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An experienced that changed my life (Reflective/Narative Essay) Gr. 12


ka8786 1 / -  
Nov 6, 2019   #1
Task: Write an essay on an experience that changed your life

Any feedback would be appreciated.

a negative experience with a positive impact



It was a feeling that I had never felt before. I felt scared but it wasn't the type of scared you get from watching a horror movie or walking alone in the middle of the night. It was the type of scared that makes you want to cry because you are afraid of what might happen but there isn't much you can do to stop it. That is how I felt as I watched my dad fighting for his life. It was an experience that, for a while, I never wanted to look back on. I saw it as a negative experience in my life and something that I never wanted to re-live. However, as I look back on it today, I realize what an impact it has had on my life, and it is not an exaggeration to say that I may be on a completely different path in my life if it wasn't for that day.

It all happened on a beautiful day in Oliver BC. The sky was clear, the air was fresh, and the sun was just strong enough to warm you without burning your skin. It was a perfect day to go for a boat ride. My family and I were camping in a little campground named Lakeside Resort. It was our third time staying at this small, quaint campground, for what it lacked in size, it made up for in beauty. The grass was a beautiful green and the willow trees resembled raindrops falling to the ground. The campground was located at the edge of Tuc-el-nuit Lake, a very small lake, that was perfect for us and our little rowboat since no motorboats were allowed. Naturally, one of our favourite activities was to row to the other side of the lake for a little picnic before heading back. Our rowboat had ample room to fit the ten-year-old me, my seven-year-old sister, and my mom and dad. By now, we had done this several times and had always had a great time. This time was different, however, as things didn't go quite as planned. As we were having our picnic on the other side of the lake, we noticed a strong wind as the trees which once resembled gentle raindrops were now reminiscent of a violent downpour. We decided to wait until the wind had died down before we got back in our boat, but by this time, the sun had disappeared behind the clouds. Suddenly, the weather had gone cold and being in the water didn't feel so good anymore. Nevertheless, we decided to soldier on and started our journey back to our campground. The first half of the trip went smoothly, but soon after we encountered another set of strong winds. At this point, it was getting harder to row as the waves kept pounding our tiny boat taking back what little progress we had made. To make matters worse, we only had one set of paddles to counter the waves. This task that had landed on my dad's shoulders and was beginning to take a toll on him, forcing him to take a much-needed break as we inched closer to our campground. All of a sudden, we felt a big jolt from an excessively large wave that picked up our boat, causing one of the paddles to slip and fall into the lake. My dad quickly hopped out to retrieve the paddle. I remember the one thing that didn't sit well with me was that he took off his life jacket so he could swim better against the waves. The trick worked and he quickly got up to the paddle. By this time, however, I could barely make out his face as the boat had been forced too far away. I could see him struggle, holding on to the paddle while swimming with all of his might towards us. I knew he was in trouble when I saw him let go of the paddle. He managed to swim a bit more before suddenly going under, and I got that feeling I mentioned before. When he got back to the surface, my sister and I were still in shock. Thankfully my mom had kept her composure and began to cry for help. Following her lead, my sister and I joined in as we watched our dad fighting for air. After the longest two minutes of my life, a man from one of the houses on the lakeside heard us and got into his canoe, charging to rescue my dad. We could no longer see any signs of him, but we desperately pointed the man in the direction of where we saw him last. It felt like an eternity, but a sense of relief rushed through my body as I watched my dad getting carried back to the shore at last. For a while, I did my best to forget about that day, and it wasn't until a couple of years later when I saw an ad in the NVRC Leisure Guide for a lifeguarding course when it all came back to me.

I remember seeing the ad for the lifeguarding course and playing out that day in my head. Since our camping trip to Oliver, we had gone on several more trips and had not shied away from any of the lakes. Yet, there was always this nagging feeling at the bottom of my stomach no matter how hard I tried to enjoy the lakes. I saw the lifeguarding course as an opportunity to have a sense of reassurance when it came to being in the water. I knew the path to becoming a lifeguard would not be easy. Nevertheless, I had made up my mind and signed up for the first course at my first opportunity. What I hadn't realized upon signing was how physically and mentally demanding it would be to become a lifeguard. Not only do you need to know all your first-aid material by heart, but you also need to have the physical strength and stamina to be able to carry a person in distress to safety or bring an unconscious individual to the surface from the bottom of the pool. Days in the course would consist of hours of going through various first-aid situations followed by intense conditioning or lifeguarding simulations. Yet despite the physical and mental toll it had on my body, I loved it. I learned to accept the challenge and it became a personal goal my mine to become a lifeguard. I began to steadily climb through the courses, improving my skills, both mentally and physically, along the way. As of today, I have completed all my lifeguarding courses and in addition to being able to visit lakes with a peace of mind, I am hoping to begin working at one of the local pools soon. My love for lifesaving didn't stop there, however, as I saw it extend beyond the pool and deeper into my life

Through the courses, I discovered that I may have stumbled upon a career that is right for me. The courses made me look at things in a different light. Up until then I hadn't really known what I wanted to after high school, so I always tried to avoid or dismiss questions such as "What do you want to be when you grow up?". Going through my courses, however, I realized how passionate I was about lifesaving. Beyond the pool, my experience with lifesaving would motivate me to join the first responders club. As a generally shy person, this would mark a big step in my life as I previously would never have considered joining a club. Soon enough, though, I was making new friends while doing what I loved. Experiences like these along with many others would help me find what I want to accomplish beyond high school. I understood how much I treasured being able to help others and decided it was what I wanted to be doing throughout my life, and more specifically, in my career. Currently, I am aiming towards achieving a career as a Doctor. I know it won't be easy but I genuinely feel that my experiences have guided me to this goal. After setting this goal, I began applying myself more in school and the community as I work towards accomplishing it. As a result, I have seen an increase in my grades and enhanced my social life all while making the most of what little time we have in life. Had it not been for these experiences I have a hard time believing I would be setting the goals or being the person, I am today. That is why I am grateful for that day in Oliver and no longer look back at it in a negative light.

What I once looked at as a negative experience I now look back on as something that has had a positive impact on my life. I may not be where I am today had it not been for what I experienced and that is why I now believe it is important to always try to turn something you have experienced, be it positive or negative, and make it have an impact on your life. Life can be challenging, and it may throw a curveball, but remember it always important to make the best of both the ups and downs in your life.

Maria [Contributor] - / 919 334  
Nov 9, 2019   #2
@ka8786
Hi there. Welcome to the forum! I'll provide you with feedback on this writing. Hopefully, this gives you insight on how to improve your writing.

Firstly, while the first paragraph is great because you were able to relay your thoughts and opinions into one cluster, I suggest that you try to compartmentalize this piece of writing a little bit. Especially when you are working with content that's a tad bit extensive and would be about your personal emotions, you should always try to refrain from over writing the details because it doesn't benefit you in the long-run.

When it comes to the latter parts of writing, I find this to be a concern as well. When we take a look at the second paragraph, the first paragraphs were descriptions that weren't necessarily contributing a lot to the substance of writing. Try to be more cautious of these instances to be able to write better.

I think what you can do (overall) to improve your writing is if you are able to base your writing on a specific value. Afterwards, you can work on utilizing that value for the entirety of the text. If you have a single principle that you're working with, it would be better to use this to explain your thoughts and opinions for the latter parts of the text.


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