A Varied Collection 1

Basically, excerpts from my application essays. A little busy to think of anything else right now.This is the final draft of my MIT essay, which I posted earlier:

Game Over

One of the greatest disappointments in my life is something most people would dismiss with little thought. Even for me, the disappointment is more a product of my hopes than anything concrete…

The Information Technology Quiz sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services is something of a ritual with my school: we go for it every year, at least one team makes it to the final round, and every year we come back without the winner’s trophy. For the past three years, it had also become a ritual for me: more by fortune than by skill, my team has been one of the six to make it to the final round, although we have never won the first prize.

It was one of the high points of my year. Many schools, especially the ones that produced winning teams, prepared for it throughout the year. We, however, went about it in a much more relaxed manner. About a month before the competition the brochures would arrive, and the teacher would tell us to begin preparations. Two weeks before the event, we would start staying back after class every day for marathon quizzing sessions. With only one week to go, the serious contenders would start to slip into a world populated entirely by acronyms and technology businesses.

This was my final chance at the quiz, and I was determined to make it count. I was all the more hopeful because the Untouchables-the fanatics, who could tell you Bill Gates’s favourite cologne, and expand acronyms that ran off the page- had all finished school and gone.

When the big day came, everything seemed different and something felt wrong about it all. I began to feel better once we were seated in the hall, and the well-remembered flurry started within me. The preliminaries began, and by the tenth question we were nearly laughing out loud with relief: this was so easy!!!

That was the problem: as it turned out, everybody else thought so, too.

The lunch break was agony, and when we got back, as expected, the quizmaster took us through all the prizes before announcing the finalists. Three schools were announced, and then he said: “And here we have a school that has made it on stage every year, the persistent ones all the way from Kottayam”- we nearly rose from our seats-“Joseph Sebastian and Mikhail Jacob from Pallikoodam!!!”

In retrospect, its rather funny, but we weren’t laughing then. Of course, we acted like good sports and cheered harder than everyone else, but we both felt devastated. Both of them had been strong contenders, just as much “favourites” as we were, so it wasn’t much of a surprise. However, right then, none of that mattered.

The disappointment numbed by the time we got back home. It has always been my policy never to worry about something you can’t change, and I moved on. That’s a policy that I’ve always believed in, and it has not failed me yet.


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