Fortunately Unfortunate

Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.


Routine is the enemy of relationships, spontaneous workers, and thrillseekers, gradually lessening excitement and draining the life out of the things we enjoy. However, through my own experiences, I have come to realize that routines, commonly associated with complacency and stagnation, can paradoxically change one’s life.

When I was in grammar school, I devised what I dubbed as “routines for success” for all my classes. Recognizing patterns in my teachers’ instruction and assessment styles, I standardized my studying and learning regimens. Math class was conquered by a simple memorization of rules and a conscientious review of practice questions from distributed worksheets. Social Studies class required close attention during the study games we played, for their questions were guaranteed to appear on the test the next day. Science class needed only a focused reading of the chapter with special attention on vocabulary words, while english class relied on careful analyses of the stories we read as well as knowledge of basic plot elements. By optimizing my performance, while minimizing the amount of work that I had to do, these mini routines ostensibly contributed to an overall positive “routine of winning,” helping me...

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