The essay question made him uncomfortable. It induced a minor dose of depression within him, the fear of failure percolating slowly once again. Without bothering to check the discomfort, he let his pen dictate what his heart narrated.
In 400 words, Please tell us why you deserve to be a part of our college?
A one word description about me – average. I certainly do not belong to the genius class, working in Silicon Valley neither to those stuck in the faraway by-lanes of Mumbai suburbs. I keep swimming between these distinctions.
Born in a Tier 2 city, Bhopal, I was granted the best of facilities it had on offer. I studied hard and attended tuition classes, for the options of childhood meant only these. Sports, Arts, Literature were fables of the rich. I topped my school exams consistently, proven by the fact that I had posters with my face plastered across the town. I assumed, in my own teen arrogance, that I were on the path to become the next Edison, if not a CV Raman.
That notion shattered when I did not top the JEE. The decent score helped me win a scholarship entry to a mammoth private University in the south. My teachers congratulated me, put up posters again in the area, celebrated my admission with much pomp. While I did not consider it a success, it was not too bad to be termed failure.
The university was a grand melting pot of cultures and experiences. My habitual excellence in education gradually withered under the distractions of sports, arts, girls and alcohol. I maintained an eight pointer, not worried about the excessive efforts needed to score a ten pointer and careful enough to avoid five pointers or carry-overs. I was frequently lauded for being an all round consistent performer. The laurels did not help as the best paying recruiting companies only considered ten pointers. I managed to be consistent again – at being average.
An IT company found my performance in line with their vision. They recruited generalists like me and transformed us into mediocre coders or support staff. The challenging projects, high pay packages went to people from better institutes. My family, however, was proud and happy with the traditional firm that run like a public enterprise.
When I tried applying to bigger firms, the panel pointed out at all these as my failures. I was confounded and demotivated, for all that I had been proud of was brazenly declared irrelevant. They too termed me average.
I wish to break this vicious cycle. A great college like yours would, I believe recognize my capabilities better and feed me challenges that are worthy of being fought. Although it seems an highly audacious attempt, I applied because I wish to rebuild my life, fight in the upper echelons, finish on the podium rather than finishing the race fourth. Your acceptance would set the precedent for my road to greatness, for my victory against average.
The college loved his honesty.He eventually had managed to break the law of the average.