Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
I cracked a smile as the woman in the passenger seat looked up and said, "You passed!" I had waited seventeen years to hear those two simple words. Although it was only a small piece of plastic, it would define the rest of my high school career. My dad handed me the keys and I ran to the car. I put my seatbelt on, turned on my favorite song and was eager to drive to school so I could brag to all my friends. I was smirking the whole way there, thinking to myself, "Is this actually happening?" I turned the corner to park in a neighborhood close to school. I found the closest spot I could and tried to fit my eight cylinder Nissan Armada into the space.
Unaware that my car was in reverse, I tapped the gas pedal and my car jolted backwards. I jerked my head forward and slammed on the breaks. I had destroyed the little gray car parked on the other side of the street. I cringed at the sound of the glass hitting the cold pavement. My mouth dropped and tears began to stream down my face. I couldn't believe in just one hour my day went from great to horrific. I frantically picked up my phone to call my parents, fingers trembling at the thought of their reaction. As I stood back and stared at the damage, I was ashamed of myself. I couldn't believe my dreams of driving had just been shattered into a million little pieces.
As a young, naive teenager, I never thought about the precautions and responsibility driving entails. All I knew was that I needed my license and couldn't wait another day. After the accident, it seemed as if everyone around me had known I wasn't ready. When my dad arrived at the scene of the accident, I could read the expression on his face. I was discouraged that everyone felt this way, but I learned that some things in life cannot be rushed. I simply was not ready for the responsibility of driving a car by myself. Mastering an act as difficult as driving is something that takes time and practice. Although I never drive to school anymore, I do drive some places, most of which are close, by myself in order to gain experience. I realized that everyone has his or her own unique set of skills. In comparison to my friends, I thought I had done an excessive amount of practice. Looking back, I realized the difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary driver are those few extra days of practice. Sometimes in life, the amount of time you take to achieve a goal is insignificant as long you refuse to give up.
Regarding my teenage years, it seems as if I am always rushing to go nowhere. Most teens want everything instantly and if it takes time, they have an increased tendency to give up or lose interest. Through this experience, I have learned that living this way will not accomplish anything. I now understand how hard people need to work to fully obtain their goals. Sometimes, we are simply not ready for the responsibilities we face as we age. Patience is a virtue and something many people take for granted. After the accident, I learned that it is important to work towards a goal instead of settling for what you think you deserve. I also learned that in the long run, taking shortcuts will only hurt me. Although at the time I felt like my life was over, I learned a valuable lesson that I needed to experience for myself to see the importance and significance of growing up. Moving on, I can only learn from my mistakes and work harder to earn my goals.