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"Tell us about an achievement or ability not reflected in this application."


Hi,

I'm wondering if I can use this essay for my application. My biggest achievement thus far is finally passing precalculus, which I state in the essay; but idk if the essay appropriate for this question. My main goal is trying to convince admissions to give me a shot.


My past mistakes made me wiser



"It's not how you start, it's how you finish". Throughout my college journey, I have made many mistakes and I take accountability for every single one. But instead to having regret on my past mistakes, I use those mistakes as motivation as I continue to pursue my goal, to one day attend and graduate NJIT. To prove that my GPA does not define who I am, I want to use this essay as a platform to explain my past mistakes, explain how I overcame my mistakes, and explain how I am preventing from making those mistakes again.

Since high school, I always believed that I worked harder under pressure. I would wait until the last minute to complete assignments, thinking that would influence me to put an extra effort into my work. I ended up carrying that same philosophy in college. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I did not. The times it did not, I would just ignore it and wait until the next semester to correct my failure. As time progressed, this behavior drastically caught up with me. As a former engineering major, I was required to take advanced math and science courses. Considering that I was already weak in those subjects, I still believe that I could pass my cramming. My belief was that I studied everything weeks before the finals, I would pass both the final and the class. Unfortunately, that method did not work. My atrocious behavior caused me to fail every single class one semester. Because of this, I ended up changing my major to Electrical Engineering Technology because it did not require the same challenging math and science courses as Engineering and I wanted to raise my chances of attending NJIT. There was one problem, precalculus was still a prerequisite for most courses within Electrical Engineering Technology.

Though I ended up passing physics, I still could not pass precalculus. I began putting in some effort towards passing precalculus, but I still did not put in the full effort. After failing precalculus in the Fall 2015 semester, I decided to take a break to reset and reflect. Though I have taken semesters off in the past, I did not use my time wisely. I began having second thoughts on becoming an Electrical Engineering Technology major because of my weakness in math and science. My reasoning for not changing my major beforehand was because I have always had a passion in technology, was unaware that NJIT had liberal arts, and I did not want to give up on my dream of attending NJIT. As a fomer participant of the Pre-College Program, I had always admired NJIT and made it a goal to one day attend and graduate. So I began researching on other majors NJIT offered that serves me best and decided on history. In high school, history (civics primarily) was my favorite subject and I had aspirations of working in law or politics before committing to engineering. While precalculus was not a prerequisite for a history major, I decided to take it one final time. Failing precalculus become a burden on me and I refused to let it defeat me. So, I began preparing for the course by watching tutorials online and using notes from previous semesters. I knew it would be a challenge, but I was willing to take the challenge.

When the Summer 2016 semester came, I was ready to conquer precalculus. I also took a microeconomics course help boost my GPA. Because the entire coursework for economics was given at the beginning of the semester, I completed the coursework early so I could focus solely on precalculus. At the beginning, precalculus was rough because I failed two exams by a few points. However, I used those two exams as extra motivation. I performed corrections on those two exams and used them as study tools because I knew I would see those problems again. As finals approached, I reverted back to those two exams and other notes to study. Whenever I had free time, I used that time to study. To free myself from distractions, I spent days in the library just to focus on studying.

On the day of the final, I both nervous and prepared. I knew what was at stake, I needed to pass the final to have a shot of passing the class. After the final, I still felt nervous, but confident because I knew I gave it my all. The following day, the final grade was posted online. At first, I was hesitant on seeing my grade, but I took a deep breath and was ready to face reality. That deep breath became a sigh of relief. I looked and saw that I passed the final with a B and passed the class! This was the proudest I have ever felt and realized how much I can achieve if I apply myself.

In the past, I was jealous of my former high school peers because they were going to prestigious colleges and universities, while I was attending a community college. Today, I am thankful I chose to attend a community college because it helped me mature and look at the bigger picture in life. My past behavior proved that I was not mentally prepared for the challenge I would be facing at NJIT. Before, my mindset was doing satisfactory work was okay, as long as I get accepted into NJIT. Now, I work towards the best of my ability because I know what is required to be admitted and excel in NJIT. As a result, I use any free time to study and prepare for future courses I plan to take. I use the NJIT history major requirements and syllabi from previous semesters as a checklist and tool for what I need to prepare for as I attempt to make this transition. I have taken advantage of many opportunities I have had in the past, but I do not regret doing so. Making, owning, and learning from mistakes is a part of the human growth process. My past mistakes made me wiser and helped me realize that nothing in life is easy. In order for you to achieve success, you must work hard and take advantage of opportunities that placed before you. That is why I stand by the motto "It's not how you start, it's how you finish".

May 18, 2017   #2
Patrick, this essay covers more of the requirements for an obstacle you had to overcome instead of an achievement or ability. When you are asked to speak of an achievement or ability, this pertains more towards Civic achievements that are either sponsored by your school or community organization. The idea, is to show your leadership skills to the reviewer. It doesn't necessarily have to relate to academics. However, if the biggest achievement that you have is academic, then discuss that. This theme though does not portray an academic achievement but rather an obstacle you had to overcome. So you can't use this essay for this prompt. This topic is all about success and leadership, not obstacles or weaknesses as a student. You need to come up with a more appropriate and impressive discussion. Even for an overcoming an obstacle prompt this topic is tired and common place already. If you wish to use this topic then you have to change the theme from obstacle to achievement and, I believe, that will be a bit hard for you to do.


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