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Gates Millennium Scholarship Essay Example on Difficulties

Discuss the subjects in which you have had difficulty. What factors do you believe contributed to your difficulties? How have you dealt with them so they will not cause problems for you again? In what areas have you experienced the greatest improvement? What problem areas remain?

Though I excelled in Math enough to advance a year ahead, I relied on a false sense of confidence to help manage my high grades. "Confidence" plus stubbornness prevented any effort to further improve my study habits, ask for help, and do my homework properly. I began to face my academic weaknesses in the 8th grade with Accelerated Geometry. Its difficulty required extra effort on my part and yet I convinced myself that my abilities that had previously placed me at a high honors level would once again reveal itself in the end, that is not what happened.

Both 6th grade Pre-Algebra and 7th grade Algebra began as a challenge, but over time I improved without changing my habits. Mistaking complacency for confidence, I foolishly repeated the same cycle the next year. It resulted in no improvement and a low grade. My immature mindset continued well into my sophomore year in Accelerated Pre-Calculus. Believing that I would never succeed in the class, I never worked to my fullest ability. My insecurities focused more on what I couldn't do than what I could do so I gave up.

My goal after failing Accelerated Pre-Calculus was to build real confidence in my math abilities during my junior year. Beginning with regular Pre-Calculus, I focused on proving my work ethic. I reversed my sophomore year mistakes by applying better habits; I did my homework right away, studied well for quizzes and tests, and I used my class time wisely. Approaching my teacher to request advancing to AP Prep was the testament to my hard work.

AP Prep Pre-Calculus expanded my mind toward the subject with its challenges. I progressed by learning how to mature as a student; I became engaged by taking detailed notes, asking my teacher and peers for guidance, and honing my skills by doing practice tests during my off time. Rather than reverting to my previous stubborn attitude, I adjusted and showed continued improvement.

From Accelerated Geometry and Accelerated Pre-Calculus, I came to realize that complacency kills. As I was so confident in my skills, I was unaware of my problem areas before it was too late and acceptance and laziness came as a result. With regular and AP Prep Pre-Calculus, I learned from my mistakes by adapting. Looking at everything I couldn't easily do as encouragement. I experimented with and implemented various studying habits. Though it's a subject that will always challenge me, I approach not only Math, but all my classes, with a determination to succeed; not with high grades, but with insights to apply later.

Original Source: Essay Forum

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