Crucible | University of California – Berkeley Undergraduate Application Essay

Failure is thought to demolish everything you are, but in truth is vital to self-realization and self-acceptance. I take pride in my ability to fail: to crash and burn, but to come out healed and ready. Yet in all my life I have never once been chastised for failure. My father would never reprimand me for my mistakes, but instead enforce meditation and reflection. Never did a scolding begin with “I’m disappointed” or “you’re in trouble,” but instead with a more thoughtful “go think about your actions, and consider what they say about you as a person.” Even as a child, I understood the mammoth weight of this reflection, and after an hour or so hiding out in a pillow fort, in the quiet confines of my own conscience, I would come out and apologize not only to my father but also to myself. I would emerge stronger, my failure having been an awakening force, inspiring retrospection and improvement. My father would look at me with nothing but pride, and would offer me a very Thomas Wayne-esque “Why do we fall, Rosh?”

Today, this saying underpins my life. With failure potentially at every corner and with every memory a potential occasion for regret, I choose instead to reflect, to improve. I simply ask myself, “Why do you fall, Rosh?”…

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