Please take a look at my essay and give any suggestions you have. Thank you very much!
The topic is on overcoming obstacles.
"It's okay. You can definitely do this." The previous leader smiled proudly as she handed me a little blue tag, marking my new position as the head of the youth group. I felt the same way too; I was deeply passionate about serving people in my youth group, and I loved the idea of leading them as we went on retreats and service trips, even if it came with many responsibilities.
Soon enough, before the summer of 2016 began, I was tasked with the responsibility of planning the annual service trip. The trip is held in Anhui, a rural province in the eastern region of China, and I needed to make reservations for food and lodging, plan activities for the program, and gather all the required supplies in one month. Though the adult leaders offered to guide me along the way, I refused and insisted that I can do it on my own. I hated reaching out to someone for help, because I associated it with vulnerability and failure. Being raised in a strict Chinese culture that values success, soft-spokenness, and obedience, it was difficult for me to speak up and admit my struggles and incompetence. I was used to carrying the weight on my shoulders.
However, because of my reluctance to ask for help, I suffered from large consequences. Being a fifteen-year-old, I had no connections to find a place in Anhui that holds and feeds nearly a hundred children and teens at once. I had no volunteers to lead the program. The weight on my shoulders came tumbling down as I frantically tried to balance between the task, my academics, and extracurricular activities, although in front of others I acted as if nothing happened. As a result, I could not finish the task of planning the service trip on time, and the adult leaders had to push back the date. I realized that I certainly had to stop pretending like I can do everything on my own anymore, so I asked for a second chance. This time, when I planned the trip, I asked members in my church for connections and delegated tasks to others; I was also willing to share about what I was worried of or unsure of during the process. To my surprise, people gladly agreed to cooperate, making me feel less nervous to ask them for help. As I stepped out of my comfort zone, I found it easier to open my mouth.
Even though I had to ask for a second chance, I believe I achieved success because I acknowledged my flaws and tried to perfect them. I recognized that, by not confessing defeat and approaching others for help, I had missed countless opportunities throughout high school to not just enhance my academic performance, but also learn from my mistakes and become a better person. Nonetheless, I am still a work in progress, but I am utilizing the lessons I learned from youth group in other areas of my life too--step by step. In the future, as I prepare to overcome more obstacles in college and beyond, I am confident that I will embrace failure, be fearless of appearing weak, and continue to improve and challenge myself.