Sparklers, remember when we used to help edit college application essays? Well, this is one of those! Leave this Sparkler helpful tips and advice for her essay in the comments below!
When I was in the eighth grade, I decided to join my school’s basketball team. I joined mainly because of my friends, to satisfy my own curiosity about a sport I knew virtually nothing about and due to my mother’s insistence.
Now while others might write about their natural skill and talent, I was, to be frank, absolutely pathetic. I didn’t realize this at the beginning, considering that I didn’t even take it seriously, but sports was clearly not my forte. I would goof around, make half-hearted attempts at shooting baskets and grumble about waking up early every weekend.
Before I knew it, our coach was putting all my friends in the starting five. In the beginning, I was also part of the starting line-up; not due to my stellar playing, but because I was the only one who had been around as long as they had. However, after seeing that my basketball skills consisted solely of running from one end of the court to another, I was soon taken off. I must have shot a grand total of four baskets in the span of three years. Even when I was in the position to shoot, I would always pass it to someone else, not trusting myself to actually make the basket. The starting five were, naturally, the stars in our team. They would hang out together for practicing or scrimmaging or anything else. I would always watch them with envy from the sidelines. The worst part was that they never treated me any differently. I was still their close friend, which made envying them all the more mean.
It’s not like I didn’t try. Every day, I used to watch them play and I used to promise myself that I’d do better. But the problem was that, my determination lasted only for a short while. After coaching, my lofty goals of practicing for an extra hour were always pushed aside with excuses like “I’m really tired” or “I’ll start from tomorrow.” And the whole cycle would start all over again.
That was when I realized one important thing about myself. I lacked will-power. I lacked the dedication and self-confidence that separates the average people from the winners in life. Sure I had a lot of ambition, but I didn’t have the will to follow through with it.
They say admitting is the first step towards recovery, however it wasn’t that easy. Even after my epiphany, I didn’t manage to improve in basketball and eventually quit it after three years. However, every since then I always tried to push myself, wherever I could. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes I wasn't.
Last year, due to a friend’s insistence, I joined the debate team. Public-speaking was a huge phobia for me but since I had promised to change myself and the topic was something I was very sensitive about, I agreed. When the time came for me to speak, I froze. What if we lost because of me?
Somehow, I managed to start talking. As I spoke, I could feel my fear slowly lessening. By the time I had finished the speech, I sounded as loud and confident as everybody else. Surprisingly, some people even clapped.
Although, we didn’t win the debate, I couldn’t care less about it. I was just thrilled, that for once I had managed to be the person I had always hoped to be. I'm not saying that this one incident changed my life and I'm a totally confident go-getter now. Even now I have fears, and I still doubt myself sometimes. The only thing that’s changed is that now I know that if I truly want something, I can rely on myself to achieve it.
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