Theme: Memorable Experience - Essays
(Concours litt¨¦raire ¨¦lite: in English)
Yisen Wang Íõһɭ 13Ëê 2012 Elite Camp E90°à

¡¡¡¡My heart pounding, I stared at the door, waiting. I strained my ears to the limit listening for a sound, any sound that would signal me that I had achieved what I had set out to do. My heartbeat would accelerate every time I thought I heard someone open a door and it would sink when no one came in my classroom. The teacher¡¯s voice was drowned out in my anxiety. Tests and workbook exercises were quickly completed and put aside as I sat in my seat biting my nails and drumming my fingers on the desktop. This continued on for most of the school day until the principal came in and handed me my long awaited package. Though it may have been but a simple magazine, it held a lot of significance in what would occur in the next few weeks. The magazine the principal had handed to me was a small prize for an essay I wrote the week prior. The essay had been something I had put a great deal of effort and time into, and I had been afraid that I would not be able to receive anything in return. It was a very memorable experience, for it increased my motivation to continue writing. It also bolstered my confidence in my writing abilities, as well as being a source my desire to challenge myself to push myself to the limits.

¡¡¡¡Receiving the essay prize had been a very memorable experience. One of the many things it had done for me was to increase my motivation to win the contest. The fact that I had received a prize told me that I could win the contest, that I had a chance to win the greatest prize and receive a 100 dollar gift card. I had originally decided that if I did not receive any sort of prize the first week, I would quit the contest and stop writing the essays. Winning the prize had motivated me to continue writing. The experience had also motivated me to write better than before, and, as a result, my writing quality seemed to advance. I spent a lot more time on my essays as well, and spent hours brainstorming, writing, reviewing and proofreading. Instead of taking two nights to complete an essay, I took up four. Even during the day, I thought about things like my thesis statement, themes, and body paragraphs. In addition, I attacked every obstacle with a drive far more powerful than the one I had before. My memorable experience had not only increased my abilities in writing, however. Somehow my performance in class, instead of dropping as I had expected it to, had somehow risen. Assignments such as homework and projects I quickly finished in class, with the most efficiency I could muster. My motivation to complete my essays on time had indirectly sped up my memorization progress and by doing so, made tests easier for me to complete and achieve high scores on.

¡¡¡¡Another side effect of my memorable experience was that it bolstered my confidence in my own writing. I had always been self conscious when it came to my writing, and every year, I would look at the previous year¡¯s set of essays, which discouraged me even more as I felt they were all poorly written and executed. Receiving the prize, however, instilled in me a confidence that I had never had before. I was able to write my essays with a greater ease than ever before, as well as avoid the moments of doubt I sometimes had in the middle of writing my essay. Previously, I had always been struck with anxiety and doubt when I proofread my essay. With my confidence bolstered though, I was able to avoid dwelling on the same sentences over and over again. In addition, I would no longer hesitate before I turned in my essay. Even the anxiety I always acquired when it came to the time for the weekly prizes to be handed out lessened. Sometimes, I even felt that, without my anxiety, I had been able to avoid things like writers block and mistakes. Recently, I had been assigned to write a French essay, and initially, I had been doubtful as to whether I could pull it off. Once I thought back to when I received the prize however, my confidence grew. I was no longer afraid of writing, and in the end, I was able to earn an A+ for my work. This effectively erased almost all of my doubt when it came to my writing ability and essay quality.

¡¡¡¡My memorable experience had also increased my desire to challenge myself. Before, I had been very discouraged and I believed that I would never win the contest. As mentioned before, my confidence in my own writing was considerably low. With my newfound confidence and motivation that came from my experience though, I was able to gather enough courage and challenge myself to do the best I could in the competition as well as rise up and face the opposition ahead of me. I had always wanted to know how far I could push my writing ability, and the competition proved to be the perfect place to test my limits when it came to both my writing quantity and quality. I wanted to stretch myself to the limits to see exactly what I could achieve. Because of my desire to challenge myself, I devoted increasingly more of my time and effort into my essays. Before, whenever I wrote my essays, I would always skip some parts of the writing process. I had never proofread a single essay in my life, and the most I did was skim through them. In order to find out what my best work would give me, however, I actually took the time to complete all of the steps necessary when writing an essay, such as brainstorming and proofreading. At first, the writing of my essays came when I had the time and motivation to write. After my experience however, essay writing moved much farther up my list of priorities than ever before. Only the tests I took in class were of greater importance than my essays. Every time I lost hope or became disinterested in the whole competition, I would think back to my first prize, and my desire would pick up once more. I wanted to win the competition, not only to receive the prizes, but to find out how much my writing had improved.

¡¡¡¡Winning my first prize in the essay competition had been one of my most memorable experiences here in Camp Elite. Part of the reason why was maybe because I had been so scared that I wouldn¡¯t. The main reasons I find it so memorable though, are because it gave me the motivation to continue on with the competition, raised my confidence in my own writing, as well as heighten my desire to challenge myself. Now that I look back, I don¡¯t know what I would have done if I had not won that first prize. More likely than not, I would have given up on the whole endeavor, and abandon the competition. I am glad that I did receive the prize however. Because of this memorable experience, I was able to win even more prizes, further increasing my motivation to continue writing, which proved to be valuable as I had almost given up several times. My newfound confidence and desire to test my limits further boosted my conviction to continue with the competition.