There have been many times in my life when failure, not success, led me to do something I may not have done otherwise. The biggest failure in my life occurred when I made the horribly regrettable decision to drop out of high school.
In high school I was a B student at best. I became bored with my classes and decided it would be in my best interest to drop out and work at my family’s ranch. I regretted this decision almost instantly. I saw many of my friends deciding what college to attend while I was working twelve hour days building fences and feeding animals. Although my ranch work definitely instilled in me a strong work ethic, I knew that I could not make a career out of it. It only took six months of vigorous work for me to decide to get my GED. I passed the course and exam with flying colors. I then decided to take a college math class.

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My counselor tried to dissuade me from this by telling me that it would be too difficult and that I would more than likely fail. For the next six weeks I was on a mission to prove him wrong. I worked hard and earned a C, but although I was happy, I knew I could do better. That fall I made the decision to take a full load of classes and make the dean’s list. I knew I was facing an uphill battle because I would have to earn three A’s and one B to qualify. What a feeling of accomplishment when, at the end of the semester, I received my Dean’s List notification letter in the mail. Going from high school dropout to academic success story felt amazing. My success continued when at the end of the following semester I received a 3.77 grade point average.

I have been accepted into the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University, but I feel more comfortable here at (Current College). The faculty and students are more approachable and kind. (Current town) feels like home to me compared to the other places I have been. I now live and work on a farm full time while attending class here in(current town), so I have the best of both worlds. It is a challenge to keep my grades up, but I have been able to strike a balance between work and school. I make a concerted effort to not neglect my studies while at the same time ensure that I take care of my pastures and livestock. This was something I never thought I could do. I always believed that I had to choose between working in the great outdoors or going to college full time. I am so excited to realize that, through planning and managing my time, I do not have to choose between school and work. I love the challenges I have been presented because without those challenges I would not grow. I recognize that it does not stop and that I will not grow as a person if I do not continually set goals for myself. I learn a lot about myself from my successes and especially my failures. I have the GPA and teacher recommendations to gain entrance into the honors program. I would like to prove to myself that I can compete and be on par with other honors students.

I know that it might not be in my best interest to elaborate about being a high school dropout to an honors admissions office, but this is something of which I am not ashamed. In an odd turn of events, dropping out of high school, which I count as one of my biggest mistakes and failures in life, taught me the importance of an education and obtaining a degree. I have proven time and again that I can compete and make good grades in college. I am ready for my next step in my academic career, and I stand ready to prove myself all over yet again.