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“You are next.” The words of the referee still resonated in my mind as I walked across the soccer field. After 90 minutes of intense play, the score was still tied. The outcome of the game was in my hands. Coach Alcaraz had entrusted me with the responsibility of taking the last penalty kick of the game. I can still feel the magnitude of the moment. The weight of the world on my shoulders. My teammates were counting on me. It was the first penalty I had ever taken in my life.
It all happened too quickly. I stepped up to the ball, and heard the referee’s whistle. The ball sailed towards the goal, elevating higher into the right corner of the goal. Crossbar. Game over.
Still to this day, I am proud of that moment. Not because I missed the penalty but because I had volunteered to take it in the first place. In life, the only way to achieve success is to taste failure. I have learned a lot from myself. I am a risk taker and I am willing to try new things. Failure does not intimidate me. Even if I am guaranteed to fail, I will not step down. Ever since I took that penalty kick, I have become more willing and accepting when it comes to testing my limits. What I learned is that there are no limits because life has infinite opportunities for me and it is up to me to take advantage of them. I always used to be hesitant when it came to trying new things, but the day of the penalty kick I realized that life does not end because of failure. Life ends for those who never face their fear of tasting failure. The key to success is motivation and failure motivates me.
In college, I know I will have my moments of failure. Be it on a midterm, a paper, or a project, I know it’s bound to happen. There’s no such thing as a perfect student, but I know that there are those who learn from failure and I am one of them. I am a year away from attending college and I cannot walk in there with fear. I have to preserve my mindset on the idea that failure is necessary in life, and that it is not permanent. With that mentality, I can say I am prepared for the challenges college has in store for me. I will miss penalties, and I will make penalties, but I will not be afraid to take them.
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