Hi.. please help me!
Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
"Are you a mute?!" was the question my third grade teacher obnoxiously asked me in front of the whole class after I answered a question "aloud". Ever since I was in elementary school, I was known as the quiet, shy, reserved girl who never spoke up. People had to always ask me to repeat myself. I was told that even when I was a baby, three years old, I would hide from people behind my mother's legs. And on top of that, as I got older, my parents pounded me with all sorts of questions regarding what I was going to do when I was older. However, I was never quite sure of what I wanted to do. When I got to high school, though not as extreme, I was still afraid of people, rejection, and judgment; I was self-conscious, refrained, and worried about a futile future.
In my junior year, I was introduced to DECA, an Association of Marketing Students, in my Intro to Business class. I decided to join just because it might give me some direction in my pointless life. I joined for the "experience" hoping that maybe along the way I could learn business skills or even some life skills. My first impression of DECA was a club of nerdy business people. However, this club was definitely not what I expected it to be; I had no idea what was coming my way. So what IS DECA? The common answer to that question is: a nationally recognized organization for high school and college students interested in business marketing and management. I learned to answer this question on my own when I competed in my first mini competition. DECA was a mind-racing competition where you have to step out of your comfort zone and present yourself to a judge to be evaluated on your performance. At our first competition, the Martin Luther King (MLK) Mini Competition, I remember not having a clue of what was going on. My role-play scores were average, I didn't receive any awards, didn't make it up on stage as finalist, but I was only slightly disappointed because I didn't take this competition nor this club very seriously. However, later, my definition of DECA changed to: a club where you meet fantastic people and learn the necessary social skills to become successful.
Throughout junior year, I went to compete at the district and state levels, not because I was any good, but because I didn't want to quit. After district competition, I considered quitting DECA. I was never good at anything with speech, presentation, or being judged so I concluded that this was definitely not my kind of thing. This dress-up-business-attire-and-put-yourself-on-the-spotlight-a nd-present thing just wasn't working for me. So, why didn't I just quit? Honestly, I don't know. Maybe it's because I didn't want to give up so easily and I think that was what kept telling me to keep trying even though I was beyond disappointed at State Conference.
Even though I did not win much or even anything, through these competitions, I was still able to gain knowledge that is useful and beneficial to my future. I was constantly engaging and interacting with new people, learning how to socialize, expanding my comfort zone. I was learning how to be professional just by a firm shake of the hand, greeting, and smile. Most importantly, I grew confident in myself- I was more confident with all my opinions and answers- and was able to put forth an idea without taking it back.
When senior year came around and I was appointed secretary, I was prompted to take on the role of a leader and felt pressured to be a role model for the new freshmen. Our first competition of the year, I met with the MLK mini competition once again. This time I embraced it with greater confidence and ease and had bigger expectations for myself. I placed 1st overall in the Apparel and Accessories Marketing series. The most competitive event with over 45 contestants, and I won. I wouldn't believe it. Reflecting on my attitude last year I realized that if I quit I would never have got to see my own progress.
Through my experience with DECA, I became more comfortable with my people and leadership skills, I gained self-confidence, and I now have a direction to look forward to in my future. The trophy and ribbons that I now stored in my closet is the proof for my major improvement with DECA. That 1st place trophy represents a tangible award, but it could mean less to me. I am more proud of my intangible awards, the big improvement I've made, the new self-image I've created, and the new self-confidence I now possess.
Word Count: approx 795
Cut down 2nd paragraph??
I know this essay sucks. It's also REALLLY long. Help me cut down unnecessary junk. It's my first draft and I suck at writing so I need all the help I can get. I'll take all kinds of criticism. THANK YOU<3