Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

As I strode into that all-too familiar gym, the memory of last year's defeat was still fresh in my mind. The court loomed ahead, lying smugly as if it were already aware of the game's outcome. The CIF Volleyball Championship poster smirked at us from high above the bleachers under the cruel, dim lights. None of us knew yet, but that night we were about to let the dream slip from our fingertips once more. The first whistle blew, carrying with it an air of optimism. But the match was a blur. The final whistle blew, sweeping the championship away with it in one, simple breath. I can still taste the bitter disappointment I felt as I walked, as if in a dream, out into the startlingly cold night air.

That November night centers as my most significant failure thus far. I have been a part of the world of volleyball since the age of 8 and this particular match is in a category all of its’ own. It really opened my eyes to the similarities that carry between life and sports. I specifically learned that every single aspect of a sport can serve as a moral insight to our own individual realities. Life, in all its splendor, is ruled by the motivated and determined. Those who contain an ideation for success soar past those who let...

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