College Essay

January 12, 2009
By Jordan Kohl, Okauchee, WI

The University values an educational environment that provides all members of the campus community with opportunities to grow and develop intellectually, personally, culturally and socially. In order to give us a more complete picture of you as an individual, please tell us about the particular life experiences, perspectives, talents, commitments and/or interests you will bring to our campus. In other words, how will your presence enrich our community?

At times I felt like quitting. As sweat slid from my face and splashed onto the floor, I touched the baseline and sprinted back down the court. The squeak of my shoe echoed through the gym as I stopped for another jump shot. These were the times when I asked myself, Is it all worth it?

Basketball did not come naturally. I was challenged on offense, and hardly ever made a jump shot. Practice was stressful—the wind sprints, the defensive slides, the countless jump shots. It drained my body, and made it hard to even stand after practice.
When the coach would scream, “Your not playing hard enough. Work harder. Run faster,” it made me want to quit. I felt like I was giving all I could, but was still being demanded more.
The shoot-around before school was the worst. I was in the gym before the birds were chirping. It was torture. It seemed pointless to try and work out when I could hardly keep my eyes open. But, as the season went on, I noticed my ball handling skills became stronger. My jump shot ended with more swooshes instead of clunks off the rim. I finally realized all the hours of sweat were paying off.

Is it all worth it? I answered that question during a game against Waukesha South. We were down by one point, with less than a minute left. I gave a head fake left and went right-straight to the hoop. The referee blew his whistle. I was sent to the free throw line. Two shots and twelve seconds left on the clock. My heart was pounding. The first shot bounced around, but finally fell through the hoop. All my nerves vanished, once the first shot was good. I could make the next. Swoosh. The game ended, and Arrowhead came out on top by one.

After that game, I knew the long practices and sprints were all worth it. I am glad I had a coach that helped me push myself and would not let me except average. It taught me I can always do better if I keep trying. He showed me if I don’t quit on something and give all I can offer, I can achieve my highest potential.
So what does this mean about me beyond sports? It means in situations whether it be school, work, or everyday life, things will not always go my way. I might, “take that shot that clunks off the rim,” but I know I have to keep trying. Just like basketball, life takes practice and I may not always get immediate results. But that’s the point! I learned this the hard way, through hard work, failure, and success. Each one of these has prepared me for the future. A future I believe will be full of success.

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