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Lessons Learned, Setbacks and Successes College Admit Essay

Lessons Learned, Setbacks and Successes

I want to learn to take risks. I want to change my attitude about taking chances. Assessing my academic and extracurricular achievements, I am proud of my accomplishments. I see myself as an open-minded, goal-oriented person who achieves and succeeds through hard work and determination. How much of that success is a result of staying on comfortable ground?

I began wondering about the range of my abilities when I attended Northwestern University's Theater Arts Program last summer. The theme of the institute, announced by the director, was: "Dare to fail gloriously." This idea encouraged participants to take bold risks on the stage. Over time I applied this philosophy to my acting and my life. I began the Northwestern program as a quasi-accomplished actress with a hunger to absorb all I could about acting. I emerged not only a well-rounded thespian, but also a more secure person with a new outlook. I knew that there was something about my life that I wanted to change and could change. Now, as I approach college, I am committed to continuing successes and occasional glorious failures.

The first day at Northwestern I was asked to choose among three subjects in technical theater, ranking them in order of preference. Set Design was my first choice, followed by Costumes, and finally Stage Lighting. Much to my dismay, I was assigned to the lighting crew. Though disappointed, I tried to stay open-minded. I knew nothing about lighting, but followed the slogan which kept repeating in my head: "Dare to fail…."

By the third lighting session, I had discovered a new passion: I was eager to learn everything I could about lights. Having always been a performer who enjoyed the limelight, I had never realized the skill required to create it properly. In my free time I climbed the catwalks, memorized cues, circuited lamps, or changed gels. My competence was recognized when I was selected head light board operator for the final production of the summer.

If the choice to study lighting had not been made for me, I would have missed an enriching opportunity. The experience taught me to take more risks, rather than to follow the most certain path to success. The exposure made me realize how limited my perspective had been in approaching new situations. The choice that was made for me, undesirable as it seemed at the outset, taught me to embrace new...

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