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"That's it, I quit Reading Bowl!" - college app essay


nikhiltadepalli 1 / -  
Jul 28, 2023   #1

"That's it, I quit Reading Bowl!"



I stormed out of the room and slammed the door shut. The hallway echoed with a resounding BOOM! I had no idea where I was going to go, but I knew I had to get away from that room. My mind was filled with anger and irritation. "How could I let my team down like that? Why did I miss that last question?" I muttered to myself, frustration coursing through my veins. After months upon months of strict dedication and preparation for the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl regional tournament, I collapsed under pressure on the last question of the third and final round. That one question would've helped our team cross over the finish line and advance to regionals, but my overconfidence clouded my judgment of waiting patiently for a question to finish. I had slammed on the buzzer too quickly and was quickly faced with disappointment when the speaker judge declared my answer as wrong.

As I was walking down the hallway, an empty classroom appeared and I went inside to sit at a desk to gather my thoughts. Sitting in that empty classroom, the weight of my failure hung over me like a dark and dreary storm cloud. The day's events came rushing back to me as I went through the process of going over the questions I had got right, the questions I got wrong, and the reactions of my teammates. It all felt like a cycle of never-ending discouragement, but in my head, I knew sulking and succumbing to self-pity wasn't going to help anyone.

It was then that I glanced up and saw a quote on the wall of the classroom that I had stumbled into. This was the classroom of an ELA teacher, no doubt, and the quote was by Henry Ford. It read "The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." Suddenly, I remembered all those years of looking up at those exact posters and shrugging it off. At those times, I simply thought those quotes were just another effort by teachers to stir up enthusiasm for their lessons. However, once I was actually in a situation that I had truly experienced failure in, that quote suddenly meant much more than some words on the wall. I felt much more light inside, as if all the weight and pressure from before was slowly evaporating. I thought about all the hours me and my teammates had put into HRRB and how if I just quit, it would be unfair to not only myself, but also to my peers who have also worked so hard to make it to this point. They lended me their constant support throughout the various moments we spent working on Reading Bowl and now, it was time for me to step up and overcome this setback, at least for their sake. I vowed then and there to work harder and not let a single defeat set me back this much. Instead, I would focus on focusing all of my energy into making a much more vigorous and determined comeback to be even better than what I was. With that decision in mind, I began the walk back to the room where everyone was waiting for me, with looks of concern on their faces. I flashed a simple smile to let them know that I was okay, and their faces quickly turned into ones of relief.

Looking back at it all, I'm truly grateful for that moment of failure. It taught me an important lesson, applicable not only in the world of reading, but also in life. Success is not the act of always winning and being the best at everything I accomplish. Success is
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,976 4812  
Aug 6, 2023   #2
Without knowing what prompt you are responding to from the common app list, I would have to say that this is a pretty good draft response. It shows that you were dealing emotionally and mentally with a failure, not having any support system to turn to. It would perhaps, also be good if you do not only present your recovery based on a random quote you found in a classroom. You should have a personal connection with your team presented somehow. Did they help you get over the grief? Did they blame you? What role did the team play with regards to your mindset? Who were the people involved in your recovery? These are important factors to consider when discussing a reflective essay response.


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