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275ANGER!

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I was going through some of my documents on my computer and I stumbled upon this after several months have gone since I submitted it; I personally thought it was pretty good but whatever... anyhow I will share it with the world. This is my essay that I wrote for USC, trying to get into their business program. There was three essay topics to write about and I chose to "reflect on a challenge that I overcame through persistence". I tried to write about something else other than the military but the military was and is an experience that I know well. I kept it in its original format that I submitted and I did notice some errors. To answer the question whether I got accepted or not. I did not get accepted, oh well their loss. Enjoy!


I stood at attention in formation at Ranger Memorial in Fort Benning, Georgia, with a newly shaped tan beret upon my bald head and Ranger scroll pinned on my left shoulder. That day was a new beginning for me and another challenge overcome. You see seven months ago on September 25, 2003 I entered the United States Army with the intention of standing at Ranger Memorial with a tan beret and Ranger scroll. I started out just like many young aspiring hopefuls trying to earn a spot among the nations elite fighting force of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

I grew up in a great home, an only child with two loving parents. I set out on a new adventure far from the comforts of home and family. This was my first big decision as an adult that has affected my life. I had a strong desire to serve my country and a will to serve at the tip of the spear. I pushed myself physically and mentally everyday to attain my goal. Everyday brought forth new challenges. From conforming to the military lifestyle at One Unit Station Training (Infantry Basic) to having the intestinal fortitude to hurl myself out of a perfectly good airplane at Basic Airborne Training. I found myself at the gates of my next formidable challenge. Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP) which was a 4 week process of physical and mental evaluations delivered at a grandeur scale than what I had previously faced at Basic and Airborne School.

There where many days and nights at RIP that I found myself in miserable conditions of being cold, wet, tired, and hungry. No matter how bad situations got I could not find it in myself to quit. All you can really do is laugh and think to oneself, “Wow! I could have been sleeping in a warm comfortable bed with a full belly, but yet here I am”. At any time I could have uttered the tragic words “I quit” and be done with it or tried to save face and purposely fail a graded event. I could not find it in me to do such a thing nor could I have been able to face myself if I allowed myself too. I even went as far as writing in big and bold letters in the inside of my locker “Quitting is NOT an Option”. Everyday when I opened that locker those words screamed out at me.

It is really hard to describe in context in the challenges I faced during RIP. One event that has stood out to me was a non-standard 8 mile road march that turned into all out sprint. After just getting 30 minutes of sleep there I was running down a lone two lane road with a “rubber duck” (fake M16) in hand and a 40 pound rucksack on my back. I was tired and physically beat but I continued on, pushing myself to finish. All I remember doing is keeping my head down and focused on the asphalt laid before me, encouraging myself to keep a good steady pace. My body was telling me to stop and rest, my mind toyed with the idea of slowing down and catching my breath but somewhere inside me I would not allow myself.

Persistence and sheer tenacity to reach my end goal allowed me to stand in that graduation formation. I will admit there was fear in me, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, and fear of not just letting myself down but those that believed in me. I learned a lot about myself and my abilities; gained new confidence and an understanding of the rewards for hard work and determination. It is always easy to take the road less traveled but I find satisfaction in rising to new challenges and bettering myself; Quitting is NOT an option.
 

Ravage

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Overall great peice of work. But I belive they did not accept it because they probably could not have put thier selfs into your head. Your writing did not describe the missery, the hardship and the undescribable desire to overcome adversity. Then again.....you can only write about something you know of...
Try again, maybe this time whey will accpet :)
 

metalmom

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Well done! You write well!!! Great read!
Like Rav said, try again, or frig it and write a book!!
Much luck to you!

PS I really dont know why you werent accepted in the 1st place-but yes, their loss.
 

275ANGER!

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I could have gone longer with it but it had to be less than 800 words or something like that. I am holding a low B average competing for less than a 1000 spots against outright nerds. I just threw my hat in the arena, cause you never know.
 

Chopstick

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Wow..just wow. Beautiful. I printed that out and showed it to my son. I think he will be keeping that handy.
 

Centermass

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Quitter................:p

j/k Brother. Great essay, but you know how liberal the weather is there year round on campus by now. Keep swinging away. No sense in throwing 10 years of college down the drain. }:-)
 

sfmike

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Excellet essay! You've captured the guts and drive that it takes to be a Ranger. Now go and do some push-ups.

RLTW,

SFMike
 

Marauder06

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As a member of the military, I really liked your essay. If I were a member of an academic board, I may have found your essay intimidating. I think you did really well at explaining how you overcame adversity, but I wonder if you could have capped it with a tie-in to the future and how this specifically applied to business school.

You didn't get into USC but you're in school right now somewhere else, correct?
 

Swamp Honky

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Surprised they turned you down. Perhaps it is as others have said: they were intimidated or could not relate. I struggled when I left active duty attempting to get into college. I only had a 2.75 GPA in high school. I did my time at a mediocre state school and then found a private school that was willing to look beyond the numbers.
 

Marauder06

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.... I just threw my hat in the arena, cause you never know.

That's very true. There is a long and distinguished list of schools that rejected me for master and PhD programs, but I applied to Yale because I wanted to work with a specific faculty member, and I got accepted. You never know what a school is looking for and you never know for sure if you can get in until you try.
 

275ANGER!

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You didn't get into USC but you're in school right now somewhere else, correct?

Yes, Business Management major. Once I went over the essay and noticed the mistakes I made, I kicked myself because it was not polished. I did however find out that my application actually made it to the review board at USC and looks like they denied me there, so I made it farther than most.
 

RAGE275

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Yes, Business Management major. Once I went over the essay and noticed the mistakes I made, I kicked myself because it was not polished. I did however find out that my application actually made it to the review board at USC and looks like they denied me there, so I made it farther than most.
I was gonna ask you the other day when we talked how that was going for you. But thanks for calling, squared a lot of stuff away. I'll hit you up later this week, I'll be out your way soon.
 

Gypsy

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I'm sorry I missed this the first time around. Great story!

A former Ranger I know wrote a little book for his family about his training, it was a great read peppered with a LOT of humor. :D
 

Manolito

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I would pen the review board and ask where I could improve because I plan on applying again next year. Be blunt and ask was it the subject chosen or the content etc. I would also ask for recommendations on how to better prepare this year for next years selections.
Hell I got a job one time by doing that.
Bill
 
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