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I disappointed myself and my coach; MIT Admissions Essay on Overcoming a Challenge


abhavsar 4 / 7 1  
Oct 29, 2016   #1
Prompt: Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation?(*) (200-250 words)

I'm at a track meet, about to clear a height of 4 ' 6" for the high jump event. This should be easy; I was able to do this in practice just the previous day. I hear my coach say, "You got this, [insert my name]." I then run towards the bar in a curved path, jump, twist my body, and arch my back. I feel a sharp pain in the back, and I quickly realize I hit the bar. Two more attempts remain. I'm a bit worried now. I let the stress get to my head, and I mess up my run, and I hit the bar again. One more attempt. I'm getting frustrated now. What was so difficult this time? I run and jump a third time, and I don't feel my legs or back hitting the bar. Unfortunately, the bar wobbles a bit and falls to the floor. I almost made it, but not quite. I disappointed myself and my coach; I humiliated myself.

From this, I realized that learning a skill does not always just end after one performing that skill successfully. Sometimes, it requires repetition, and persistence. I initially was discouraged by such an unexpected failure, and I almost stopped going to practice. Eventually, however, I continued going to practice, and I was able to clear 4' 6" in the next meet. Through this experience, I will be able to handle such unexpected in the future, whether it be in my academic career or elsewhere.

Thank you to anyone who helps.

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,324 3356  
Oct 30, 2016   #2
Hey Arnav, you really did very good work on this essay. You showed more than just how you overcame a challenge, but you also provided a lesson in perseverance and learning from failure. The problem that I can see with this essay, is that there is a lack of background development and analysis from the multiple failures on your part. Since this is a 250 word essay, I believe you can do this.

don't just say you were at a track meet, take the reader in. Where was this track meet, what event were you participating in, and why was this victory important to you. These are the necessary information for the first paragraph of your essay. Then, move on to the second paragraph, you failed to make the jump. What was your mindset? How did you shake it off in order to prepare for the next jump? Third paragraph, same information, 4th paragraph, same information. Then the concluding paragraph related to the lessons that you learned and how you can apply these to your college life. Don't think about the word count. Just write, you can always edit for content.


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