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Failure essay

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Failure essay [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2009, 08:12
I am having difficulties deciding between two events
1) Happened during school years 12 years ago, but a great story and a lot to write about. Failed in school (was a real bum) and then went on to come first in school.
2) My first semester at UW Madison where i messed up grades and research and then recovered in next sem.

1st was truly life changing and 2nd not so much.

Thank you all!
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Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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Location: New York, NY
Schools: BA Amherst College, MFA Brooklyn College
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Re: Failure essay [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2009, 11:03
Go for #1, and tie it back to maturation --> desire to go to grad school.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Good luck!

Josh
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Re: Failure essay [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2009, 13:16
I'd stay away from #1. You say you learned from that failure in school and went on to be academically successful. However, then in your first semester at UW you again had academic problems (which adcom will see on your transcript). As a reader it makes me question how much you actually learned from that mistake since you seem to have repeated it later in life. Also, it would raise concerns that you have a history of academic problems, so maybe you'd have similar trouble with the academics at bschool.
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Re: Failure essay [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2009, 13:30
Thanks JoshKnewton & Jerz

@ Jerz: Thanks for your advice. I have been 1st in school and college etc...throughout and the mis-steps in school happened for 2 years when there were some hardhips etc...so i want to show how i bounced back after going from 1st to last and then 1st again. My UW Madison trouble was getting a few B's because i had took on too many courses (i know not a real failure).

Thanks!
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Re: Failure essay [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2009, 14:06
You could tie the two together - how your experience from the first helped you know how to deal with the second better, before it became an issue. It can be a very good way to make the essay display self-awareness, which is something they are looking for within a failure essay.
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Re: Failure essay [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2010, 09:21
nath99 wrote:
I am having difficulties deciding between two events
1) Happened during school years 12 years ago, but a great story and a lot to write about. Failed in school (was a real bum) and then went on to come first in school.
2) My first semester at UW Madison where i messed up grades and research and then recovered in next sem.

1st was truly life changing and 2nd not so much.

Thank you all!

I think it is a good idea to stay away from academic failure and describe a professional failure. I would stay away from 1 because it happened too long ago. And Jerz brought up some other issues (shows a pattern of academic struggles) that I think are also very important.
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Re: Failure essay [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2010, 11:27
I think schools prefer a professional failure.Also your story is too old.Try telling something that happened in the past 5 yrs.
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Re: Failure essay [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2010, 09:53
Also, if the failure is a few Bs, many probably wouldn't consider that a true failure.
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Re: Failure essay   [#permalink] 02 Jan 2010, 09:53
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