Benchwarmer: The Power of Perseverance | University of California – Berkeley Undergraduate Application Essay

“Jonathan, sit down!”

When my coach blatantly refused my request to allow me to play, my prior confidence and enthusiastic spark were replaced by a deflating sense of hopelessness as I recognized my role as a benchwarmer during my first basketball game. Frankly, the traditional saying, “bench players are just as important as starters,” never ameliorated my negative outlook of the bench. Soon enough, my sense of stoicism shattered and I faced a decision: quit or get better. Tired of my own excuses and motivated to disprove the doubts of my peers, I decided to persevere if only to prove to myself that I had what it took to become a starter.

With the purchase of a LA Fitness membership, I was committed to my decision. Soon after, my life could only be explained by the Nike slogan, “Eat. Sleep. Basketball.” My days began at 4 am, with my hand languidly crawling to end “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, followed by a trip to the gym before school, and ending with an aching hand repeatedly pounding the ball against the monotonous drum of the washing machine in the stone, cold basement floor. Messi probably felt the same when he said, “You always will have to fight to reach your dream; sacrifice and work hard for it.” Hair disheveled and…

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