Jam and Toast This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 25, 2012
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The first time I realized I was persistent, a hard worker, someone who drove to succeed no matter what the cost, was the day I finally opened the jam jar. You know how it is, I’m sure. When the jam congeals on the lip and practically cements the lid to the jar. All you can do is stare through the glass at the yummy sugar spread and wish that you had the awesome strength to superman the lid off that thing. I, however, lack the strength of the mighty superman, and so sit there, staring into the contents of the jam jar, simply imagining what it would taste like.
It was a Saturday morning in the middle of fall when I rose from my bed and immediately realized that I was craving strawberry jam. And not just a small craving either- you know, the kind you can live without. No, I was really really craving strawberry jam and would probably never be content if I ate anything but. I considered the possibility of putting it back into the fridge and walking away. I did, a few times. But in the end I always ended back there, at the counter, trying to pry the stupid lid off the stupid jar.

I worked at that jar all day, using none of the traditional “cheats” that people often suggest. Hot water on the top half of the jar- a cheap way out, I think. Or using a dishtowel- a lazy way to keep one's hands from hurting. I did it the traditional way, with just my hands and a whole lot of curse words sent the jars way when it refused to cooperate. And yet I continued to work, trying my absolute hardest to reach my goal. And, about four hours later- four terrible, awful, painful hours later- I was rewarded. With a slight hiss and a happy pop the jar released it’s hold and the lid fell into my palm. That night I ate nothing but toast and jam, and was happier then I had been in days.

My persistence is something that I am glad I have. And until that day I thought it to be nothing but stubborn nature. However, from past experience, stubbornness and persistence are not the same thing. Stubbornness is a need to stay in one place, to keep one's feet firmly planted and not budge, even when budging would be the right thing to do. Persistence, on the other hand, is the will to move forward, while keeping one's balance. Stubbornness is what makes you stare at the jam jar, and persistence is the will to try and open it. I am a persistent and resilient person. If I fail, I simply shrug my shoulders and try again. So in truth, is that really failing? Even if I do fail and end up cursing at the problem at hand, I always get back up and try again. Some days I’m not rewarded with the prize I had in mind, and others I finally achieve the main goal. But either way, something is achieved and a goal, if not the goal, is reached.
The reason I want to apply to this college is not because of my persistence, but because of my need to learn and to move forward. My persistance, my resilience, is what will get me all the way through. I might fall down sometimes, might not be able to get that jam jar open, but my craving for learning, for jam, is what will keep me trying. After all, there is always tomorrow to try again. So I am ready to try, even if I have to fail every single day, I will try and try again. I will try until I have opened every single jam jar you put in front of me, and in the end I’ll feast on toast. And when it’s time for me to finish my hearty meal and move on, taking everything I have learned with me and daring to step into the big, scary world, I will use that persistence, that resilience, to succeed once more. And hey, maybe that time I’ll have to open a pickle jar instead.

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