Georgetown University Undergraduate Application Essay on Athletics

Home > College Admission > College Admission Essays > Georgetown University Application Essay College Application Essay on Athletics

Georgetown University Undergraduate Application Essay,College Application Essay on Athletics

Essay by Michelle Tessier

After deciding it would be fun to play a sport in high school, I joined my school's water polo team as a freshman. Although I had never been particularly athletically inclined, I threw myself into the sport with total energy and enthusiasm, hoping to be a starting player. I worked incredibly hard, arriving at practice early to swim extra laps, and staying after everyone else had left to work on my technique. But no matter what I did, I was still only an average player. Why couldn't I score more goals? In school, I knew that when I completely immersed myself in the material and devoted extra effort to my classes, good grades usually followed. I had become accustomed to my hard work and dedication being rewarded. So I was naturally disappointed when devoting the same tremendous amount of effort to water polo did not yield similar results.

I began to ask myself, why was I doing this? It was embarrassing and even somewhat humiliating for me to participate in an activity that I couldn't do as well as others could. I could not help but be I realized that if I really wanted to participate in an activity I loved, I could not let my embarrassment or false pride stand in the way frustrated when my coach yelled at me during practices, benched me during games, or when I saw the weekly sheet of statistics being tacked up by the pool for all of the players to see. I even began to wonder whether participating in water polo was worthwhile if it were something at which I could not excel.

However, I would never allow myself to quit. For even though I was not the best player on the team, I am not a quitter and the truth was I love playing water polo. I enjoyed the physical challenge it gave me, swimming as hard as I could until every muscle in my body ached. When I didn't get to play, I took pleasure in analyzing our game strategies, sometimes discussing ideas with my coach, even going so far as to very subtly suggest his strategy was wrong. I was amazed to learn I could actually enjoy the time I spent on the bench, often inventing cheers to support other players. I realized that if I really wanted to participate in an activity I loved, I could not let my embarrassment or false pride stand in the way. And because I refused to give up, participating in water polo has been simultaneously one of the most frustrating and yet rewarding experiences of my life. I found the determination not to walk away from something that was especially difficult for me. And although I was raised with the notion that every goal was within my reach if I simply worked hard enough, I now understand that I don't have to do something better than everyone else in order to be successful.

Michelle Tessier attends Georgetown University.

Essay Review

Hard work pays off (Sort of)

If we had a nickel for every essay that talks about the importance of hard work to achieve a goal, we'd be too rich to worry about writing this book. But what about when hard work doesn't pay off? That's the predicament in which author Michelle Tessier finds herself. Michelle's soul-searching in response to failure is much more interesting than exhilaration in response to success would be. In the end, Michelle discovers goals other than winning or being the best, and in the process, she learns (and tells the reader) something important about herself.

More Information