!" shouted my gym partner as I forced the measly eighty five pound weight off my chest for the eighth time. I re-racked the weight and sat up. I felt my chest muscles swelling up and being engorged with blood, I was experiencing "the pump", and it was glorious. But then received a notification on my phone that replaced the euphoria with dread. I had forgotten something of great importance.

[...]

MuazKedir 1 / 2  
Dec 25, 2014   #2
I have no idea what rep this means, if it is common knowledge sorry, but it totally through me off. Don't be afraid to mention names in the second paragraph. The way it is now seems vague. Your story ended very abruptly, I would say give it an ending before you reflect on how it affected you. Other than that it is pretty good writing.

help me with mine it is the common app an environment in which you are perfectly content in one.
vangiespen - / 4,140 1449  
Dec 25, 2014   #3
The essay that you wrote is good in my opinion. I just think that you should rephrase the statement using the word "rep" to completely say "repetition" for those who are not familiar with gym parlance and may end up reading your paper. The lesson that you learned is quite clear and relevant to what happened to you. However, I believe that we also need to learn what the results of your delay in picking up your nephew was in order to make the reasons behind your change in attitude more imperative and lesson filled. That is a gaping hole in your story so you need to fix that :-)
xdx24 3 / 8  
Dec 25, 2014   #4
Hi, man! I like your essay and by the way I can lift about 85kg in bench press :D Back to your essay, I think you should really consider what is your failure. I mean time management is a good point. But you should also write a little bit about your failure. Except that, I think your essay is pretty good. :)
OP duedateguy 2 / 8 1  
Dec 25, 2014   #5
Lol I had to lie in my essay and change it to 85lbs. Originally I said 135lbs, but my sister said it wasn't a "measly" weight, so I had to lighten it.

I'm not actually sure what you mean in terms of writing about my failure, the failure was picking up my cousin an hour late. I suppose that this means I didn't make it clear enough. Thank you, now I will.
OP duedateguy 2 / 8 1  
Dec 25, 2014   #6
But "rep" is in quotes, and no one in a testosterone filled gym is going to say "one more repetition!" So I think I'm going to simply take out the word repetition. As for the rest of your advice, spot on I will try to make it more clear who is who - I suppose it's vague because both the father and child are my cousins.
OP duedateguy 2 / 8 1  
Dec 29, 2014   #7
I want to give you a huge thanks on the advice man.

Here's what it I decided to change the beginning of the third paragraph to this - Everything worked out for the better I am glad to say. However, for some reason, the whole episode led me to think about how much time I have wasted in life. I realized my life lacked proper planning, preparation, and discipline...

I made a lot of other changes - here's how it reads now

"Come on man, one more rep, one more!" shouted my gym partner as I forced the measly one hundred thirty-five pound weight off my chest for the eighth time. I re-racked the weight and sat up. Feeling my chest muscles swelling up and being engorged with blood, I was experiencing "the pump," and it was glorious. Then I receive a message on my cell phone that replaced the euphoria with dread. I had forgotten something of great importance.

Earlier that day, I had made a promise to pick up my cousin's son from school at five o'clock. It was six when I listened to the message, "I forgot to remind you, but I'm assuming you already got him." My mind flooded with wild thoughts of what would come of my blunder. "What if he is fined? What if this incident is reported and he loses custody of his child? What if I'm responsible for a major change in my cousin's relationship with his child?!" I rushed out of the gym, hopped on my bike, and restlessly pedaled with a strong mix of anger, fear, and stress.

Everything worked out for the better I am glad to say. However, for some reason, the whole episode led me to think about how much time I have wasted in life. I realized my life lacked proper planning, preparation, and discipline. I decided that I would put an end to it. From that point on, I meticulously scheduled each waking moment of my day; specifying what hour I would execute each task and for how long I would work on it. Through rigorously planning my daily schedule, I managed to minimize the amount of time wasted on being unproductive and maximize productivity and growth. It provided a secure and reliable structure that I could rely on and relax into, never having to deal with the question of "What should I do next?" and eliminating my proclivity to procrastination. My tasks were doable and I felt that I was in total control of my life. When I write down a task I ask myself, "Is this adding value to my community or myself?" and place it in an ordered list from least important to most urgent. I made my life more meaningful and was able to rebuff distractions that many teens my age face. And of course, if better or more important opportunities presented themselves, I was flexible enough to make a change of plans; ensuring among many things, that I'd never forget to pick up my cousin from after-school again.

Let me know what you think.
vangiespen - / 4,140 1449  
Dec 29, 2014   #8
The essay has improved with the addition of

Everything worked out for the better I am glad to say.

However, the paragraph lacks a sense of clarity regarding the urgency of the matter on your part. We don't understand where all the concern is coming from and why this event could have triggered time management consciousness in you. Somehow, you need to present the fact that your cousin had partial custody or visiting rights with his son that he could lose if he failed to do something right in relation to the time that his son spends with him. Adding that will bring out the full meaning of the essay and why this lesson is very important to you. It is just a small tweak that will make your essay ready for use.
OP duedateguy 2 / 8 1  
Dec 29, 2014   #9
In taking your advice, I decided that my essay would probably be best clarified if I said that everything went really bad and that is what instilled a sense of urgency in me.

I made these changes to the third paragraph only:

Unfortunately, everything went south. When I got there, my cousin was crying and I was notified that a complaint would be made to the mother. When I heard that his mother had used this report to her advantage in a custody hearing, something in me flipped in me that changed everything. The whole episode led me to think about how much time I have wasted in life and what my level of disorganization had cost me. I realized my life lacked proper planning, preparation, and discipline. I decided that I would put an end to it. From that point on, I meticulously scheduled each waking moment of my day; specifying what hour I would execute each task and for how long I would work on it. Through rigorously planning my daily schedule, I managed to minimize the amount of time wasted on being unproductive and maximize productivity and growth. For example, by the end of the summer I was looking at ten pages of schedules and notes that I had accumulated. I was finally forming some good habits. With my effort to plan things out, I provided myself with a secure and reliable structure that I could rely on and relax into, never having to deal with the question of "What should I do next?" and eliminating my proclivity to procrastination. My tasks were doable and I felt that I was in total control of my life. When I write down a task I ask myself, "Is this adding value to my community or myself?" and place it in an ordered list from least important to most urgent. I made my life more meaningful and was able to rebuff distractions that many teens my age face. And of course, if better or more important opportunities presented themselves, I was flexible enough to make a change of plans; ensuring among many things, that I'd never forget to pick up my cousin from after-school again.

I think this one is ready to be stamped and sealed, what do you think?
vangiespen - / 4,140 1449  
Dec 29, 2014   #10
Yep. it is ready to be stamped and sealed, after one quick edit. I noticed some redundancy in the essay that needs to be addressed :-)

something in me flipped in me that changed everything

- I am guessing that this is a typographical error on your part? It happens during the final edit sometimes.

Changing the direction of the essay to a negative result really improved your content and provided the sense of urgency and necessary life lesson that the previous essay incarnations were lacking. Congratulations on thinking of that and using it successfully to your advantage :-)
OP duedateguy 2 / 8 1  
Dec 29, 2014   #11
Thank you and everyone else so much for helping me produce a polished common app essay!

I made one more change in the first line of the essay "Come on man, one more rep , one more!" for those who don't know what a "rep" is. Rewriting it as "repetition" wouldn't have sounded as authentic.

I consider this a job well done, thanks again!


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