College Essay: Overcoming Disappointment

Shivani Rege
Shivani Rege

I remember reading a book that taught me how a strong person recovers after failure. A weak mindset allows failure to consume them and evolve into resentment. A person with a strong mindset suffers a loss and turns it into a valuable life lesson. In my opinion, a minor setback progresses into a big comeback.

While studying, I sat down in front of my laptop and played the same melody on the violin many times. My fingers were cramping up, tears ran down my face and my nose ran. I was close to sobbing. The live audition was painful, but the recorded audition was even worse. I had to be perfect. I read the music notes and played the violin many times. Every time I improved little by little. I was becoming overwhelmed and frustrated. Finally, I submitted the recording I thought was “good enough.” I thought there was a high possibility of making the cut.

The day the director posted the list online, I opened my laptop. I clicked on the PDF document and typed my ID number into the search box. To my surprise, my ID number wasn’t displayed in the document. I was listed with the students in the “other “ orchestra (audition rejects) and the students who didn’t audition. I would still be able to play music, but I wasn’t considered one of the best. Every time I heard them play, I was reminded that I wouldn’tbe admired the same way as the students in the top orchestra.

I was devastated, but at first I was unaware of my feelings. At least I was still able to play and enjoy the music, so everything still looked good from my point of view. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it was a big deal for me. My competitiveness couldn’t accept second place. Every time I heard that one of my classmates was accepted by the top orchestra, I became envious. I would feel tears slowly begin to form in my eyes when I heard that anyone who was selected for the top orchestra would get to play at the graduation ceremony. Learning all this new music can be stressful and time consuming, but I still wanted that experience.

As the school year drew to a close, it didn’t bother me much anymore. When I talked to one of my top orchestra classmates, I wasn’t as sad as usual. I remem- ber reading in a book about how different types of people react to failure. A weak character turns a mistake into a grudge, and a strong character turns a mistake into a determination to do better. A strong person can regain composure and try again. I wanted to be a strong character. I knew it was inside me. I didn’t want jealousy to hold me back. I learned to take a positive view of the situation. I was still able to play and enjoy the music. With a little more practice, I know I can become a member of the top orchestra next year. As I continue to grow as a person, I know how to accept failure without allowing it to consume me.