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'with my driver's license in hand' - Common App Prompt A


s1staskus 1 / 2  
Nov 16, 2011   #1
Hi! I just finished my common app essay prompt A and I was hoping to get some feedback. Thanks :)

Common App Prompt A: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have face and its impact on you.
There I was sitting in the middle of a parking lot, crying my eyes out. At the time I was not really sure why. A tidal wave of nervousness, anxiousness, humiliation, and failure overcame me and took me down with it. I was trying my hardest to muster up the strength to make not my first, not my second, but my third attempt at my driving test as I sat in the California Department of Motor Vehicles parking lot. At the time, it seemed as though my world was coming to an end. However, this experience was extremely beneficial in teaching me to persevere no matter how impossible a task may seem and to stop worrying about the minor failures in life.

I had already failed my driving test twice, each fail equally as embarrassing. During my first attempt, as I sat in the car, all that was going through my mind was that I constantly practiced, so my driving test should be a "piece of cake." Right? Wrong.

Looking back now, the incident seems miniscule, but at the time, it was beyond embarrassing. Almost every one of my friends had their license. The worst part about that day was the fact that my best friend and I had scheduled our appointments for the same day. She passed, I did not.

It seemed so unfair to me that all of my friends appeared to pass with ease, while I was stuck failing over and over again. To me, driving meant so much more than just the mechanical act; it meant freedom and in a way, the gateway to blossoming into an adult.

I felt downtrodden and discouraged. I did not know if I could or even wanted to make a third attempt. But with encouragement from my friends and family, I mustered up the strength to try again.

My dad talked me through my pity party in the parking lot and convinced me to just try one last time. As I pulled up, a middle-aged Indian man walked toward my car. He was clearly my driving instructor.

He noticed that I was upset and tried to calm me down with some words of wisdom: "Someone up there" as he pointed skyward "did not want you to pass for some reason and it's usually a good one." The sincerity in his voice and the words he said calmed me down and this turned out to be the final push of encouragement I needed to make my final attempt.

I made it through the entire driving test this time without any dramatic stops. The two words "you passed," rung like bells on Christmas day. Without thinking, and much to his dismay, I embraced him and thanked him numerous times. It seemed like the happiest moment of my life.

The embarrassment was huge; the reward from my perseverance, even greater. This task, to me, at the time, seemed impossible. But, because of the love and support of my family and friends, I tried again and again until I achieved that final goal of my driver's license.

Every time, it seems as though a task is impossible, I look back to this very moment and remember that even if I do fail a first or second time, that eventually with enough perseverance, I will achieve my goals.

Being a dancer, there are many times where I feel as though I have failed. Times where I have not been cast as the role I wanted, times where I have messed up on stage in front of large crowds, and times where I just feel like giving up. However, this experience has taught me that although something may seem impossible at the moment, I must push through the tough times to get to the good times. Every night that I return home from dance and feel as though I have failed myself, I stretch for an extra hour or practice my routine just that much longer that night and in the end it truly does pay off. I return to dance the next day feeling more prepared and confident in myself as a dancer.

Every time I get over emotional about that one part I did not get or the one step I did incorrectly, I reminisce back to this moment and remember how much hard work it took to finally reach the goal of passing my driving test. Then I remember how badly I want my goals and dreams as a dancer to come to life. That small push is all I need to carry me through the rest of the class or rehearsal, remembering that hard work and perseverance truly does pay off.

Both times I failed seemed like the most embarrassing events of my entire life. But through the humor and support of my family and friends, I was able to overlook these minor failures and end up laughing about them in the end.

In the long run, however, it did not affect me negatively that I waited a mere month longer to receive my license. I wasn't really prepared and no where near responsible enough to receive a driver's license. This experience taught me that the things that seem most important now, only add up to a microscopic dot in the story of your life. In short, to not "sweat the small stuff," because you never know what the future holds.

No one ever knows what the future holds for them and everything always happens for a reason. I truly believe that my failing this test twice was meant to teach me a life lesson. In the real world, I will not always get my way, but I have to accept that, move on, and keep trying. Because of this I am able to move on and pursue my dreams along my highway of life with my driver's license in hand.
HCOdude 1 / 3  
Nov 16, 2011   #2
I think you should focus on the Driver's licence, it was and interesting and engaging story with purpose. When you added the part about dancing the tone and focus were shifted and made this essay seem longer and more tedious. Maybe dancing could be used in another essay?
OP s1staskus 1 / 2  
Nov 17, 2011   #3
Okay thanks! Will do :)
ketalthedon 1 / 7  
Nov 17, 2011   #4
yeah i do agree with hcodude:you should remove the part about dancing .good essay by the way.
rajp98 1 / 4  
Nov 17, 2011   #5
I think you should focus more on the awards and talk more about the awards, if i was a college I would want to read that..
lovelife 1 / 4  
Nov 17, 2011   #6
Hi! First, a completely random statement: OH MY GOD WE ARE DRIVING TWINS...literally everything that happened to you also happened to me. The failing twice, freaking out, everyone else has their license, learning from it...everything.

Now for your essay. I really like it! It really describes your outlook on life and shows how you can turn something negative into something positive. However, I completely agree that the dancing part is unnecessary. While it does fit in with your theme, it seems a little random and just "too much". Since I'm guessing your essay is over the limit, you should definitely consider cutting the dancing part out.

"because you never know what the future holds.
No one ever knows what the future holds for them and everything always happens for a reason.
"Obviously, you are transitioning here, but you should consider using different words for the "future holds" phrase. It sounds a little bit repetitious as it is right now.

Both times I failed seemed like the most embarrassing events of my entire life. But through the humor and support of my family and friends, I was able to overlook these minor failures and end up laughing about them in the end.

If you need to remove anything, I would consider cutting out these sentences. While they are well-written, they are unnecessary (at least in my opinion)

Btw, I love your clincher!

Good luck with your essay!
If you could perhaps look at my college application essay as well, I would really appreciate it!


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