College: a World of Responsibility Essay

I feel the tingling sensation of nerves as I look down to my left. He’s there, but not really. Maybe he can sense my nerves? But he’s not nervous, he’s just excited as a two-year-old dog should be.”Jenna, get him focused,” says my mom.”I will.

“At seven-years-old, this is my first competition. Experienced—no. But confident—yes. Preparing for months, I mastered each practice course my mom set up in my backyard. We can’t fail. My family came to Pennsylvania for this.

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We are going to succeed.Minutes seem like hours when the ring steward announces, “Keeper on line!” and I hear the judge ask, “Are you ready?””Yes,” I say, looking down at Keeper.As I take a step forward towards the first cone, my Belgian Tervuren is not next to me, but strained at the end of his leash, yanking me around the ring. My mind goes numb as I fail to control the 60-pound dog.The judge excuses me.

Sobbing and embarrassed, I thrust the leash in my mom’s hands and run to the open field beyond the ring. What did I do wrong? I thought I was prepared.Thinking back to that day nine years ago, I realize I lacked preparation. Though practicing in my backyard mastered the maneuvers, I never brought Keeper to an unfamiliar place. Before competing again, we practiced at multiple locations. And the next time we entered a show, we won first place.

From my nine years of dog training, I learned to prepare for the unexpected. I can’t predict a test in school, though I can prepare for it. Each race in track, game in basketball, or test in school is never the same. The basic components are there, but neither the race, the game, or the test will go exactly as planned. And college is arguably the most unknown place I will go. I can’t say I’ll succeed at everything, but what I can say is that I’ll step out of my “backyard,” and be prepared for whatever life—and college—puts in my path.