The directions suggested touching on my background, so that's sort of the route that I took...
Each denial hit me like a punch in the mouth. One by one they came, and each hurt a bit more than the previous. In the end, the most painful part of the rejections was recognizing that they were justified. I had approached academia foolishly and settled for decency. Looking back, I’m unsure as to what it was that obscured my view on reality; perhaps it was my own self-indulgence. Regardless, there is no denying that I was thinking very unclearly during my four years of high school. I actually believed that my subsequent acceptance to a university was a given. That in mind, I undoubtedly became an underachiever for the first and only time in my life. Certainly, if schools accepted students based on popularity points, I was a shoe-in to everywhere that I applied; unfortunately, that’s not how the admissions process worked.
After watching my classmates—many of which I felt I was smarter than—leave me in the dust and move away to college, I freaked out. I was at a standstill at the most pivotal fork in the road I had ever experienced. I couldn’t stomach the term “community college”; not for any pretentious reason, but because it was a sheer reflection of my underachievement. Nevertheless, that’s where I would be starting my college tenure. I remember feeling like a footrace had begun and that everyone else had a massive head-start. A sense of urgency ignited within me. Law school had been my ultimate goal since childhood, and this bump in the road wouldn’t deter my ambition; actually, it would fuel it.
I hit the books the way a running back hits the line of scrimmage in the game of football: intensely and without looking back. In fact, I saw the entire field in front of me; however, I knew I had to take it one play at a time. I studied profusely at Palm Beach Community College and finished with a near-flawless transcript, which is what I knew I had to do in order to transfer to one of the premier universities in Florida. My mother was encouraging, labeling my occupation at the local community college a “pit stop”. And that’s exactly how I approached it.
I carried this “pit stop” mindset with me even after my departure from home. I entered Florida State University with the same relentless ambition that I had started with at the community college level, and much to the same result. Ironically, I witnessed a trend in many of my high school classmates who had begun their college occupancy at the university level: their devotion to academia had severely declined. Unquestionably, I am fortunate to have experienced the opposite affect.
Finally graduating with cum laude honors, my college experience was ridden with paranoia of ever again underachieving—a paranoia that will continue to motivate me for the remainder of my life. While I do agree that I’ve come a long way, I by no means feel complete. Having taken a year off after graduation to prepare for law school, my ambition should not be misread as impatience; however, I am as eager as ever to begin law school. Thus, this perseverant story is not over; the final chapter awaits, but I am already quite certain of the ending.
Looking for feeback. Thanks a lot.