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"Failure Is Inevitable" - College Personal Essay


Kbro 1 / 2  
Nov 9, 2015   #1
Prompt: The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

From a young age we were instilled with the idea of winning was better than losing. Nobody wanted to be the loser. In my case I was always headstrong about succeeding in everything I did. It wasn't an option to fail even for the most trivial of situations. In elementary school I had to be the fastest in the class relay races. I pushed myself at a young age to have the mindset that failing meant that I was a failure. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that failing was inevitable and that it was acceptable to fail once in a while. For when I was young I had not yet experienced much outside of playing in the sandbox, I would not know what true challenges would come into play upon aging. Your entrance into high school as a freshman is a time when you are finding yourself as an individual and beginning to mold yourself into who you want to be. During this time for me was a time to achieve more than a simple gold star for acing a vocabulary quiz. I wanted to step outside of the box and set a different goal. With that being said, my goal for freshman year was to become a cheerleader for my high school. It was a goal that I had set for myself because I thought what better way to get involved with the school that I would be at for the next four years other than being a part of the cheerleading team. Frankly I was pleased with the idea of auditioning for the team. I had already had years of experience being a gymnast so I figured that I could apply all my skills to the audition. The audition process lasted for 3 days in all. Throughout the three days we learned a series of tumbling routines, dances and chants. The final day being the third day would be the day everybody would showcase their routines. This day was the day that would determine whether I made the team or not. Still being in the mindset that I would without a doubt make the team, I breezed through my routine with any worries. I was highly satisfied with myself after it was completed. I just knew that after that day I would be officially known as a High School Cheerleader for the 2012-2013 school years. I waited anxiously for the results to be posted a few days later on my school's athletic website. As I read through the list of names under Varsity I found that my name was not there. I searched for the JV list and began to scroll down. It finally hit me when I realized that my name was not listed under this category either. The girl who always succeeds at everything she tries had failed at her goal for the year. I began to question myself and the system. I thought maybe it was because I was bigger than the other girls that made the team, or maybe it was because I was of a different ethnicity. I kept a positive attitude about the situation although I was upset. Later throughout the year I was approached by the cheer coach who wanted to enlist me in the local All-Star Team. It was because of my attitude and perseverance that she thought I would make a perfect candidate for the spot. This incident has stuck with me throughout my entire high school career. It symbolizes my realization that failing does not mean you're a failure. I failed at making the team for my high school but was blessed with another opportunity that I now could not imagine never being a part of. This experience marked the beginning of my maturation as well. I now believe that a failure could be a blessing in disguise.
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Nov 9, 2015   #2
Kierre, I'd like to help out on enhancing your essay.

- From a young age we were instilled with the idea of winning wasis ( always use the present form of the verb when quoting a statement ) better than losing.

- Nobody wanted to be thea loser.
- In my case I'mwas always headstrong about succeeding in everything I diddo .
- I realized that failingfailure was inevitable

( I suggest paragraphing the essay in two, then your final paragraph)

- For wW hen I was young I had not yet
- experienced much outside of playing in the sandbox outside ,
- Your eE ntrance into high school
- With thatThat being said, my goal for freshman
- I had already had years
- I breezed through my routine without any worries.

- Later tT hroughout the year
- I failed at makingdidn't make it to the cheerleadingthe team for my high school buthowever, I amwas blessed with
- another opportunity that I now could not imagine never being a part ofI now consider a part of my nature .
- This experience marked the beginning of my maturation as well.my maturity and now I now believe that...

There you have it Kierre, I'm sorry if I made my remarks too straight forward but I know they're needed in order to make your essay stonger.
vangiespen - / 4,136 1449  
Nov 9, 2015   #3
Kierre, it is important that you present each paragraph topic in stand alone form. That means as a separate topic within the same essay. The reason for that is that the current form of the essay feels under developed. There are actually portions of the essay that could benefit from further development in order to better highlight the reason why this failure taught you a lot of life lessons. One of the lines in particular that I feel needs to be highlighted in this essay is the following statement from you:

Later throughout the year I was approached by the cheer coach who wanted to enlist me in the local All-Star Team. It was because of my attitude and perseverance that she thought I would make a perfect candidate for the spot.

As I reviewed your essay, you did not really shed light on the kind of attitude and perseverance that would have caught the eye of the coach. When exactly did this occur? You should present a clear example of this event happening either during the try-outs or after you did not make the cut for the team. This is the turning point in your life that helped you to become the person you are today. So sharing that story, of how this attitude helped you create a foundation or fundamental start to your attitude regarding what comprises winning and success is really an integral part of your story.

I hope that you still have some word count allotment to be able to do that. If not, let me know so that I can assist you with editing the essay to make room for what I believe, will be a notable part of the essay for the reviewer. I am sure that Ivy will also be happy to help you as well :-)
OP Kbro 1 / 2  
Nov 10, 2015   #4
Thank you for your feedback. I think your suggestions will very much improve my essay.

My word count is 650. I am up to 630, I will take any suggestions and help you have to offer to make my essay better.

Thanks
vangiespen - / 4,136 1449  
Nov 10, 2015   #5
Kierre, I think that I have seen some portions in your essay where we can either cut down on content or totally remove a paragraph. In some instances, you can even rephrase the sentence to make it shorter. We can start the editing process with your introduction. Normally, the introduction is just used to introduce the main idea for your topic. In your case, the introduction became way too long for comfort.

What you can do to shorten that part is just say that you grew up with a winning attitude and that you always excelled in everything that you did. You did not grow up a quitter so failure was never an option for you. That is why when, after years of ballet training, you failed ot make it to the cheer-leading team, you felt like an utter failure.

The best way to approach your essay is to keep it simple yet informative. Remember that I suggested that you highlight the positive attitude that the coach noted which led to your becoming an All-Star member? it is because of this suggestion that I feel you shorten the introduction. Do you already remember when you displayed the attitude and perseverance that would have caught the eye of the coach? By simplifying your introduction and integrating the moment when you displayed these traits, it will represent how you managed to experience failure and yet, managed to turn that experience into something positive for you. It is important that you relate the exact instance that you believe this happened because it will represent the moment that your coach decided that you were too good for a simple varsity team. Highlight the fact that:

It was because of my attitude and perseverance that she thought I would make a perfect candidate for the spot.

Perhaps you displayed this attitude after you did not make it to the team. that would make the learning experience even more notable. It is not often that a coach gets a chance to see the potential of a person who tried out and failed to make the team. So you must have done something right, which led to a failure, which taught you about success and how winning comes in different forms :-)

If you can provide me with the necessary information, I should be able to help you fit that event into the essay without going over the word count. Do you think we can work on it together? I'll be waiting to hear from you :-)
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Nov 10, 2015   #6
Kierre, first of all, with all the suggestions, remarks and corrections made by EF contributors, have you tried re- writing your essay already?
From what I see, considering all the enhancement of your essay, you will be able to come up with a reasonable word count that perfectly justifies your answer to the prompt.

Normally, the word count is there to guide you on being precise and making sure that you don't overload your essay with information or write a lot of paragraphs that may mislead your idea of the prompt and what you consider will be helpful to keep your essay strong and dignified.

More so, there's no need to worry about word count, so long as you meet the minimum of course, what you should keep in mind is the concept of your essay, the overall idea that your essay presents and the information you provided that should correspond the prompt.

Moving forward, when writing an essay, practice writing a draft first, not the one that you are posting on EF but a rough draft that you made out of impulse as soon as you understood what was asked of the essay, after proof reading, post it here on EF so we can assist you further.

Remember, word count is a guideline, that yes you have to follow and consider, however this is not the biggest factor that will make or break your essay.
OP Kbro 1 / 2  
Nov 10, 2015   #7
I would say it was more of after I didn't make the team that I displayed a positive attitude that attracted the coach. I was still interested in being apart of the team in anyway just to show school spirit so that led to me volunteering to be some what of a "water boy" but my positions formal name was junior assistant team manager. I always had a good attitude about everything because i had gotten over not making the team and was genuinely happy with the position I held. Because of my position I was allowed to watch practices and go to games as well as competitions, I even practiced with the girls on the team sometimes which gave the coach more chances to see my skills.

I believe that when i volunteered for that position after being rejected from the team showed the coach that I was determined to be apart of the team and show school spirit anyway I could. Its not everyday someone would volunteer to do something like that after not making the team.

I left this whole part out because of the word count.

I would love to work on this together!
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Nov 10, 2015   #8
Kierre, you basically have only 20 words spot to complete the 650 word count.
Out of the idea above, please find my revision below.

Shortly after this failure,I gathered my strength and volunteered to the team, this way I can show my dedication and undying support, this action paid of in the end.

This is my idea of the 2 paragraphs, this sentence consist of 30 words, in excess of 10 words right?, yes, but this is the most that I can do, otherwise the sentence will not make sense anymore. I'm sure there is always a way to cut the previous sentences and insert this one full sentence as part of your concluding paragraph.

The sad thing about word count is the restriction to come up with a more elaborate and detailed essay, however, there is always something to be done to make up with the word count that will not affect the message of the essay.

I hope my insights help.


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