The Competitive Edge

As you reflect on your life thus far, what has someone said, written or expresed in some fashion that is especially meaningful to you? Why?

Sometimes life throws us challenges that are unexpected and scary, as well as obstructive to our goals and dreams. A few years ago my mother became ill concurrent with the dot com bust. She was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, her third type of cancer, and as a result we lost our house, our income, our security, and life as I had always known it changed dramatically.Initially we were forced to live in my Uncle’s backyard, in his fifth wheel camping trailer. I thought my dreams of college and a future were over. I started to let life push me around; forgetting I was a competitor I almost gave up my dreams.Fortunately my positive upbringing and competitive nature kicked in. I realized I had a choice and I fought back. I stopped the negative thoughts and fought the anxiety and fears that were detrimental to the rest of my academic career and my future. I pushed myself harder in school; I succeeded. I am proud of the tenacity and drive that allowed me to accomplish more than I thought possible in academics and extracurricular achievements. I refused to let the tough times in my early teens decide the course of my future.It is apparent to me that my scholastic career was fostered and funded by family and friends. Their support, both financial and emotional, was instrumental in helping me take the necessary courses and classes that prepared me for college. Since high school began, I have never been able to pay for things or go places on my own that my friends and other students have been able to do. This is one of the main reasons why I want to go to college. With a college degree, I will be able to provide for my mother and myself, as well as be able to do things that without a degree would be impossible. I want to be able to provide for myself as well as those who are close to me.Unfortunately, because of my financial status, I have not been able to take advantage of many opportunities that others have been able to capitalize on. However, as stated before, I have taken advantage of every opportunity that was financially feasible. Although I could not capitalize on many opportunities, I made sure that I got involved in activities based on the same themes as the educational programs. For example, I have had many offers to go to different law, political, and leadership forums; however they were in the price range of two thousand dollars and more; obviously out of my price range. Since I couldn’t attend these forums, I made sure that I was still involved in the political arena by volunteering for the state senator and working for the local Democratic Club. Becoming involved with local politics helped me gain a sense of purpose and gave me insight into the workings of our government. It further proved to me that I want to pursue my goal of becoming a lawyer and joining the political arena in the future.Moments such as the loss of a family member, or the loss of life as you know it can be very traumatizing and may seem to be insurmountable challenges at the time. You can give up or fight back. I learned to face and overcome whatever obstacles and challenges crop up in life. It drove me to excel in almost everything that I have attempted, and I plan to maintain this attitude as my life progresses.

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