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I signed up and paid my five dollar dues to join DECA - College essay for VCU

briannaasalways 3 / 6 2  
Dec 21, 2014   #1
Feedback would be very much welcome, be honest and don't be afraid to point out grammatical errors or just anything that doesn't sound right. I'm honestly not even close to being a decent writer and this is sort of a rough draft so any and all help is welcome! I honestly don't even know if what I wrote makes sense, sounds right, or anything and I just don't resonate with any of the other common app prompts and if I do I can't talk about them in detail/at length.

I chose the prompt: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

As my teacher explained that as students in a marketing class, everyone would have the chance to join DECA, all I can recall thinking is, "What is DECA?" In hindsight, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed up and paid my five dollar dues to join. After the induction ceremony, my teacher suggested I compete at Districts. Still not knowing what the purpose of DECA was, I decided to do research on the organization. The goal of DECA is to: "prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe." The definition was clear enough to me and despite my wariness of competition and uncertainty in my own ability, I agreed to take the chance.

About two weeks prior to the competition at Districts I began practicing with my sister for my event, restaurant & food service. We rehearsed my responses twice daily for several different scenarios I would potentially face. I would only have five minutes to read over a prompt of a business scene and prepare what I would say. For example, if and by the night before the competition, I was feeling confident. This newfound conviction lasted right up until I actually arrived at the event, when I felt the weight of nerves settle in the pit of my stomach. I felt deeply apprehensive as I waited for my name to be called. Were khakis too casual for this sort of event? I was a novice competing against every school in my district: what had I been thinking? Before I knew it, my name was called and the too short five minutes to read and prepare my responses had ended. Desperately, I tried to memorize a planned response like I had practiced with my sister, but when the time came to answer the judges' query, my answers contained nothing preplanned.

Consequently, I found that giving frank, sincere responses helped me feel more at ease. Once I had answered all the judges' questions, I realized I no longer felt nervous at all and was actually entirely content with my performance.

In the end, placing first in my event was not the defining win of the night for me; I had won the battle against the voice in the back of my head that had told me I would never win anything. I had stepped out of my comfort zone by going to the competition, and I had not only succeeded at the task at hand, but had fun and learned about myself while doing it. I would not have won Districts if I hadn't of been dedicated to preparing for the competition because even though my confidence and relaxed demeanor aided in my win, without having the background knowledge of the event, I would have been at a major disadvantage.

More importantly, while this accomplishment might seem minuscule to some people, it was a huge feat for me because it was the first award I'd ever won in my entire high school career and I realized that if I gave it my all in something, I could truly achieve any goal I set my mind to. You have to work for what you want, it won't just come to you. That's the difference between being a kid and an adult. Being an adult means you have to earn what you seek versus when you are a kid, you don't have to work for much. I was a child once who was afraid to step out of their shell and that lacked the confidence, motivation, and trust in myself to obtain what I desired. Now I am an adult who is honestly still afraid to step out of their shell from time to time, but now I have the confidence, motivation, and trust in myself to conquer my goals without fear.
vangiespen - / 4,134 1449  
Dec 21, 2014   #2
This is not really a defining event in the context of the prompt. I understand that winning the contest is a big deal to you but it is not a transitory event from childhood to adulthood. You need to be able to display a stronger sense of maturity and responsibility in the essay. While your last few paragraphs respond to that requirement, the event that you chose to relate it to did not. You just need to change the basis of the event but keep the end result. That result is right on the mark for this essay.
OP briannaasalways 3 / 6 2  
Dec 22, 2014   #3
Thank you for the message, I've been thinking about picking another prompt just because there hasn't honestly been a point in my life that has transitioned me from childhood to adulthood!
vangiespen - / 4,134 1449  
Dec 22, 2014   #4
When you are choosing your common app prompt, it is always best to ask yourself if you have any life experience to draw upon in writing it. Brain storming is very important in this instance. If you come up empty when trying to find a part of your life that relates to the prompt then that is not the right prompt for you to use. The app will only work to your benefit if you can manage to make a personal connection with its requirements. I wish you the best of luck in choosing your prompt.

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