UBC application essay
The earliest parts of my life in Canada personify failure and insecurity. I couldn't fit in, make friends, lose weight, or get good grades. I knew I couldn't accomplish these goals overnight, so I committed myself to taking the next step. That is what is most important to me. When life felt impossible, I focused on holding on to that next goal. It could've been anything: finishing this assignment, getting up so I could go on my run, or working up the courage to talk to that person. I still failed, of course; promising friendships would capitulate, I'd do poorly on some assignments, and sometimes I'd neglect my body. Yet, one step at a time, I came to love myself. It took years, but I learned how to socialize. I learned how to make good friends, got in shape, and found academic success. A few weeks ago, I reflected on my life and felt happy. I had come so far; a younger me would be proud. I could do anything I wanted to in life if I took it one step at a time. That consistent, long-term effort would take me anywhere.
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Which is the actual "important" part to you? Is it taking the next step or completing a goal? The prompt is asking for only a single response, but you appear to be presenting 2 important things in this essay. Narrow it down. I know the 2 are related but there can only be one priority in the response. Focus on the more important one because, while both are important to you, only one is truly responsive to the prompt. Only one of these will actually impress the reviewer. Therefore, it is up to you to pick the true important thing. The choices are "Completing a goal" or "Taking the next step" after a failure. Only one of the 2 should be highlighted in the presentation.
I greatly appreciate your advice, and I've tried to implement more elements of adaptation in my second draft. I would greatly apprecite it if you could look it over:
The earliest parts of my life in Canada personify failure and insecurity. I was social and considered gifted in China. Yet, I couldn't fit in, make friends, or get good grades in Canada. Although I tried my hardest to study English and socialize, failure robbed me of optimism and patience. Finally, at that low point, something clicked. All I had to do was focus on the next step after failure. That is what is most important to me.
When life felt impossible, I focused on holding on to that next goal. For example, during COVID, public schools operated on a quarter-semester system. As a result, I was falling increasingly behind. I just felt like I couldn't catch up, and then it happened. I'd failed my first math test. Although learning English took a monumental effort, I'd always been proficient at math. Yet, our teacher handed the test back, and I saw a 39. I wanted to cry and give up. However, I knew there were three more tests in the quarter. Crying would do nothing, so I focused on what I could do next. I devoted all of my energy to learning the next chapter. On the next test day, I'd never been more confident. I would end the class with an average of 91%! It felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. This experience reinforced my belief that even if I failed, I could do anything if I focused on taking the next step. Consistent, long-term effort would take me anywhere in life.