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I overcame my fears of the dreaded Junior Paper

Joined: 5/22/2011
Posts: 1
One of the most well known and influential presidents in American History, Franklin D. Roosevelt believed that, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Such truer words have never been spoken before by an American President. In my high school career, nothing has been discussed and labored over more than the research paper that Mt. Carmel assigns to every one of its juniors. To me, the biggest fear I possessed upon entering the eleventh grade was this paper, which we juniors would spend nearly one third of the school year laboring over. However, my experience with the junior paper led me to the realization that things are not always what they appear to be; challenges can be overcome no matter the difficulty if people choose to experiment with the difficult and unfamiliar.
The most difficult part, when trying to overcome my personal fears, was simply starting the process. Our class had begun reading and talking notes on our chosen book, for which the paper would be the focus. Part of the assignment included researching professional critiques on the book and the author’s purpose. I, initially, was of the opinion that finding enough critical commentary on my book would be difficult, and so I did not want to even begin the research. Ultimately, what I feared the most was failure and my inability to succeed, for I knew that this paper would be weighted highly in my grade for the class. Depending on only one paper that could either prove very beneficial or end in what I considered my ultimate demise, was ultimately the catalyst for most of my anxiety throughout the junior paper season. Although I was able to overcome researching my topic without as much difficulty as I had anticipated, I was still nervous about actually starting the writing process. The most difficult aspect of the paper and the writing process was looking at everything I needed to finish over a limited span of time and that is what caused the majority of my alarm. By dividing my time between various topics throughout my essay, I was able to be alert and attentive in the essay and place equal importance on even the smallest of ideas. By taking things step by step, and managing to take some control of my anxieties, I was able to successfully complete one of the most challenging tests of endurance in my educated life.
I was able to successfully overcome my greatest fear of the entire junior year by putting things in the proper prospective rather than blowing my fears out of proportion. The most dreadful experience of the paper was surprisingly not writing the paper itself, but, beginning the process after hearing numerous dreadful and torturous experiences of others. Our greatest fear is often created not from the familiar and well known but from the unknown.
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