Personal statement essay.

“Dad, I hate the shot put. It’s so hard,” I whined as we walked away from the throwing area. “Can I just quit?” My dad paused and bent down to look me in the eyes.

“Thanithia, if you quit something just because it’s hard, you’ll be quitting for the rest of your life. No one can succeed if they’re always quitting.” This earnest moment between my father and me would go on to shape and influence me well beyond a nine year old deciding not to quit throwing the shot put. Any time that I have faced a new challenge and am tempted to give up, I think back to this moment.

In my first few months at Princeton University, I was constantly plagued with fears about my perceived inadequacies. I wasn’t smart enough. I didn’t have enough money to properly socialize with the other students. I didn’t have what was needed to succeed. Only two months into my first semester, I had amassed enough self-doubt that I was ready to give up my place at Princeton. I had filled out the necessary transfer forms and was fully prepared to leave. Before mailing the transfer forms, I sat down to make a list of reasons to leave and a list of reasons to stay. As I stared at my reasons to leave, I realized that they all centered around one problem: Princeton was...

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