Challenges that facing you throughout high school

Posted on: 15th May 2023



Essay question: Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today? Please do not exceed 800 words

Experience #1:
Took 4 attempts on ACT test
1) First attempt===composite score 26
2) Second attempt===composite score 27
3) Third attempt===composite 26
4) Fourth attempt====composite 29

Scenario: Three years ago, I visited my first half-cousin, and she told me that she had been accepted to UT Austin. She told me that she got a 33 ACT score on her first attempt. My father was very impressed with the score. On the way home I said to my father that I can get that score or higher. I said, “I promise”. I was just about 14 years old back then. When I first took the ACT test in September 2019, I got 26. I faced the tough reality………I studied hard, took many practice tests……… test score is 27…….the thought of giving up was pop up in my mind………my father continued supporting me by putting me on the treadmill machine with various foods like taking one test section every day, and four sections test on the weekend.
I got an ACT test score on the third attempt was 26. I was not happy about it, since I aimed for 33. That is what said to my father three years ago. I continually said to myself that I will not surrender to myself. In the meantime, my young brother got 28 on his third attempt. I was a subject for his daily joking during the family dinner.
Instead of spending time playing the game on weekend, I and my brother spent at least three and a half hours on the ACT practice test. My father insisted on me that practices making things better. It took me to do about four practice tests between one ACT test date to the next test date. It was also not counting to do one test section every day. It was a real challenger for me to keep up with my school homework, during the coronavirus pandemic. Study via the Internet from home was not a fun time for both my brother and me. We were a little depressed at the time. When I got a 29 ACT score in December 2020, I was very happy about the result. I was even more thrilled when my father said that I do not have to take the ACT test anymore. Looking back from the time I took my first ACT test in October 2019 to now, I learned some important things in life that you have to put your best effort in, you have to study and practice hard, you have to be persistent to follow your goal, you have to tread your every failure as the gift from God, and you move on the next thing.
I am happy about my last ACT score of 29. I am happy because I studied hard. I felt a sense of fulfillment, even the 29 score is not a high score in my mind, I did the best on the exam. I enjoyed the ACT challenge, it prepared me to think more critically and important on issues that face me in life and I will apply those thoughts.

Experience #2:
Taking AP statistics is not a joke. I have had trouble from day one learning about the concept of statistics. I struggled on the first test. I had the doubt that I may have to switch from AP statistics to a regular statistic class. But my inner sense keeps saying that why I have to give up so easily without the fight. I attended few tutorial sessions. It did help me improving the tests and quiz. I got an “A” on the class and got a 4 “scholar status” on the AP College Board examination. Once again persistence and study hard are yielding a good result.

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High School Challenges

High school is the immediate step before career-defining and life-changing college experiences. This status makes high school a significant character formation period. The values, skills, and personality traits one develops during high school mostly remain unchanged for life. In my case, high school was where I learned resilience and determination in pursuit of any goal. I come from a strict family with high-achieving relatives. This family trait increased my pressure to perform to the same standards as my more academically gifted relatives. As a result, high school results often led me to near-depression as I continually failed to achieve the high grades that everyone expected of me. I could easily have despaired and decided to stop schooling or not give it any effort and admit failure. However, with my father and brother's support, I persevered through some difficult situations and learned to appreciate the power of doing one's best regardless of the results. High school challenges honed me into a tenacious believer in the power of hard work and dedication to one's goals, which I believe will help me achieve more than I could have without the experience.

Academic achievement is a critical part of success in most typical cases. Consequently, parents push their children to excel and perform among the best in their classes. This was the case with my father. My parents' ambitions became mine over time, and when I was fourteen, I vowed to perform better or match my half-cousin's ACT score of thirty-three. When I finally got to attempt the ACT exams, I scored twenty-six, which was much lower than my target of thirty-three. My father and I agreed to register for the test once again and study harder to get a better result. My second attempt was only marginally better; I managed twenty-seven points. I decided to push myself once more and scored a twenty-six on my third attempt. This time, I improved significantly and scored twenty-nine points. Although this was still below my target, I reveled in the improvement and the feeling that I had given the exams my best attempt.  Decided not to attempt the test again, and my father agreed with the decision. He could tell that I had done my best, which was a significant point for me because I have grown up desiring to make him proud.

This experience was only one of the scenarios in which I learned resilience and determination. Another case was my year studying advanced placement statistics. Advanced placement courses are more challenging compared to their regular counterparts. My choice to pursue the advanced placement course came from a desire to improve my college-entry credentials and possibly graduate college faster. However, my initial course experience was terrible, and I thought of changing to regular statistics. My desire to get better college-entry credentials was more substantial than the fear of failing the class and choosing to work hard. I took tutorial classes to sharpen my understanding of the statistics concepts and studied harder than other subjects. My hard work improved my understanding of the concepts, and I got an A in the class. This achievement also got me AP scholar status with the AP College Board. This experience boosted my belief in hard work and cemented hard work and dedication as part of my success blueprint for any endeavor. These two experiences played the most significant role in defining my values, which I will use to succeed in college and life.

My belief that high school plays a significant role in the adult a person turns into comes from various sources. First, my experience with teachers and guardians indicates that they have not changed much personality-wise since their high school days. Second, media portrayals of people often compare them to their high school versions. These ideas and the critical period during which people form lifelong friendships, pick up habits and choose careers or primary interests make me believe in high school's impact on one's subsequent lifestyle and philosophy. My father and brother pushed me to retake the ACT and study harder for each successive attempt, and they finally congratulated me on my final score. During this period, the presence of a supportive family helped me avoid depression and other unsavory habits, such as using drugs to cope with increased academic performance demands and coming from a high-achieving family. Their presence also made me understand the significance of solid support systems. I will use these challenges and the lessons ai gained from them to improve my prospects in life. I can achieve this by creating solid friendships that will last me a lifetime, sticking to my philosophy of hard work and determination, and choosing the right company as I pursue other goals in life.


Jordan Barney

Jordan Barney

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