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Teens and Goal Setting

Teen Trend Report:  8,500+ teen visitors, 500+ survey responders, 260+ teen essays about goal setting:

Goal Setting - When have you succeeded or failed at a goal?

1st Place Teen Essay Winner Receives Lenovo Series A TabletAs an international writing community with a mission to make the world a better place through storytelling, StagofLife.com wanted to know what goals teens have accomplished, are working on, or failed at achieving.

From teaching English, to becoming more extroverted, to the upsides of a failed goal, our hundreds of essay submitters (see below) have showcased the benefits of goal setting—accomplished or failed.

This writing contest was supported by our education sponsor, Lenovo, who generously donated the grand prize for the winning essay winner - a Series A Tablet.

Many of the students and teachers who participated in this writing contest also utilized the free StageofLife.com Goal Setting Worksheet. We welcome you to use that goal setting resource too.

Some of the other goal setting resources we provided during the contest included...

Goal Setting Resources:

Read the goal setting essays from teens below and get inspired to accomplish your own goals as you consider this question...

"Tell us about a goal you've accomplished or failed at achieving."

Video Summary - Teens and Goal Setting:


Trend Report Overview:

VISITS:  Over 8,700 teens and college students visited the StageofLife.com student poll and writing contest during the month's writing prompt (September 2013) from across the US (all 50 states) and dozens of international countries.
  • StageofLife.com writing contest summary detailsTEENS and GOAL SETTING SURVEY DATA:  521 students between junior high school and college fully completed the national survey about goal setting. 
  • ESSAY THEMES:  Out of all of the topics discussed, four major themes were collectively revealed by teens in their goal setting essays. 
  • STUDENT ESSAYS:  260+ student bloggers submitted a qualifying essay to the Goal Setting national writing contest sharing their stories about their accomplished (or failed) goals. 
  • ESSAY WINNER:  First, second, and third place winners, along with three Runners Up and 19 finalists were selected. 

PART I GOAL SETTING STATISTICS SURVEY RESULTS

national writing contest goal setting

Before submitting their StageofLife.com writing contest essay, teens were asked to complete the Stage of Life monthly national survey about the "Goal Setting" writing prompt.  Here are the teen statistics from the goal setting survey from 521 students who fully completed the poll...
  • 75.4% of students set goals for themselves
  • 41.8% of teenagers saw educational goals as the most important (followed by community, purchasing, and financial goals)
  • Over 81% of respondents have failed a goal they set for themselves
  • 92.1% of respondents are currently working on a goal
  • 16% of teens keep track of their goals using their mobile phone while 48% use a notebook, planner, or journal
  • View our full survey results and read the essays below to read what teens say are the most important goals in their lives...
Teens and Goal Setting survey results
To read the full national survey results, click the PDF icon to save the free download.

PART II GOAL SETTING ESSAY THEMES

Students submitted their writing contest essays to StageofLife.com.  From the 260+ qualifying teen essay submissions, several themes and trends emerged:

Themes and Trends from the Essays about Goal Setting...

  • teen trend report Goals require effort and concentration: Almost every teen expressed the same sentiment: meeting a goal, no matter how small or intimidating, requires concentrated effort. Even though it may take some work, achieving a goal is worth it in the end.
  • Mistakes mean you are human: Of course, goals are not met without some bumps in the road. Almost all teens made mistakes along the way; but these mistakes often led to important lessons learned, or a better goal to achieve.
  • Teens have big dreams: The most popular category in this contest was “School/Work” related goals. These teens have their sights set high: by graduating high school with stellar grades, earned scholarships to the college of their dreams, and by getting a job in a field they love.
  • Failure is not the end of the world: Quite a few teens admitted to not achieving their goals, or to giving up on them. But these teens discovered an important lesson: failure can often lead to greater, or different, success. Similarly, failure can be used as motivation to achieve a goal the next time around.

PART III READ THE GOAL SETTING ESSAYS

Teens Blog on StageofLife.comImmediately below, you'll find links to the StageofLife.com winning essay, our runners-up, semi-finalists, and 260+ essays from college students and teenagers about their goal setting accomplishments and downfalls.

Please take a few moments to read an essay or two, especially our winners, runners-up, and finalists.

If you have the time, make a comment on the responses you enjoyed the most.  We know the student writers will love hearing your positive input (they'll get an email notifying them if you comment on their writing contest entry).


Stage of Life writing contest winnerTeen & College Essay Contest Winner and Place Finishers:


StageofLife.com student essay writers - Runners Up3 Runners Up (in no particular order):
  1. Goal Setting: A Math Story by iayesha97 (She was not very good at math)
  2. Goal Setting: I failed at reaching my weight goal, but it led me to ditching anorexia by emeraldglow (This teen didn’t achieve a dangerous goal)
  3. Goal Setting: The Locality of Loquacity by Wonderwelle (This teen wanted to be more extroverted)
19 Semi Finalists (in no particular order):
StageofLife.com teen essay writers - Semi-Finalists
  1. Goal Setting: The Ultimate Goal by maraia94 (She strives for something better in life)
  2. Goal Setting: Easier than a Quadratic Equation by sarahbeth0424 (This A student was daunted by math class)
  3. Goal Setting: My Starting Line by JessicaSexton (This teen was pushed to do better and reaped the rewards
  4. Goal Setting: Volunteering One Hundred Hours by alexis.damour (This teen was close to not finishing her volunteer time)
  5. Goal Setting: How bad do you want it? by nicolegiuliano34 (Her parents’ mantra pushed her towards success)
  6. Goal Setting: Writing by Amazyrak (This teen wanted to write poetry)
  7. Goal Setting: All For Him by Abrown8093 (This teen plays baseball for his biggest fan, his grandpa)
  8. Goal Setting: I Failed to Please Society but Succeeded in Being Myself by bbigday (This teen fell victim to yo-yo diets)
  9. Goal Setting: Keeping Quiet by Emmykelley (This teen’s selective mutism has made life hard)
  10. Goal Setting: They Could No Longer Keep Their Secrets by languagelulu (This teen learned French in an effort to understand her relatives)
  11. Goal Setting: Realizing What I Already Had by Lifexlove (Her father let her down)
  12. Goal Setting: Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder by kaego (This teen overcame a difficult disorder)
  13. Goal Setting: Expressing My Hidden Confidence by bochi_tries84 (This teen was uncharacteristically shy in her new school)
  14. Goal Setting: Walk Beside Me by chocoholica (This teen failed her childhood goal of being popular)
  15. Goal Setting: Happy by bazzoun (This teen wants to be happy)
  16. Goal Setting: I’ve failed at everything I’ve ever done and found myself along the way by Alyg8er (This teen discovered that she loved music)
  17. Goal Setting: My high school career is defined by losses by ohanewz (This teen didn’t accomplish any of the goals she set for herself in high school)
  18. Goal Setting: Setting Goals and Learning from Failure by jr0311 (She didn’t feel as confident as she once was)
  19. Goal Setting: I failed and succeeded at making the All State Band by westongirls (Even if she didn’t meet her original goal, the lessons she learned were invaluable)


Read teen essays from StageofLife.com national writing contest

StageofLIfe.com writing contest submissions

Read All Qualifying Teen & College Essays for the National StageofLife.com Writing Contest
- "When have you succeeded or failed at a goal?"

The essays below were all written by Stage of Life teen writers for the monthly writing contest...

School and Work-Related Goal Setting Essays

  1. Goal Setting: Failure Leads to Success by Peaceloveharmony18 (All goals needs a plan)

  2. Goal Setting: Passing the CSS by BabyGirl (This teen studied hard at her vocational school)

  3. Goal Setting: The Common Wealth Essay Competition 2013 by sufiaesra.shaika (She strives hard to rise above the restrictions put on girls in India)

  4. Goal Setting: Eighth Grade Achievements by MiaRandazzo (She had several goals in eighth grade)

  5. Goal Setting: I will defeat my sister by lucy.zhang.980 (This teen wants to step out of her sister’s shadow)

  6. Goal Setting: East Coast Dreams by TiffanyYu88 (She wanted to go to college in one of the original colonies)

  7. Goal Setting: Lesson Learned by I’m-just-me (This teen made $5300 this summer)

  8. Goal Setting by raneanoreen (This teen wants to be a doctor)

  9. Goal Setting: The Ultimate Goal by maraia94 (She strives for something better in life)

  10. Goal Setting: Easier than a Quadratic Equation by sarahbeth0424 (This A student was daunted by math class)

  11. Goal Setting: Being in college and getting my degree by jalisa149 (It is important to be in school)

  12. Goal Setting: My goal is to become a neonatal nurse by kadifaulkner (She wants to finish school)

  13. Goal Setting: Making All A’s by jdphillips (This teen accomplished goals through hard work and determination)

  14. Goal Setting: Goals I Want to Achieve by kaybugg1 (She wants to be a vet or an oncologist)

  15. Goal Setting: Changing Goals by Jkent7845 (Everything changed when she had her son)

  16. Goal Setting by arlissia15 (This teen wants to go to the military)

  17. Goal Setting: Accomplished Goal by takiamoore (Her family and friends supported her toward her goal)

  18. Goal Setting: My Story by HeatherChessnerN (This teen wants to be a nurse)

  19. Goal Setting: My Goal by koribell (This teen wants to go to the U of Alabama)

  20. Goal Setting: My Goal That I Want to Achieve by ErrickaC (This teen wants to work in pediatrics)

  21. Goal Setting: Goals in my life by Osoarragantq11 (This teen wants to open a business)

  22. Goal Setting by D-lo 54 (This teen wants to be an aerospace engineer)

  23. Goal Setting: Lifelong goals by Amissildine1996 (This teen wants to be a paramedic or go into the air force)

  24. Goal Setting: My Unfinished Goal by Mary Katlin (This teen wants to pass the graduation exam)

  25. Goal Setting: To Make It Through School Without Bullying the Bullies by sunshineHHS (This teen wants to beat the bully without becoming one)

  26. Goal Setting: To be a doctor by lashian1234 (This teen wants to help people)

  27. Goal Setting: To finish high school with good grades by MyMyLUVZCHOOL100 (This teen wants an A average)

  28. Goal Setting: When I get out of school I want to be an OB by HersheyKiss (This teen loves babies)

  29. Goal Setting: My Goals for Life by jade stovall (This teen wants to be a nurse practitioner)

  30. Goal Setting: Going for the Future by cannonsquirrel (This teen is planning for the future)

  31. Goal Setting: My Starting Line by JessicaSexton (This teen was pushed to do better and reaped the rewards)

  32. Goal Setting: Life or Death Leads to Answers by karissa0216 (Medical staff saved her father’s life)

  33. Goal Setting: Learning to Speak Your Mind by Kyler Henderson (This teen won first place in a public speaking contest)

  34. Goal Setting: I succeeded in achieving and maintaining honor roll while attending high school by Shayla Allen (This teen focused on her goal and got extra help)

  35. Goal Setting: Striving to Accomplish Goals by AustinNorris (He wanted to be a fireman just like his dad)

  36. Goal Setting: Getting the Job by Austin Dawkins (This teen wanted to be a YMCA counselor)

  37. Goal Setting: Accomplishing All Goals by AdrienneD (This teen wants to graduate high school)

  38. Goal Setting: My personal goals by pokeMaster2k14 (This teen wants to work for Nintendo)

  39. Goal Setting: One year, two internships by danielle.lang (She managed to squeeze two internships into her year)

  40. Goal Setting: Regionals and High Honors by booskababe03 (Getting good grades is very important to her)

  41. Goal Setting: Reach for what you want by thomas.markey (This teen made it into his dream school)

  42. Goal Setting: Volunteering One Hundred Hours by alexis.damour (This teen was close to not finishing her volunteer time)

  43. Goal Setting: Making the Grade by jennifer.eddy (She wanted to get an A in her English class)

  44. Goal Setting: Graduation by Kristen12 (This teen has big dreams for her graduation, including a perfect GPA)

  45. Goal Setting by Jasmine_Nichole_Moore (This teen wants to enlist and become a nurse)

  46. Goal Setting: Realizing I Want Better by Hayden52210 (This teen wants to make all A’s)

  47. Goal Setting: Vet Techs by mtillman3596 (This teen wants to work with animals)

  48. Goal Setting by Kiarathomas718@gmail.com (She wants to finish high school and become an RN)

  49. Goal Setting by Treyhiggins96 (This teen wants to finish high school and then take a year off)

  50. Goal Setting: The Reasons for Life by tia2k15 (This teen wants to become a dermatologist)

  51. Goal Setting: Phlebotomy by Courtney stalls (She wants to work with blood)

  52. Goal Setting by knighten boi (This teen wants to be a mechanic)

  53. Goal Setting: My Life Changing Goal by Miranda Nichols (She wants to be an RN or a vet)

  54. Goal Setting: My goal by Benita (She wants to become a lawyer)

  55. Goal Setting: Graduating High School by bmeans15 (This teen wants to attend Auburn U.)

  56. Goal Setting: I Wish To Graduate High School, College, Then Have the Best Life by christina castle (She wants to major in Ultrasound Technology)

  57. Goal Setting: Setting goals in life by Pfrazier4 (This teen wants to pass honors English)

  58. Goal Setting: Goal by mothershed001 (This teen works on a farm)

  59. Goal Setting by Shekarika (This teen is able to keep up grades and cheerlead)

  60. Goal Setting: My goal by Harrisbrittany14 (This teen wants to go to school to become an arthritis doctor)

  61. Goal Setting: When I graduate by daicha palmer (This teen wants to go to cosmetology school)

  62. Goal Setting: Goals That I Have Accomplished or Failed by courtney_dienne14 (She is working hard towards her goals)

  63. Goal Setting: My Goal by DeeHarris (This teen wants to open his own business)

  64. Goal Setting: My Story by brianap (This teen has put her mind to and accomplished several goals)

  65. Goal Setting: Important Goals in My Life by Latarica Robinson (This teen wants to be the first in her family to graduate from college)

  66. Goal Setting: My goal by Benita (She wants to be a lawyer)

  67. Goal Setting: My Successful Life of Goals by sbest11_2014 (She knows to get good grades and stay out of drama)

  68. Goal Setting: Goals in Life by anobles9320 (This teen wants to be a cosmetologist or a psychologist and make lots of money)

  69. Goal Setting: Goals in my Life by pinkanddpearls (This teen has a lot of goals for school)

  70. Goal Setting: My Goals. My Life. by swood193 (This teen wants to be homecoming queen)

  71. Goal Setting: Ways to keep it up by Nishab14 (Never give up on your goals)

  72. Goal Setting: Accomplished Goal by Sexton35 (This teen wants to be a welder and go to Troy)

  73. Goal Setting: Catching a Dream by Drogers (This teen wants to get a degree in Sport Management)

  74. Goal Setting by Octavia Stewart (This teen wants to enlist in the Navy)

  75. Goal Setting: My goals in life by gabrielle_lynn2 (This teen has a strict life plan)

  76. Goal Setting by kellykerrigan13 (She wants to earn a 4.0 GPA)

  77. Goal Setting: That’s My Goal by Azreen (She was sent to a boarding school)

  78. Goal Setting: Business Competition, Bridges, and the Battle with Myself by SirLukey (This teen turned his natural talent into something more)

  79. Goal Setting: Money for Travel by emily.smith (This teen worked hard to make money for her scuba diving trip to Honduras)

  80. Goal Setting: Gaining my Independence by viviannicole (She got into the University of Tampa)

  81. Goal Setting: How bad do you want it? by nicolegiuliano34 (Her parents’ mantra pushed her towards success)

  82. Goal Setting: Getting into College by michael.manning (College applications are time-consuming and difficult)

  83. Goal Setting: Graduating High School by Jnselson1996 (It is important to have a support system)

  84. Goal Setting: Turning Things Around by louisexxo (Her grades began to suffer when she made new friends)

  85. Goal Setting: Plan For Kashmir – But Oops! Tickets to Kanyakumari… by Barnali (Sometimes life throws you a curveball)

  86. Goal Setting: Generation Less-Than-Average by mena11 (This teen wants to improve the reputation of her school)

  87. Goal Setting: A Math Story by iayesha97 (She was not very good at math)

  88. Goal Setting: Achievement Process by Jason P. (He wants to own the biggest computer software company in the world)

  89. Goal Setting: Good Start in High School, Check! by kingsquishy (This teen made a bet about her high school experience)

  90. Goal Setting: Passing Pre-Calculus by Meyer_321 (This teen passed math)

  91. Goal Setting: How I Made It Into the Most Selective High School in America by friendzyfriend (She was accepted to Stuyvesant High School in NYC)

  92. Goal Setting: A’s and B’s by Jessie2297 (She wants to earn good grades)

  93. Goal Setting: Not of Achieving but of Becoming by Chocolatebunny (Her goal of teaching English has evolved)

Hobby-Related Goal Setting Essays

  1. Goal Setting: I succeeded in donating money to the poor by xSecretxWriterx (This teen makes necklaces from cereal boxes and gives the money to needy families in Mexico)

  2. Goal Setting: Writing by Amazyrak (This teen wanted to write poetry)

  3. Goal Setting: Goal Setting Can Make You a Better Person by softballstars04 (This teen donated birthday money to a wounded police officer)

  4. Goal Setting: I Failed to Gain My Wings by AldaraR (She wanted to fly)

  5. Goal Setting: The Fruits by Chinmay (She won the grand prize in a photography contest)

  6. Goal Setting: The Melody of Life by honesty.rana125 (This teen fell in love with music)

  7. Goal Setting: Making the team by Deonte_Crenshaw (This teen made the basketball team after a lot of practice)

  8. Goal Setting: How I Plan to Attain My Goals by C_williams11 (This teen wants to go pro in a sport)

  9. Goal Setting: My Goal is a Standing Tuck by ebrown1806 (Some colleges won’t accept cheerleaders if they can’t do a standing tuck)

  10. Goal Setting: My Life Goal by Joeeddie11 (This teen wants to be a pro baseball player)

  11. Goal Setting: Accomplished by samanthaann1996 (This teen made the color guard squad)

  12. Goal Setting: Getting the Spot by Will (This teen made the football team)

  13. Goal Setting: All For Him by Abrown8093 (This teen plays baseball for his biggest fan, his grandpa)

  14. Goal Setting: I can strive, I can accomplish by MaitlynJaneBarton (This teen wants to be a photographer)

  15. Goal Setting: Making Music by Adam T. (This teen regrets straying from his goal)

  16. Goal Setting: Cheerleading by ashleebdavis (She wants to cheer at the collegiate level)

  17. Goal Setting: My Goal by dalton-ray (This teen wants to go to Troy College to play baseball)

  18. Goal Setting: My Life’s Goal by Magicman (This teen rescues animals)

  19. Goal Setting: Becoming Drum Major by Jflack9622 (Achieving a goal requires time, effort, and patience)

  20. Goal Setting: Flag Line Captain by nicolekathleent (Attitude is an important part of achieving your goals)

  21. Goal Setting: Working towards a goal by Freezee93 (This teen made the varsity lacrosse team)

  22. Goal Setting: Learning how to snowboard by EFK_Irish (His friend helped him learn how to snowboard)

  23. Goal Setting: Exploring More Sides of the World by yoonamin (Exploring other cultures is important and amazing)

  24. Goal Setting: The Ultimate Goal by cmariiie (She wanted to play soccer for Tampa)

  25. Goal Setting: My Summer Job by Daniel (This teen does hot shot driving)

  26. Goal Setting: Be an NBA Star by Willie Smith (This teen wants to play for the Lakers)

  27. Goal Setting: Life’s a Dance by Kerrialexis (She wants to be a majorette in college)

  28. Goal Setting: A Goal I Accomplished by jonahv (This teen climbed to the highest point in Alabama)

  29. Goal Setting: My volleyball team was league champion in high school and made playoffs for two years straight by laurasantare (All of her volleyball goals were accomplished)

  30. Goal Setting: The Championship Goal by allyrae03 (This teen won a tough swimming match)

  31. Goal Setting: Finally making the team by kadereka huffman (After years of trying, this teen finally made the basketball team)

  32. Goal Setting: One Little Goal by Drew_B2015 (This teen hit a home run)

  33. Goal Setting: My Goal by Quin14 (This teen wants to play for the NFL)

  34. Goal Setting: My Goal by Malik334 (This teen made the football team even though he has asthma)

  35. Goal Setting: Success on the Diamond by Billy (This teen only had 17 strikeouts this season)

  36. Goal Setting: Goal by SHERIKA (She wants to play for the WNBA)

  37. Goal Setting: How I Achieved the Unachievable by Darrell Greene (This teen became a defensive lineman after being a running back)

  38. Goal Setting: The Time I Learned How to Swim by arthur2395 (He watched videos on YouTube to help him achieve his goal)

  39. Goal Setting: Learning to swim by Colby s (Swimming takes determination and practice)

  40. Goal Setting by Quaviouskelly (She wants to play basketball)

  41. Goal Setting: My goals by Darryl Matthews (He wants to play for the NFL and be a track star)

  42. Goal Setting by Beastton (This teen wants to run a car business with his brother)

  43. Goal Setting by steven thompson (He wants to be a mechanic)

  44. Goal Setting: Finally, A Win by Dmpancakepalace (His little league team won a tough game)

  45. Goal Setting: Inky Lines by truthwillprevail (This teen wants to be an author)

  46. Goal Setting: Mastering the Stick Shift by Kbeverly (She learned how to drive stick)

  47. Goal Setting: Dreams of a Top Female Basketball Player by ainaasri (She proved her coach wrong)

  48. Goal Setting: Going for the Gold by IceGirl2013 (She won first at the Washington State games)

  49. Goal Setting: Being the Best I Could Be by essence.hepburn (This teen became captain of band)

  50. Goal Setting: My Successful Failure by carl.lindvall (This teen was MVP in rugby)

  51. Goal Setting: Goal Achieved by Champions! by threeshot24 (He led his basketball team to victory)

  52. Goal Setting: Only the Rain can Bring Spring by REENA (This teen published a novel)

  53. Goal Setting: Changing My Life by Kenzie Leigh (She was cast as a cheerleader in High School Musical)

  54. Goal Setting: Setting My Goal in Motion by chewbaccacat (She learned how to drive)

  55. Goal Setting: Getting Back in the Game by jewlus25 (This teen wanted to slam dunk)

  56. Goal Setting: Riding a Unicycle by ixel801 (This teen got a giraffe unicycle)

  57. Goal Setting: On Writing Novels by kat.talerico (Stop comparing yourself to others)

  58. Goal Setting: Nobody Has Time for Underhand by srjotter (This teen learned an overhand serve)

  59. Goal Setting: Driving by patience369 (She wanted to get her permit at 15)

  60. Goal Setting: Getting Myself Out There by adeliemelon (She felt inadequate compared to her classmates)

  61. Goal Setting: Finishing a Book Series by Sparkie4484 (She fell in love with the Inkheart series)

  62. Goal Setting by razak (This teen discusses goal setting)

  63. Goal Setting by rogecat (She earned her black belt in Tae Kwon Do)

  64. Goal Setting: Finally a Published Author by emily.severinson (She was published on TeenInk)

  65. Goal Setting: Major car repair by imacamryfanatic (This teen has several goals to keep him busy)

  66. Goal Setting: Fishing by SnookCommander (He wants to be a charter captain)

  67. Goal Setting: No More Mudding by Citron (This teen did some damage to the truck after mudding)

  68. Goal Setting: A Dancer’s Goal Accomplished by camcam098 (She met her idol)

  69. Goal Setting: Learning to Swim by worldlit (This teen earned his swimming merit badge)

  70. Goal Setting: Basketball by Jdepue24 (This teen’s team won the tournament)

  71. Goal Setting: Passing my driver’s test by ExtraCredit (This teen practiced hard to pass the test)

  72. Goal Setting: The Writing Contest by thedarknessinme (This teen didn’t think she would win a class contest)

  73. Goal Setting: Sunshine State by Rbowns1 (This teen makes weekly goals for herself)

  74. Goal Setting: Writing For Life by MelissaLee28 (This teen wants to be writer)

Me-Related Goal Setting Essays

  1. Goal Setting: I Learned to Love My New Town by spartaboy777 (After a sudden move to Tennessee, this teen thought he’d have a hard time adjusting)

  2. Goal Setting: The Issues With Running and Hiding by Meder11653 (This teen doesn’t want to bottle up her feelings)

  3. Goal Setting: Finding My Way by sillytoad (This teen wants to find peace)

  4. Goal Setting: Accepting Me by Skyler (This teen wanted to lose weight)

  5. Goal Setting: I Failed to Please Society but Succeeded in Being Myself by bbigday (This teen fell victim to yo-yo diets)

  6. Goal Setting: Harder Than It Looks by TayLuvsBooks (She changed her style)

  7. Goal Setting: The real one by h3ram65k (This teen just wants to be happy)

  8. Goal Setting: My methods for great goal setting by Anicia129 (With a good attitude, you can do anything)

  9. Goal Setting: A Triumphant Victory by Ninja2014 (This teen moved away with her father)

  10. Goal Setting: My set goal is to help stop bullying by Brittney Day (Bullying is an epidemic in schools)

  11. Goal Setting: Becoming successful in life by Justin_giddens (He has high hopes for his future)

  12. Goal Setting: Goal by TAcreman (This teen explains why it is important to set goals)

  13. Goal Setting: My Special Goal by Cbowen (This teen stopped caring what other people thought of her)

  14. Goal Setting: To go to college by savannah (This teen outlines her future)

  15. Goal Setting by JustJaylen (This teen wants to be closer to God)

  16. Goal Setting: Self Confidence by morgan tillman (In order to achieve anything, you must be confident)

  17. Goal Setting: My Goals by Wdm5897 (This teen wants to live in the most Christ-like way)

  18. Goal Setting: Finding Strength by Dalton1245 (This teen bulked up to stop the bullies)

  19. Goal Setting: Keeping Quiet by Emmykelley (This teen’s selective mutism has made life hard)

  20. Goal Setting: My Goals by Alex Bowman (This teen wants to get into game design)

  21. Goal Setting: Stop Bullying by hchristianson3478 (This teen helped stop bullying at her old school)

  22. Goal Setting by briannadean (Her family helps her achieve her goals)

  23. Goal Setting: Goal I’ve Achieved the Biggest by tristanp_8 (This teen worked hard to help his dyslexia)

  24. Goal Setting: Breaking out of my shell, and climbing to the top of the rocky Mt. Everest of shyness by Pinkdanger (This teen pushed herself to be more outgoing)

  25. Goal Setting: Summer Hopes by laughsandloves (This teen spent the summer in China)

  26. Goal Setting: The Time I Stopped Being Shy by theroc08rox (This teen won a speech competition)

  27. Goal Setting: Changing Lives in Peru by clairegordon (This teen loves volunteering)

  28. Goal Setting: A Reality Check by Catotto108 (She discovered she had flat feet)

  29. Goal Setting: Improving my learning disabilities by bmcgoorty11 (This teen was diagnosed with ADD)

  30. Goal Setting: Having a Positive Attitude by zandra (Bring positive is important)

  31. Goal Setting: My life is like riding a bike; to keep your balance, you must keep moving by Raeanna-Nicole (She learned to cope with the loss of her mother)

  32. Goal Setting: To Not Judge by rosh (This teen wants to stop judging others)

  33. Goal Setting: They Could No Longer Keep Their Secrets by languagelulu (This teen learned French in an effort to understand her relatives)

  34. Goal Setting: Realizing What I Already Had by Lifexlove (Her father let her down)

  35. Goal Setting: The Tail of a Leopard Gecko by Ced-E Allen (This teen likes talking to animals)

  36. Goal Setting: Being Healthy Wasn’t What I Expected by moosifer (This teen went from an eating disorder to a healthy lifestyle)

  37. Goal Setting: Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder by kaego (This teen overcame a difficult disorder)

  38. Goal Setting: A Promise to Keep by DyingMelody (She wants to “dream to fly with broken wings”)

  39. Goal Setting: Eliminating Shyness by MeganNicoleDove (She performed in her school’s talent show)

  40. Goal Setting: Expressing My Hidden Confidence by bochi_tries84 (This teen was uncharacteristically shy in her new school)

  41. Goal Setting: Succeeded by being ordinary by KamnaBisht (There is nothing wrong with being ordinary)

  42. Goal Setting: Getting a Car by tonyp6659 (This teen saved all of his money and bought his own car)

  43. Goal Setting: Defeating Depression by theyoungnovelist (She defeated depression by turning to her God)

  44. Goal Setting: Walk Beside Me by chocoholica (This teen failed her childhood goal of being popular)

  45. Goal Setting: Facing My Mortality by chaness1000 (Thinking about death can be scary and overwhelming)

  46. Goal Setting: To be Truly Happy by eeva (She realized that being rich is not about money)

  47. Goal Setting: Happy by bazzoun (This teen wants to be happy)

  48. Goal Setting: Remembering to Breathe by bioxya (This teen thought talking to kids was scary)

  49. Goal Setting: For When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong by kathrynk (Her dad committed suicide)

  50. Goal Setting: Why You Don’t Want to Hit Rock Bottom by MousyNona (This teen was caught stealing)

  51. Goal Setting: Friends by LuckyStar101 (Friendships often begin just by saying “hi”)

  52. Goal Setting: My Huge Problem/Future by kaitlin (She wants to lose weight, and also get a scholarship)

  53. Goal Setting: Its Implications by Napkin32 (Goals are what you make of them)

Mistakes-Related Goal Setting Essays

  1. Goal Setting: I learned that accomplishing goals requires true passion by déjà_janae (Mistakes lead to greater success)

  2. Goal Setting: Pain as a Failure Driving Ambition to Succeed by horsesrunwild34 (Use failure as a way to drive your success)

  3. Goal Setting: I’ve failed at everything I’ve ever done and found myself along the way by Alyg8er (This teen discovered that she loved music)

  4. Goal Setting: In Which Failing at Dance Makes Victory all the More Better by Kennedy Borman (This teen has learned a lot about perfection and failure)

  5. Goal Setting: Keep On Keeping On by hurleygirl27 (Failure doesn’t mean that you should give up)

  6. Goal Setting: To Truly Win by aaronjhayden (This teen didn’t make the team)

  7. Goal Setting: I initially failed, but eventually succeeded in qualifying for the National Speech Tournament by chanchan1t412 (This teen learned to take criticism)

  8. Goal Setting: Another Year, Another Disappointing Season by itsdejj (This teen’s team wasn’t doing very well)

  9. Goal Setting: Setting Goals and Learning From Failure by jr0311 (This teen didn’t get into college)

  10. Goal Setting: Hosting A Concert to Benefit Families Suffering from Childhood Cancer by 15penaec (This teen learned it is ok to change goals)

  11. Goal Setting: When The Tables Turn by lgs125 (She was afforded another opportunity when her goal opportunity turned her down)

Failure/No Goals

  1. Goal Setting: The Most Photographed Barn in America: White Noise by SandyCheeks13 (This teen doesn’t believe in goal setting)

  2. Goal Setting: I failed at fitting in by ItsJalia (This teen is struggling to make friends)

  3. Goal Setting: The Goal is Passing by HurricaneWitch (This teen wants to be a vet, but she is struggling to pass classes)

  4. Goal Setting: Accomplished Nothing? by Kiara (This teen has a lot of long-term goals, but not a lot of short-term goals)

  5. Goal Setting: Finishing Failure by MarileeRose (She doesn’t typically finish most things)

  6. Goal Setting: Me, the cycle, and a soul that screams “loser” by aarambam (This teen has many fleeting goals)

  7. Goal Setting: My high school career is defined by losses by ohanewz (This teen didn’t accomplish any of the goals she set for herself in high school)

  8. Goal Setting: In Which The Author Sets Some of Those Goals Things and Achieves One by MadHats (This teen has never been very driven)

  9. Goal Setting: I failed at reaching my weight goal, but it led me to ditching anorexia by emeraldglow (This teen didn’t achieve a dangerous goal)

  10. Goal Setting: The goals created though failure by italiadalba (Failure often leads to success)

  11. Goal Setting: In It to Win It by meganclapham (She makes her goals impossible, which sets herself up for failure)

  12. Goal Setting: Failing A Goal by JohnWayne (This teen failed classes)

  13. Goals Setting: Goals I Have Failed at Achieving by ChrisTheBrit2014 (This teen feels pessimistic about his chances in winning this contest)

  14. Goal Setting: Goal by Tboswell (This teen wants a job)

  15. Goal Setting by dana1242 (This teen quit her softball team)

  16. Goal Setting: Failed Attempts by Starlawallace (This teen is 17 and pregnant)

  17. Goal Setting: I Failed in Achieving My Mind-blowing Financial Goal by talanangolo (This teen wanted to make a million dollars)

  18. Goal Setting: The Locality of Loquacity by Wonderwelle (This teen wanted to be more extroverted)

  19. Goal Setting: Setting Goals and Learning from Failure by jr0311 (She didn’t feel as confident as she once was)

  20. Goal Setting: A Shard of a Dream by Winwinhh (This teen’s failed goals encompass him)

  21. Goal Setting: Clear CLAT entrance exam after school by khushboo savita (Life is not always perfect)

  22. Goal Setting: World Championships by jerybrown (He wanted to compete in a tough martial arts tournament)

  23. Goal Setting: I failed and succeeded at making the All State Band by westongirls (Even if she didn’t meet her original goal, the lessons she learned were invaluable)

  24. Goal Setting: A Race to Accomplish by Amy S. (Even though she didn’t make her goal, she still got a new personal record at her race)

  25. Goal Setting: The Failed Attempt by MorganBlanton (She didn’t make the school softball team)

  26. Goal Setting: Write for the Love of Writing by jennyzhcl (She didn’t meet her NaNoWriMo goal)


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Writing Contest Archive - Students

Past Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of our past writing contests and teen trend reports from the last four years. Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with teachers, teens, and college students as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2014 Writing Contests

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 2013 Writing Contests

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