This is my draft for my UW Madison essay. It has to be in by November 1st so I'm looking for some quick feedback! The prompt is to talk about something that goes unnoticed in your life and why it's important to you. thanks! (:
At many times in my life, I've had leadership opportunities thrown at me. There have been opportunities to do the right thing, to take charge and stand in the limelight, and then there have been times to work behind the scenes. Everyone likes recognition for their actions every once and a while, but sometimes I think it is even better to work behind the scenes and go unnoticed in your hard work. Instead of broadcasting good works, I think it is most important to do what is right and be a leader behind closed doors.The reward is most often not physically present but rather the feeling of accomplishment fills your whole heart.
This quality in me has been very evident the past two years on my high school tennis team. I am the captain of my team and I took this role as the responsibility to take care of all the girls. I knew our team would have far from a winning season, and it was my job to make sure each girl got better at tennis and had fun while doing it. To ensure a memorable season, I spent time in the summer organizing practices, getting to know the girls, and making personalized locker decorations for everyone to feel special about for the upcoming school year. After the start of the season, I made it a point to learn each girls name and say hello to them during the school day. Although I never received some kind of award or recognition for these actions, I know that they had a positive effect on the girls. I was a leader for them by just doing the simple, unnoticed things and even though the record books didn't show it, I believe every girl had a successful season.
Another opportunity I had to work behind the scenes was for my high school's junior prom. Our theme was Wizard of Oz and immediately all the girls seemed excited to get planning and building props for the fast approaching date. However, as the big day got closer, people got less and less motivated. By the time there was two weeks left to plan, my class still had done nothing. There was no one to get people going and no one to devote themselves to the project. I knew this was my shot to do something important even if it meant sacrificing a lot of my own time. I worked for hours and hours organizing people to cut, paint, and build all the props. When the night arrived juniors, parents, and community members raved on how beautiful the set looked. My name wasn't written across tornado, or the wicked witch, or the flying monkeys to show that it was my work, but the feeling of accomplishment for myself was enough. I knew I had been the one to step up and work hard and because of that, I had made the night special for everyone there.
Mitch Albom says in his book The Five People You Meet in Heaven, "Sometimes when you sacrifice something, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else" (Albom). I've realized that being a leader means sacrificing some things. Whether it's time or money or anything else, sometimes they have to be given up to get things done. But these sacrifices are not losses. They are opportunities to accomplish things and pass them on to others. I know that my actions can affect a lot of people in a positive way even if they are unnoticed, which in turn is a great achievement for me.