Essay about The Importance of Overcoming Failures
532 Words3 Pages
Traditionally, failure is seen as a negative concept and is defined as lacking success. I, on the other hand, try to put a positive spin on everything in life. I see failure as an obstacle that is experienced by all, but it does not define an individual. Failure in essence will force an individual to be more receptive to their surroundings and actions and also will force an individual to mature. Looking back on my childhood years I can now pinpoint the areas where I failed and I can confidently say that I have grown and prospered due to those failures. The three major failures I have experienced were my attention deficit issues which affected my ability to succeed in school, my anti-social habit that I let consume my early years, and my…show more content…
Traditionally, failure is seen as a negative concept and is defined as lacking success. I, on the other hand, try to put a positive spin on everything in life. I see failure as an obstacle that is experienced by all, but it does not define an individual. Failure in essence will force an individual to be more receptive to their surroundings and actions and also will force an individual to mature. Looking back on my childhood years I can now pinpoint the areas where I failed and I can confidently say that I have grown and prospered due to those failures. The three major failures I have experienced were my attention deficit issues which affected my ability to succeed in school, my anti-social habit that I let consume my early years, and my lack of time management. These three major failures I experienced early in life made me into the person I am today and has allowed me to recognize success.
Attention was one of the issues I had struggled in my early years. Since elementary school, I had difficulty paying attention in class. This would have an impact on my grades as I would have a difficult time finishing my homework and tests. To fix this matter, I requested the help of a tutor. With my tutor’s help, my grades improved. At first, I was self-conscious about how others see me and thought that I would not succeed at anything with the way was doing at school. But as I worked hard in school, my self-conscious nature decreased and I began to believe in myself academically.
Common App 2: Failure and Success
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
I've never been comfortable bragging. In fact, I was raised to be modest about my achievements, whatever they might be. Applying for college is nothing but bragging, and it makes me uncomfortable. In addition, every other essay you're likely to see is nothing but a litany of impressive accomplishments from top to bottom. That's not me.
At least, that's not me yet. Those applicants who have already tasted far-reaching success are pretty well-formed as people. They already know what works and see no reason to change. Why should they? They already invented a new form of pizza. They have life figured out, or sincerely believe they do. They are wrong. There is no better teacher than failure.
Think about it for a second. Wisdom is what you get from experience. Experience is what you get from failure. The transitive property works out from there. I know this because I failed and it turned me around in a way that modest or even spectacular success could not have. It all started with a D.
Getting a D probably isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's not something anyone wants to see, let alone put, on a college application. It came back to me, scrawled in red, on the first big history test of the year. The one the teacher had assured us was a third of our grade. I could already see my chances of a four-year college going up in smoke and my school year hadn't even started yet.
What happened? I'm not a D student. I'll get the occasional C as well as the occasional A. D's are out of character for me, and enough of a stomach punch to really get my attention. The short version is, I didn't study, and I don't remember precisely why. There is always a reason not to study, isn't there? I didn't study and I went into a test woefully unprepared and got beaten up.
I had two options here. I could accept that I was in fact a D student despite what I had thought. Or I could study hard for the next test and try to bring my grade up by the force of the average. I realized something pretty important: while I had already forgotten the reason I didn't study, I never forgot the grade. Thus, the grade itself was far more important than whatever it was I was doing instead.
Imagine, instead, if I had gotten a C or even a B. It would have taken sheer, blind luck, but it could have happened. If this had happened, if I had succeeded rather than failed, I would have learned nothing. Or, at the very least, I would have learned that I didn't have to study, which is the opposite of what any college-bound senior should learn.
I chose to work harder. By my failure, that D, I had already learned the consequences of not studying. I knew both the problem and the solution. It didn't make it easy. I steadily brought my grade up with subsequent tests and papers.
At the end of the year, I got a better grade than I should have, based on strict averages. The teacher weighted improvement over other concerns. Those who buckled down and worked harder as the year progressed were rewarded.
In essence, my hard work paid off twice over. Had I not failed, I would have learned nothing. I might have done much worse on a later test, since I "knew" studying was not important. Instead, by failing, I was able to right my course. Going into college, I have concrete experience with just how important hard work can be.
Okay, I might be bragging a little bit.
Why This Essay Works
This essay is a good example of how to turn an ostensible weakness into a strength. The writer takes a prompt, which explicitly acknowledges a failure of some kind, and shows how it leads to later success. This can be a winning combination, as it shows a certain amount of humility, which can be in short supply amongst students.
The writer also uses humor, but does not let the essay get overpowered by quips and jokey asides. Humor can be a wonderful way to liven up a piece of writing, but allow it to work in the service of the piece rather than the other way around. In addition, never be afraid to cut a joke that just isn't working. It's better to have no humor at all than forced attempts at it.
Good writing is all about using concrete examples. In this case, the writer is able to point to a specific incident that shows the prompt in action. This specific failed test gives the writer a sense of immediacy and allows them to explore the idea. In this way, the reader gets the sense that this is truly wisdom gained.
That last point is vital. To truly answer a prompt like this, you have to be completely honest about your failure, whatever it might be. No matter what it was, chances are you learned something from it. There's nothing like a taste of failure to make sure you never experience it again.