Sample essay from "Perfect as the wing of a bird may be, it will never enable the bird to fly if unsupported by the air." --Ivan Pavlov Upon graduation, I will be able to analyze medieval Spanish poems using literary terms and cultural context, characterize the electronegativity trends on the periodic table, and identify when to use logarithmic differentiation to simplify a derivative trouble. Despite knowing how to execute these surprisingly appropriate tasks, I currently fail to understand how to vary a tire, how to do my taxes efficiently, or how to obtain an able insurance policy. A factory-model school system that has been withdrawn essentially unchanged for nearly a century has been the driving force in my educational development. I have been conditioned to actualize tasks quickly, efficiently, and with an advanced understanding. I measured my self-worth as my ability to outdo my peers academically, guessing my scores were the only aspect that defined me; and they were. I was getting everything right. Then, I ran for Student Government and failed. Rejection. I didn’t even make it past the first round of cuts. How could that be? I was statistically a smart kid with a valuable head on my shoulders, right? Surely someone had to have made a mistake. Little did I know, this was my first exposure to meaning beyond numbers. As I was rejected from StuGo for the second year in a row, I discovered I had been wrongfully measuring my life through numbers--my football statistics, my test scores, my age, my height (I’m abbreviated). I had the epiphany that oh stand by, maybe it was my fault that I had never prioritized communication skills, or open-mindedness ( qualities my fellow candidates possessed ). Maybe it was me. That must be why I consistently had to be the one to approach people during my volunteer hours at the public library to offer help--no one constantly urged me for it. I resolved to alter my mindset, taking a brand-new approach to the way I lived. From now on I would emphasize qualitative experiences over quantitative skills. I had never been additionally more uncomfortable. I forced myself to master to be vulnerable by ordering questions even if I was terrified of being mistaken. My proficiency in using data evidence could not demonstrate me how to communicate with young children at church, nor could my test scores offer me how to be additionally more open to criticism. The key to all of these skills, I was to discover, developed to be receiving from those around me. Turns out, I couldn’t do everything by myself. The process of achieving this fresh mindset arrived through the cultivation of relationships. I became fascinated by the recent perspectives each person in my life could offer if I indeed took the time to bridge. Not only did I improve my listening skills, but I introduced to examine the big-picture consequences my engagements could have. People interpret situations differently due to their own cultural contexts, so I had to perceive to refund more attention to detail to understand every point of view. I took on the state of what I cherish to call collaborative independence, and to my delight, I was elected to StuGo after my third year of trying. Not long ago, I would have fallen apart at the presence of any uncertainty. As I further accept and advance unfamiliar life skills, the further I realize how much remains uncertain in the world. After all, it is quite imaginable my future job doesn’t exist yet, and that’s okay. I can’t conceivably plan out my entire life at the age of 17, but what I can do is brace myself to take on the unknown, doing my preferred to accompany others. Hopefully, my wings continue enabling me to fly, but it is going to take more than just me and my wings; I have to continue putting my faith in the air around me.